1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt
1 1/3 cups (265 grams) granulated white sugar
Zest of one lemon, finely grated
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces (115 grams) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (230 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
3 - 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pound Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter and flour a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan.
In a large bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl rub the lemon zest into the sugar.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture, in two additions, and mix just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 60 - 70 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 20 - 30 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling before frosting.
Lemon Frosting: Place the confectioners sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add about 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice and whisk until you have a thick and smooth glaze. Add more lemon juice or powdered sugar if needed to get the correct pouring consistency. Slowly pour the frosting over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let the frosting dry before covering and storing. This cake will keep about 3 to 4 days at room temperature or about one week in the refrigerator. Can also be frozen.
Makes one 9 inch loaf.
I have talked before about how pound cakes never seem to go out of style. I remember both my mother and my grandmother making pound cakes, sometimes covering them with a frosting, other times not. This Lemon Frosted Pound Cake is very similar to the one my mother used to make. It has a lovely golden brown crust which contrasts so beautifully with the buttery yellow interior that's soft and moist and rich with cream cheese, butter, and eggs. Vanilla is the flavoring in this pound cake, along with freshly grated lemon zest which provides a nice citrus flavor and helps to balance both the sweetness and richness of the cake. While this cake is delicious without the icing, I couldn't resist pouring over a lemon frosting that dries to a beautiful hard matte finish.
It is important when making this pound cake to have the cream cheese, butter and eggs at room temperature as this enables the maximum amount of air to be beaten into the batter. When grating the lemon zest be sure to first wash the lemon and only grate the yellow outer skin of the lemon, not the white pith underneath as it's quite bitter.
The cake is baked in a loaf pan and if you are using a dark colored pan reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). The reason we do this is because a dark colored pan absorbs more of the energy coming from the oven walls so it becomes hotter and transmits heat faster than a light colored pan. Reducing the oven temperature slightly will help compensate for this.