This is by far one of my favorite recipes ever — my mom’s famous lemon pound cake. It may not actually be famous in the traditional sense, but it’s famous in my book. My mom (Hi, mom!) loves anything with lemon, and believe me, she’s doesn’t skimp on the lemon. So if you’re not a big fan of lemon or tart desserts, I would suggest skipping this one.
The pound cake recipe itself is standard, but it’s what my mom does after the cake is out of the oven that makes it extra special. The first glaze (made with granulated sugar) seeps into the hot cake through holes poked with a fork and when cooled creates a sugar “crust” on the outside. The second glaze (made with powdered sugar) creates a more frosting-like layer on top and adds a decorative touch.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 lb. (2 sticks) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup milk
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
Glaze 1: 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup granulated sugar (or more depending on how much glaze you want)
Glaze 2: 2-3 cups powdered sugar with just enough lemon juice to make a thick glaze (or more depending on how much glaze you want)
*Note: I am lactose intolerant so I have used non-dairy butter and milk with the recipe and it works just fine!
1. Adjust rack to 1/3 up from bottom of oven. Preheat oven to 350 .
2. Butter a 9 x 3 1⁄2-inch tube pan and dust it lightly with four. (This part is VERY important otherwise the cake will stick to the pan!)
3. Mix together (or sift) flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
4. In a large bowl or electric mixer cream the butter.
5. Add the sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Beat in the eggs individually, scraping the bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula to keep mixture smooth.
7. On the lowest speed alternately add the dry ingredients in three additions and the milk in two additions, beating only until smooth after each addition.
8. Stir in the lemon rind until the batter is just combined. (Be careful not to over mix!)
9. Turn the batter into prepared pan. Level top by rotating the pan back and forth.
10. Back for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes, until cake tester comes out dry.
11. While the cake is baking, prepare the two glazes.
12. Immediately after the cake comes out of the oven (and while it is still in the pan), poke the top with a fork (or something else with long, skinny prongs) a couple times and cover with roughly 1/3 of the first glaze (the granulated sugar glaze). **I would recommend putting wax paper under the cake in case any of the glaze seeps through the pan.**
13. Let cake stand in the pan about 3 minutes and then cover with a rack and invert. Remove pan, leaving the cake upside down. **Again, I would recommend placing wax paper under the wire rack to catch the excess glaze.**
14. Poke holes in the bottom of the cake with a fork and use roughly another 1/3 of the granulated sugar glaze to cover the bottom. Let stand for another few minutes.
15. When the cake is cooled a bit more, invert the cake again onto the final serving plate you want to use. **I recommend something with a lipped edge (like a plate) to catch the excess glaze that comes off the cake.**
16. When on the final serving plate, drizzle the top of the cake with the final 1/3 of the granulated sugar glaze.
17. Once the cake is fully cooled (the cooled part is very important here!), drizzle with the powdered sugar glaze. You can make this glaze as thick or as thin as you want. I like to make it just thick enough to drizzle so that it is opaque enough to see the glaze (makes it look prettier and creates a thicker layer of frosting).
18. And finally, enjoy! I like the cake even better the second day, so you can definitely make this the day before. The granulated sugar glaze then has enough time to completely cool and create the delectable “crust” on the outer edge of the cake.
If you try this recipe, please let me know how it goes!!