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ISO super dense, moist, extra lemony Lemon pound cake

I made the delicious mistake of eating at a local tea room where I opted for a lemon cake slice for dessert. (After a chicken salad sandwich that was quite tasty and have since near duplicated after a rec here to cook the chicken in cream...wonderful) see post here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/406155

Since then I have tried endlessy to duplicate a cake like that one. It taunts me, I have tried several on this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/376493, as well as others i have seen online. Becca Porter's cake was WONDERFUL, and i was told by several it would be a great wedding cake :)...however they were not dense enough, so I have decided a pound cake may be what i am looking for.. My BF loves all the taste testing going on, but after a break from my search (is it possible to ruin your taste buds from too much sugar?...I think i did) I am ready to try again! So I am calling on any and all suggestions you have.

I am also looking for a great dense apple cake but may do that in another thread :)

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  1. I can't get your lemon cake link to work, but have you tried Ina Garten's lemon cake recipe? It is *extremely* lemony and dense... it's not really a pound cake, but it definitely reminds me of one. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

    13 Replies
    1. re: Katie Nell

      Sorry about the link....try this one?

      HAve not tried this one...but I am willing!

      1. re: jennisad

        That one worked! Do try this recipe then... I think you will be happy with the result! I'm not a huge lemon fan so I can't say that it's my favorite, but my entire family adores it and requests it often!

        1. re: Katie Nell

          I was just about to suggest Ina's recipe. It's awesome, and freezes well.

      2. re: Katie Nell

        I really really really love Ina Garten's recipe. By far my favorite lemon cake...I use this recipe a lot as lemon is one of my favorite flavors. Have made it for many many people and more often then not they ask for the recipe. Definitely a winner!

        1. re: ziggylu

          is there any way to pump up the lemonyness? and to make it more sour?

          1. re: orangewasabi

            I've had lemon cake with pieces of candied lemons and it added extra lemony-ness. You could make the candy more sour by using less sugar in the candied lemons. I'll bet if you used less sugar in the lemon syrup, it would be more sour, too.


            1. re: chowser

              such awesome tips, thank you!

              do you think it's completely insane to try candying lemon in splenda?

              1. re: orangewasabi

                Maybe someone else can answer that--I've only used Splenda on a rare occasion for my father's who's diabetic.

            2. re: orangewasabi

              Boyijian's Lemon oil is very powerful stuff. Just a few drops can pump it up.

              1. re: orangewasabi

                You know I"m usually putting more zest, lemon oil, lemon juice in things because they're not lemony enough for me...but this is one recipe I haven't felt the need to do that with..it''s really lemony. That said I'd think cutting back on the sugar would be a good way to go?

                I've also made this in an orange version that was very good!

                1. re: orangewasabi

                  I've posted this on the orange ring cake thread but I used that recipe with lemon zest. I made candied lemons, chopped them and added them on top. I saved the lemony simple syrup that I made the candied lemons in and poured it over the cake when it came out. Tart because I used a little less sugar (<1 cup sugar to 1 cup water, 2 lemons sliced thinly--zest went in the cake, simmered for half an hour). The cake was very lemony and tart.

                  1. re: orangewasabi

                    not sure of your original recipe, but make a simple syrup with fresh lemon juice and pour it over the hot cake.

                    I add minced lemon verbena and lemon thyme to my cake, which comes from the lovely book HERBS by Chris Meade and Emily Tolley.


                2. re: Katie Nell

                  I just pulled this one out of the oven. It looks very nice.

                3. Here is a recipe I found back in 1995 in a NY Times article. I've made it several times over the years. It is simple and I think tastes great. Sometimes I add more lemon peel than called for (lemon desserts are my favorite) a little extra is good.

