Monday, February 6, 2012

Lemon~Chocolate Chip Tea Cake

Today would have been my mother's 92nd birthday.  A truly remarkable woman, who raised eight children, sometimes on her own when my Dad's duty assignment was at sea and she survived The Great Depression, a World War, the Korean conflict and living on a budget before credit cards were popular!  She was my mother and when I got married and had children, my best friend and always my mentor.

This tea cake I made in her honor has her two favorite flavors--lemon and chocolate and I'm sure it would have pleased her.  It's an interesting combination, which my girls would have told anyone, she was famous for.  Once, when my dad picked them up from school while I was working, they came back to the house and my mother was eating Cheetos dipped into Marshmallow Fluff!  Also, I blame her for giving me my obsession with sweet and salty with all the chocolate dipped pretzels and potato chips we sampled throughout the years.

February 6th is a tough day, but baking and being able to talk to my sister today made it bearable.  Memories and traditions have sustained us through the worse times and losing our mother at such an early age is definitely one of those times.

Lemon~Chocolate Chip Tea Bread
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
Juice and Zest of one large lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Kosher salt
2/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup Mini Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 tsp. Light Karo Syrup

Candied Lemons (optional)
If you are doing the candied lemons, begin the process before starting the batter.

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Lightly spray a non-stick pan(s) with baking spray.  
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the eggs, one at a time, continuing to mix on medium speed and thoroughly combined.

Mix together the dry ingredients and add to the batter alternately with the sour cream.  Beat for 1 minute on medium speed (don't over mix).  Finally, stir in the mini chocolate chips.

Distribute batter in a 9" x 5" loaf pan plus 2-3 muffin or small loaf pans.  I used a decorative loaf pan and two paper baking forms in a heart shape.

As you will notice, I decorated the tops with the some of the candied lemons, but that's a bad idea because they end up browning way too much.  If you make the candied lemons, decorate the tea cakes after they are baked!

Place pan(s) in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Lower temperature to 325F-degrees and continue to bake another 15 minutes.  I baked the loaf pan for 35 to 40 minutes.  A skewer poked in the center should come out clean and the tops firm when pressed with your finger tips.

Mix up the glaze and pour over the loaf and small cakes (I poured over the candied lemon slices.)
Serve warm or cooled.  The loaf has a wonderful texture and the flavor combination is memorable.  It's not a fancy cake, but my mom would have loved it with her coffee--she liked the unusual and to be surprised.  Wishing you were here to have a slice with me...


  1. Wow! This looks so good, Susan. Comforting. Love the use of the lemons as I'm all about the lemony-love right now. :) And, again, mini chocolate chips were used in my cake yesterday, too. Great minds, yes? Thanks for sharing with us and have a wonderful week! Many Hugs! Ellen

  2. Lemon and chocolate---Mom's favorite flavors--and she definitely would love the Tea Bread that you baked today. It was a difficult day and I thank you so much for sharing memeories and honoring Mom on her 92nd birthday. I love you, Barb

  3. Susan I truly know how you felt yesterday and I’m so sorry for your loss. I've experienced a similar day every September 28th since 1983. My mother was my best friend, my big sister, my mentor, and my only parent. What I would give to spend one hour with her - to feel her soft cheek as we hug, to inhale her special scent, to feel her comfort dissolve the past 28+ years of pain that only a mother understands. Sometimes I feel that people who haven't suffered the early loss of their mother (or experienced that special mother-daughter bond) don't understand the irreparable hole it leaves in your heart. I have sensed an attitude like: "Why do you mope around all day on the anniversary of her death? That was a long time ago." I'm sad for them. They have obviously never experienced that most special once-in-a-lifetime relationship you and I shared with our mothers.
    I'm sorry I wasn't here yesterday, Susan. I love you and miss you.

    1. Mary, this is something I wish we didn't share, but it's been so comforting since knowing you that you understand this loss. Love you, Me

  4. Susan, what a lovely cake. I am sure your mom was with you while you were baking. I have also lost a parent and it is hard to live without.

  5. My dear friend,

    Just reading this made me have to take a three mile walk. I love your memories of your Mom. What a blessing.

    Sending hugs,


  6. susan! you have done it again. this recipe sounds delious. memories are a good thing.
    stamping sue