You know I can’t post too many nutritious recipes in a row. Sometimes just one is enough. So here’s a spin on a classic dessert that will dazzle even the pickiest of guests. Because honestly, who can resist a lemon-spiked, super-moist, not-too-sweet slice of pound cake? Obviously, I can’t, by the photos below. And I haven’t meant anyone else yet who can say no to this particular lemon pound cake recipe (please apply within).
The roots of this lemon pound cake
While pound cake is as old as cake itself, this lemon recipe is a version of one served at Escoffier Restaurant during my time at the CIA (chefs, not spies). And get this… they even let us – culinary students – set it on fire! The student servers flambéed the berry compote as part of our table-side offerings. I know, RIGHT?! They let us flame it IN FRONT OF THE GUESTS?! No matter how old you are when you attend, culinary school is all kinds of crazy.
Simmer down, now, or don’t
Flambée may seem dangerous to attempt in a home kitchen. And you would be right, if say, your kitchen lacked an exhaust fan over the stove (we once lived in a rental with no fan, and I refused to even sear meat). If you have a decent fan, splashing a little booze in with your berries and lighting it up for a minute should be fine. And you don’t actually need to make fire in the pan, although it is fun. A strong simmer will boil off the alcohol. If that’s what you really want, that is.
It’s perfectly okay to skip the flambée
Without having to set any booze on fire, you can easily add deliciousness to any pound cake by simmering fresh berries in a little butter. What I love most about this cake is you can bake it as a loaf, or a couple of rounds, or even as cupcakes. Freeze what you can’t eat the first time out. If there is such a thing. Now back to dreaming up new, nutritious recipes.Print
I list all three common varieties of wheat flour below in the ingredient list, because I wouldn’t want anyone to not bake a cake if that’s what they set out to do!
I use whole-wheat pastry flour because it contains the whole grain (bit more fiber), but cake or all-purpose flours work, too.
Gluten-free Note: If you want to make this cake gluten free, you can swap out wheat flour for a 1:1 gluten-free flour, like Bob’s Red Mill brand. I’ve baked it up with Bob’s and it turns out great!
For Cake Batter
- 8 ounces whole wheat pastry flour, cake flour or all-purpose tsp baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6.5 ounces granulated sugar
- 3 lemons, zested
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- Fresh berries, 1/4 cup a person
- Unsalted butter, pastured recommended
- Brandy, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Saint Germaine or any liqueur you like
For Whipped Cream
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1–2 tablespoons confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
For Pound Cake
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Line muffin cups or grease and line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment.
- Sift together first three ingredients.
- In a stand mixer with a paddle or a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until lightened in color.
- Beat in vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice on medium speed, scraping down the bowl and paddle. Mixture will be lumpy.
- Turn down speed slightly, and beat in eggs one at a time.
- On low speed, add dry ingredients a little at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once.
- Portion batter evenly into twelve cupcakes, or smooth into a greased loaf or round cake pan.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes for cupcakes, or 30 to 50 minutes depending on shape and size of pan. The cake is done when you gently press the top with your finger, and it bounces back. You can also use the toothpick test (comes out clean, meaning no raw batter).
- Cool in the pan until you can handle, then unmold cake and cool completely on a rack.
- Store in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap.
For Compote + Whipped Cream
- For fresh whipped cream, beat cream with a few spoonfuls of powdered sugar until medium-stiff peaks form. Add lemon or orange zest for more flavor.
- For compote, slice larger berries into smaller pieces.
- Combine all fruit with a little butter in a saucepan over medium heat, simmering until slightly softened.
- Add a few splashes of liqueur, and bring to a quick boil.
- Serve immediately by spooning over slices of pound cake, and topping with fresh whipped cream.
Keywords: lemon pound cake, pound cake, berry compote, baking, cake, cake recipes, gluten free pound cake