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Lemon-Almond Pound Cake
1½ hours 20 minutes active, plus cooling
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For this plush, velvety pound cake, we took a cue from Rose Carrarini of Rose Bakery in Paris and replaced some of the wheat flour with almond flour. Almond flour makes the cake's crumb extra tender and moist and gives it a more interesting texture than wheat flour alone. We finish the cake with a tangy-sweet lemon glaze, brushing it on while the loaf is still hot so the syrup is readily absorbed. Thanks to generous amounts of eggs and butter, this cake keeps well. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
Don’t use cold butter or cold eggs. The butter must be softened to room temperature so it integrates into the sugar-flour mixture. And the eggs must be at room temperature, too, not chilled, so they don't cause the butter to stiffen up when added to the mixer. Lastly, don't rotate the cake as it bakes. Jostling the pan increases the chance the batter will deflate, resulting in a dense, underrisen cake.
20 minutes active, plus cooling
grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
large eggs, room temperature
teaspoons vanilla extract
(1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) plus 54 grams (¼ cup) white sugar
tablespoons grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
grams (1 cup) almond flour
teaspoons baking powder
teaspoon table salt
tablespoons (1¾ sticks) salted butter, cut into 14 pieces, room temperature
tablespoons sliced almonds
01Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, dust evenly with flour, then tap out the excess. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla until combined; set aside.
02In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the 241 grams sugar and the lemon zest on low until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add both flours, the baking powder and salt and mix until combined, about 10 seconds. With the mixer on low, add the butter a piece at a time. Once all the butter has been added, continue mixing on low until the mixture is crumbly and no powdery bits remain, 1 to 2 minutes.
03With the mixer still running, add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix for about 10 seconds. Increase to medium-high and beat until the batter is light and fluffy, 1 to 1½ minutes, scraping the bowl once or twice. The batter will be thick.
04Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the surface, then sprinkle evenly with sliced almonds. Bake for 45 minutes, then reduce the oven to 300°F. Continue to bake until the top is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean, another 30 to 35 minutes.
05While the cake is baking, in a small saucepan over medium-low, heat the remaining 54 grams sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reaches a simmer. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Set aside to cool.
06When the cake is done, cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, then turn it upright. Using a toothpick, poke small holes in the surface at 1-inch intervals. Brush all of the lemon-sugar syrup onto the cake, allowing it to soak in. Cool completely before slicing, about 2 hours.
Do you have a 9x5 loaf pan that you recommend? I have found 1lb (8x4) and 1.5lb (10x5) loaf pans at WS, thanks!
This is a great question. Would you post it in our Q&A Forum for Milk Street Insiders and Digital subscribers? Insider members usually receive responses from a Milk Street Experts within 2 business days and I'm sure others would love to hear the answer to this one.
The Milk Street Team
Making Almond/Lemon pound cake. Looked beautiful going into oven at 325 in 9x5 pan. First 10 minutes spilled over rim and had to slide cookie sheet under to stop over spill. Did anyone else have this problem
My cake was beautiful and flavorful. The lemon glaze soaked in well and was a delicious addition. The raw almonds I sliced by hand become Christy and added great crunch, from baking.
My cake was on the dry side so am wondering which time should be reduced. Do you recommend the initial baking time of 45min @ 325°F or the second level of 30130min. @ 300°F? Could it have been something I did regarding, the handling of ingredients?
To start, I did have eggs and butter at room temp.
I made this recipe while my daughter was visiting. She brought your cookbook with her and I love your book. I followed the recipe exactly as instructed, and voila! What an amazing moist, delicious cake. The almond flour was a brilliant idea. This will be a go to recipe for me when needing a dessert for a supper, or taking with me to a friends. It is a slice of lemony heaven. Thank you, I look forward to receiving the cookbook in the mail and expanding my baking repertoire.
I have made this cake a couple of times, and both times the cake sunk in the middle. Following all directions carefully, even bought a new loaf pan to use, made sure oven temp was accurate. I live in Denver, CO at 5,280 feet. Does anyone know if i should make some kind of adjustment for altitude?
Made this per recipe but for omitting the sliced almonds from the top because we wanted to be able to pop leftover slices in a toaster and didn't want the almonds coming loose inside the toaster. (My husband loves toasted pound cake for a snack or dessert.) Recipe came together exactly as expected, the cake is delicious and holds well for a couple of days and leftover slices freeze well too. A keeper.