Sunday, September 16, 2012

One Perfect Bite: Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

I love Starbucks.  It's an unnatural and probably unhealthy love, but I love it nonetheless.  And besides the coffee, I love the lemon pound cake.  It's full of bright lemon flavor, soft and slightly chewy, and covered with sugar glaze.  It's a thing of beauty.

I saw a bunch of copycat recipes on the internet for the Starbucks lemon loaf, but none of them seemed right, especially when you look at the ingredients on the Starbucks website.  Yes, they have to list ingredients on all of their baked goods.  No, they don't tell you how much of each.  So basically I wrote down the ingredients, found a similar recipe, and fiddled until I got something that worked.  It's not as dense as the Starbucks loaf, but it's incredibly tender and full of lemon flavor.  I might actually like this one better, believe it or not.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake
Adapted from One Perfect Bite blog and Gourmet magazine

1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon oil
¼ cup whole milk
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Powdered Sugar Glaze

Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Grease and flour two 8x4-inch loaf pans.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Set aside.

Using paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon oil.  Reduce the mixer speed to low.  In three batches, beginning and ending with flour, add flour mixture alternately with milk and lemon juice, and beat just until combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops.  Bake until the cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes.

Cool the cakes in the pans on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert them onto a rack and cool completely.  Glaze with Powdered Sugar Glaze, allowing it to run over the sides of the cakes.

Makes 20 servings

Powdered Sugar Glaze
1½ cups powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons whole milk

Combine the powdered sugar and milk until a glaze forms.  The glaze should fall in thick ribbons when a spoon is lifted out of the bowl.

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