I’ve always been fascinated with pound cakes. I love their gorgeous, rich texture and well-rounded flavours, plus there’s nothing more appealing than the site of a lovely loaf cake sitting there just begging to be sliced up and enjoyed. This Lemon Ginger Pound Cake with Raisins is no exception. It’s deliciously spicy and fragrant, studded with plump raisins – you can use sultanas if you prefer – and lightly glazed.
The earliest cookbook references to pound cakes seem to have been back in the 1700’s – with the ingredients consisting of a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. This was an easy recipe to pass down verbally generation to generation, something that was especially helpful in an era when many people couldn’t read.
The original recipe for pound cake evolved over the years and most countries have their own versions. I’ve tasted luscious pecan and bourbon laced pound cakes in the Southern United States, deeply chocolatey pound cakes in New York City, classic French Quatre-Quarts (four parts) cake in Paris and the plainer vanilla, lemon and sour cream pound cakes popular in Canada when I was growing up there. Here in the United Kingdom, the pound cake has evolved into a much lighter sponge cake but more and more we are embracing the classic appeal of traditional pound cakes once again.
My Lemon Ginger Pound Cake with Raisins was inspired by my Triple Ginger Pound Cake. At first I just added lemon rind to my recipe to brighten the ginger flavours. Then I remembered a raisin studded lemon cheesecake that used to be made by British retailer Marks & Spencer which my husband loved so I decided to throw in some raisins. It was a wholly successful experiment!
Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee or even a glass of milk any time of day, my Lemon Ginger Pound Cake with Raisins is a lovely cake to have sitting under a cake dome on your kitchen counter. It keeps well so is perfect to have on hand for unexpected guests or for whenever you feel like you need a little treat!
- 3 cups all purpose (plain) flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- generous pinch of salt
- ½ cup finely chopped crystallised ginger
- 2½ cups white sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened (preferably unsalted)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- grated rind of l lemon
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1¼ cups juicy raisins or sultanas
- For the lemon glaze
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C – 160°C for a fan oven). Grease and flour or line two 2 pound loaf pans.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, ginger, baking powder and salt. Gently stir the chopped crystallised ginger through the flour mixture so it doesn’t stick together. Set aside.
- Put the sugar, butter, ginger root, vanilla, eggs and lemon rind in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend these ingredients together on low. Then turn the mixer to high and beat together for about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl occasionally.
- Using a low speed, beat the flour mixture into the sugar and egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
- Fold in the raisins.
- Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
- Cool for 20 minutes, before removing from the pans and allowing to cool completely on a rack. Serve sprinkled with icing sugar or drizzled with lemon glaze.
- If glazing the cakes, make the lemon glaze:
- Blend the butter and the icing sugar together in an electric mixer.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Gradually add the hot water, a bit at time, until a syrupy consistency is reached.
- Drizzle over the cakes.
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also enjoy Easy and Delicious Loaf Cakes.