This lemon pound cake is the perfect afternoon tea snack (or whenever you’re feeling kinda nippy for food), with the subtle but tangy lemon flavour really complementing the sweetness of this pound cake!
The lemon tree in our backyard has never failed to give beautiful lemons every season, and this year has seen our tree produce probably the most plentiful and healthiest lemons yet! Friends and family like to ask us the moment the weather becomes colder whether we’ve got any lemons to spare but it’s usually around this time the gift of giving begins.
When mum commented that the lemons were looking particularly perky today, I naturally steered the conversation into using some of the lemons to make a cake. My parents’ only requests were that I didn’t end up feeding them a cake with mountains of sugar and butter in it to balance out the citrus, and no frosting/icing/sweet filling. So lemon pound cake it was!
Like many of the cakes I’ve made, this recipe is originally from Stephanie Jaworski of ‘joyofbaking.com’. I find for those who are wanting to try out a new cake for the first time, her recipes are excellent in that her methods are simple and straight-forward to follow and the final products taste great. Once you’re more familiar with basic methods of cake making and what goes well together, then you can go about your kitchen confidently experimenting.
There’s not much that can go wrong in making this cake, my friends. If you’re worried that adding in lemon juice will make the cake too ‘sour’ for your taste palette, then you can substitute the lemon juice for some milk, but I do encourage you to take a chance! The 1/4 cup of lemon juice really isn’t much for the size of this cake; even my dad who fears all things sour really enjoyed the cake’s taste.
I turn around for 5 seconds and sneaky dad has already helped himself!
For which lemons to use, Stephanie has written the following:
When you make this Lemon Cake, always use lemons that are fragrant with brightly colored oily yellow skins. If you can, use organic lemons. The best lemons are firm, plump, and heavy for their size. Don’t use lemons that have blemishes, soft spots, or are hard and wrinkled. Lemons consist of a yellow outer rind (skin) and this is where most of the lemon’s wonderful tangy flavor is located. Before removing the outer rind (zest) make sure you wash the lemon thoroughly (soap and water is best). And when removing the zest do not remove the white membrane (pith) that is underneath as it is very bitter tasting.
There is very little that I changed from the original recipe, apart from my decision to use a 1:1 butter to sugar ratio. As you can see from my pictures, I didn’t make a lemon frosting, but you can click on any of the links above to take you to Stephanie’s page where she includes her lemon frosting too. Instead I candied some lemon slices and just stuck them onto the cake. I used a super sharp knife so then I’d get quick clean cuts.
Absolutely watch the video demonstration that Stephanie has of her making her lemon pound cake! That way you’ll know whether you’re on the right track.
Cr: joyofbaking.com | youtube
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Lemon Pound Cake
Recipe adapted from: JoyofBaking.com
Makes one – 9 inch (23 cm) cake.
-1 cup (200 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-4 large eggs, room temperature
-Zest of 1 large lemon (outer yellow skin of lemon)
-2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (can substitute milk in place of juice)
- Lemon Cake: Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) and place oven rack in the centre of the oven. Line the sides and bottom of a 9 inch (23 cm) spring form pan with parchment or wax paper.
- In a bowl, use either an electric mixer or with a hand mixer to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and pale in colour (about 3-4 minutes). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition. The batter will look curdled, but this is not a problem.
- Sift (or whisk) together the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. If your butter and egg mixture has begun to separate (you can see liquid) during the time you’ve been sifting, give the batter a good mix to re-incorporate. Alternate between adding in flour mixture (3 additions) and lemon juice (2 additions). Mix until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, before smoothing the top of the batter (either with a spoon, offset spatula). Bake for about 40 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. It is important not to over-bake as this will dry out the cake. Allow the cake to cool in its pan for 15 minutes before removing sides and bottom.
And you’re done! Decorate the cake as you like. This cake will keep for several days in an airtight container. Enjoy!