Oh those Starbucks Memories…

Iced Lemon Pound Cake | Gather and Graze

Rituals allow us to feel somewhat secure in this crazy world of ours. I’m sure that many of you will agree that the simple act of preparing a cup of tea or coffee and taking the time to sit down and truly enjoy it, can be therapy for the soul. If brewed just right and sipped in either pure solitude or alongside a dear friend it can be more rejuvenating than any available medicine on Earth.

When we moved to live in the USA a few years ago, my world felt a little more shaken than usual. Quite normal I guess when you uproot a family from one country to another. Though after finding a home and settling our boys into school, there was still something playing on my mind… something we’d failed to establish… even after months of desperate searching. Great coffee just didn’t seem to exist in the city where we lived! In my opinion, the making of coffee is an art form – it takes skill, dedication and consistency. Freshly roasted and ground beans, along with a trained and passionate barista at the helm is non-negotiable. Dodgy brown liquid spurted into a cardboard cup just doesn’t quite cut it.

After a while I stopped looking for great coffee and began to drink Starbucks… like millions of other people. It became something of a ritual in it’s own right… and my almost daily Tall Caffe Latte soon became paired with a slice of their Iced Lemon Pound Cake. Over the time we were there, the coffee remained predictably average, but the cake became increasingly addictive. To this day I still crave the taste of their Pound Cake.

Recently I’ve been playing around with a few recipes, trying to replicate the flavour as best I can.  So here is my version… a copycat of Starbuck’s Iced Lemon Pound Cake, which is super easy to make. This certainly isn’t the only thing I miss about the USA, but in the realm of food, funnily enough this ranks quite highly… along with chocolate-coated gummy bears! Eeeek… did I really just admit to that?

This week I’m taking my cake to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, in the hope that she’ll open the door and welcome me back in. I realise that my ribbing of American coffee and Starbucks may work against me, though the bouncers on the door gorgeous hosts this week are friends of mine, so I just might be in luck! 😉

Copycat Iced Lemon Pound Cake | Gather and Graze

  • 3 Free-Range Eggs
  • 60ml/¼ Cup Lemon Juice (Meyer Lemon if possible)
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
  • 60g/¼ Cup Unsalted Butter (Melted)
  • 80ml/ 1/3 Cup Sunflower (or Vegetable) Oil
  • 220g/1 Cup (Raw) Caster Sugar
  • 225g/1½ Cups Plain Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line the base and sides of a medium loaf pan with parchment paper.

Place all wet ingredients, along with the sugar into a food processor and blend until combined. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and blend briefly until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes. You may wish to place a sheet of foil loosely over the top during the final 5-10 minutes if the top is starting to brown too quickly.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Once the cake has cooled completely, drizzle with a citrusy glaze, made by mixing together the following ingredients.

  • 80g/⅔ Cup Pure Icing Sugar (Sifted)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Milk

Enjoy with a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee!

PS. The USA in fact does have some really wonderful coffee. In our travels we were excited to come across the likes of Ninth Street Espresso in NYC, Stumptown in Portland and Seattle, Intelligentsia in Chicago and Dolcezza in Washington DC… to name a few. Their beautifully extracted coffees were much appreciated and will be remembered for many years to come!

Coffee from Ninth Street Espresso | Photo from ‘You Only Live Once’ website

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62 thoughts on “Oh those Starbucks Memories…

  1. gotasté

    Margot, reading your post makes me wanna have a cup of coffee from home. That unique flavour of south east asia coffee which is missing here in hong kong..Your lemon pound cake looks beautiful. I love simple cakes like this. Looks like I’ve got to start baking soon! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Hi Mary, I did actually google the ingredients list for the Starbuck version and there really are a lot of additives that I’d rather do without. I’m off now to make my morning coffee and then perhaps another cake! 🙂

      Reply
  2. ChgoJohn

    It is tough just changing cities and having to give up favorite haunts and “delicacies”. Changing countries takes it to another level completely, I know I’m going against the grain here but I’m not much of a fan of Starbuck’s coffee. I’ve a favorite coffee shop that I truly love, though I agree that Intelligentsia did serve me a great coffee, too. Still, our coffees pale, literally, in comparison to most others. Nothing like sipping a morning cappuccino while seated in a piazza.

