Pound cake is comfort food for me. It was the first dessert that I ever made, and it holds a really special place in my heart. I spent countless Sundays covered in flour making pound cakes for my immediate and extended family. Sometimes it was plain sour cream pound cake, other times it was vanilla pound cake with a lemon glaze, and if my mom was feeling really adventurous, we made pound cake with walnuts and raisins with an orange glaze. That's the great thing about pound cake - it starts as a classic, but modifiable base that allows you to jazz it up however you like.
I picked up this neat little trick from Joy the Baker - rub/mash the zest (or vanilla bean seeds) into the sugar before adding other ingredients. This infuses the the essential oils (or vanilla flavor) into the sugar. Plus, it releases so much fragrance into the air that there's no need for air freshener. This a great tip for making cakes, cookies, and breads.
First, butter + lemon-infused sugar.
Then, add the eggs + extracts
Next, add the dry ingredients + sour cream
Mix the batter until it's smooth. Inhale the lemon-y scent. Don't eat the batter before you pour it into the pan. Wait to lick the bowl instead.
About an 1 and 15 minutes later you'll get to enjoy this moist, flavorful cake that will remind you Sunday dinners. It's the perfect for a small gathering or for yourself if you're feeling a little selfish. Throw some nuts and berries in the batter, top it off with a berry glaze, or just eat it plain - this cake is just that delicious and versatile.
Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (at room temp)
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large lemon, zested
- 3 large eggs (at room temp)
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Grease and flour an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf and preheat the oven to 300F.
- In a medium bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest.Using the back of a spoon or a pastry blender, rub the zest into the sugar. The sugar will take on a yellow tint.
- With an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter and lemon-infused sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.
- Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix until combined.
- Add the baking soda, salt, sour cream, and flour. Mix until well blended and the batter is smooth.
- Spread the batter in the pan and back for 1 hour. Increase the oven temperature to 325F and bake for another 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.