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Yotam Ottolenghi’s and Helen Goh’s lemon pound cake

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This recipe comes from Sweet by authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh (Ten Speed Press, 2017). It is one of my favorite versions of the classic lemon and poppy seed poundcake because of it’s perfect textured crumb.

  • Yield: one 8 in/20 cm cake


3 large eggs

1 cup plus 2 tbsp/225 g granulated sugar

1/2 cup/120 g sour cream

5 Tbsp/70 g unsalted butter, cubed plus extra for greasing

1 Tbsp poppy seeds

finely grated zest of 3 lemons (1 Tbsp)

1 1/2 cups/170 g all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

For the glaze

3/4 cup/90 g confectioner’s sugar, sifted

2 Tbsp lemon juice


1. Preheat the oven to 325F/165C. Grease the loaf pan and line with parchment paper, then set aside.

2. Place the eggs and the granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment in place and whisk on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until pale and frothy. Add the sour cream and continue to whisk for about 2 minutes, until the mixture has combined.

3. In the meantime, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stir in the poppy seeds and lemon zest, and set aside.

4. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl, then use a rubber spatula to fold this into the egg mixture before folding in the butter, poppy seeds, and zest.

5. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan so that it rises three-quarters of the way up on the sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. Do not open the door to check the cake during the first 45 minutes of baking.

6. To prepare the glaze, whisk the confectioner’s sugar with the lemon juice in a bowl.

7. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, spreading it over the top so that it sinks in and creates a nice coating. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Leave to come to room temperature before serving.

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