Pound cakes have been around since the early 1700s and traditionally were made with a pound of each of its main ingredients: flour, butter, sugar and eggs.
We can all see the benefits of having a standardized recipe that’s easy to remember, but the pound cake has changed over the years.
Now no one uses one pound of flour, and of course, no one adds one pound of sugar to their mixing bowl.
What has happened is that we’ve adapted the recipe to modern times without losing what makes this type of cake so special: its fluffiness and heavy, thick texture.
The pound cake we’re making today, for which you’ll find the recipe below, is nothing like the old fashioned pound cakes. It uses three cups of flour, three eggs, two cups of sugar and one cup of butter. In my defense, I’m adding one whole cup of buttermilk.
A few other ingredients come in smaller quantities, but they’re equally important: baking soda, salt and vanilla extract.
That alone makes one good pound cake, but we’re taking our recipe even further with the addition of lemon juice and lemon zest; this one is the modern classic known as the Italian lemon pound cake. Enjoy it!
For the cake:
For the glaze:
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Reserve.
In a second bowl, combine the buttermilk, lemon juice and zest. Reserve.
Using a stand mixer, cream the butter while adding the sugar until aerated. Add the vanilla extract and combine. It should take around 5 minutes.
Add the eggs into the creamed butter one at a time while beating. Incorporate well.
Incorporate the flour mixture (dry ingredients) one spoonful at a time, also add the buttermilk alternating between the two. Continue until all the flour and buttermilk mixture are incorporated.
Preheat the oven at 350ºF and butter the cake pan. You can use a Bundt pan or a loaf pan.
Transfer the dough into the pan and tap on the counter to remove excess bubbles.
Bake for 45 minutes and check if it’s cooked through with a knife. It should come out clean. Bake for 15 more minutes if necessary and check again.
In a small mixing bowl, make the glaze by combining the lemon and the powdered sugar.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool before unmolding.
Transfer into the serving tray and drip the glaze. Sprinkle the lemon zest over the glaze before it cools down. Serve 8 thick slices.