This lemon pound cake has the perfect dense but tender pound cake texture and tart flavor from a triple dose of lemon: lemon zest, lemon extract and lemon drizzle!
March 4 is National Pound Cake Day. Pound cake has been around since the 18th century. The name comes from the original 4-ingredient recipe: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs.
Even the ratio has been adjusted a little in today’s recipes, the result is still a very dense, buttery cake. The cakes are most often baked in either loaf pans, or bundt pans.
Pound cakes (good ones, anyway) are usually very moist, and I think they are delicious without any frosting or garnish at all, but occasionally I like to give them a dusting of powdered sugar or a glaze of simple icing (a mixture of powdered sugar and milk, often with some flavoring added).
Pound cake is a fantastic delivery system for fresh fruit. Sometimes, it’s used in place of shortcake for strawberry shortcake. Some have a slice with coffee at brunch, others have a slice for dessert. The dense slices also hold up well to being toasted or even grilled!
How do I get that perfect pound cake texture?
The key to a great pound cake with a dense crumb is to have all of your ingredients, even the eggs, at room temperature before starting. Plan to leave your butter and eggs on the counter for two to three hours before starting the recipe.
Thoroughly beat your cake better in between additions of egg. The batter will look curdled after you add the egg. Keep beating until the batter comes back together before adding another egg.
After you have poured your batter into the prepared pan, give it a sharp tap or two on the counter to pop any air bubbles in the batter.
And finally, don’t overbake your pound cake. You want it to be baked through, but not dried out. You can test your cake by inserting a metal skewer or paring knife into the center of your cake. It should come out clean. If you prefer to test with a thermometer, the temperature should be about 200 degrees F.
For the cake
- 3 tbsp whole milk, at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 1 1/2 cups (5.25 oz/150 g) cake flour
- 3/4 cup (5.25 oz/150 g) sugar
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Zest of two lemons
- 13 tbsp (6.5 oz/184 g) unsalted butter, softened
For the glaze
- 1 3/4 cups (7 oz/198 g) confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
- 1 tsp salted butter, melted
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8.5x4 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat together the milk, eggs and lemon extract.
- In a large bowl, stir together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.
- Add the butter to the dry ingredients, and beat with a hand mixer on low speed until the mixture starts to form clumps.
- Add half of the egg mixture, and beat on low speed until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and the mixture resembles cookie dough.
- Increase the speed on the hand mixer to high (medium-high if using a stand mixer) and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add half of the remaining egg mixture. Beat on medium-high for about 30 seconds, or until fully incorporated and the mixture looks uniform.
- Add the remaining egg mixture and beat until fully incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the cake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester or thin paring knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Set the cake pan on a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let cool on the rack to room temperature.
- Once the cake is cooled, make the glaze: in a small mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar and the lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Add the melted butter, and beat on high speed until thick.
- Pour over the cooled cake. Slice and serve.
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Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls (Set of 5)
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull-Out Display, 11-Pound
Citrus Lemon Zester & Cheese Grater by AdeptChef
KitchenAid 9-Speed Hand Mixer, Empire Red
USA Pan Aluminized Steel Loaf Pan 8.5 x 4.5 x 3-Inch
Le Creuset Stoneware 12" Oval Serving Platter
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 303mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g
Adapted from Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Perfect Pound Cake (from The Cake Bible)