But a friend asked me if I had a lemon pound cake recipe. She was having a monster lemon pound cake craving. I still had a bag of lemons in my fridge…so how could I say no? Challenge accepted.
The cake part is a Martha Stewart recipe. I mean, Martha is rarely wrong, right? The cake is light and fluffy, while also dense. And it’s perfectly lemony thanks to the addition of lemon juice and lemon zest. I used Meyer Lemons in this, because that is what I had. This would be just as good with regular lemons too!
When the cake comes out of the oven, you cool it slightly and then remove it from the pan. And that’s when you add the magic to it. In this instance, the magic wand is in the form of a lemon glaze, made of sugar and water and lemon. You boil it down, simple-syrup style and pour it over the warm cake.
Then you make a lemon drizzle out of powdered sugar and lemon juice and pour that over the top of the cake once it’s cooled.
It’s the Lemon Trilogy. Pure magic!
And you know the most magical part? This recipe makes TWO pound cakes. One to give…and one to eat all by myself in front of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
3/4 cup milk (I used nonfat)
Zest of 1-2 lemons, finely grated (2 small, 1 large)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large or 2 small lemons)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
For the glaze
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice (from half to a full lemon, depending on size)
For the drizzle:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two loaf pans. (4 1/2-by-8-inch loaf pans work best, but if you only have the 9x5 size, that’s fine, your loaves will be longer and a little flatter.)
In a liquid measuring cup, combine milk with lemon zest and juice. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture (with the mixer on low) in three parts alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat just until it comes together. Do not overmix!
Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50-60 minutes with the smaller pans, 40-50 minutes with the larger pans. You can tent with foil if they brown too quickly.
While the cakes are baking, make the glaze by heating granulated sugar and lemon juice in a small pan over low heat. Bring to a simmer and stir. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let sit until cakes are done.
Once done, cool cakes 15 minutes in pan. Turn out cakes onto a rack. Use a pastry brush to spread the glaze evenly over the tops and sides of both cakes. Let dry and completely cool, at least 2 hours.
Make the drizzle by mixing all ingredients with a whisk. Set rack with cakes over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Pour drizzle over cooled cakes, letting it run down the sides; let dry, about 30 minutes.
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