Copycat Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

by Chef Adel
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Ina Garten's Lemon Pound Cake

It’s not just about following recipes—it’s about creating memories, imbuing our homes with delightful aromas, and of course, the joy of sharing. Among the countless sweet treats, there’s one that holds a special place in my heart and kitchen: Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake. This recipe is not just about baking a cake; it’s a journey into the world of citrus-infused delight, an experience that transcends the ordinary. 

Ina Garten, also affectionately known as the Barefoot Contessa, has a knack for making recipes that blend simplicity with elegance, and her Lemon Pound Cake is no exception. It’s a recipe that whispers of sunny days, light breezes, and the kind of comfort that only a slice of moist, lemony pound cake can provide.  

How to make Ina Garten Lemon Pound Cake 

Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake is a popular recipe from the cookbook author and T.V. personality Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa. Her lemon pound cake is renowned for its rich, buttery texture and bright, citrusy flavor. 

Ingredients: 

For the cake: 

  • Unsalted butter at room temperature 
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Eggs, at room temperature 
  • Flour (All-purpose) 
  • Baking powder 
  • Salt 
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • Lemon zest 
  • Pure vanilla extract 
  • Sour cream at room temperature 

For the lemon glaze: 

  • Confectioners’ sugar (sifted) 
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice 

Instructions: 

Making the Cake: 

  1. Preheat your oven to the designated temperature. Typically, 350°F (175°C) works well. Prepare a loaf pan by greasing it and lining it with parchment paper. 
  2. Cream together the room-temperature butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This may take a few minutes. 
  3. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Ensure that they’re at room temperature to achieve a smoother batter. 
  4. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. 
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. 
  6. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mix. Do this in a few additions, mixing until just combined. 
  7. Fold in the lemon juice, being careful not to overmix. 
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, which typically takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
  9. Cool the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Making the Lemon Glaze: 

  • Whisk together the sifted confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Adjust the consistency with more lemon juice or sugar as needed. The glaze should be thick yet pourable. 
  • Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. 

Tips: 

  • All ingredients should be at room temperature to ensure even mixing. 
  • When adding flour, mix gently to keep the cake’s texture light. 
  • Don’t overmix the batter after adding the flour, as this can lead to a denser cake. 
  • Lemon zest adds a significant depth of flavor; make sure to use fresh lemons for the best taste. 
  • Baking times may vary based on your oven and the specific pan you use, so check for doneness a little before the recommended time. 
  • Cooling the cake completely before glazing ensures that the glaze stays on top and doesn’t melt into the cake. 

What to serve with Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake

Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake, with its perfect balance of sweet and tart, is a versatile dessert that pairs wonderfully with various accompaniments. 

1. Fresh Berries: A simple yet elegant way to serve the pound cake is with a side of fresh berries. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or a berry medley not only add vibrant color to the plate but also complement the citrus flavor with their natural sweetness and slightly tangy notes. 

2. Whipped Cream: A dollop of freshly whipped cream can take your Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake to new heights. You can even add a touch of vanilla or a splash of lemon liqueur to the cream for an extra flavorful twist. 

3. Lemon Curd: For the lemon enthusiasts, serve a spoonful of tangy lemon curd alongside your cake. The rich and creamy texture coupled with the intense lemon flavor makes it a decadent addition. 

4. Ice Cream: Pairing the pound cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is a classic choice. The cold creaminess of the ice cream will be a delightful contrast to the dense, moist crumb of the cake. For something different, try lemon or berry sorbet. 

5. Fruit Coulis: Drizzle a fruity coulis, such as raspberry or strawberry, over the Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake to add color and a burst of fruity flavor that enhances the lemony taste. 

6. Glazed Nuts: For a bit of crunch and nutty flavor, candied or glazed nuts like pecans, Walgreens, or almonds can be sprinkled over or around the cake. 

7. Mascarpone Cheese: Spread a smear of sweetened mascarpone cheese on a slice of the lemon pound cake for a creamy and luxurious complement. 

8. Citrus Salad: A citrus salad made with grapefruit, orange, and tangerine segments can offer a refreshing and palate-cleansing side, especially after a heavy meal. 

9. Honey or Maple Syrup: A light drizzling of honey or maple syrup over the pound cake adds a natural sweetness and a beautiful sheen. 

