What is the Famous Ritz Carlton Cake?
This unbelievable lemon pound cake was widely popular at the Ritz Carlton Hotel tea room back in the 1920s. Once you take the first bite, it's not hard to see why it was such a beloved item on the menu. This is the be all and end all of lemon pound cake recipes - I really cannot brag on it enough. I love a good vintage recipe!
It's dense and moist without being the slightest bit gummy. My husband finished his slice and said, "I just realized it doesn't have any glaze or frosting, because it totally tastes like it does."
What Do I Need to Make the Ritz Carlton Cake?
This is really a straightforward lemon pound cake recipe (click to jump down to recipe) but this cake incorporates shortening along with the butter, which helps the texture of the cake be a little softer and lighter. You will want to use fresh lemon - no substitutes - for the juice and zest. That will really inject that super fresh citrus flavor into the cake. I don't think those lil' plastic lemon-shaped bottles existed in 1920! Not hatin', just sayin'...
The full recipe makes a lot of cake - either one large bundt/tube pan or two standard loaf pans. I chose to use the loaf pans when testing this recipe because I wanted to be as authentic as possible. Did you know that bundt pans were not around until the 1950s? But go ahead and use that pretty bundt pan if you want to add a little visual flair to your cake - it'll still taste marvelous.
Is The Ritz Carlton Cake Freezer Friendly?
If you don't need so much cake sitting around at once, use the loaf pans and wrap the extra one tightly in plastic wrap, place it into a ziploc bag, and freeze for up to 3 months for best taste and texture. Thaw on the counter for an hour or so before slicing.
This is one lemon pound cake recipe that has stood the test of time and it has certainly earned its permanent spot in the "MAKE AGAIN" section of my recipe files. It will for you as well. Enjoy!
How To Make The Famous Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound CakePrint
Famous 1920 Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound Cake
- Total Time: 55 mins
- Yield: 2 loaf pans OR 1 large bundt pan 1x
The vintage lemon pound cake recipe made famous by the Ritz Carlton tea room in 1920. This is the ONLY lemon pound cake recipe you'll ever need.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 TBS baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 3 cups white granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup shortening at room temperature
- 5 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk or ½ cup lowfat milk plus ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice*
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two standard loaf pans OR one large bundt pan. Set aside.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a second bowl, using an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
- Alternately add the flour mixture with the milk with the mixer on low, then continue mixing on low until everything is combined and just a few flour streaks remain.
- use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and gently fold in the lemon juice and zest. Fold until the remaining flour streaks have been incorporated, but be careful not to overmix.
- Transfer cake batter to loaf pans or bundt pan and bake on center rack of oven 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Other signs of doneness is a golden top and the sides of the cake will start to slightly pull away from the edges of the pan.
- Allow to cool in the pan before trying to remove the cake from the pans. Slice and serve.
* Make sure to use real lemon juice here, not the bottled stuff from concentrate or with other added ingredients. It'll be worth it. If you want to use bottled, make sure it's 100% pure, like Santa Cruz
If you use the loaf pans, it's easy to freeze the extra cake! Just wrap tightly with plastic wrap, place in a large Ziploc bag, and place into the freezer. Let thaw on the counter for an hour or so before slicing.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 50 mins
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The best I've ever had. This is my 3rd time making this recipe.
Made this recipe for a tea party the lady's @ Church had.
Do you have to use shortening? Can i sub butter ( I know it already calls for butter, just if I add 1/2 c more in stead of the shortening? I want to make this for guests next week thank you
That should be fine. It may change the texture slightly, but the bake will work.
Can you freeze this cake without it being left in the loaf pans
You can! After the cake cools, release it from the pan, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. You can also cut it into slices and freeze the slices individually.
Do you think this recipe would work for individual cakes to present to moms on Mothers Day?
Yes, you could bake them in individual loaf pans. Same temperature, but start checking early as they will bake faster!