Do you remember Sara Lee pound cakes? I haven’t eaten one in some time but I still think about them. They were just the kind of convenience food that had a prominent place in our house growing up. We loved Entenmann’s too. My family didn’t discriminate when it came to premade, packaged cakes. (I’m not sure where I ever got the idea to bake something from scratch.) Sara Lee pound cakes have that golden brown “crust” that’s not at all crusty but somehow intriguing and confusing at the same time. And remember that uniform soft texture? There is just something about that cake that gets me. I wish I had one right now. I can’t remember what the flavor is like but I really want to squeeze that cake in my hands. Or maybe take a nap on it.
Ok. So this is not that pound cake. It’s not even really a true pound cake. It has leavener after all. Back in the day pound cakes were made with a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, and a pound of flour. That’s a seriously heavy cake. I’m sure the traditional method can be done deliciously but I prefer my pound cake with a bit of baking powder to take the edge off. It gives the baker a little break if she didn’t actually let the butter get to the perfect temperature or cream the butter and sugar for the full 5 minutes. Leavener cuts us a little slack. Baking should be fun and easy, right?
I developed this recipe for professional namer, Wynne Renz, to barter for some help naming this little blog. She is a lovely lady and I would recommend her services to anyone. (By the way, baking barters are my new favorite thing. I wish Steven Alan would take a batch of cookies in exchange for a certain little summer dress I’ve been coveting.) Anyway, Wynne told me that she liked lemon and I took it from there. I happened to have some raspberries languishing in the back of my fridge that really needed a loving home so in they went. And, I think yogurt (and buttermilk) always makes cakes better so I added some of that too.
I’ll admit that I was a little nervous while this puppy was baking. It took longer than I had expected to rise up and the crust was a touch past golden before the center was totally set. Not to mention it was 90° in the city that day and we can’t run the oven and the AC at the same time for fear of blowing a fuse. I think the heat exhaustion may have contributed to the self-doubt. Anyway, the tender little loaf came out just fine. Better than fine. And, after a few glasses of ice water, I was OK too.
If you’re into gilding the lily, feel free to glaze this baby. It looks pretty. But I promise it’s not really necessary. There is a whole lot of lemon happening in there.
Lemon Raspberry Pound Cake
Serves 6 to 8
For the cake:
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plain lowfat yogurt, at room temperature
1 cup raspberries
3 tablespoons lemon zest (from 4 lemons)
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Make the cake: preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Alternate adding flour mixture and yogurt, starting with the flour mixture, until just combined. Stir in raspberries and lemon zest.
3. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 60 to 75 minutes. Let the cake cool for about an hour in the pan on a wire rack. Pop it out of the pan and let it cool completely.
4. Make the glaze: whisk together confectioners’ sugar and just enough lemon juice to make your desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cake.