10. Tea or Coffee: Don’t forget the beverages! The cake pairs wonderfully with a hot cup of tea or coffee. Choose from Earl Grey, Chamomile, or a simple black coffee to complement the flavors in the Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake

11. Dessert Wine: For an adult gathering, serve slices of Lemon Pound Cake with a dessert wine like Limoncello, Moscato, or even a Riesling, which pairs nicely with citrus desserts. 

Ingredients Substitutes 

Lemon Pound Cake Ina Garten's
Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake

In baking, especially when following specific recipes like Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake, the ingredients play a pivotal role in achieving the intended taste and texture. However, sometimes you might find yourself short on a specific item or need an alternative due to dietary restrictions. Here are some ingredient substitutes that can come in handy, allowing you to still enjoy a delightful lemon pound cake. 

Flour (All-Purpose) 

  • Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour: For gluten intolerances, a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend can replace regular all-purpose flour. Make sure the blend contains xanthan gum to help with the cake’s texture. 
  • Cake Flour: For a lighter, finer crumb, you can substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour, using 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour. 

Granulated Sugar 

  • Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar can replace granulated sugar in a 1:1 ratio, offering a slightly caramel-like flavor. 
  • Honey or Maple Syrup: If preferring a natural sweetener, use ¾ cup of honey or maple syrup for every 1 cup of sugar. Keep in mind this might slightly alter the cake’s texture and baking time. 

Eggs 

  • Applesauce: Use ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce to replace one egg. This works well for adding moisture but may slightly affect the cake’s density. 
  • Flaxseed Meal: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons of water to replace one egg. This is a great vegan option. 

Unsalted Butter 

  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil can be used in a 1:1 ratio as a dairy-free alternative. It lends a slight coconut flavor. 
  • Margarine: For those avoiding dairy but not averse to using margarine, it’s a direct substitute for butter. 

Sour Cream 

  • Greek Yogurt: Use an equal amount of Greek yogurt to replace sour cream; it provides similar tanginess and moisture. 
  • Vegan Sour Cream: Dairy-free sour creams are available for a vegan version, or you can make a home version using soaked cashews and lemon juice. 

Lemon Juice and Zest 

  • Lime Juice and Zest: If lemons are unavailable, limes are an excellent substitute, offering a similar citrusy brightness. 
  • Orange Juice and Zest: For a softer citrus note, orange can substitute lemon, though it will result in a slightly different flavor profile. 

Baking Powder 

  • Baking Soda and Acid: If you’re out of baking powder, use a quarter teaspoon of baking soda mixed with half a teaspoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar to replace one teaspoon of baking powder. Mix it with the wet ingredients to avoid activating it too early. 

Confectioners’ Sugar (for Glaze) 

  • Blended Granulated Sugar: If you don’t have confectioners’ sugar for the glaze, blend granulated sugar in a blender until it reaches a powdery consistency. 

Final Thoughts 

With these guidelines, you’re set to create Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake that’s not only a joy to make but a delight to share. Happy baking! 

More Cake Recipes:

Ina Garten's Lemon Pound Cake

Ina Garten's Lemon Pound Cake

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 348 calories 21 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

For the cake: 

  • Unsalted butter at room temperature 
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Eggs, at room temperature 
  • Flour (All-purpose) 
  • Baking powder 
  • Salt 
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • Lemon zest 
  • Pure vanilla extract 
  • Sour cream at room temperature 

For the lemon glaze: 

  • Confectioners' sugar (sifted) 
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

Making the Cake: 

  1. Preheat your oven to the designated temperature. Typically, 350°F (175°C) works well. Prepare a loaf pan by greasing it and lining it with parchment paper. 
  2. Cream together the room-temperature butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This may take a few minutes. 
  3. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Ensure that they're at room temperature to achieve a smoother batter. 
  4. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. 
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. 
  6. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mix. Do this in a few additions, mixing until just combined. 
  7. Fold in the lemon juice, being careful not to overmix. 
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, which typically takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
  9. Cool the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Making the Lemon Glaze: 

  • Whisk together the sifted confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Adjust the consistency with more lemon juice or sugar as needed. The glaze should be thick yet pourable. 
  • Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. 


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