So what are you doing this weekend? How about “bake a cake”? The first cake I ever baked was a coconut pound cake. It remains an all-time favorite in my family. This lemon pound cake comes a close second. It hits all the right notes. Citrusy, check. Melt in your mouth, check. Visually appealing, check. Amateur-proof, check.
That said, I made it a few weeks ago (adapted from a recipe on Martha Stewart) and this time I took pictures so I could share with you. I hope you try it. I’d really like to know how it turns out.
Lemon Pound Cake
Yield: 2 Loaves
Serving Size: One slice (don’t be greedy 🙂 )
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, leveled (sift before measuring)
- 3/4 cup milk
- Zest of two lemons, finely grated
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 5 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in middle position. Grease and flour two loaf pans. (I usually use the butter wrapper to grease my pans).
- Combine the milk, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl (I used my measuring cup). In another bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (If your arm is particularly strong, you can also beat by hand till the mix looks like a shampooed cat :)) This step is very important to ensure your cake is light and fluffy. Beat that butter! Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts alternately with the milk mix in two, beginning and ending with flour; beat just until it looks combined (do not overmix). You should always end the mixing with flour, not liquid. If you end with liquid, it ends up just sloshing around without anything to hold on to. So always end with flour.
- Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. I start checking the cake at the 40 minute mark. Cool 15 minutes in pan. Turn out cakes onto a rack; cool completely before glazing (if you’re going to glaze. I didn’t). Check out the original recipe for the glaze.
- Struggle against the temptation to eat one of the cakes in one sitting. Eat a slice. Congratulate yourself on your self-control. Leave the house before you do something more drastic 🙂