summery, healthy-ish lemon chia pound cake

Like all the best desserts, you can pretend that pound cake is a balanced breakfast.

Especially this recipe… for one, there are chia seeds in this recipe. I have chia seeds in my breakfast oats and smoothies every day. Obviously, this cake is a breakfast food. Ergo, I will eat cake for breakfast all week.

This version of the classic pound cake ditches the old-timey recipe — a pound of butter to a pound of sugar, eggs, and flour — for a lighter mix of ingredients. It has a nice lemony flavor to it, which also makes it perfect for summertime baking.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

This is a photo of me pretending to be productive and super cute from 5:30 AM today. Pretty convincing, eh?

In any case, I suggest you try this recipe — especially if you’re not into desserts that are overly sweet. Try it before the summer is out!

lemon chia pound cake

adapted liberally from NY Times Cooking


  • Butter, for greasing pan
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch loaf pan. Next time, I think I might try lining the pan with parchment to make it even easier to remove.
  2. Combine lemon zest and sugar in a large bowl. Rub the zest into the sugar with your hands. Whisk in buttermilk, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and eggs.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to the wet batter, then whisk in oil and poppy seeds.
  4. Pour batter into the pan. Bake for about 1 hour.
  5. Let cool it cool in the pan and then turn it out onto a drying rack.
  6. Whisk together remaining 4 teaspoons lemon and the confectioners’ sugar. Use a pastry brush to spread glaze evenly over top and sides of cake. Cool before slicing.

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