I was browsing the aisles of Trader Joe’s and came across a bag of Meyer lemons. I’ve never cooked or baked with them before and had heard that they’re the sweeter, less sour than plain ‘ole lemons. This also led me to discover a blog dedicated to beautiful and simple Japanese food. The beautiful photograph and inspiration to experiment with this unfamiliar ingredient resulted in this lovely pound cake. I usually stick to tried and true bread recipes like banana bread but this one really took me by surprise. It’s less fattening for one, but also less sweet which works for the Asian dessert palate (you know, you’ve tried the cakes w/lightly whipped frosting).
I made it once for my coworkers (one raved it was the best thing I’ve ever brought in) and once for my parents (my picky mom raved about it too!). It has just enough of the lemony flavor w/o cloying sweetness or greasiness of gobs of butter. SCORE! I later read online that Meyer lemons are in season in the winter but I’m sure to pick make this cake any time I come across these beauties. I almost wish I had a meyer lemon tree so I would have easy access rather than relying on TJ’s or supermarkets to carry them.
Meyer Lemon Pound Cake (adapted from this blog; makes 1 loaf)
For the cake
½ TB butter for greasing
1 TB AP flour for dusting
1 ½ cups of AP flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
zest of 2 meyer lemons
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened/room temperature
3/4 cup granulated (white) sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup plain fat free yogurt (I used Greek yogurt, tasted fine)
¾ cup low fat buttermilk (see note below about substituting w/milk)
For the glaze
½ cup powdered sugar
juice of ½ meyer lemon
zest of 1 meyer lemon
- Place a rack at the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Butter the loaf pan and dust AP flour to avoid from sticking).
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Place sugar and Meyer lemon zest in a separate bowl, combine by mixing (you can pulse in a food processor but I just did it manually).
- Cream the butter and lemon-sugar mixture until light and fluffy. Then, add egg and vanilla extract.
- Combine the yogurt and buttermilk in a small bowl.
- Add half the flour mixture to the bowl w/butter-sugar and combine. Add yogurt mixture, combine, and add the remaining flour to the bowl. Mix everything until incorporated.
- Pour batter into the loaf pan and ensure a smooth top. Bake for 50 minutes or until the center comes out clean when a toothpick is inserted (original recipe calls for 60 minutes but mine was done around 52 minutes; ovens vary, so check after 50 mins).
- Let the pound cake rest for 10 mins in the loaf pan before removing it. Allow it to cool completely on a cutting board or wire rack. Prepare the glaze while you’re waiting.
- Mix powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Drizzle over cooled cake and let set before serving. Store leftovers (if there’s any) in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Notes: Online, I learned you can substitute ¾ cup of buttermilk for 3/4 TB of white vinegar and 3/4 cup of milk. Let it sit for 5 mins in a bowl before adding to the yogurt in the recipe). Tasted fine to me!