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Bill Yosses's Lemon Pound Cake


New York City pastry chef Bill Yosses is renowned for his exquisite desserts, and this lemon pound cake, served with a raspberry puree and mint ice, is certainly no exception. Some of the steps are unusual -- using whole pieces of lemon in the batter and saturating the cake with a sugary glaze, rather than sparingly brushing it on -- but the end result is a truly distinctive finale to virtually any meal.

  • Yield: Makes three 7 1/2-by-3 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch cakes or two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch cakes


  • 4 lemons, preferably Meyer
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, preferably Meyer (from 4 to 8 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, preferably Meyer (from 2 to 4 lemons)
  • 1 cup Rasberry Coulis Raspberry Coulis
  • Mint Ice Bill Yosses's Mint Ice


  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 7 1/2-by-3 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch or two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans with cooking spray, and line bottoms and long sides with parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet; set aside.

  2. Grate zest from lemons; set aside. Remove white pith from lemons. Hold one lemon over a bowl, and cut between the membranes into sections, allowing sections and any juice to fall into bowl. Squeeze juice from membrane. Repeat with remaining 3 lemons.

  3. Sift flour, superfine sugar, and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Begin mixing on low speed, then add creme fraiche. Increase speed to medium, and beat in eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition, then beat in butter. Add lemon segments, juice, and grated zest. Beat for about 30 seconds to combine and break up lemons a bit. Transfer to prepared pans.

  4. Bake for 25 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut an incision lengthwise down middle of each cake. Return to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes more depending on the size of the pans. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Do not turn off oven.

  5. Make soaking syrup: In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice and sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

  6. Unmold cakes, and transfer to a large baking dish. Pour soaking syrup over cakes, and very gently squeeze the cakes to help syrup absorb. Carefully turn cakes upside down in syrup, and squeeze a bit more. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack, and place in oven for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Do not turn off oven.

  7. Make glaze: In a small saucepan, combine confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves and forms a thick glaze, about 1 minute. Pour over cakes, and return to oven for 30 seconds to set glaze. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes before slicing.

  8. Heat broiler. Slice cakes 1/2 inch thick. Place slices on a baking sheet. Toast under broiler until edges turn golden brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Drizzle each plate with a little raspberry coulis. Top with 2 slices of cake and a scoop of mint ice; serve immediately.

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