Candied Lemon Pound Cake

lemon-pound

Remember all of the candied lemon peel I had left over from my lemonade concentrate? I had to do something with it, so I decided to bake cake. Cake is always the answer. I decided to go with a pound cake, because I figured that the crumb would need to be fairly dense in order to support the chewy chunks of peel. And what’s a lemon cake without a lemon syrup to soak it in? And a glaze? Talk about gilding the lily…

The finished cake is incredibly moist and tender, and the syrup and glaze combine for a slightly crackly outer crust that immediately gives way to a melt-in-your-mouth icing, full of lemon flavor. While the cake doesn’t slice neatly– too soft and moist– it’s really delicious, and even better the day after it’s baked. Plus, due to the moisture and the glaze it’ll keep,  uncovered at room temperature, for at least three days without drying out. Probably longer, but I didn’t have any left to check after three days!

Candied Lemon Pound Cake (adapted from Once Upon a Chef)

(makes 1 bundt cake or 2 9×5″ loaves)

Cake

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, packed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped candied lemon peel.

1. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.

2. Combine yogurt, zest, and juice in a bowl and set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

4. Beat in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.

5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. Add half of the yogurt mix and beat until incorporated. Repeat until all ingredients are added. The batter will be very thick.

6. Stir in candied lemon peel.

lemon-pound-peel

7. Spoon batter into a 12-cup bundt pan or two 9×5″ loaf pans (sprayed with baking spray and/or lined with parchment), and bake at 325 degrees F for approximately 1 hour. Cake is done when toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

lemon-pound-baking

Syrup

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in lemon juice.

3. Using a toothpick, poke holes in the just-warm cakes and brush the syrup over them until all of it is used up.

Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, packed
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted

Combine all ingredients and whisk until completely smooth. Spread over the top of the cooled cakes and let drip down the sides.

Garnish with additional chopped candied lemon peel.

Notes:

  1. Like I said above, this cake is very tender– so tender, in fact, that I worry about it releasing from the pan. For my loaf pans I made a sling of parchment paper to keep the cakes from sticking– for a bundt pan I would just make sure to butter and flour the pan really, really well.
  2. The glaze can be deceptive in terms of texture– it always ends up being drippier than I expect. Add more or less lemon juice to adjust texture– for a runny glaze, go with the amounts provided. For a glaze that’s thicker and makes prettier drips, only add as much lemon juice as will make it a frosting-like consistency. It’ll loosen up once it’s on the cake, so err on the side of too thick!

lemon-pound-zest

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