This gluten free iced lemon pound cake is a moist and tender, sweet pound cake is just like those thick slices of lemon pound cake that stare back at you in the glass case at Starbucks.
There’s room for disagreement about Starbucks’ coffee. In fact, I’m not a tremendous fan. It just tastes burnt to me.
But their pastries, cookies and cakes are simply spot-on. But when you’re gluten free, you can’t have them and that’s just not right.
A simple loaf cake made in the traditional style, this pound cake gets its lift from eggs and eggs alone. No baking powder and no baking soda.
In the past, I’ve made this recipe with True Lemon crystals, which are truly delicious, but they can also be hard to find for some. This time, the bright lemon flavor comes exclusively from lemons themselves, both the juice and the zest.
I even added some lemon zest to the glaze, which is by far the sweetest part of the pound cake—especially since I reduced the sugar from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup.
The lemon flavor in this pound cake is intense. But what really sets this pound cake apart is the combination of butter and cream cheese in the batter. My classic pound cake, delicious in its own right, has only butter, sugar, eggs and flour.
When you enjoy a slice, be sure to make yourself a nice, hot cup of coffee. And if you really really want the whole Starbucks experience, try burning the coffee a bit. ;)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot or potato starch)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
12 tablespoons (168 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
4 eggs (200 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounces) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Glaze 1 1/2 cups (173 g) confectioner’s sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 to 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a loaf pan that is no more than 9-inches by 5-inches, and set it aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, salt and about 3/4 of the lemon zest, and whisk to combine well, working to break up any clumps of lemon zest. Set the bowl aside.
Make the pound cake batter. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), place the butter and cream cheese and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the granulated sugar and mix to combine. Add the eggs and lemon juice, mixing well after each addition until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, beating well to combine after each addition. The batter will be smooth and thick, but relatively light. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top with a wet spatula.
Bake the pound cake. Place the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a tester inserted in the center of the pound cake comes out clean (about 50 minutes). If the loaf begins to brown too much, cover it tightly with a piece of aluminum foil. Remove the pound cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze & assemble the cake. Once the pound cake is nearly cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, place the confectioner’s sugar, salt, and the remaining lemon zest, and whisk to combine and to break up any lumps in the confectioner’s sugar or the lemon zest. Add the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, and mix well. Continue to add lemon juice by the teaspoon, stirring in between additions, until the glaze is thickly pourable. Pour the glaze over the cooled pound cake, and allow to set at room temperature. Slice and serve.
Recipe originally published in March 2013. Adapted from the Pound Cake recipe on page 186 of my first cookbook, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.