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I have tried and tried numerous recipes for lemon pound cake. None of them taste very lemony. I tried adding extra lemons n lemon extract but no real difference. The only thing to make it taste like lemon is the glaze. What am I doing wrong?

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Have you tried adding lemon zest along with the lemons and extract? It's also available dried (called lemon peel granules in this form), which might make more intense taste if used with the other forms of lemon to sort of layer the flavor. – MargeGunderson Oct 27 '12 at 6:44

The 'lemony' flavour in a lemon cake is from the volatile oils which are present in the fruit's zest,(mainly nerol, limonene and citral). I would'nt advise adding actual lemon juice to the cake as it will disrupt the ratios in the cake recipe and ususally the tart, zingy flavour gets lost anyway after baking. To get a really lemony flavour whilst still using a pound cake recipe (using the creaming method) there are several things which would enhance the lemon flavour:

  • Adding finely grated lemon zest to the sugar, then blitzing with a blender (to release the oils) and leaving to infuse. The sugar is simply a medium to infuse into
  • Melting the butter (using it as a 'quasi' solvent) and adding it to some more lemon zest to infuse. Then once cooled use it as per the recipe requires.
  • Add lemon extract too (we're trying to get as much flavour as possible into the cake!)

And if all else fails, you can always soak the cake in a lovely tangy lemon syrup and may be top it off with some lemony cream cheese frosting!

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By "blitz" do you mean using a blender? If so, does using a blender on a mixture of something finely grated and something which comes in small crystals really make any difference? – Peter Taylor Oct 28 '12 at 8:55
@PeterTaylor Yes, with a blender. All blitzing does is release the natural oils, and the sugar is just another medium for them to infuse them into. – Sebiddychef Oct 28 '12 at 9:15

I know of three ways to add extra lemon flavor to recipes:

  1. Add lemon pudding like this copycat recipe for Starbuck's lemon poundcake:
    Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake Copycat Recipe

  2. Use frozen lemonade concentrate instead of lemon juice

  3. as Marge suggested, add grated lemon rind. Fresh is good, dried is more intense.

My mother's cherished lemon-nut bread recipe, which uses dried grated lemon peel, actually requires the bread to be wrapped and refrigerated overnight to "cure" the flavors after it is baked.

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@Mat, thanks for the edit! – Kristina Lopez Oct 28 '12 at 2:09
The 'curing's' a great idea, but I worry that for pound cake recipes that include chemical rising agents, after a night in the fridge they may not have any rising left in them – Sebiddychef Oct 28 '12 at 8:20
@sebiddychef, the curing period comes after the cake is baked. Excellent observation - I'll edit my answer. – Kristina Lopez Oct 28 '12 at 10:14

Here are a couple of ideas:

* Add some limoncello to the batter

* After baking and initial cooling: Apply a lemon sugar syrup.
  In detail: Use a skewer to make holes in the cake. Pour over
  the lemon syrup.

* Use lemon curd as a topping

Here is an example of a recipe with lemon syrup:

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Lemon cake does have flavor. All you need to do is just probably add more lemons and sugar.

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Are you suggesting that adding sugar will add flavor, or just to add lemon juice and balance it with sugar? (It's really the zest that matters for flavor.) I'm not sure if you're trying to say anything that the other answers didn't already say. – Jefromi May 31 '13 at 17:31

Lemon emulsion is especially designed for baking as it won't "bake out" like a juice or flavoring. If you are using an Lemon Extract, be sure it is all natural and has no added sweetener, like corn syrup. I found baking emulsions on line from a company called Lorann Professional Kitchen and the size was 4 oz....not a pint or quart like most bakery supply

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