Pound Cake for All
Pound cake is not the first treat that comes to most people’s minds when their sweet tooth starts calling out, probably because most pound cakes are bland in flavor, dense without being rich or just plain bad. But for my English, sweets-loving husband, pound cake, specifically a lemon pound cake, is a revelation. He thinks it’s perfect with afternoon tea (of course), after dinner with berries and ice cream, even for breakfast. What’s the difference, really, between a muffin and a piece of cake?
Lemon pound cakes make my husband happy and since they are easy to make (and because I love the way his eyes light up upon smelling one when he walks in the door) I make them more than any other treat or, puddings, as he calls desserts. I didn’t have lemons around once and instead used some limes and the result was just as delicious. So, here’s my favorite lemon (or lime) pound cake recipe, one I slightly adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible. The method may seem a bit counter intuitive at first (there’s no creaming of the butter and sugar at the beginning) but the result is a tender, delicious lemon pound cake.
2 Tbsp lemon juice 3 Tbsp sugar
- Grease a loaf pan (approx. 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3). Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In the bowl of and standing mixer, combine the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking soda, and mix with the whisk attachment for 30 seconds to blend.
- With a fork, mix together the eggs, milk, lemon zest and vanilla.
- Add the softened butter to the dry ingredients and whisk on low speed for about 30 seconds. Add half the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated, then increase speed to med-high and mix for one minute. Scrape down the sides.
- Add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, mixing for 20 seconds each time and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted to the middle of the cake, about 55 minutes. I also recommend rotating the cake halfway through the bake time to ensure even baking.
- Let cool for about 20 minutes.
- Mix the lemon juice and 3 Tbsp of sugar.
- Carefully unmold pound cake onto a plate. With a fork, poke holes into the top of the cake.
- Brush (or spoon) the lemon syrup onto the cake. Don’t worry if it drips down the sides-that’s okay.
- Transfer cake to a clean plate and cool completely.
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