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~ Pucker Up for Buttery Lemon & Yogurt Pound Cake ~

IMG_5487Pucker up.  I am an eternal sourpuss.  Lemonade, lemon sorbet, lemon meringue pie, lemon tart, lemon cheesecake, lemon shortbread, etc.  Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, these are a few of my lemony favorites.  As a lover of all things tart and citrusy, I consider the lemon the diva of all citrus.  I'm never without lemons in my refrigerator and lemon oil in my pantry, because, like salt, fresh lemon zest and juice, and, textureless bold-flavored oil just makes everything taste better. I'm not a lemon snob though.  I prefer the ordinary, tart, supermarket lemon to the "sweet" Meyer lemon -- Gourmets will say they are "sweet", while in reality, they're just less acidic.    

That said, when it comes to how I achieve lemon flavor in my sweet treats and savory things, I do have my preferences.  I like fresh zest and fresh juice used in "wet" concoctions -- like sweet puddings and pies, or savory salad dressings and sauces.  When it comes to "dry" baked goods, like sweet cakes and cookies, or savory breads and quick breads, I prefer the textureless, full-throttle lemon oil -- a little goes a long way, and, that pesty zest isn't muddling around amongst the crumb(s).  What about lemon extract?  Hey, I'm not going to call the food police if that's all you can find, but, if it is pure lemon flavor you're after, extracted from the zest, oil is the ticket.   

Pucker up for my buttery lemon & yogurt pound cake:

IMG_5287For the cake:

8  ounces salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (2 sticks)

8  ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, very soft

1/2  cup Greek yogurt, at room temperature

2  teaspoons pure lemon oil, not extract

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/2  cups sugar

1  3.4-ounce package instant lemon pudding

1  teaspoon salt

6  large eggs, at room temperature

10  ounces cake flour (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing bundt pan

IMG_5339For the glaze:

1 1/2  cups Confectioners' sugar

1  teaspoon pure lemon oil

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3-4  tablespoons milk

1-2  drops egg-shade (yellow) food coloring (optional) 

4  tablespoons finely-ground walnuts, for topping cake

IMG_5294 IMG_5294~Step 1.  In a large mixing bowl, place the very soft butter, cream cheese, room temperature yogurt, lemon oil and extract.  Starting on low speed of hand-held electric mixer and working your way up to high speed, cream until smooth, about 1 1/2-2 full minutes, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula the entire time.

IMG_5299 IMG_5299~Step 2.  Turn mixer off.  Add sugar,  pudding and salt.  Over low speed,  incorporate sugar mixture, then, increase mixer speed to high and continue to beat for 1 full minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula the entire time.

IMG_5303 IMG_5303~Step 3.  Reduce mixer speed to low again and add the eggs.  Thoroughly incorporate the eggs, then, increase speed to high and continue to beat for another full minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula the entire time.

IMG_5307 IMG_5307~Step 4.  Turn mixer off.  Add flour and baking powder.  On low mixer speed, fold the flour into the wet mixture.  Work up to high speed and continue to beat, about 1 1/2-2 full minutes, scraping down sides of bowl the entire time. 

IMG_5313 IMG_5313 IMG_5313~Step 5.  Lightly-spray a 12-cup bundt pan with no-stick cooking spray.  Using a large spoon and working your way around the pan in a circle, dollop spoonfuls of batter into the prepared pan.  Give the pan a few vigorous back-and-forth shakes on the counter to even the batter out.  Bake cake on center rack of preheated 325º oven for 1 hour, 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester placed deep into the center in several spots comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place cake on a wire rack.  All cake to cool, in pan on rack, for 30-40 minutes.  Loosen external and internal sides of cake with a sharp knife. Invert cake onto wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours, before glazing as directed below.

IMG_5321 IMG_5321~Step 6.  To glaze cake, in a 2-cup measuring container, place Confectioners' sugar and extracts. Add 3 tablespoons of the milk and stir. Add the 1-2 drops optional food coloring and stir again. Continue adding additional milk, if necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time until a drizzly consistency is reached. Cover measuring container with plastic wrap and set glaze aside for about 15 minutes -- this will ensure an extremely smooth glaze.  If you have a plastic squeeze bottle, transfer the glaze to it.  To glaze the cake, using a back and forth motion, slowly drizzle the glaze over the surface of the cake.  Sprinkle the walnuts over top.

Allow the glaze to "dry" (harden up a bit -- about 2 hours):.

IMG_5328Slice, serve & pucker up for every luscious lemon bite:

IMG_5340Pucker Up for Buttery Lemon & Yogurt Pound Cake:  Recipe yields 1, 10" bundt cake, and, depending on how thick or thin you slice it, 16-20 servings.

Special Equipment List: large rubber spatula; 1, standard-size 12-cup bundt pan; cake tester or toothpick; wire cooling rack; sharp paring knife; 2-cup measuring container; spoon; plastic wrap; plastic squeeze bottle (optional); serrated bread knife

6a0120a8551282970b01a73d731445970d 6a0120a8551282970b01a3fcb810db970bCook's Note: Looking for a lemon pie that will hold its own against all other lemon pie recipes? Bursting with lemon flavor and piled high with light, airy meringue, this recipe is all about:  ~ My Love Affair w/Lemon & Lemon Meringue Pie ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)


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