Lemon Pound Cake

I can think of new ideas to bake nearly every day. New flavor combos or new ways to showcase classics. But cooking meals? I draw a blank every time. I’ve been trying to cook more and eat out less, but it’s been a struggle. I find myself every single day, getting hungrier and hungrier while I pour through endless recipes and blogs and magazines looking for something that I can make for dinner. I usually end up grabbing my collection of Everyday Food magazines and scanning through several of those before I land on an idea. But sometimes in my scouring, I forget about dinner completely because I’ve come across a dessert recipe that begs to be made immediately. On those nights, I scarf down a PB&J and break out the mixer, because there are Lemon Pound Cakes to be baked.

I’ve had a bag of lemons sitting on my kitchen counter waiting to be used for far too long. So when I stumbled across the recipe for lemon pound cake while looking for a dinner idea, I had to make it. Like immediately. By the time it was done and cooled, it was dark outside, so I told myself I’d hold off on taking pictures until the next day when I could have some nice natural light.

And then I cut myself a piece to taste test. And then another. And then I had one for a midnight snack. And I had some for breakfast. And another snack when I got home from work. By the time I was ready to take pictures, half of the cake was already gone! So I thought, “oh well. I’ll just make another one.” And then proceeded to eat the entire cake myself. (In my defense, I halved the recipe and only made 1 loaf from it. I didn’t eat an entire bundt cake by myself. That would have been ridiculous.)

I baked, took pictures, and immediately took Round 2 to work so I couldn’t tempt myself again. Can I tell you how much I miss that cake and want to make it for a third time? I want to eat this cake every day of my life! It's not overly lemony. Just the right balance of sweet and tart. And it’s that perfect pound cake consistency—thick and dense. A total “eat with your hands” kind of cake. A “slice it up and pack it for a picnic” snack. It’s the cake I think of at a summer cookout, soaking up all the juice from a mound of ripe, sweet berries. A cake I want in my face right. now.

Lemon Pound Cake
Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine, May 2006
Makes one 12-cup Bundt or two 4 ½ x 8-inch loaf pans

3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
¾ cup buttermilk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
½ teaspoon lemon extract

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon lemon extract
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour one 12-cup bundt pan or two 4 ½ x 8-inch loaf pans; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together buttermilk and lemon juice; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add lemon extract and stir to combine.
4. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. (Cover top with foil if the top is browning too quickly.) Cool 15 minutes in the pan. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before glazing.
6. Make glaze: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add zest and lemon extract and beat until combined. Add in confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. Add heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time, until the glaze reaches the desired consistency. Spread on cooled cake.

*I topped my cake with candied lemon slices, which are super simple to make: Slice lemons into very thin slices with a sharp knife or a mandolin. Remove and discard any seeds. Place equal parts granulated sugar and water into a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Add lemon slices in a single layer. When mixture boils again, remove from heat and let stand until it cools to room temperature. Then remove the lemon slices and place on a wire rack to dry completely.
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Rachel @ Baked by Rachel said...

This sounds absolutely fantastic! And the glaze mmmmmm. Just pass me a fork k? :)

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

I'm the same way - I have to do some serious digging on healthy posts, but dessert is always an easy one. I keep a notebook which I scribble ideas down in because I come up with so many that I forget them!

Joanna SkoraczyƄska said...

lemon cakes are by favourites. Your cake looks awesome. What a pity I can't have at least one tiny bite :-(

Anonymous said...

Lemon for summer! I love lemon cakes, even if they are dense and heavy they still have a light refreshing flavor.

Anonymous said...

Lemon cake are good ymmmmm

Anonymous said...

I just made these into cupcakes which I will use in a summer berry trifle this evening. They turned out nice and fluffy! Normally my pound cakes are really dry, this recipe has great texture. I would like a more lemony flavor next time, but the sweetness was perfect. I didn't add the icing. Loved your story about eating the first cake! Thankfully I have a hoard of children to keep that from happening to me. Thanks for posting!

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