The Best Lemon Pound Cake

Posted by in The Kitchen

My favorite recipe for lemon cake, discovered when I was looking for recipes to use the lemons from the tree in my back yard. I’m making one now to take to relatives in New York, and thought I’d share it with you. Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.

Lemon Pound Cake

16 tbl (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon, for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) cake flour, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting pan
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) sugar
2 tbl grated zest plus 2 teaspoons juice from 2 medium lemons
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter; dust with 1 tablespoon cake flour, tapping out excess. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter, covered with plastic wrap, at full power until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk melted butter thoroughly to reincorporate any separated milk solids.

In food processor, process sugar and zest until combined, about five 1-second pulses. Add lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla; process until combined, about 5 seconds. With machine running, add melted butter through feed tube in steady stream (this should take about 20 seconds). Transfer mixture to large bowl. Sift flour mixture over eggs in three steps, whisking gently after each addition until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake until deep golden brown and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack and brush on Lemon Glaze, if desired. Cool to room temperature, at least one hour. (Cooled cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.)

Lemon Glaze:

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup juice from 1 or 2 medium lemons

While cake is cooling, bring sugar and lemon juice to boil in small nonreactive saucepan, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Poke holes in top and sides of cake with toothpick. Brush top and sides of cake with glaze.