This moist, colorful lemon pomegranate cake is easy and delicious – perfect for entertaining or a gift! It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Cakes are always around in our house! I particularly love making cakes with fruit that are in season, like my lemon olive oil cake, my portokalopita - Greek orange phyllo cake, or my fresh peach upside-down cake. Now that pomegranates are in season, I always make this lemon pomegranate cake with the pretty pink glaze!
Pomegranates are one of my all-time favorite fruits. Not only do they taste great, but they’re also nutritional powerhouses, full of antioxidants and vitamins. I also love the beautiful, ruby red color of the seeds (also known as arils)! Just perfect for cake decorating! If you live anywhere that actually grows pomegranates, I highly recommend you buy them when they’re in season.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE LEMON POMEGRANATE CAKE
HOW TO MAKE LEMON POMEGRANATE CAKE
First, make the cake.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
In another bowl, cream the butter for about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar and the lemon zest and beat until creamy and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating for a few minutes until everything is combined.
Add the flour mixture, lemon juice and milk in 2 batches and beat until all the ingredients are combined.
Fold half of the pomegranate seeds into the batter. You don't have to add them to the batter, you could reserve them for the topping after the cake is baked, if you want.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake!
When the cake is done and cooled, make the glaze and add the topping.
First, sift the powdered sugar.
Then add the pomegranate juice, a tablespoon at a time, and whisk together. If the glaze it too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more pomegranate juice.
Pour the glaze over the cooled cake. You could use a spoon if you want, I usually pour straight from the bowl.
Then add the pistachio nuts on top, followed by the remaining pomegranate seeds.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- I think fresh pomegranate juice creates a more intense color in the glaze compared to store-bought juice.
- I like lining the pan with parchment paper because it's very convenient. When I take it out of the oven, I use the overlapping parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan and then cool it on a wire rack.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
De-seeding pomegranates is easy, although it can be a bit messy as they tend to stain. First, roll a pomegranate on the counter a few times. This helps to loosen the seeds inside. Then cut it in half. Hold one half over a large bowl with the seeds facing down. With the other hand, use the back of a wooden spoon and whack it hard a few times to knock out all the seeds. Then remove the pith (the white membrane) that may fall into the bowl. To make the juice, I cut the pomegranate in half and squeeze it just like when I make orange juice.
This cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
MORE CAKE RECIPES!
Please let me know how this lemon pomegranate cake turns out for you in the comments. I would love to hear from you!
Lemon Pomegranate Cake
- 2 cups (254 g / 9 oz) all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 g / 4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g / 5.3 oz) sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml / 1 fl oz) lemon juice
- ½ cup milk
- 1 pomegranate, half of it de-seeded, the other half juiced
- 1 cup (120 g / 4.2 oz) powdered sugar, plus more if needed
- ⅓ cup (50 g / 1.8 oz) pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350° F
- Grease a standard loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
For the cake
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- In another bowl, cream the butter with a hand mixer for about 1-2 minutes on low speed.
- Add the sugar and the lemon zest to the butter and beat until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl frequently.
- Then add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed for about a minute after each addition. DO NOT OVERMIX. Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times until everything is well incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients, the lemon juice, and the milk alternately to the butter mixture, beating on high speed until thoroughly combined. I do it in 2 batches.
- Gently fold half of the pomegranate seeds into the batter (reserve the remaining seeds).
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45– 55 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Then lift it out the pan using the parchment paper and allow it to cool on a wire rack completely before adding the glaze.
For the pink glaze
- Sift the powdered sugar in a bowl and add the pomegranate juice, one tablespoon at a time and whisk together. Add more juice, one tablespoon at a time for a thinner glaze, or add more powdered sugar to make it thicker.
- Drizzle the glaze on the cooled cake and top with the reserved pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios.
- Every oven is different, so baking times may vary. Check on the cake after about 45 minutes.
- The cake can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days.