                  1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp (extra for greasing the pan)
                  2 cups all purpose flour (extra for pan)
                  1 1/4 cups sugar
                  4 tsp grated lemon zest
                  3 eggs
                  1 tsp vanilla extract
                  1/2 tsp baking soda
                  1 tsp baking powder
                  1/2 tsp kosher salt
                  3/4 cup sour cream
                  1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
                  1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

                  Heat oven to 350
                  Butter & flour 9x5x3 loaf pan
                  Using a mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light. Add the lemon zest, then the eggs, one at a time, mixing until light & fluffy. Mix in vanilla.
                  Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Add the dry ingredients alternately with sour cream, mixing just to combine. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick comes out clean. About 1 hour. then place on rack.
                  Put confectioners' sugar in a bowl and gradually whisk in the lemon juice. Brush some of the mixture over the top of the cake. Let stand 10 Min's. Turn cake out of pan and brush the lemon mixture all over, top, bottom, sides. Repeat again after 10 Min's.
                  Then its ready to serve. If I have any lemon mixture left over I brush it on until I use it all up.
                  Hope you enjoy it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: austx03

                    Thanks so much for the recipe. The flavor was awesome and the density just what I like in a pound cake. However, a good portion of the sides and bottom stuck to the loaf pan, despite a healthy butter/flour coating. Therefore, it didn't look too pretty. However it was a delicious recipe and I so appreciate you sharing. Just curious if you have ever had that prob before with with sticking issue?

                  2. I have a family recipe for a wonderful dense apple cake that I will post later. I think the dense consistency comes from using oil instead of butter, but it's a winner. I landed a first date with my now DH after leaving a pan of the apple cake at his house =)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ExercisetoEat

                      ohhh...please do! I have a similiar story with my current boyfriend, he was won over by my chocolate chip cookies...easy man, if he only knew what else I could bake ;)

                      1. re: jennisad

                        Sorry to be so long in replying. It's been a busy summer. Here's the recipe for the apple cake:

                        Raw Apple Cake

                        2 cups sugar
                        2 cups flour
                        2 teaspoons cinnamon
                        1 teaspoon mace
                        1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
                        1 teaspoon salt
                        4 cups peeled, diced apples (I like granny smith, but anything firm will work)
                        2 eggs (beaten)
                        3/4 cup salad oil
                        2 teaspoons vanilla
                        rasins (as many as you like)

                        Mix first seven ingredients and then add in oil, eggs, vanilla, and rasins, stirring after each addition. (I ususally mix it all by hand just because it's easy.)

                        Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes in a 9x12 ungreased pan. Check doneness with a knife, if it comes out clean it is done. Rasins may get pretty toasted, this is normal. Let it cool before cutting, and enjoy!

                        1. re: ExercisetoEat

                          Amen to the busy summer, same here.
                          Thanks for the reply, after the lemon cake success, I am ready to tackle the apple one! Will report back

                    2. I'm not a cake-from-a-box type person, but I love using a box of lemon cake mix and a box of lemon pudding mix... always moist and dense and very flavorful.

                      1. The Cook's Illustrated Lemon Bundt Cake is very good. Very lemony, fairly dense.


                        1. Great tips here!! I cant wait to try some of these out...treadmill here I come. Gotta offset all the divine sweetness!

                          Will report back soon

                          1. Where is this tearoom with the intoxicating lemon cake? Did you ask them if they have a recipe? Some places sell cookbooks. Or they might point you to a bakery.

                            And, seriously, where is this tearoom? I have a great German apple cake recipe- but I don't think it's dense. It's more a Bundt cake than a pound cake.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Alice123

                              It is an Alvin, Texas...if you are from near the area, i can give you more specifics.
                              They dont sell cookbooks, or succumb to bribery, I tried!!

                              I would Love to see your German Apple cake recipe!!

                              1. re: jennisad

                                My mother cut this out of the New York Times in the early 70's I think. It's a favorite of my family's and is my FIL's birthday cake of choice.

