Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake




The other day, when I was having tea at a café, I noted how quite a number of customers opted for a slice of orange pound cake to go with their drinks. It was something like S$4 or S$5 for a really thin slice, which left me aghast.

Mentally, I was calculating the cost of butter, sugar and oranges, and the number of cake loaves that amount of money would yield. Yeah, that's what home baking does to you ... well, to me, at least! I balk at paying for anything I can easily make in my own kitchen, which means I almost always order food that I can't make or take too much effort. For the record, I got myself a big, fat almond croissant to go with my tea. Hee hee!

Then I realised, flashback to 3 years ago, when I hadn't yet picked up baking, I would be one of those people paying through my nose for that pathetic slice of pound cake. Bleah!




BUT, that was then, and this is now. Bake my own? Piece of cake (pun totally intended)! ;) Actually, anyone can bake this easy peasy Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake. I think it's no secret that I prefer my cakes simple and no-frills, and this recipe is no exception. For a pound cake, it's actually rather light and you can up the citrusy flavour by adding more zest. And for S$4 or $5, you'll definitely get more than one slice! Sorry, couldn't resist. ;)

Recipe

(adapted very slightly from Fine Cooking)

- 1 1/2 cups (170g) all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, slightly soft
- 1 cup (225g) sugar*
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (approx. 120ml) buttermilk**
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped or grated

* Note to my health-conscious, less sweet-toothed readers: I know that is an enormous amount of sugar, so feel free to reduce to your liking. If I remember correctly, I used 170-180g.

** No buttermilk? No problem. Just pour out the said amount of milk in a cup, then add 1/2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar and let it stand for 5mins.





1. Heat the oven to 325°C (160°C). Spray a loaf pan that’s about 8x5x3 inches with a nonstick coating.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended. With an electric mixer, beat the butter until it’s very pale and little tails have formed.

3. Sprinkle in the sugar and beat well until slightly fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until blended before adding the next.

4. With the mixer on low, add about one-third of the flour and mix until almost combined; then add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with another third of flour, and then the last half of the buttermilk, ending with the last third of the flour. Just before all the flour is incorporated, switch from the mixer to a stiff rubber spatula, add the lemon zest, and slowly stir to blend in the flour and zest, taking care to scrape the bowl’s bottom and sides.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it when inserted in the center, 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool before slicing.

26 comments:

  1. Yummy ...one of my favorite things...from the cake Queen!
    xo

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  2. Your pound cake has lovely texture. Nice to go with a cup of hot drinks ^.^ Mee too hardly buy cake outside ever since I bake at home.

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  3. Yummy~ Love any cake to bits with lemon. And your mini version sure lure me to make some from this recipe. Thanks Ju, have a great weekend.

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  4. haha. i cook so often that i calculate the cost when i eat out too!

    makes me want to eat out lesser!

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  5. Oh yes, I cringe when I think about how cheap it can be to make some things at home, particularly the ones that are quite simple. Love this cake!

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  6. Hi Ju! May I know where you bought those lovely little pound cake tins u used? :)))

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    1. Oh, I got them at Phoon Huat. They are Wilton mini pans. :)

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  7. I see that you have used mini pans. Does this change the baking time? If so what is the baking time? I like to keep a cake in the freezer in case of company, and these would be ideal. Love the weight measures.

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    1. I think the baking time was about 30mins? I can't quite remember now, cos I usually hover around my oven when I am baking ... and my eyes will on the cake, not on the clock. ;)

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  8. for the record I am one of those people who sits there and adds up however much it is in my head too! I was going to ask you where you got the tins from but I see you've already answered! :)

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  9. Looks yum! I am new to baking. Can I ask where to get unbleached flour in Singapore? Thanks. :)

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    1. You can use regular plain flour (which I used), but unbleached flour can easily be found at larger supermarkets like Cold Storage, Market Place or Fairprice Finest.

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  10. i made this today... i used about 160g of sugar. Just nice! Love it.. I like your pans, can share where did you get them? thanks in advance! :D

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    1. Great! I bought the pans at Phoon Huat. They are made by Wilton. HTH! :)

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  11. Delicious!!. I have just published it at my blog.

    Thanks for sharing :))

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  12. hi there! thanks for your recipe! it makes a very moist pound cake. i used 150g of sugar but my parents are still complaining that it's a tad too sweet for their liking. do you think i could use 130-140g of sugar without adversely affecting the creaming of the butter? thanks!

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  13. May I know where can I find buttermilk in Singapore? Thanks.

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  14. ^ I think you could make your own with some milk and lemon!

    And thanks for sharing the recipe! Can't wait to try it out some time soon, i can never resist anything citrus-y!

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  15. Anyone tried adding vanilla? When do you add it? Any big changes to consistency or taste?

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    1. I'm sure it won't hurt. Add it to the buttermilk and stir.

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  16. Hey Ju, do you think I can replace the sugar with honey instead???

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    1. Hi, no I would not recommend it. That will completely change the texture of the cake (or ruin it!). Just use less sugar.

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