Today, I start with a disclaimer: this probably isn’t really a pound cake.
Pound cakes traditionally have equal amounts (or weights) of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, and I might have used a bit of extra flour than I should have in this recipe!
Also, while we’re on the subject, I don’t think that traditional pound cake normally contains lemon zest or poppy seeds, and I’m pretty sure that traditional pound cake doesn’t normally contain whipped egg whites either — I took a cue from another recipe for the idea!
It’s whipped egg whites, though, make this recipe especially delicious and unique.
The cake turned out very subtly flavoured and delicately textured — the small piece I took for myself practically melted on my tongue!
Also, the person I made it for enjoyed it, which is what really counts. Anything to keep them from complaining about lemon cakes from Safeway and Starbucks — but then again, when you buy a cake from Safeway or Starbucks, what do you expect?
Nothing beats homemade!
Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
*recipe by Christine
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons fresh-grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 175°C). Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch baking pan.
Separate the eggs, taking care to not get any yolk in the whites. Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
Once everything is well mixed, gently stir in the flour mixture until no streaks remain.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites and vinegar together until they form stiff peaks.
Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter, followed by the poppy seeds.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 65 ~ 70 minutes, or until the top is golden all over.
If your cake starts to crack while baking, fear not — that’s supposed to happen. Even if the cracks look ginormous, they’ll mostly close up after you allow the cake to cool for a while.
Once cool, feel free to frost the cake with a vanilla buttercream or a glaze made from leftover lemon juice and icing sugar. Yum!