A gift from the heart to your stomach

I believe that one of the best gifts you can give another person is something that you’ve made. When you put the effort into making something, the gift becomes much more personal. For all birthdays and Mother’s/Father’s days, my gift to my family is a choice of their favorite desserts. On my sister’s recent birthday, I decided to go with a lemon buttermilk pound cake with candied lemon slices.

I used a recipe from onceuponachef.com for the pound cake, lemon glaze from marthastewart.com, and candied lemon recipe from myrecipes.com. Each of the recipes has my personal tweaks to add more flavor, and some changes that I discovered post-baking that should help make it tastier the next time you or I make it. Hope you enjoy and always stay hungry.

(You will need about 4 to 6 large lemons for everything)



For the candied lemons:

  • 2 large lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ cup water
  1. Slice the lemon to desired thickness
  2. In a large skillet mix together the sugar, lemon juice and water of medium heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add the lemon slices and simmer, turning ever so often for 15 min until slightly translucent and rinds are soft.
  3. Once done transfer onto a sheet tray lined with either parchment paper or foil and let cool.
  4. Put aside the syrup for the cake

For the glaze:

  • 1/8 cup lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl


For the cake:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour, leveled-off with a knife, plus more for the pan (or you can use pam for baking, with has flour in the spray)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened (I would increase this to 1 pound or 4 sticks, because a pound cake literally means a pound of butter)
  • 2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (I used duck eggs. These have a larger yolk than regular chicken eggs, and the extra fat helps with the moistness of the cake. I made this find at a local farmers’ market-  if you can’t, its not a problem at all, just thought it was a fun to try.)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (low fat is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, packed (increase to 1/8 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (increase this to ¼ cup, because this cake didn’t have much lemon flavor besides the glaze)

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  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and dust with flour (or spray with pam for baking).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. IMG_4174
  4. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, beat in one-quarter of the flour mixture, then one-third of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat the process until you finish both ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and give a quick mix to make sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  6. Spoon the thick batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Put a foil covered sheet tray on the top of the pan and carefully inverted it, gave it a light tap all around and slowly pulled the pan off. Pour the remaining syrup over the cake, and let cool for 10 min. IMG_4179
  8. Take the glaze and slowly pour over the cake to evenly glaze on all sides, top with the candied lemon slices. Dusting with powdered sugar is optional.