Martha Stewart's Whole-Lemon Pound Cake With Pomegranate Glaze

October 12, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Johnny Miller
  • Prep time 56 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Serves 10
Author Notes

Move over, lemon zest: This cake gets a whole lemon—boiled, chopped, then stirred, pith and all, into the batter. It’s somehow more intensely lemony yet less sharp than zest and juice alone. A pomegranate joins the fun—the juice tints the glaze pink, while the seeds are scattered across the top. —Martha Stewart


Test Kitchen Notes

Reprinted with permission from Martha Stewart's Fruit Desserts. Copyright © 2021 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, LPAll rights reserved. Published by Clarkson Potter an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 2/3 cups cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • The glaze
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons 100% pomegranate juice
  • 2 teaspoons whole milk (optional)
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
  1. In a medium saucepan, cover whole lemon by at least 3 inches of water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until lemon is tender, about 30 minutes; drain, pat dry, and let cool. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop lemon, removing any visible seeds. Pulse in a food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 41/2-by-81/2-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out any excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with chopped lemon and beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating until just incorporated.
  4. Transfer batter to prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Turn out cake onto rack to cool completely.
  5. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and 2 teaspoons pomegranate juice. Add up to 2 more teaspoons pomegranate juice, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until glaze is thick yet pourable. (For a lighter pink glaze, substitute with 2 teaspoons whole milk.) Pour pomegranate glaze over cooled cake. Top with pomegranate arils. Let set, at least 30 minutes, before slicing to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Donna Nassor
    Donna Nassor
  • Regine
  • Kevthulhu
  • GC

4 Reviews

Kevthulhu March 26, 2024
This is the *best* lemon cake recipe I’ve tried and I don’t think I’ll ever risk disappointment by making any other recipe. Absolutely love the extra flavor the whole lemon imparts and the chew is out of this world. 👏👏
GC August 11, 2023
I thought the cake was a tad dry due to the dark colored pan that I used. After a day or two the taste was delicious. I did not have pomegranate available, so I whipped cream and added pomegranate liquor to it and used raspberries sweetened with sugar and the liquor.
Donna N. October 19, 2021
The flavors were great, but the cake was a bit dry. Next time I will add some sour cream or vegetable oil to the batter. I think Martha might want to adjust the recipe a bit to create more moisture in the cake.
Regine November 16, 2021
These days I find butter based cakes dry. My trick is to replace 1/2 of the butter with oil using this formula of 1 cup butter being 3/4 cup oil plus 1/4 cup milk.