The inspiration behind this pound cake was the Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake served at Starbucks. It is dense and tight-crumbed, and one slice weighs 4 oz! But what I like best about the Starbucks lemon pound cake is the flavor. I think they use lemon oil, so I wanted to see if I could duplicate that lemon flavor at home by grinding lemon zest with sugar and getting the natural oil from the lemon.
Using a recipe from Southern Living: 40 Years of Our Best Recipes: Over 250 Great-Tasting, Tried-and-True Southern Recipes to start, this is what I came up with.
The mixing technique is a little different here. Everything is mixed together, then the egg whites are folded in last.
The original recipe called for vanilla, but I used my new lemon grinding method and got just as much lemon flavor as I’d hoped.
It wasn’t like Starbucks because it was softer and lighter, but still very tight crumbed and dense. It’s interesting to see how cake flour pound cakes compare to all-purpose flour pound cakes. As much as I prefer cake flour in cakes, pound cake is a type of cake where the extra gluten in all-purpose really helps the structure. But I still tend to lean towards pound cakes with cake flour or better yet, White Lily. It’s also interesting to see the differences between butter and shortening.
I really wish I had a job in a test kitchen because I can only do some much on my own here and in my spare time. And then there’s all the clean-up! But I’d like to make about 60 pound cakes with ingredient variations and just see how they compare.
Updated: I’ve since changed Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe a bit by altering the amount of lemon zest and adding a bit of lemon extract or lemon oil. I also do not grind the zest with the sugar anymore.
Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake
- 3 large eggs separated
- 1 stick 114 grams unsalted butter, softened but still cool (not melted!)
- 1 1/2 cups 294 grams granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups 150 grams sifted cake flour (measure after sifting)
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon good quality lemon extract or lemon oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus more as needed
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8x4 inch loaf pan or use a 6 inch Bundt pan.
- With a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Set them aside.
- Using the same mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and creamy.
- Stir together the sifted cake flour, baking soda and salt and gradually add to the batter, stirring with a heavy duty scraper, until blended. Add egg yolks and stir until mixed, then add vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon juice and stir well. Stir in the sour cream.
- Fold in the beaten egg whites.
- Pour into pan and bake and 325 for 45-50 minutes or until cake tests done.
- To make the icing, put the sugar in a large bowl. Add lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring all the while, until the consistency is somewhat like glue. Pour or drizzle over cake.