Intro: Lemon Pound Cake
Finally decided I'd make an Instructable for my famous Lemon Pound Cake. There are 3 great things about this particular cake that are different from others.
1) You can change the type of extract flavorings to make other types of pound cake. I'll even add the instructions to make it a delicious chocolate pound cake at the end of the Instructable.
2) It's totally addictive and not good for you in large quantities but you won't care because you'll be enjoying the cake too much.
3) Share it with others and you'll make new friends who will love you for your personality and good looks and definitely not because you give them free cake. :)
Lets move on to the ingredients shall we.
Step 1: Ingredients
So you're gonna need something to cook so here's a list of ingredients.
1 Cup of butter/margarine (2 sticks)
1 Cup of Vegetable Shortening (aka Crisco)
3 Cups of Sugar
6 Large Eggs
1 Cup of Evaporated Milk
3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
3 Tablespoons of Lemon Extract (or whatever extract you're gonna use)
For the Glaze you're gonna need:
2 Cups of Powdered Sugar
2 Fresh Lemons (or 2 Tablespoons of concentrated lemon juice and a bit of water)
On to the next Step -->
Step 2: Prep Work
So before you get started there's a few things you need to do.
1) Set your butter and eggs out and let them reach room temperature. This will allow the butter to mix easier and the eggs will allow the cake to rise better.
2) Get out your big mixing bowl, electric mixer, measuring spoons and cups, a sifter, a baking sheet, and the most important thing: a large angle food cake pan (mine has a 4.5 inch side). Otherwise you're gonna need another pan to cook the excess cake in, unless you like bubbly lemon flavored cake lava boiling all over your nice clean oven.
Step 3: Let's Start This Thing
First things first.
Preheat your oven to 300F with the rack in the middle of the oven.
And no, I will not convert it all to metric. I had to do it myself and you get to too. You'll learn something new for the day.
Once that's done you'll want to grab some Shortening and Flour. Grease up your Cake Pan and dust it with flour.
Now go sweep up that mess you just made.
Step 4: Lets Start Mixing Things Together
Alright lets start by creaming (mixing well) the cup of butter and shortening together in your big mixing bowl with that electric mixer.
If you don't have an electic mixer then do it with a whisk and a fork and a lot of elbow grease. It gets harder to mix when you add all that flour in. I give you my sympathy because I've had to do it before.
If you have a big fancy Cuisinart that can do all the work for you then I forgot to tell you that you're supposed to do it with just a fork and you get no sympathy. >:P
Step 5: Keep Mixing
At this point you want to add
to the mixing bowl and mix it all up real well until it's nice and smooth.
*Evaporated Milk usually comes in 12oz cans so you need about 3/4 of a can*
Step 6: Mix That Flour
Get that sifter out and add 1 cup of flour, your baking powder (DO NOT mixup with baking soda), and salt to the liquid mush stuff you just made. Mix well until no lumps.
Continue adding sifted flour 1 cup at a time while mixing well in between until all 3 1/2 cups are used.
Use your spoonula to scrape the edges into the mix and Mix everything on a higher setting to get rid of lumps. This will also add a bit of air making your cake a bit fluffier.
Step 7: Get Ready to Cook
Use your spoonula to scrape the creamy gooey lemon batter into your greased and floured cake pan.
Place the cake pan on a baking sheet and put it on the middle rack of the oven.
Set your timer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Step 8: Wait
Here's some helpful hints while you wait for your cake to cook.
1) Don't make this cake on a stormy day. It will fall and be mushy.
2) Don't jump or bang around while the cake is cooking. It will fall and be mushy.
3) Don't open the oven door a lot to check on the cake. It will fall and be mushy.
4) Don't let the oven door slam shut when you do check on the cake. It will fall and be mushy.
5) Orange, butter, rum, and other assorted extracts are easy to find and taste great as a substitution for the lemon extract. Heck, you don't even have to add the lemon extract if you just want a plain ol' pound cake.
6) If you want to make a Chocolate Pound cake you will need:
2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons of cocoa
and ONLY 3 Cups of flour
7) Personally, I eyeball some of the measurements. I usually add a bit more shortening and vanilla extract.
8) Watch your cake toward the end. Only you can tell when it is really done. The 1hr 15-30min is a pretty good range though.
Let move time forward ->
Step 9: Lemon Glaze
Lets make the lemon glaze while we wait.
Get a bowl and fork out. Get your powdered sugar and lemons in sight.
Now stick your lemons in the microwave for about 30 seconds. This will help them release more juice. When they are done and cooled use your hand to press and roll them. This will also help them release juice.
Put 2 cups of powdered sugar in the bowl and squeeze 1 1/2 lemons worth of juice into the sugar and mix well. It should be pasteyish but not too thick but also not too thin.
*if you're using conc. lemon extract you may need a little water to get the right consistency*
Ready to move on?
Step 10: Check Your Cake
1 hour and 15 minutes is just about up or is up. Lets check the cake.
Get a toothpick or better yet a broom straw to poke your cake with. Nothing or just a little batter should stick to the pick.
Also, the top of the cake should be browned and cracked. The cake should still be a little jiggly too.
Gas ovens are usually pretty good for this amount of time.
Electric ovens may need another 10 - 15 minutes.
If the cake is done:
DON'T TAKE THE CAKE OUT OF THE OVEN JUST YET.
Turn off the oven and let the cake sit in the oven for another 10 minutes. This will allow the cake to form a nice crunchy crust.
10 minutes later ->
Step 11: Take It Out
Take your cake out of the oven and gloat to yourself for such a good job you've done.
Done gloating yet? Too bad there's still work to be done.
Transfer your cake onto a cool plate. One plate on top, flip, another plate, flip.
Continue gloating while you find that lemon sugar mix.
Step 12: Lemony Glaze Goodness
While the cake is still hot, use a basting brush or spoon or a pastry bag or a butter knife, I really don't care, to apply lemony sugar goodness all over every inch of the cake.
Make sure to fill the crack with lots of extra goodness.
There will be excess glaze, just brush/scrape it onto the sides of the cake.
*I like to use a butter knife and poke holes in the crack so that the lemon glaze will seep into the cake itself.*
Step 13: You're Done
Congratulations you're done.
Now let the cake cool down for a few hours, preferably overnight since everything is better the second day.
You now know the secret of how to make your cake and eat it too.