Lemon four ways amps up these sour-cream pound cakes: zest goes into the batter, and the loaves are finished with lemon syrup, glaze, and candied pieces of the citrus.

Everyday Food, May 2007


Credit: Clive Streeter

Recipe Summary

30 mins
4 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch (6-cup) loaf pans; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and lemon zest; set aside.

  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in three parts, and sour cream in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

  • Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes (tent loosely with foil if browning too quickly). Meanwhile, make Candied Lemon Slices and Lemon Syrup.

  • Remove cakes from oven; while they're still in pans, use a wooden skewer or toothpick to poke several holes in tops. Setting aside 1/4 cup Lemon Syrup, pour remainder over cakes. Let cakes cool completely in pans, about 2 hours. Remove from pans, and place, right side up, on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Brush cakes all over with reserved syrup.

  • In a small bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons lemon juice; add up to 2 more tablespoons juice until pourable but thick.

  • Pour lemon glaze over cakes (still on cooling rack), letting it drip down the sides. Let set, about 30 minutes. Garnish with Candied Lemon Slices.