The BEST Lemon Pound Cake EVER!
Step by Step with Pictures
Grandma’s Puckerlicious Lemon Pound Cake
This is my mother’s mother lemon pound cake recipe that she had been making for 60+ years. My mother grew up at her mother’s knee on this, and she made it for our family and our church socials for decades.
She hates to have a lemon pound cake that is wimpy on the “lemon” flavor, so she adds in twice (2x) the normal amount of lemon flavoring. Hence, the “pucker” part. Haha.
Prepare this for your family and just wait for the delighted faces.
A. Prepare The Batter!
1. Assemble ingredients!
3 cups of sugar (710 milliliters)
1/2 cup shortening (120 milliliters)
2 sticks of cold butter (240 milliliters)
6 large eggs
3 cups of plain flour (710 milliliters)
8 ounces of sour cream (240 milliliters)
1 heaping teaspoon of baking power (8 milliliters)
Cake Pan Prep
1 tablespoon cold butter (15 milliliters)
1/4 cup plain flour (60 milliliters)
… And 2 tablespoons of lemon flavor (double the normal amount!)
2. Turn the oven on and preheat to 325 degrees F
(Gas Mark 3 for UK, 170 degrees C for the Rest of the World)
Adjust the racks if you need to, so that you can place the pan in the center of the oven. If you have a thermometer, you can place that on the rack so you can double check the temperature before you place the pan in the oven.
3. Soften the butter
Place cold butter sticks into a sandwich bag, and flatten with a meat hammer or rolling pin.
There are several ways to soften butter, but this method keeps the butter cool, and lets you soften it fast right out of the fridge or freezer.
4. Blend butter shortening and sugar together
Just use a hand mixer and blend thoroughly. But not too much! You don’t want the butter to melt because that would change the texture of the cake.
5. Add 1 or 3 eggs at a time and blend
My mother says to add 3 at a time, but you can do 1 at a time. She can be impatient, my mother.
6. Add lemon flavoring and blend
Pour it in and mix in that pucker juice!
7. Mix flour and baking soda together
You can mix using either a whisk or a mixer. Your choice!
8. Add 1/2 of flour/baking powder blend and mix
Grab something like our handy The Triumphant Chef large spatula or a big spoon, and sort of eyeball about half of the dry mix into the wet ingredients. Then mix together with the blender. My ma says it will get too dry if you add all of the powder blend at one time.
9. Add sour cream and mix
Yes! Sour cream! Ma says it gives it a little more tartness and adds some moisture to the final cake.
10. Add other 1/2 of flour/baking powder blend
Just put in the rest of the dry mix.
11. Mix everything together well
…and mix it all together thoroughly. Don’t over beat it, but definitely don’t under mix it.
12. Clean extra mix from mixer blades
Use something like The Triumphant Chef jar spatula to get in-between the blades, and scrap the extra mix back into the bowl.
B. Prep Your Pan!
You can use either a regular loaf pan or a bundt pan. I use a bundt pan because I like the final presentation better, and I think it is easier to bake the middle of the cake without over baking the outside of the cake. Plus, that is how my mother does it. She makes a face if I mention “loaf” pan.
13. Soften the butter
Place 1 tablespoon of cold butter into a sandwich bag, and flatten with a rolling pin or meat hammer to approximately 1/8 of an inch.
14. Place half of the flattened butter on a paper towel
If the butter is still cold, you should be able to reach into the bag, break the butter in half, and place half on the edge of a paper towel.
15. Spread the butter evenly in a thin layer
a. Using the paper towel, spread the butter in a thin layer on the inside of the pan.
b. Be sure to coat all the surfaces of the inside of the pan.
16. Coat the butter with a dusting of flour
a. Add the flour to the pan.
b. Hold the pan sideways. Rotate the pan, allowing the mass of flour to coat the butter as it moves over the butter. Tap softly on the side of the pan to encourage the flour to fall.
c. You can sprinkle flour over the inner “cone” surface, but I don’t bother. After coating all the other inner surfaces, turn the pan upside down over a bowl, sink, or trash can. Then tap the bottom of the pan to get any excess flour out.
Pan prep is done!
C. Bake it!
17. Add batter to pan
a. Using a spatula or spoon, slowly scoop the batter into the pan. As the batter is really thick, move the bowl around the edge of the pan so the batter does not just stack up on one side.
b. Spread the batter out even. It does not have to be perfect, as the batter will settle a little as it begins to heat in the oven.
18. Place pan into the center of the oven
You should have already adjusted the racks as needed so you can put the cake pan in the middle of the oven. If you haven’t, do it now. Then insert. Wear some heat protection like our Super Flex Silicone Oven Mitts, as the oven should already be at the correct temperature.
19. Bake for 75 minutes
Yep. That is 1 hour and 15 minutes. Set the timer for 75 minutes, and wait patiently. Clean the kitchen, talk to relatives on the phone, watch TV, or play Sudoku.
20. Check for doneness
There are several ways to do this. One is to insert a thermometer into the middle to see if it has reached 205 degrees F (96 degrees C). The other way is to insert a strand of uncooked spaghetti, and then pull it out to see if anything stuck to it. We are looking for any batter that is not baked. Small crumbs on the strand is ok. If you do both, you may find that the cake is done, even though it has not reached 205 degrees F (96 degrees C) yet. So I prefer to use the spaghetti strand method. If the cake is not done yet, put it back in for 10 minutes and then test again.
21. Remove from the oven and place on cooling rack
a. Use something like our The Triumphant Chef Super Flex Silicone Mitts to safely removed the hot pan from the oven.
b. You should already have the cooling rack out and placed on the counter. Place the cake pan on there and let cool for 30 minutes.
22. Remove cake from pan and place on a plate
a. Place a plate on top of the cake pan. Then flip the pan and plate over and tap on the bottom of the pan. Left the pan off, leaving the cake on the plate.
b. If you want the top of the cake to be up, then place a second plate on the bottom of the cake. Then flip the plates and cake at the same time to reverse the orientation of the cake. Remove the first plate used. Now it is “top up”!
c. My mother prefers it “top down”, but I think the top has a lot of “character” to show.
d. Do the ultimate test for doneness. Yummy!
23. Store cake until ready to serve
Grab a big cake carrier, like this one I got years ago at Walmart. Place something non-slip in the bottom, like our large Heavy Duty Silicone Round Trivet. Then place the plate and cake on it. Fasten the lid over the top and set in a cool place.
You should be able to leave it there for 2 to 3 days, if you can stop the family from devouring it. It takes my nephew about 3 days to eat the entire thing all by himself. The rest of us have to be quick to get any. As you can see, I got myself a second piece right away. Good luck on hanging on to yours!