                                5 apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
                                5 Tbsp sugar
                                2 tsp cinnamon

                                Toss sliced apples in sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

                                3 c sifted all purpose flour
                                2 1/2 cups sugar
                                4 eggs
                                1 cup vegetable oil
                                2 tsp vanilla
                                1/2 cup orange juice
                                1/2 tsp. salt
                                1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
                                1 1/2 tsp baking powder

                                Preheat oven to 350. Grease a tube or bundt pan. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients. (You sound like you're a baker. Isn't it better to mix the dry and wet separately and then blend? But this is the recipe as it is handed down to me.) Blend with mixer on low speed for one minute. Increase speed to medium and blend 3 minutes. Batter will be very thick. FIll pan by alternating layers of batter and sugared apples. Start and finish with batter.

                                Bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Cool 10 minutes.

                                Glaze: Mix 1 1/2 cups confectionery sugar
                                2 Tbs soft butter
                                1 1/2 tsp vanilla
                                12 Tb water.

                                If you try it, let me know what you thought. We usually make this in the fall. That's when all our birthdays are!

                                1. re: Alice123

                                  Yeeks! 12 Tablespoons of water!!!! 1 to 2 Tablespoons. Sorry!

                                  1. re: Alice123

                                    HA...big difference with 12 Tbs to 1. Thanks so much for taking the time to type this out, I will HAVE to try it now...I am stacking up quite a "to bake " list!
                                    And yes in my experience (dabbling may be a better word, because I am far from great!) it is better to mix all dry ingredients then add slowly to the wet...but honestly I have done it both ways and can often tell little difference. I am sure there is some chemistry behind why one way is better than the other, but I have no clue!

                                    The Apple cake looks divine, it is my dad's favorite kind of cake, so the 4th may be the perfect time to whip it out! Keep you posted!

                            2. Maida Heatter's East 62nd Lemon Cake (from the orignal Great Desserts book) has been famous for over 30 years; the soaking in lemon syrup makes it extra dense and lemony. The recipe is readily available.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: janeer

                                I love Maida Heatter's Lemon Buttermilk Cake #2 from her New Book of Great Desserts.


                                There's a good recipe for a very moist and dense apple cake in Rosie's Bakery Baking Book by Judy Rosenberg.

                                1. re: akk

                                  Any chance of paraphrasing the recipes for us?
                                  I too am a lemon lover.

                                  1. re: itryalot

                                    This is taken from a blog site. It might be that particular apple cake mentioned above.

                                    "This recipe comes from Judy Rosenberg's cookbook, Rosie's Bakery All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed No-Holds-Barred Baking Book (yeah, nothing in it is good for you)."

                                    Apple Cake

                                    3 cups all-purpose flour
                                    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
                                    1 teaspoon baking soda
                                    1 teaspoon salt
                                    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
                                    1/4 cup vegetable oil
                                    2 cups sugar
                                    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                                    3 large eggs, at room temp
                                    4 cups apples (3-4 large apples), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
                                    1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar for topping

                                    Good tip: To keep the apples from turning brown, let them soak in a mixture of water and some acidic liquid like orange juice, lemon juice, or pineapple juice.


                                    Preheat oven to 350 (340 works better in mine, play around with what you like). Lightly grease a 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom.
                                    Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl.
                                    Cream the butter, oil, sugar, and vanilla in a medium-size mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until blended, about 2 minutes. Stop to scrape the bowl twice with a rubber spatula.
                                    Add the eggs one at a time, and mix on medium-low speed after each addition until blended, 10 seconds. Scrap the bowl each time. Once the eggs are added, mix again for 10 seconds.
                                    Add half the dry ingredients and blend on low speed for 15 seconds. Scrap the bowl, add the rest of the dry ingredients, and mix on low speed until blended, about 5 seconds more.
                                    Add the apples with a few turns of the mixer.
                                    Spoon the batter into the pan and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the top. Bake the cake on the center oven rack until the top is firm and golden and a toothpick inserted at the cake's highest point comes out dry, about 1 hour and 5 minutes.


                                2. re: janeer

                                  So glad you posted this--I wanted to recommend Haida Heatter's but have only the book--didn't know it was available online. This one is definitely dense and lemony and amazing.

