My mother has made the same Lemon Pound Cake for as long as I can remember. It’s delicious. So delicious in fact that it is both my father’s and my brother’s birthday cake. So we get to eat it twice a year, once in November and then again two short months later in January. When my husband and I first got married I asked him what he wanted his birthday cake to be. I told him I would make him anything in the world, whatever cake he wanted, and guess what he picked? My mother’s Lemon Pound Cake. Needless to say, he was shot down after making that request. I simply could not stand to eat that cake, delicious as it is, another time during the year. It just didn’t seem fair to all the other cakes out there. I know the saying is, “Let them eat cake”, but I’m sure Ms. Antoinette didn’t mean for them all to eat the same kind of cake. Even in the 1700’s they had to have had more than one kind to choose from.
I’ve actually been scared to make a pound cake because my mother’s is so beloved and perfect, but I desperately needed a new project today while I sit around and wait for this baby to come. I did some brainstorming and research on several different recipes, consulted my mother on how hers is made, and created my own recipe which I am happy to share with all of you. I decided on a Grapefruit-Vanilla flavored pound cake after my husband bought me some bath salts with that scent combination. It’s a crazy place for inspiration, but hey- it worked! This cake is so good, I can’t wait for my mom to try it. It’s moist and rich, but feels so light on your tongue that it actually melts while you chew it. I’m extremely pleased with the results and do hope you give it a try.
A couple of the things I did differently than most of the pound cake recipes I read were:
#1 – I used brown sugar along with the white sugar, because I think the richness of the molasses flavor pairs beautifully with the brightness of the grapefruit.
#2- I used shortening along with the butter because I love what it does to the consistency of baked goods. Shortening makes things a bit more spongey and soft, whereas the butter gives baked goods that nice crumble factor, not to mention excellent flavor, so I thought the combination of the two fats would be perfect.
(I don’t have a photo because I became too impatient once the cake was done, and flipped it out of the pan way before I should have. It broke in half right along the middle and now looks incredibly sad. So instead of bringing you down with the cake, I thought it better for you all to imagine it being incredibly beautiful and perfect. Only…I just told you what happened so now you’re picturing that.)
*Grapefruit-Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake
-2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
-2 cups white sugar
-1 cup light brown sugar
-1 8oz brick of cream cheese, room temperature (I always use reduced fat, but use whatever you’d like)
-6 large eggs
-3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
-1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
–2 small ruby red grapefruits, zested then juiced
-In the bowl of your standing mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening at medium speed until very fluffy and creamy, about 5-7 minutes.
-Gradually add in your sugars, beating at medium speed, until fluffy.
-Add your cream cheese and continue beating until creamy.
-Add your eggs, one at a time, while mixing.
-Lower the speed to low and gradually add your flour while mixing. Scrape down the edges as needed.
-Mix in your salt, vanilla, all the grapefruit zest, and 1/2 cup of the grapefruit juice.
-Grease and flour 1 10in bundt pan, tube pan or 2 loaf pans.
-Pour your batter in the prepared pan and bake at 325 for 1 hour or until the top and edges have browned, the center has set and a toothpick comes out relatively clean when inserted in the middle.
-Cool your cake in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, remove from the pan and continue to cool on the rack.
-While your cake is cooling in the pan, make your ‘glaze*‘:
-Take your remaining grapefruit juice (should be about 1/2 cup) and add a splash of vanilla extract, 2 TB powdered sugar and 1 TB light brown sugar.
-Brush this on the warm cake, you will have a good bit leftover that you can reserve for serving if you’d like.
(*This is not a thick glaze, by any means, it’s really just a flavored and sweetened juice, but it adds another layer of flavor to the cake so I do recommend using it. However, if you desire a sweeter cake than I do, feel free to add at least a cup of powdered sugar to the juice, vanilla and brown sugar until you reach a thicker, more pasty glaze.)