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
- Prep time 56 minutes
- Cook time 2 hours 5 minutes
- Serves 10
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
1 1/4 cups
large eggs, room temperature
confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 to 4 teaspoons
100% pomegranate juice
whole milk (optional)
pomegranate arils (seeds)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.