Citrus season is upon us! It’s the artificial sunshine that we’re all craving and need to maintain our sanity these dreary winter days, right (Or am I the only one who self-medicates with citrus-laden confections)? Meyer lemons seem to be everyones favorite lemon and it’s no wonder why. I use a lot of regular lemons in my everyday cooking, but I especially love meyer lemons for baking. Their thin, soft skins and slightly floral juices play so nicely with butter and sugar.
This pound cake combines the zesty floral notes of meyer lemon with creamy vanilla bean. It’s a flavor combination I’ve done before, with these popsicles, and it remains a favorite. There’s the requisite butter in this batter, but also a good dose of sour cream which ensures the cake stays moist during the long bake. The texture of this cake is perfection and everything I look for in a pound cake: dense but not heavy and tightly crumbed. I’ve added an opaque sour cream and vanilla bean icing to the cake for some extra sweetness. You could just dust the top with some powdered sugar, but I like the slightly tangy, creamy sweetness you get from the icing.
Side note: Sean says this cake looks like a delicious spiral galaxy of cake. This means he approves.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 scant teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2½ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons meyer lemon zest
- 1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup meyer lemon juice
- 1 cup sour cream
- for the sour cream glaze:
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon meyer lemon juice
- ½ vanilla bean, split (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1¾ cups confectioners sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray a bundt or tube pan with cooking spray and flour lightly.
- In a bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar in two additions, until incorporated into the butter. Beat for about 4 minutes until the mixture becomes fluffy and pale yellow. Scrape the sides and beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the lemon juice. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and sour cream in 3 additions (be sure to begin and end with the flour) until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared bundt pan, smoothing out the top. Rap the cake pan on the counter a couple of times to make sure the batter nestles into the peaks of your bundt and to break up any large air pockets. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for about 70 minutes, or until the cake is deep golden brown, the top is firm, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and rest on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before turning out. Cool completely before icing and serving.
- To make the icing whisk the sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla bean, and confectioners sugar together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake. The icing should be fairly thick and opaque. Add more confectioners sugar to thicken or more lemon juice to thin to your preferred consistency.
The cake isn’t a tart cake, it just has the scent of lemon, but I think you could do a sort of soaking syrup with lemon juice before icing if you want a cake with some actual tang in it.
Adapted from The Boston Globe.