| homemade lemon pound cake |
Some of my fondest memories as a child include coming home after school to find that my mother had been baking. Whether it was brownies, chocolate chip cookies or banana bread, homemade desserts immediately elevated her status to BEST. MOM. EVER!
Likewise, I want to create similar memories for my children and surprise them with something I’ve made from scratch. One of Jackson’s favorite desserts is lemon cake and I want to share the recipe with my readers. It is such a crowd pleaser, that I frequently serve it when we are entertaining. In addition to being delicious, it can be made a day ahead which is a huge time saver. It takes one more thing off my plate as I am preparing for company.
| my secret ingredient is fresh lemon zest |
Homemade Lemon Pound Cake
This recipe is adapted by combining a lemon cake recipe with a pound cake recipe and the results are spot on. Traditionally, a pound cake is made with equal parts of flour, butter, eggs and sugar. It is such an easy recipe to remember that many bakers don’t even refer to a cookbook. Over the years, bakers have added leavening (i.e. baking soda) to make is less dense, and experimented by adding other ingredients like chocolate. What I love about pound cake is that amateur bakers like me can make modifications to the basic recipe and still feel confident about the results. I’ve made this cake before, but this time I added fresh lemon zest that really elevated this cake’s flavor.
5 or 6 lemons
3 cups baking flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted (sweet) butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon zest
- Preheat your oven to 325°F and set oven rack into middle position. Using non stick cooking spray or butter, coat the inside of a loaf pan and dust it with flour. Alternatively, you can line the pan with parchment paper and spray and dust the parchment paper with flour. Next, get all your ingredients ready:
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt (a wire whisk does a great job).
- Zest 5 or 6 lemons to yield 1/2 cup of lemon zest and then juice the lemons to yield 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
- Then, in a medium bowl, combine the milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and set aside (it will immediately start to curd a little, which is normal).
- Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. I have a KitchenAid and use the paddle attachment, but a handheld mixer works fine too! With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time allowing about 30 seconds between each egg.
- Set your mixer on low speed and to the butter and sugar mixture, add one third of the flour mixture and then one third of the milk and lemon mixture. Continue alternating and finish with the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on low speed for another minute or so. I like to let my cake batter sit for a few minutes before I add it to baking pans. It gives the ingredients time to develop and you’ll notice that the batter will become thicker.
- Spread the batter into the buttered and floured loaf pan and smooth the top. It will take about one hour to bake, but check after 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Transfer loaf pan into a wire rack and cool the cake in the pan for 15-20 minutes.
- While the cake is cooling you can make the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and you can add more confectioners’ sugar if needed.
- Remove the cake from the loaf pan and put it on a cake plate. Pour the glaze over the cake allowing it run down the sides. Dust with confectioners’ sugar (optional). TIP: If you are planning on serving the cake the same day as you made it, go ahead and add the glaze. If you are going to serve it the following day, I’d hold off on pouring the glaze until then so the cake doesn’t get soggy.