There is something about a simple lemon pound cake that makes me happy. Maybe it’s the fact that you can eat it with a cup of coffee for breakfast and feel totally ok doing it. Or maybe because you can cut a small sliver off every time you walk through the kitchen and somehow not feel guilty about it. Or maybe because sometimes you refer to it as a “lemon loaf” which doesn’t remotely sound like a dessert. And if doesn’t sound like a dessert then it isn’t one right?
My mom and I have had an ongoing search for the “perfect lemon pound cake” for as long as I can remember. We tried this one by Martha (and yes I can use her first name only and you still know who I’m talking about) and while we were skeptical at first, we were really pleased with the end result: buttery, lemony without being too tart and just sweet enough.
The best part of this recipe?
It makes two loaves. One for you (obviously) and one for a friend.
Glazed Lemon Pound Cake
Makes 2 Loaves
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons and 1 cup lemon juice (from 5 to 6 lemons)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
- 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- For Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Butter two 4 1/2-by-8 inch (6-cup) loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
- In a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), combine buttermilk with vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest and juice. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the butter-milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just smooth (do not overmix)
- Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes (tent with foil if browning too quickly). *If your pans are thin, start checking them at 45 minutes.
- Cool 15 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely (top side up).
- For Glaze: Place sugar in a medium bowl; stir in 3 tablespoons lemon juice and lemon extract. Add more sugar or lemon juice, as necessary, until glaze is thick yet pourable (makes 3/4 cup).
- To Glaze Cakes: Set rack with cakes over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over the cakes; let sit, about 30 minutes.