If the little black dress would be a cake, it would be a glazed lemon buttermilk pound cake and you can’t go wrong with a classic.
I have to admit that I never baked or even ate a classic pound cake, when I had been living in the old world, at least not that I know of!? The weird thing is Germany is just around the corner from Britain, where this kind of cakes originally come from, but the by me anticipated pound cake wave never made it across the North Sea. Nevertheless, it is safe to say, I caught up, big times.
Actually, you don’t have to be a skilled baker to accomplish a tasty pound cake, it’s not that hard but you have to follow the recipe, it’s all about technique. My sister learned (or not?) this the hard way. I share a piece of our conversation some days ago:Sister: “ I love your cherry and marzipan pound cake but every time I make your recipe, it comes out differently.” Gosh, I don’t like words like that. Me: “Did you follow the recipe?” Sister: “Nope, I just throw everything together”… and hoped for the best. Me: “Be precise and follow the recipe especially while baking.” *sigh* Sister: “Is this the reason why your recipe is so long?” Me: “Guess what? If someone sits down and writes a detailed recipe, there must be a reason!”
Sometimes, I wonder… Let’s not go there.
glazed lemon buttermilk pound cake
Baking pound cake is something therapeutic for me, due to the long mixing time I think about stuff, listen to music and sing out loud (I didn’t say good), a very pleasing and calming me-time. I just told you it’s relaxing and there again I tell you next, you have to beat the heck out of this poor butter. But it’s the way of success, the goal is to incorporate as much air as possible into the butter. Adding one egg after the other to this fluffy butter leads to an emulsion (think of mayonnaise). Don’t worry if it gets curdled along the way, at the end, you will have a smooth batter.
- for the pound cake:
- 350 g / 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 150 g / 10.5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 250 g / 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 3 large eggs
- 240 ml / 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- for the glaze:
- 150 g / 1¼ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons milk
- Preheat your oven to 175 C / 350 F and grease your loaf pan (23 cm / 9 inches).
- In a medium bowl measure flour, baking powder, and salt, stir well and set aside.
- In a measuring jug add buttermilk, vanilla extract, and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and set aside.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer) cream butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale, light and fluffy (4-5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after adding each.
- Add following and beat briefly between each addition and if necessary scrape down the batter from the bowl sides: half of flour mix, buttermilk mix and rest of flour mix.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon and bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check after 45 minutes and if necessary cover with a sheet of aluminum foil to prevent from getting too dark.
- Place your cake on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before you remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.
- In a medium bowl add powdered sugar, lemon juice, and just enough milk, you might not need all of the milk. You should end up with a smooth, thick but pourable glaze. Stir well, no lumps allowed. Add more powdered sugar or milk to adjust the consistency as needed. Drizzle or paint with a brush over your cooled cake.
- The pound cake keeps well covered and stored at room temperature for a couple of days and tastes even better the next day. You can freeze the unglazed (!) pound cake for two months.