                                  1. re: janeer

                                    Any chance of paraphrasing the recipe for us?

                                    1. re: itryalot

                                      itryalot: I believe I found links to what akk and alix were suggesting...please correct me if I am wrong



                                      1. re: jennisad

                                        Yes, you have the same link I posted for the Lemon Buttermilk Cake#2 from Maida Heatter. It's really wonderful. I myself have not made the E. 62nd St. one, though I'm sure my mother did.

                                        If you want me to paraphrase the apple cake, let me know.

                                        1. re: akk

                                          ohhh...would you? Thanks in advance!

                                        2. re: jennisad

                                          Lemon cake was a big hit. I coated some freshly picked blueberries in flour and added them to the mix of y second cake part way through; both were a big hit and all gone to my hubby's shagrin!

                                          Akk - Waiting for apple cake recipe if you can, for Sept apple season.

                                          1. re: itryalot

                                            rose martha shulman's apple cake recipe in ready when you are cookbook is really nice

                                            1. re: itryalot

                                              Sorry for the delayed response.

                                              3 cups flour
                                              2 tsp cinnamon
                                              1 tsp baking soda
                                              1 tsp salt
                                              2 sticks butter
                                              1/4 cup vegetable oil
                                              2 cups sugar
                                              2 tsps vanilla
                                              3 eggs
                                              4 cups apples (3 to 4 apples) cut into 1/2-inch cubes
                                              1 tsps cinnamon mixed with 1 tbsp granulated sugar

                                              Sift dry ingredients. Cream butter, oil sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until blended. Add half the dry ingredients and mix on low speed only until blended. Add the remaining dry ingredients and again mix on low speed. Fold in apples with a wooden spoon. Spoon batter into a 10-inch greased tube pan. Sprinkle top with the cinnamon sugar. Bake in a 350 degree oven until top is firm and a tester comes out dry, about 1 hour and 5 minutes.

                                      2. Many years ago my mother-in-law made a wonderful lemon cake called "Mrs. Liebermann's Lemon Cake." She lost the recipe and I've been hunting for it ever since. Anybody ever see it?

                                        1. Becca's cold oven pound cake is awesome & I tweaked it for a lemon pound cake by substituing the cream for creme fraiche or some thinned out sour cream if you don't have that. I also added the zest of 4 or 5 lemons. Then topped with a lemon glaze.

                                          1. I just remembered I have a recipe for Natchez Lemon Cake an old Southern Cake, wonderfully sweet, tart and moist. 4 eggs in the cake, 2 tsp of lemon juice, 2 T lemon peel. Then 6 T fresh lemon juice and 6 eggs in the filling that goes in between the 3 layers and then poured over the top.
                                            It is gorgeous! I might just give this one a try myself!

                                            1. YES YES YES!!! I finally found one that makes me happy! Ina's Lemon cake is perfect, all of what i was lookig for, thanks to many of your rec's. I only added a bit more zest and bakes it in a bundt pan. I just finished a 'taste test' of mine vs. the tea rooms...and i may be biased, but at this point I like the taste of mine better, however they have a sugar crust that is not a powdered sugar glaze, but more of a baked on granulated sugar crust...i just wonder how it is made.

                                              MANY thanks to all of your help. I am trying the apple cake mext

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: jennisad

                                                I just made this yesterday, too, for my fiancee who is just crazy about lemon desserts and put in a special request for a lemon poundcake upon his return from a long work trip. I put blueberries in which definitely increased the baking time to about 1:15 and probably, I could've baked it a little longer. However, this was SUPER moist! I didn't frost it, as it was already pretty sweet and I, too, used more zest and also a bit more lemon juice. FWIW, I also used white whole wheat flour, as that's all i had on hand and it worked out perfectly. Perhaps it also accounted for a bit more moisture or at least heaviness? Jennisad, thanks for putting the inital call out! This was a lucky thing for me, since the recipes were already all here!