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      I tried to do some (coffee) research when we booked our holiday to Chicago a few years ago and Intelligentsia kept showing up… Now if I’d been blogging back then I could have asked my local friend John where it was best to go and invited him along for a cuppa. How fabulous would that have been?!
      You’re right… the al fresco cappuccino (as long as it’s still well made) in a beautiful Italian piazza wins hands down!

      Reply
  3. tinywhitecottage

    This post is so familiar. We certainly don’t have any problem finding a fabulous cup of coffee here in our city (Seattle), but when we travel we always seek out a Starbucks (especially in smaller towns). It’s consistent at every single location and you know what you are going to get. Now the pound cake, oh my….I know what you mean about how delicious it is, and I love how you figured out the recipe and are making it at home. And you can “rib” on coffee…I’m with you, I’m a bit of a coffee snob myself.

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      I can definitely imagine Seattle having some fabulous coffee on offer and realise we only scratched the surface by tracking down Stumptown while we were there for a couple of days. Wish we had time to explore a bit more – you live in such a fabulous city Seana, in such a beautiful part of the country!

      Reply
      1. tinywhitecottage

        Well, Stumptown is a winner! We love their coffee. You really can’t get much better than that. There are some fabulous roaster who don’t have a pouring location. Just sell their beans. We are getting lazy about going out for coffee, we’d rather just stay home and brew some! 🙂 I really liked your post and it’s true, brewing a cup of coffee, sitting down and enjoying it really is therapy for the soul.

        Reply
  4. Johnny / Kitschnflavours

    Totally agree with you about the coffee – it sucks! You’re in! But then, I used to know people that imported coffee into the UK. Freshly roasted and ground! Incidentally, café au lait, certainly in Southern France, is even worse! Horrors. Couldn’t wait until I hit Italy, even though cappuccino ain’t my fave. Oh, and when I visited a friend in Barcelona, Claire offered to make me coffee in a mocha maker – I nearly begged her to allow me to make it as I hadn’t had that ritual in over three months.

    And that’s a fairly light pound cake, from what I’ve read. For what ever reason this sort of thing seems to be popular where I am. And not a Starbucks in sight – Costa opened recently. As it’s still so cold here I’m supping happily on my café con leches! Just about to have my second.

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      I’ve just been reading that a ‘Cafe au Lait’ in France is generally made with brewed coffee rather than being based on an espresso – perhaps that’s where the problem lies? I imagine it would be fairly weak in flavour compared with a Latte or Flat White. Not sure if I’ve ever had a milky coffee in France before though to be able to compare notes… I usually drink short blacks when we travel in Europe.
      Is it Costco (or Costa??) that has just opened? We have a Costco not far from us – great if you have the storage space to buy certain products in bulk (washing powder, liquid soap, cereal etc), though I never buy my meat, fresh fruit/veg or dairy from there as I much prefer to buy local through the Farmer’s Market or nearby supermarket that sells dairy/eggs etc from nearby farms.
      Off to make myself a coffee! Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend Johnny!

      Reply
      1. Johnny / Kitschnflavours

        It’s their addition of chicory that really gets me. Brewed/filtered coffee I can drink, if necessary! Even instant, if I’m that desperate.
        It’s Costa coffee that’s opened here.Which seems to be a British chain. Apart from that I know nothing about them.

        Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks Chaya! I love having cakes like this on hand over weekends – nothing better than being able to cut slices as required to accompany relaxing cups of tea and coffee. Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!

      Reply
  5. apuginthekitchen

    I’ve had that starbucks pound cake and I LOVE it. I have had several morning rituals, one when I used to take the train to work every morning and got a big light and cakey blueberry muffin and a great cup of coffee from a little cafe near my work. It was addictive and wonderful. Now I work from home but my coffee is still a morning ritual, I look forward to my fresh hot cup every morning, Your pound cake looks great!

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Oh yum, I’ve had muffin rituals (while working) over the years too Suzanne… my favourite to this day is still raspberry white chocolate, which is what I used to order religiously many years ago. My morning ritual now includes a delicious hot cup of tea (partly due to the coffee machine needing at least half an hour to warm up)!

      Reply
  6. chefjulianna

    Oh, I can relate to the need for coffee rituals! My favourite coffee is what we make at home! We can make it as strong as we want and it is always freshly ground! Your lemon pound cake recipes looks to die for and I will try it very soon! Thanks for the lovely recipe!

