Thursday, 17 July 2008

Lemon Pound Cake

I am a great pound cake fan. The making is simple and the results are always reliably good. When I want to make a cake but time or mood does not allow for a more complex recipe this is what I turn to. The comforting pleasure of mixing equal quantities of ingredients with the addition of simple flavourings and frostings safe in the knowledge that it will actually turn out beautifully is absolute therapy in the kitchen for me.
The pound cake originated several centuries ago in England from yeast leavened bread-like cakes. The name comes from the fact that the original pound cakes contained one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. No leaveners were used other than the air whipped into the batter. These cakes were rich and dense. By the mid 1800's pound cake recipes began to deviate slightly from the original formula to make a lighter cake. Some recipes even contained a liquid, such as alcohol or rose water. It wasn't until the 20th century that artificial leaveners (baking powder/soda) were added. Today, pound cakes use different proportions of the same ingredients as the original formula to produce a lighter cake.
This recipe is more of a quarter pound cake. I took it from Bill Granger's Everyday. Lovely and tangy. I am frequently asked for the recipe. A much loved cake.
I sometimes make it in a loaf tin or an eight inch square tin or as pictured two small tins and sandwich together.

Lemon Pound Cake

250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened
250g/9oz caster sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
4 free-range eggs
250g/9oz self-raising flour, sifted
lemon butter icing

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Grease and line the base of a deep 20cm/8in square baking tin with baking paper.
3. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and creamy. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition.
5. Fold in the sifted flour in two batches until well combined.
6. Spoon into the tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer poked into the middle of the cake comes out clean (you can cover the cake loosely with foil if it is browning too quickly).
7. Cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin and turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Ice with lemon butter icing.

Lemon Butter Icing

75G/3oz Unsalted butter
100G/4oz Icing Sugar
2 teasps finely grated lemon zest
2 teasps lemon juice

Beat the butter until soft and white.
Add lemon zest and juice
Gradually beat in sifted icing sugar
Spread over the cake

If making a sandwich cake you will need more of the buttercream

I add a good squeeze of lemon juice to the cake mixture too. Gives it more flavour I think.

I made this again yesterday but I was not in the mood for faffing about creaming etc. I bunged it all in the food processor and added a pinch of baking powder. It was so thick and feather light


Anonymous said...

A truly beautiful cake Brenda. I have that book but the recipe has somehow managed to escape me; I will bake it soon, I promise ;)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It looks delicious! The kind of cake that I like...



Coby said...

Granny, you've put me to shame - I have that book and have never even noticed the recipe. I'm eager to try it after seeing your photo. I'd like to cook it your way - what sort of time would you suggest if using sandwich tins please? And do you just double the frosting recipe?

Coby said...

PS, I loved your history of the pound cake - I had no idea thank you:)

Rhyleysgranny said...

George I told you you needed to catalogue all those books:D

Rosa Thank you

Coby It's lovely to see you here.:) I do double the quantity of butter cream. It is a generous amount. I give the sandwich cakes about half an hour. Check at twenty minutes to be sure.

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Mm buttercream :) so nice to see you back blogging. This cake looks absolutely gorgeous.

Rhyleysgranny said...

Thank you Laura. I am glad to get back to it. It's been a hectic couple of months. I'm slowly working round reading my favourite blogs. Lots to catch up on. :)

Victoria Sponge said...

I've been wanting to make this cake for a long time. With such a good recommendation, I'm going to have to give it a go. Looks lovely on your pretty plates.
Lots of love, Vicky xxx

Rhyleysgranny said...

Thank you Vicky :) You won't be disappointed.

Hillary said...

Very delicious looking pound cake! I love the layers of frosting throughout.

Sarah Bell said...

I love lemony flavours!! and this looks divine. I may have to have a go at this one.

Rhyleysgranny said...

Thank you Hillary. I think the sandwiching is a fairly British thing. It was nice of you to pop in and leave a comment

Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

My absolute all time favourite cake, nothing beats lemon pound cake!!! Looks fantastic Brenda

Rhyleysgranny said...

It is a good one Rachel isn't it?

Sarah thank you for visiting. Yes you must try it. It is a keeper

Gloria said...

Heey Granny I didn't see this! is lovelu, you know I love the lemon in recipes! I have to control me to don't make many recipes with lemon, but is so lovely, really I want to try! xxGloria

jaygirl said...

Mmm that looks so light and lemony, did you use sandwich tins?. I love your piggies,lol.

Rhyleysgranny said...

Yes I used sandwich tins Rita. I also thought of you with the little piggy LOL

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Some people understimate pound cakes... I also love them and yours definetly looks great!

jaygirl said...

I have made this twice this week, once as a traybake and then as 2x8 inch sponges both were a huge success, I left the butter and sugar to beat for ages in the mixer, it was all light and fluffy before adding the eggs. Both turned out really really light. This is going to be a regular for me. Thanks Brenda.

Rhyleysgranny said...

Gloria always lovely to see you

CC I love pound cakes too so reliable

Rita I'm glad you like. You may also like the coconut and lime cake too.It's much the same idea.