January 31, 2012

Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

This is a Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake that is moist, tender and – most importantly – very flavorful. The lemon in the cake and the lemon glaze keep the cake light and fresh tasting, perfect for an afternoon snack.  Without the glaze, which has plenty of fresh lemon juice, the lemon flavor in the cake is fairly subtle. I baked this cake in a tube pan, the same type of pan that I would use for angel food cake. My favorite thing about it is the fact that you still get to see the beautiful, high-rising top of the cake, with all it’s little nooks and crannies just waiting to be filled with a drizzle of icing.

When you’re mixing up this cake, don’t worry if the batter seems thick. Pound cake, although it is tender in the end, is dense compared to many other cakes and really requires a thick batter to achieve this texture. The butter in the cake lends a nice background flavor to it, but the vegetable oil that I added in is what helps keep it moist for several days after baking.

Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake
Serves 16

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp lemon zest
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk*
1/2 cup vegetable oil

* If you don't have buttermilk on hand you can easily make your own using milk and vinegar or lemon juice. For each cup of buttermilk you need: add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and then fill to the 1 c. mark with milk, stir and let sit for 5 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in lemon zest, then beat in the eggs one at a time until well-combined.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine vanilla, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Working in two or three additions, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture, ending with a final addition of dry ingredients. Stir only until no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack before topping with lemon glaze (recipe below)

Lemon Glaze

2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Recipe adapted from Baking Bites
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