    Reply
  7. saucygander

    They have chocolate coated gummy bears? And I’ve just learned about peeps this Easter…those crazy kids in the US!
    I don’t think I’ve ever had cake in Starbucks, but your description of the cake makes me want to try it. And of course, come to the Fiesta, I’m still making Pimms cups for everyone! Maybe we can host another one in the future and dress like Dame Edna! 😉

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Sounds like a plan Saucy – always up for a little Dame Edna fancy dress! 🙂
      The gummy bears are delicious… my husband is heading over the USA in the next month, so a pound of those little bad boys will be on my wish list… amongst other things!
      Great job of hosting FF this week with Johnny by the way! Lots of fun! 🙂

      Reply
  8. MB @ Bourbon and Brown Sugar

    Lovely post… and after spending a week Down Under last month drinking the fabulous Aussie coffee, I can understand your frustration in finding a carefully brewed cup here. I’m DC based, and love Dolcezza and Baked and Wired, but yes, Starbucks has been my go-to. Thrilled to have found your blog on Fiesta Friday!

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Hi MB, I’m so happy that you found G&G too, I’ll be across in the next day or two to explore your own lovely blog! That’s great to hear that you had some wonderful coffee experiences here in Oz – most of our capital cities have some pretty fabulous cafes to hang out in… We stumbled across Dolcezza when we were staying at a hotel on DuPont Circle and went back there many times over the course of a week to get our fill of coffee (and gelato for the kids!) – it had such a lovely feel about the place! Cheers, Margot

      Reply
      1. Chica Andaluza

        Well, it’s nothing that special but I can use differents sachets of blends or buy empty container thingys and make my own blends (it’s called a Senseo) and I love it! I think I may have over exaggerated it’s whizziness!

        Reply
        1. Gather and Graze Post author

          I’m sure it makes the perfect amount of whizziness when making your coffee Tanya! My machine is a little more labour-intensive… it’s the manual kind, requiring a coffee grinder by it’s side, some gentle coaxing and occasionally a few seconds of holding your breath to see if it will pour out a beautiful espresso or not. We’ve had something of a love/hate relationship over the years…

          Reply
          1. Chica Andaluza

            Oh I love those machines, I still have a manual one in Spain but you feel like you’ve really achieved something and got the better of the machine when you get that perfct cup of coffee!

            Reply
  9. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #14 and Fiesta Friday Challenge #1 | The Novice Gardener

  10. Nancy

    Scrumptious looking pound cake! It appears to be a close cousin of the SB variety, but probably much tastier! I must give this a try, thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      You’re right Laura, there’s a lot of lemony-goodness this week to discover! I’ve got 2 potted lemon trees that are covered in fruit right now, so I’m excited to come across these new recipes! Thanks for your lovely comment. Cheers, Margot

      Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Hi Lisa, at home I drink mostly tea and I love the whole process of warming my cup/pot and being patient for the leaves to steep the right amount of time before enjoying. It really is a wonderful ritual!

      Reply
  11. Ngan R.

    One of my favorite treats at Starbucks, to go with my predictably average coffee (facts are facts). Though, actually, your cake looks more moist than the cake I usually see at Starbucks. Do you know, when I go to foreign countries or even US cities I’ve never been to, seeing a Starbucks makes me feel comforted? Have a great weekend!

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Yay – another Lemon Pound Cake fan! I actually came to think of Starbucks rather fondly by the end of our stay Ngan… it’s hard not to when you sip their coffee almost every day of the week. The drive-through was always a novelty for me. You never see that for coffee here in Australia! Hope you have a wonderful weekend too! 🙂

      Reply
  12. Darya

    Lovely post! The lemon cake looks perfect, I don’t know whether it is the same as the Starbucks kind, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were even better. I remember crossing the border from Lille to Brussels one day (it is only 30 minutes away) and ordering a coffee… I was brought some kind of tasteless diluted brown water. I was expecting an expresso. It was traumatising. I don’t remember ever having a good coffee in Belgium, and yet it is so close to Lille, which is known for its delicious coffee. I feel lucky to be on the good coffee side of the border.

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Hi Darya, lovely to hear from you! Isn’t it so disappointing to be served bad coffee! I’m really surprised to hear that about Belgium – I had assumed that most of Europe could pull off a pretty good espresso coffee… you are indeed lucky to be living in Lille! 🙂

      Reply

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