I Love Desserts

Lemon Pound Cake

Pan d'Angeli al Limone
Makes 2 loaf cakes or one 10-inch ring cake: Serves 15


Pan d'angeli is the name of a common Italian cake mix. I remember my mother sending me to the store for the blue package with an angel on it. Inside was a blend of cornstarch, baking powder, and vanilla—the essence of a cake—to which she added eggs, flour, and butter to make a classic yellow torta.

This recipe, which makes an equally appealing sunny-colored cake, can be successfully halved and then baked in a single loaf pan.


Unsalted butter and
   unbleached all purpose flour for pan(s)
l pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-1/4 cups sugar
10 eggs
Grated zest of l lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
3 ounces white chocolate


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Using butter, grease a 10-by-4-inch tube pan with a 3-quart capacity or two 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 by 2-1/2-inch loaf pans. Cut out parchment paper to fit the pan bottom(s) precisely and slip into place. Crease the paper and the sides and then dust the sides and paper with flour.

In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar. Using a hand-held mixer set on medium speed, beat the ingredients until the mixture is very fluffy, light, and pale in color, 8 to 10 minutes. Continuing to beat on medium speed, add the eggs, two at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon zest and juice. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, one third at a time, mixing only until incorporated and scraping down the bowl after each addition. The batter will be thick but not stiff.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and shake the pan(s) back and forth to level it. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and place in the bottom third of the preheated oven. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes or the round cake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until a wooden toothpick inserted in the deepest part of the cake comes out dry and the top has formed a light crust, 60 to 75 minutes for the loaves and about 1-3/4 hours for the round cake. Remove to a wire rack and cool in the pan(s) for 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack, lift off the pan(s), and peel off the paper. Let cool completely.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave white chocolate curls over the top of the cake(s). To serve, cut into thin slices, letting the curls tumble down the cut sides. To store, wrap well and keep at room temperature for up to 5 days; top with the chocolate curls just before serving.

Buy the Book!


The Il Fornaio Baking Book
Sweet and Savory Recipes
from the Italian Kitchen

By Franco Galli
Chronicle Books
Paperback, $16.95
Photographs throughout
ISBN: 0-8118-3297-X
Recipe reprinted by permission.


The Il Fornaio Baking Book



This page created November 2001