Who can resist a slice of sweet, buttery pound cake? But Pound Cake? What kind of a name is that? I’m the kind of person who is curious about these sorts of things. So, I set out on a mission to find the origins of pound cake. And once I had the secret, I also had my recipe for this delicious lemon pound cake.
How Pound Cake Got its Name
It’s said the cake originated in Northern Europe back in the early 1700s. The cake was simply a pound each of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. Now a pound each of these ingredients made a massive cake. But using the simple ratio made it easy for a housewife to adjust the recipe and the resulting cake to meet her family’s needs.
Indeed in France (where some claim the recipe actually originated), the cake is called quatre-quarts. Taken literally, this would translate to four quarters in English, but the French know it is pound cake.
You can even find a recipe for pound cake in the first US cookbook, American Cookery, published in 1796. That is if you can find the cookbook.
So Why Lemon Pound Cake?
Easy answer, I have a lemon tree, and it likes to give me a lot of lemons. I make Limoncello, lemon bars, chicken with artichokes and lemons, lemon pasta, etc. Whatever you can think of to cook with these fruits, we’ve tried it at my house.
If you garden, you know “the look” on your neighbors’ faces when you try to give them yet another basket of your harvest. Look, I brought you these lovely cherry tomatoes! Or, “I have some of the best zucchini, I’m sure you want some.” Not!
But if you make a cake and maybe serve it up with a dollop of whipped cream or a big scoop of ice cream, those same neighbors will be knocking at your door! So that’s one way I use my lemons. I make lemon pound cake for my family and neighbors.
Classic Lemon Pound Cake
- Stand or Hand Held Mixer
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Smaller Bowl (to hold the dry ingredients)
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Loaf Pan or Bundt Pan (Large Enough to Hold 6 – 8 cups)
- Rubber Spatula
- 1 cup Sugar
- 8 ounces Butter (2 sticks)
- 4 Eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 2/3 cups Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Lemon Juice
- 3 tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt
- Remove your eggs and butter from the refrigerator at least one (1) hour before you plan to prepare the recipe. This will allow them to come to room temperature before starting.
- Set the oven to 350* F. Prepare your loaf or bundt pan, by buttering all sides and the bottom of the pan generously.
- In a separate bowl sift the flour with the salt and baking powder and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together the sugar and butter
- Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each fully into the sugar and butter before adding the next. Once all the eggs have been added, add the vanilla and mix.
- Add the flour mixture and the lemon juice to the wet ingredients, 1/3 at a time, alternating between flour and lemon juice.
- Lastly, add the Greek yogurt and mix thoroughly. Pour your batter into your prepared pan and place it into the oven on the middle rack.
- Bake for 60 – 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 – 15 minutes in the pan, then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.