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Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Pound Cake
Originating in 18th-century England, pound cakes are so named because the early recipes called for 1 pound each of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Those rich, dense cakes used no leaveners other than beaten eggs. Today's pound cakes use different proportions of ingredients to produce a lighter cake and include baking powder or baking soda as a leavener. Pound cakes can be enhanced with a variety of flavors, such as the refreshing lemon used here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 cups plus 2 Tbs. cake flour
  • 1⁄8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄8 tsp. salt
  • 9 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Directions:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour a lemon bread pan; tap out excess flour.

Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium-high and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla and 2 Tbs. of the lemon juice.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, beating each addition until just incorporated and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the lemon zest.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 70 to 75 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the remaining 3 Tbs. lemon juice and the 1⁄4 cup sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Serves 8 to 10.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.