Perfect for spring; a light and zesty cake with a hint of fresh mint and bursting with blueberries, drizzled with a lemon and mint icing.
Last weekend the weather was lovely: spring sunshine, warm days and with it came the first BBQ of the year! To celebrate it only made sense to make a cake as bright as the weather outside. This cake is a really lovely take on a traditional pound cake where the same weight of butter, sugar, eggs and flour are used for the sponge. This is my favourite type of recipe for a cake as it always reliably gives a light texture with a buttery and cake-y flavour. Terrible description of pound cake flavour (cake-y, of course it will be cake-y) but you’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever had a great pound cake.
What I love about this recipe is that it just sings ‘Spring is Here!’. With a big hit of lemon zest and a hint of mint, the cake is refreshing and not too sweet. I always find lemon compliments food with a light texture, and that’s no different here. The blueberries really help keep the cake moist, and are a juicy fruity hit when you find them. You could, of course, change the blueberries for any other berries which are in season.
The cake in the picture was made with 4 eggs, which, with hindsight, was too big a cake to successfully have the blueberries suspended throughout – as you can see, almost all of my blueberries sunk to the bottom! Because the cake was so thick, it took too long to set whilst cooking and so the weighty blueberries went down, down, down, down…. When I did it again with only 3 eggs (as per the recipe below) the blueberries stayed beautifully spread throughout the cake. So a word of caution if you plan to make the cake any bigger!
Makes 1 medium sized cake, serves 8. Takes 30 minutes, plus baking and cooling time.
- A small bunch of mint leaves
- 100g blueberries
- To make an official pound cake, first weigh your whole eggs, and then use that weight of butter, sugar and flour. I have given the below weights as a guide.
- 180g dairy free butter (I used Pure Sunflower)
- 180g golden caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 180g self raising flour, plus 1 tbsp extra for the blueberries
- A large pinch of baking powder
- Zest of 1 & 1/2 lemons
- 100g icing sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- The remainder of the mint leaves from above
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
- Finely chop the mint to give about half a tablespoons worth.
- Rinse the blueberries and pat dry. Toss in the tablespoon of flour until covered (tip: this helps stop the blueberries sinking to the bottom of the cake).
- When the oven has come to temperature, use the all in one method to make the sponge – put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, lemon zest and chopped mint in a large bowl and mix until smooth and everything is evenly incorporated.
- Fold the floured blueberries into the batter.
- Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, infuse the lemon juice for the icing. Roughly chop a tablespoon’s worth of mint, and add to a pestle and mortar with the lemon juice. Bash the mint into the lemon juice to infuse the flavours. Leave this to sit and infuse until ready to make the icing.
- When the cake is baked and out of the oven for a few minutes, peel the baking paper from the cake, and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- When the cake is cold, make the icing. Strain the mint reserving the lemon juice – don’t worry that it might have a slightly green hue.
- Add half the lemon juice to the icing sugar and mix – keep adding small amounts of the lemon juice until the icing is the perfect consistency – it should be thick, but slowly drip off a spoon.
- Spread the icing on the top of the cake, slice, and serve.