Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Iced Lemon Pound Cake

I used to love going to Starbucks to get a mocha and a slice of their iced lemon pound cake.  Lemon is one of my favorite flavors.... right up there with chocolate LOL.  But when I had to go Gluten Free for my health, that meant no more iced lemon pound cake.

Or so I thought.

Last year I stumbled across a Gluten Free buttermilk pound cake recipe that is so good, you would never know it wasn't "normal".  And just recently, one of my favorite Gluten Free cookbook authors posted to her website her version of a copycat recipe for Starbuck's iced lemon pound cake.

From Elizabeth Barbone at Serious Eats: Gluten-Free Tuesday: Buttermilk Pound Cake
From Nicole Hunn at Gluten Free on a Shoestring: Gluten Free Starbuck's Iced Lemon Pound Cake

I had a lightbulb moment.

Could I combine these recipes to get the texture I'd come to love from the first recipe, with the flavors promised by the second recipe?

I decided to give it a try.  And I am VERY pleased with the results.

I used the pound cake recipe from Serious Eats, adding the zest from one Meyer lemon and 1 Tbsp of juice from the lemon, and reducing the amount of buttermilk by 1 Tbsp to keep the amount of liquid in the recipe constant.  The result is a moist cake with a wonderfully light texture.  I decided against using the True Lemon crystalized lemon used in the Gluten Free on a Shoestring recipe because I wanted the lemon flavor in the cake itself to be subtle.

I then used the glaze recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring, but for whatever reason it just wasn't turning into a glaze.  Maybe it just was too dry in my house, because I ended up with a lump of sticky stuff in the center of my whisk and a lot of dry powdered sugar left in the bowl.  So I added some milk to it, just added a splash here and there until I could finally get the lump in the whisk to dissolve and the powdered sugar all incorporated.  At this point the glaze was too loose, so I added more powdered sugar a little at a time until I got the consistency I wanted: thick!  Heck, it was so thick I thought I was going to break my whisk!  But I wanted the icing to stay put and not run off the top of the cake, so this was perfect.

Here's my modified version of Iced Lemon Pound Cake!

Cake Ingredients:
* 5 ounces white rice flour (yes, weigh it out!)
* 2¾ ounces sweet rice flour
* 1½ ounces cornstarch
* 1½ tsp baking powder
* ½ tsp salt
* ½ tsp xanthan gum
* zest from 1 Meyer lemon
* 1½ sticks butter, at room temperature
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 2 eggs, at room temperature
* 1 cup buttermilk, minus 1 Tbsp
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 1 Tbsp juice from Meyer lemon

Cake Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Prepare a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with white rice flour.  Set pan aside for now.

Note: I actually used a pan that is 8½" x 4½" (not 9" x 5") because gluten free baked goods have a hard time holding their shape... due to lack of gluten.  The slightly smaller pan size allows the cake to hold its shape better.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice flours, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and lemon zest.  Set aside.

3. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.  Stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice during this process.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each egg is incorporated.

5. Set your stand mixer to its lowest setting and add half the flour mixture, and once incorporated, add half the buttermilk.  Once they are completely integrated, turn up the speed to medium for about 1 minute, then stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Repeat this process with the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk.

6. Finally, add the vanilla extract and lemon juice.  Start with the mixer at its lowest setting until loosely incorporated, then mix at medium speed for 1 minute to fully combine all ingredients.

7. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan.  Bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.

8. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack.  Allow cake to cool completely before icing.

Here is my lovely cake, fresh out of the pan and cooling on a wire rack.  I just LOVE that golden brown color!

Glaze Ingredients:
* 1½ cups powdered sugar
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 3 to 4 tsp juice from Meyer lemon
* 1-2 Tbsp 2% milk

Glaze Directions:
1. Combine powdered sugar and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Add the lemon juice and 1 Tbsp of milk and whisk together.  Add additional milk until glaze reaches a thick yet spreadable consistency... it should not want to drip off your whisk.

3. Spread the glaze evenly over the top of your lemon pound cake.  Allow to set (if you can) before slicing.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.  Happy baking!

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