Can Lemon Pound Cake be an addiction?
Merelyn had been in a habit of stopping at Starbucks on her way to work to grab a coffee. Usually having skipped breakfast, she would almost always grab a piece of their Lemon Pound Cake with her morning Chai. Before long, I’m pretty sure she was stopping for the Lemon Pound Cake whether she wanted a drink or not. We figured she was probably having a piece of Lemon Pound Cake at least 3 times a week.
Just for kicks, I did a little math. A piece of the Iced Lemon Pound Cake from Starbucks is around $2.50 and an iced Chai Latte is around $4.50. That’s $7 a visit before taxes and tip. So let’s figure $8 per visit minimum, 3 times a week. That’s roughly $100 a month. We figured if I could make a comparable Lemon Pound Cake and she took a to-go coffee from home, that would be some serious money saved over the course of the year. Turns out, I can make a better Lemon Pound Cake for about $2 and get at least 10 pieces out of that. So that $2.50 piece of Lemon Pound Cake can be recreated for about 20 cents, eliminating a trip to Starbucks and saving us nearly $1200 a year. Yeah.
For this Lemon Pound Cake, I use fresh lemons off of our tree (or from others in the neighborhood) when they’re in season. I also use organic sugar, organic buttermilk, and local eggs from a friend’s chickens. The ingredients are simple and since I make it fresh there are no preservatives (unlike Starbucks).
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup organic raw sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2-3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¾ tsp real vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325.
- In a mixer, combine melted butter and sugar until well incorporated.
- Add salt, flour, and baking powder and continue mixing until incorporated.
- Add buttermilk and vanilla.
- Pour mixture into a well-greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour (or until top is golden brown).
- Carefully remove from pan and set aside to cool before adding icing.
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (approximate)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp unsalted butter, melted
- Add powdered sugar to a small mixing bowl.
- Add melted butter and about a teaspoon of lemon juice to mixture and whisk.
- Continue to whisk while adding a little lemon juice at a time until you reach a good, smooth consistency. We are looking for a thick but runny icing that is loose enough to be poured over the cake.
- Pour icing over cooled cake. The icing will set-up and harden as the butter cools.
You can use regular milk instead of buttermilk, but I think the buttermilk gives it a richer flavor. Don’t be shy with the lemon juice or the lemon zest, it all adds flavor. I’ve made this recipe with, and without, the vanilla and I like the addition of good organic vanilla but it’s not necessary. It’s perfectly good without it. Be sure to coat the baking pan well or the bread will fall apart on you when you try to remove it. Wait until the cake has cooled before trying to add the icing/glaze. Stored properly, ours stays fresh and moist for a good two weeks.