Thursday, December 17, 2009

Glazed lemon pound cake

Currently listening to "Christmas is All Around" by "Billy Mack" from the Love Actually soundtrack.  No matter how unrealistic it is that Bill Nighy is playing an English pop star, you will not get me to stop loving this song, or the ridiculous video, which I hadn't seen until just now.  I actually thought I was getting the clip from the movie with all of the adorable get together moments of the couples, but instead I got an eyeful of scantily clad groupies. You probably didn't want to see that link.  Woops.

[insert an appropriate transition here because, for once, I'm lost for words] This recipe caught my eye when I was searching for something to take to this year's office holiday potluck party.  I was a little late on signing up with my choice of dish and cookies and chocolate cake were already taken.  And because the party is held in someone else's house, I wouldn't feel right asking to use her kitchen to finish preparing my offering.  So, something easily transported and, let's be honest, sweet.  And what a pleasant surprise to have a citrus flavor (normally in season during the summer months) to enjoy.  Enjoy a slice on its own or, another serving suggestion, with fresh berries of any kind and whipped cream.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake
(adapted from Everyday Food)
-makes 2 loaves, but can be halved (adjust eggs to 3 if so, to make halving easier)

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs

Lemon glaze: 2 cups confectioner sugar, 4 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position.  Using nonstick cooking spray, coat two 4 1/2-by-8-inch (6-cup) loaf pans.  Dust with a tablespoon of flour each, and tap around until evenly coated.  Dispose of extra.  (I used 1 8 1/2 x 4 1/2" pan and one 9 x 6" pan, and when baking, noted that the latter would be done first.  You can also make mini pound cakes by using a standard muffin pan.)  In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk with the lemon zest and juice, set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and soda, set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  With mixer on low, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Again, with the mixer on low (unless you want a flour winter wonderland in your kitchen) add 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Add half of the buttermilk mixture, another third of the flour, rest of the buttermilk, and final third of the flour.  Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula between each step or as needed.  Beat until just smooth (do not overmix!).

Divide batter evenly between pans, if of the same size.  If you're using pans of different sizes, fill about 3/4 full.  Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 50-60 minutes (40 minutes for the 9 x 6 pan, and probably around 20-25 for muffin pans).  Cool 15 minutes in pan on a cooling rack.  Run a knife around the edges of the pans, and carefully tap cake out onto rack and cool top side up completely (about an hour, maybe more depending on the temperature in your kitchen).

Set rack with cakes over wax paper or foil so that any glaze drippings can be easily disposed of.  Whisk together confectioner sugar and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth.  Pour or drizzle glaze over cakes, letting it run down the sides.  Let dry about 30 minutes.  Don't worry, it will harden, which lends perfectly to easy transportation.  Stored in closed container or bag for up to a week. 

...or take it to your office holiday party for those people who aren't crazy about peppermint or chocolate desserts and want a refreshingly light and sweet treat :)


  1. That may be one of your best pics yet. Very pretty.

  2. How can you mention Billy Mack and not the ADORABLE Mariah Carey cover?! Seriously.

  3. seriously. that picture. sheesh!!