beer, cider, wine and more from your home kitchen

A simple cake, with limoncello glaze

A simple cake, with limoncello glaze

This lemon pound cake is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, but simplified a great deal because Cook’s never misses a chance to put in extra steps or add stuff to the washing up. Extra steps better be there for a reason, because they stand between me and cake.

The glaze is simple as can be (sugar + booze), so why not experiment with your favourite cake recipe and the booze on your shelf? This lemony cake would be just as good with a Cointreau glaze. Chocolate cake with whiskey or rum would be delicious, as would any sponge cake and a real fruit schnapps.

  • 1 1/2 cups (170g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
  • Zest of three or four lemons, and two teaspoons of their juice
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature

Optional syrup:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • Limoncello, around 1 1/2 tablespoons


Heat your oven to 180C, and grease a 20x12cm loaf pan. Melt the butter and set it aside; sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a stand mixer or a large bowl, mix the sugar, zest, juice and eggs together. Then add the melted butter in a thin stream until everything is combined. Slowly mix in the flour; and stop when all is combined and pour into your loaf pan.

Bake at 180C for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160C and bake for another 30, or until the top is brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let your cake cool in the pan for ten minutes, then lift it out onto a cooling rack.

Optional, but delicious: heat the sugar with the lemon juice in a small saucepan. While the cake is still in the pan, poke the top with a toothpick and brush or slowly pour the syrup over.

When your cake is completely cool, sift the sugar and stir in the limoncello, a little at a time, until the mixture is spreadable. Cover the cake and enjoy.

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