It's been crisp and cool here in New York for the last few days, and you know what that means: it's time to bake. Not that I ever really give up baking; I'm totally the one who cranks up her AC to maximum and then preheats the oven for pie. But there's something about baking when the kitchen could actually use a little warming up that feels oh so right.
On Wednesday, when my internet was down and I was left entirely to my own devices (save the ability to actually leave the apartment, since I was waiting for a delivery), I decided it was time to bake. I'd been thinking about the lemon pound cake recipe my friend (and cookbook author extraordinaire) Lorna Yee asked me to test for her last year. Actually, "thinking" isn't the right word - craving is far more apt.
So, I'd been craving this pound cake, and suddenly had an open opportunity for baking. What could I do but put my craving to good use? Out came the cake flour, the sour cream, and lots and lots of lemons. Lots of lemons, plus a reamer and a zester. You'll need all those things (see tips here on how to make cake flour if you don't have any on hand) if you want to enjoy what the folks at my office enjoyed today.
See, this is no ordinary pound cake. I mean, it is, in that it's pretty easy to make, and bakes up golden and tender. But then Lorna has you poke holes all over the cake and soak it with a lemon syrup. And then, once that's been absorbed, you pour a lemon-sour cream glaze over the whole thing. And then, my friends, the angels start to sing.
Obviously, this isn't a recipe for those who don't love lemony goodness. (If you want non-lemony cake, check this out.) But for those who do? Oh. My. Gah. You will plotz.
By the way, you can find this and many, many other amazing recipes in Lorna's cookbook, The Newlywed Cookbook, which she co-wrote with Ali Basye (the gorgeous photos are by Kathryn Barnard). I highly recommend you snag a copy as soon as possible. The lemon cake will only tide you over for so long.
Lorna's Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake
3 cups cake flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
Lemon sour cream glaze
1/4 cup sour cream
2 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. grated lemon zest
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 16-cup tube pan, or two loaf pans.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about five minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat for another five minutes. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and lemon extract. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, mix in half the dry ingredients, then the sour cream. Mix in the remaining half of the dry ingredients.
Transfer the batter to the pan.
For a large pound cake, bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
For two loaf cakes, bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
For the lemon syrup:
Combine all the ingredients together in a small pot and bring to a boil. Let cool.
For the lemon sour cream glaze:
Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
When the cakes are cool, run a knife along the edge of the cakes and invert onto a serving plate. With a wooden skewer or toothpick, poke holes all over the top of the cake (don’t worry—you won’t be able to see them.) Carefully spoon the soaking syrup over the cake, letting the syrup absorb before spooning more over the top.
When the cakes have absorbed the syrup, drizzle the glaze over the cakes.