                                                1. re: jennisad

                                                  I'm only too sorry that I diden't get to this thread sooner.
                                                  Interestingly enough, whilst on a recent breakfast outing I happened to spot some lemon-poppyseed muffins and, although I opted for a bearclaw and croissant(I believe the quality of a bakery can be judged on their croissants alone), My interest has been peeked and I'm determined to make something lemonpoppyseed flavoured.
                                                  Currantly I'm going to attempt the Lemon-almond tea cake from the book: "Tartine"(One of my alltime fav's).
                                                  It suggest to use almond paste in the batter to make it extra moist and good, I don't know how its going to turn out but, I SHALL REPORT BACK!

                                                  1. re: Chef Casper

                                                    do report back...some great suggestions here!

                                                    1. re: Chef Casper

                                                      Tartine's Lemon Almond Tea Cake has been on my short list for a couple of weeks. Luckily I have the book but check out this photo {and she includes the recipe}:


                                                      BTW, I am not affiliated with her terrific blog.

                                                      1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                        Well I have only good things to report.
                                                        Certainaly it turned out very dense and moist, which I like because I really like my startches (bread, pasta etc..) to have more "substance" than traditonal angel food cake or white bread. However if what you are looking for is a really tart lemony cake, I might forgo this recipie, as the almond paste made it feel bassicly like marzipan bread with a hint of lemon, which is a really nice touch to the marzipan flavour. However it has a really strong citrus glaze which kinda makes up for the flavour thats absent in the actual "bread" part.
                                                        I now, really just like the Idea of offsetting marzipan desserts with citrus zest, but hey I'd say this is a winner.
                                                        (Note: Oh, yes if you do make this cake only use ALMOND PASTE, like it says, otherwise the suger which is already in marzipan will make it taste like something from starbucks rather than a french patisserie.)

                                                  2. i SO strongly recommend greg patent's recipe for lemon-sour cream pound cake from "baking in america", baked in a bundt pan, garnished with confectioner's sugar and fresh berries. to die for super dense, moist, & extra lemony from the lemon glaze.

                                                    1. This is a pretty good lemon cake. It's VERY dense and moist, but after reading Ina Garten's recipe, I might try the lemon syrup before the glaze.

                                                      One-Step Poundcake

                                                      2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
                                                      2 cups sugar
                                                      ½ tsp. soda
                                                      ½ tsp. salt
                                                      1 tsp. grated lemon peel
                                                      1 tsp. vanilla
                                                      1 cup butter or margarine, softened
                                                      1 cup (8 oz. carton) pineapple yogurt, OR
                                                      1 cup dairy sour cream (I use lemon yogurt to make it more lemony and it's VERY good)
                                                      3 eggs

                                                      1 cup powdered sugar
                                                      2 Tbsp. lemon juice

                                                      In large mixer bowl, combine all ingredients except glaze; blend at low speed. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter into greased and floured 10” Bundt or tube pan. Bake at 325º for 60-65 min. until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 15 min., remove from pan. Cool completely, Drizzle with glaze.

                                                      Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

                                                      *Peach, orange or lemon yogurt may be substituted for the pineapple yogurt.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: LaurelC43

                                                        Thank you for all the recipes and input. Just in an experimental mode, has anyone tried to include melted cream cheese in the batter (not too much but just to give it a very slight hint)? If so, please share your result.
                                                        I'm dreaming of a very dense "key-lime" flavored poundcake with just a hint of cream cheese.
                                                        Reading this thread from all of you guys out there already brings comfort....and of course, I think I've already gained the pounds! :)

                                                        1. re: angustia

                                                          What about just making a cream cheese poundcake and using key lime zest?


                                                          Use a key lime glaze or simple syrup if you want more key lime flavor, as well as more zest.

                                                          1. re: angustia

                                                            I've been meaning to try this cream cheese poundcake for a while now:

                                                            I think you could easily add lime zest and juice/glaze for a key lime flavored version.

                                                        2. I second, third ect Ina Garten's lemon cake recipe. Delicious.