Today was one of those pitch-perfect spring days.  We got a little rain over the weekend, so the 3-week buildup of pollen was finally washed away (thank god), leaving nice, fresh air that doesn’t cause the sniffles and sneezes.  The Wondermutt spent the day going from one sunny spot to the next to nap.

I think that’s what I like most about my home-days, being able to hang out with the world’s sweetest 9-year-old pup.  Mostly border collie with something else thrown in (I think Corgi), she has the normal coloring and body that you’d expect from a collie, all sitting on some short, stumpy legs.  Because of her odd proportions, she doesn’t so much run as flop.  When we go downstairs in the morning, she looks like a big, black-and-white dustmop flopping her way down. 

And persistent?  Ohmygod.  If she thinks I’ve been working on the laptop long enough, she’ll come up and start nosing the computer, making it impossible to type.  If I push her away, she’ll just circle around to the other side and start all over again.  Even now, she has her chin between her two paws, waiting for me to finish this entry and play a little tug-o-war with one of the mister’s old socks.

So, I wanted to make something that fit the mood of the day:  sunny, warm-ish and all-too-lazy.  And what goes better with that kind of day than a lemon pound cake?  The sponge cake is rich and buttery and it’s a simple loaf cake, so it doesn’t rquire loads of layering and frosting.  What this cake has, instead, is a bath in a lemon syrup, making it so moist, it’s almost a pudding consistency.  And lemony?  You’ll think you’re slicing up a bit of sunshine! 

This recipe is adapted from The Perfect Finish – if you’re looking for inspirational desserts, you really need to check out this book!

Lemon Pound Cake

  • 3 lemons
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 1/2 oz. butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar + 1/2 cups powdered sugar + juice 6 lemons (for the lemon syrup)

Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare an 8″ loaf pan by buttering it and lining it with parchment paper so that one sheet goes across the bottom and up either side with a decent overhang to help you pull the cake out of the pan.  In a large bowl, pour in the sugar then add the zest of the three lemons and rub it in to make a lemon sugar.  Add the flour and baking powder, then toss well to combine.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter and yogurt and set aside.  Take the three lemons you zested, trim the bottoms and tops, then use a sharp knife to remove the whole of the white rind all the way around the lemon.  Then, supreme the lemons into a small bowl – in other words, cut out the sections of lemon leaving the membranes behind.  Sort through to remove the seeds and break up the sections to make sure they’re all about 1/2″ long.

Now, combine it all – pour the egg mixture into the flour and stir until mostly combined before adding the lemons with their juice and finish mixing without overbeating.  Pour into the prepared loaf pan – please note, don’t be alarmed – it will be very full.  Feel free to put a pan beneath the loaf pan, but the cake batter shouldn’t run over when it cooks.  Bake for 15 minutes then use a sharp knife to slice down the middle (this way, it will crack where you want it to), then bake another 30 minutes before lowering the heat to 325 F and bake a final 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 30 minutes before starting the lemon syrup bath.

To make the lemon syrup, pour the two sugars into a medium pot over medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 cup water, stirring to dissolve.  When the syrup is clear, add the lemon juice and cook a little longer, tasting to make sure that there isn’t any graininess from undissolved sugar.

While the cake is still warm, turn it upside down in a casserole dish or lasagna pan, stab in a few places with a bamboo skewer or knife and begin ladling the syrup over the cake.  Do this slowly – don’t rush – so that the syrup can be absorbed.  This is going to sound weird, but give the cake a gentle squeeze to help it absorb the liquid.  Pour as much as you can over the cake, then turn it right-side up and repeat.  You’ll notice that about half of the liquid will remain.  Pour back into the pot and let the cake continue to cool a bit before repeating the process.  Let it finish cooling by placing it on a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet to catch the drips.  Serve or wrap in plastic wrap and it will keep well for about a week!