Lemon Pound Cake
1 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
5 eggs, large
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large lemon juiced, about 1/3 cup juice
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well in between each egg. Now add the lemon and vanilla extract. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this mixture, 1/3 cup at a time. Now you can follow a variation, if desired. Otherwise, pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of baking time, you will need to prepare the lemon syrup for drizzling over the top of the cake. In a large microwave proof bowl, combine the sugar and water. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. This will be very hot. Let rest for 5 minutes. Then stir in the lemon juice. Test the cake for doneness with a wooden skewer inserted in the top. This should come out clean. Let rest 5 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack. Poke holes in the the top of the cake with the wooden skewer. Slowly drizzle the syrup over the top of the cake. Let cake rest additional 5 minutes in the pan. Now remove the cake from the pan and place on a serving dish. You can garnish with sugared fresh fruit or long pieces for lemon rind.
Marble: When preparing the batter substitute the lemon extract with almond extract. Place about 1 cup of the batter in a bowl and mix in 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Place half of the plain batter into the prepared pan and then top with the cocoa batter and finally top with the rest of the plain batter. Take a knife and insert it into the center of the batter. Make "figure 8" patterns in one half of the batter twice. Then repeat for the remaining side of the batter. Do not over mix. Then bake as directed above. Glaze with the sugar syrup just substitute the lemon juice with 1 teaspoon almond extract.
Poppy Seed: At the end of mixing the batter, gently fold in 1/4 cup of poppy seeds. Bake and glaze as directed.
Mexican Spiced Chocolate: Sift 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon cinnamon with the dry ingredients. Substitute the lemon extract for almond extract. Glaze with the sugar syrup that is in the marble variation.
Orange: Make batter as instructed in original instructions but use orange extract and orange juice in place of the lemon extract and lemon juice.
Cranberry Orange: Follow orange variation and add 1 cup dried cranberries.
Blueberry: Fold in 1 cup fresh dried blueberries to the batter at the end. Bake and glaze as directed.