by Shumaila

As far as I remember, Smitten Kitchen was the first blog site that I started following. I do not know how I stumbled on it, but once discovered it became my go-to site. That time I was not married, I had no blog of my own and I hardly cooked and on the rare ocassions that I did bake, it was Deb’s recipe more often than not that I would try. Even now, if I have to make something and I find a great recipe on one of the oh-so-many-beautiful blogs out there, I still check whether Deb has done a version of the recipe and if yes, how different is her technique from the one I am trying.

So when I decided to make this pound cake from her blog, I realised why I go back to her site so often. This cake is exactly how she decribes it- lighter and airier than most pound cakes. 

“Pound cake is generally fairly easy to make- by just mixing together a pound each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. That’s how it gets its name. Rich, moist and buttery, pound cakes are the king among cakes.”

Though not the traditional way of making a pound cake, this recipe calls for separately folding in whipped egg whites, and sifting the flour three times, giving the cake a texture to die for; while the addition of lemon zest and cognac (anything with alcohol has my attention) gives it a flavor perfect for springtime treats!

The recipe is adapted from Jame Beard’s Beard on Food. The guy is a genius with all things edible. Everyone who had this cake could not stop raving about it. This one is definitely a keeper.


Adapted from here

Deb has halved the original recipe to make one loaf cake (but I made mine in a smaller sized bundt pan, which worked perfectly fine!)


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks or 8 ounces or 226 grams) butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups (200 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (186 grams) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac [you could also use brandy, rum, or a teaspoon of an extract of your choice]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (I used the grated zest of 4 smaller sized lemons)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan/ or a smaller sized bundt pan. Sift the flour onto waxed paper and then spoon it gently back into the sifter, adding the baking powder and a good pinch of salt. Sift the mixture twice more, each time spooning it lightly into the sifter.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until they hold soft peaks and then gradually beat in 1/2 cup (100 grams) of the sugar, two tablespoons at a time. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Fit the electric mixer with a paddle attachment and cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the remaining six tablespoons (86 grams) of sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks until light and lemon-colored and then add the Cognac and zest.
  4. Gradually fold the sifted flour mixture into the butter-egg mixture. Fold in the beaten egg whites just until the batter is smooth. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick pierced in the center comes up clean. Cool in pan ten minutes on a rack, then cool the rest of the way out of the pan. (If using a bundt pan, then as soon as you remove the cake from the oven, run a knife through the edges and invert the pan on a plate. Wait for ten minutes and remove pan and let cool rest out of the pan.)