A classic flavor pairing, this pound cake is sweet and perfectly dense, with a lot of lemon flavor and bursting with juicy blueberries. The top will bake to a golden brown, rise and crack slightly, as all good loaf cakes do. It keeps well, can be frozen, used in trifles, and is also wonderful eaten plain, with or without the glaze.
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose or cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature (see Notes for substitutions)
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- A tablespoon or more of lemon juice
- Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C.
- Butter or spray a 9x4 inch (10x24 cm) loaf pan and, if you want, add a strip of parchment paper to cover the bottom and two shorter sides. This will make it easier to remove the cake.
- Wash and dry the blueberries if fresh, or use directly from the freezer but make sure they are not clumped.
For the cake:
- Beat soft butter for 20 seconds in a large bowl with electric beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Add sugar gradually while you continue beating at medium speed, and then for 3 more minutes after adding all of it. The mixture should be light in color, fluffy and the sugar will have partially dissolved.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl regularly.
- Add vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and mix. It might look curdled, but don't worry.
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) together in a bowl, or have them measured and sift them directly over the cake batter.
- Add them in 2 parts, alternating with the cream cheese in 1 part. That means you start and end with the dry ingredients.
- Mix and integrate it well, but don't beat much at this point. After adding the last part of the flour mixture, you should have most of it not incorporated when you add the berries. After adding the flour, cake batters should not be beaten too much as that will develop gluten and toughen the baked cake.
- Add the blueberries and mix the batter with a spatula. Make sure everything is incorporated and try not to crush the blueberries. But make sure there are no flour spots. You should have a thick, smooth batter with berries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake in the middle rack for about 45 minutes, until it rises, the top cracks and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Pound cakes are dense so make sure it's fully baked. If the top is browning too quickly but the middle is not done, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum paper and continue to bake.
- Cool on a wire rack and remove carefully from the pan, removing the strip of paper.
- Drizzle the glaze over and let it dry before cutting and eating.
- Keep leftovers at room temperature for a day or two or in the refrigerator for several days, with plastic wrap in both cases, or frozen for a month, well wrapped also.
For the glaze:
- Put the powdered sugar in a bowl and add half the lemon juice.
- Check to see the consistency. It should be like thick honey. Add more juice if needed to adjust the consistency.
- Pour over the cooled cake and let drip down the sides. Let dry before cutting.
Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes are as accurate as I they can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
No cream cheese? You can use regular sour cream or Greek yogurt instead of the cream cheese, same amount. The crumb will be a tad less dense and a smidge more tangy. They both add great moisture and tenderness.
Make ahead: you can keep the cake in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a month, well wrapped. But if you store it after the glaze is applied, it will lose some of its shine and probably and be a little mushy, but it will still taste good. So, if you want to make it ahead before serving and maintain a shiny glaze, I recommend you store the pound cake plain and ice it an hour or so before serving. I wrap it first in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze it up to a month. You can use other type of airtight container or wrapper, just make sure no air is getting into it to prevent freezer burn.
Bundt cake: you can easily double this recipe and bake it in a tube pan or simple bundt pan, avoid the ones with very intricate patterns as the cake might stick more.
Keywords: lemon blueberry pound cake