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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Lemon-Almond Pound Cake

Lemon-Almond Pound Cake

Appears in March-April 2019

1½ hours (20 minutes active), plus cooling

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Lemon-Almond Pound Cake

Free

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.

1

9-inch loaf

Tip

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.

1½ hours

(20 minutes active), plus cooling

195 grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
241 (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) plus 54 grams (¼ cup) white sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
100 grams (1 cup) almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) salted butter, cut into 14 pieces, room temperature
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
Ingredients
  • 195

    grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

  • 4

    large eggs, room temperature

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 241

    (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) plus 54 grams (¼ cup) white sugar

  • 2

    tablespoons grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

  • 100

    grams (1 cup) almond flour

  • teaspoons baking powder

  • ½

    teaspoon table salt

  • 14

    tablespoons (1¾ sticks) salted butter, cut into 14 pieces, room temperature

  • 3

    tablespoons sliced almonds

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat 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.
  2. 02
    In 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.
    See Demo
    12 04 18 Cpk 075
  3. 03
    With 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.
    See Demo
    12 04 18 Cpk 090
  4. 04
    Transfer 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.
    See Demo
    12 04 18 Cpk 109
  5. 05
    While 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.
  6. 06
    When 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.
    See Demo
    12 04 18 Cpk 322
Tip: 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.
.
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Reviews
Michele R.

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.

Maria E G.

If I want to replace some of the wheat flour with almond flour, what would be the ideal ratio?

Janelle C.

Hi Maria,

All-purpose flour and almond flour can be replaced at a 1:1 ratio, however, altering the flour will change the texture of the cake crumb.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

JAMES M.

Do you have a 9x5 loaf pan that you recommend? I have found 1lb (8x4) and 1.5lb (10x5) loaf pans at WS, thanks!

Janelle C.

Hi James,

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.

https://www.177milkstreet.com/discussion/

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Kim S.

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

Susan B.

Oh that sounds messy! My pound cake behaved and stayed safely in the pan. Would that have happened if you switched the baking powder for baking soda?

jill m.

Delicious, I made this for Easter dessert. It was moist and flavorful. I will definitely make it again.

Linda C.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Rachael S.

Insanely delicious. I made it with hazelnut flour, because that's what I had, and it turned out fabulous.

Susan B.

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.
Thank you!

Doug V.

Made recipe twice. Used volume measurements and then weight. Came out dry both times. Oven is pretty good with cooking to recommended times, so I need to figure how to adjust cook time. Anyone have recommendations?

Karen l.

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.

Doug C.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Eileen A.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Cedric E.

Love this recipe! Super easy and exactly as expected. I was nervous about the long cooking time but see it was exactly what was needed. My guests devoured it.

Kathie R.

Followed the recipe exactly but surprisingly cake came out a bit dry. I noticed one other comment with the same problem.
I used a glass loaf pan. Would a metal pan solve this problem somehow? Perhaps I over baked it but I did not bake longer than recipe. Baking time does seem very long.

Dan C.

I made this for the second time today. I like the mixing method. It's easy! It was enjoyed by all. Moist and potent lemon flavor. I will definitely make it again.

Christine S.

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?


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Lemon-Almond Pound Cake

Get Ready to Cook

1

9-inch loaf

1½ hours

(20 minutes active), plus cooling

Tip

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.

Ingredients
  • 195

    grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

  • 4

    large eggs, room temperature

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 241

    (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) plus 54 grams (¼ cup) white sugar

  • 2

    tablespoons grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

  • 100

    grams (1 cup) almond flour

  • teaspoons baking powder

  • ½

    teaspoon table salt

  • 14

    tablespoons (1¾ sticks) salted butter, cut into 14 pieces, room temperature

  • 3

    tablespoons sliced almonds

Step 1 of 6

Prepare the oven

4
large eggs, room temperature
2
teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat 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.

Step 2 of 6

Mix the batter

241
(1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) white sugar
2
tablespoons grated lemon zest,
195
grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
100
grams (1 cup) almond flour
teaspoons baking powder
½
teaspoon table salt
14
tablespoons (1¾ sticks) salted butter, cut into 14 pieces, room temperature 

In 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.

Step 3 of 6

Add the egg mixture

With 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.

Step 4 of 6

Bake the cake

3
 tablespoons sliced almonds

Transfer 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.

Step 5 of 6

Make the glaze

54
grams white sugar
3
tablespoons lemon juice

While 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.

Step 6 of 6

Cool and glaze the cake

When 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.

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