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When citrus is in season, grab a few lemons and make this old fashioned lemon pound cake like grandma used to make- that is so tender and moist and topped with a lemon cream cheese glaze!
Ok, I seriously couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you. I also need to get rid of the second loaf in my kitchen before I eat every single crumb of it. Yup, it’s that good. This lemon pound cake though has a story behind it.
When I first started this blog, back in 2011- I shared a sour cream citrus pound cake recipe with you. I had recently taken a baking series class at the Cambridge Culinary School in (duh) Cambridge, Massachusetts. And I got the pleasure of running across this recipe. When I started the blog I knew I had to share the best recipe I knew to that date. Here’s the funny part. I NEVER took a photo. Not a single one. Not even with my Iphone (which is all I had at the time). You can read the original post here if you feel like it. How sad! Fast forward a few years, and I decided I need to make it again and finally put a photo to this delicious pound cake, bread, oh whatever…slice of heaven. You can see those photos here. I remember thinking how amazing those photos were. I tried submitting them to foodgawker (which if you are unfamiliar with a is a super picky food photography sharing site) and I got rejected. Looking back, I totally get it. At the time, I couldn’t believe it. Wait, you don’t like harsh yellow tones? Shocking. Since then I would like to think my photography has vastly improved. Are we to perfection yet? Definitely not. Will I ever be? Probably not. That is kind of the fun part of this whole crazy world of blogging though isn’t it?
Since then, I also made a lemon raspberry version with a delicious lemon glaze. Totally finger licking delicious.
I decided I need a new version on the blog and that’s where this version was dreamed up. I kept to the lemon only this time. Simple and delicious. I decided to switch up the glaze and turn it into a lemon cream cheese glaze this time. I had some cream cheese in the freezer and it was definitely a good choice. The cream cheese adds a great tanginess that I love. Although even without the glaze, this pound cake is truly spectacular. I just can’t help glazing, sprinkling, frosting things when I have a chance.
For this pound cake recipe, start by sifting your dry ingredients. I like to use this sifter, and then simply place it over my mixing bowl. Add in my dry ingredients to the sifter, and then gently tap the sides of the sifter. You can also use one of these hand crank sifter. Sifting does ensure that all of your leavening agents get evenly dispersed throughout. If you’re super opposed to sifting, then be sure to give it a really good whisk together! P.S. This is my new favorite whisk. Seriously if I could buy you all one I would.
Now once your dry ingredients are siftend, it’s time to start working on your wet ingredients. In your stand mixer, you want to cream your butter and sugar. Creaming is what is going to add air into your cake batter. So it’s super important that your butter is room temperature, and you cream for long enough. Don’t skimp on this step. Without enough air, your cake will not rise properly. To this, you want to add room temperature eggs. Room temperature is key, so you do not seize up the butter in your creamed mixture. If you need to bring your eggs to room temperature quickly, place them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. Easy peasy. Lemon squeezy (oh boy apology for the pun, I just couldn’t help myself). Now in a second small bowl, you will want to combine the sourcream, lemon zest, and vanilla. This will get added to the creamed mixture alternately with the sifted dry ingredients.
Then it’s time to pour this cake batter into your floured and buttered prepared pans. For these photos, I made these in 2 loaf pans, but a bundt pan or mini loaf pans work as well. I added the different baking times in the recipe if you want to switch things up.
A few baking tips for this old fashioned lemon pound cake:
- Measuring your flour correctly– I kind of been on a measure flour correctly warpath lately. But let’s be honest. It matters. Just repeat after me- spoon, repeat, level. In other words, spoon the flour in (don’t pack it down in), repeat until it’s a little over the top. Then level it off with a knife. I’ve been known to level it off with my fingers or hand too (one less dirty dish! rejoice!). If you want to know more on not just how, but also the why behind measuring your flour correctly then give this post a read.
- Zesting– I used two very large lemons for this bread. To be accurate though, I also measured it out for you as well. I used one whole tablespoon of zest (so this might take 3-4 lemons if yours weren’t jumbo size like mine). Seriously where are they growing these lemons? But on to the actual point- zesting. I love my Microplane . If you don’t have one. Skip on over to Amazon and throw one in your cart right this minute. I can wait. I use my microplane for everything from citrus fruits, to fresh ginger, to parmesan cheese. It’s fabulous. If you are unfamiliar with zesting, you want only the bright colored outer skin and you want to stop zesting when you see the white layer underneath. That white layer is not tasty, bitter, and will ruin your end product. So in other words, stop zesting at that point. Quick tip: Hold your microplane on top of the fruit, so you can see how much you are zesting, as opposed to holding the fruit on top.
- Mixing your wet and dry ingredients– This recipe has you mixing your wet ingredients in a small bowl separately (which is your sour cream, zest, and vanilla). And your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, etc) in another bowl. Then once you have creamed your butter and sugar together, you add your dry and wet ingredients alternately starting with your dry and ending with your dry. Why? You do not want to deflate all of that air you incorporated during the creaming method. I add mine in 3 batches. I also stop mixing my last dry ingredient batch when there is still a a few streaks of flour left behind in the bowl that way I can ensure that I do not over mix my batter.
This cake I have put in a bundt pan before, (this is the bundt pan that I own and love) large loaf pans (you get 2 good sized loaves), and also mini loaf pans (you get about 6-8 mini loaves). I have given this pound cake away for gifts before and anyone who tries it falls in love with this pound cake.
The hardest part of this cake? Decided between pretty fancy glaze on top…
And just complete going for it with the glaze and covering every inch possible…
I decided on the latter..can you blame me?
Step By Step Directions On How To Make This Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake:
I would love for you to follow along with me on:
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To make this old fashioned lemon pound cake you will need:
- Bundt pan, loaf pans, or mini loaf pans
- Kitchen-aid Stand mixer – this is my new mixer and I love it!
- Mixing bowls – I always recommend using metal bowls for baking because they do not leave behind any grease or residue over time.
Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Grated zest of 2 lemons about 1 tablespoon
- For the Lemon Glaze
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1. Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
- 2. In another bowl, combine the lemon zest, vanilla extract and sour cream.
- 3. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the mixing bowl well after each addition and mix until blended. Add dry and wet ingredients alternately to butter-sugar-egg mixture until uniformly incorporated- do not overmix.
- 4. Grease and flour one bundt cake pan (or 2 large loaf pans- or 6-7 mini loaf pans). Pour batter into pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for approximately 50 minutes (be sure to lower the baking time if you are making things smaller). The cake is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before glazing.
- For the glaze: Mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour over top of cake and serve. For a thicker glaze use less lemon juice.
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