Not your typical pound cake. New Orleans Chef Alon Shaya adds Greek yogurt to the batter for a slight tang, then soaks the cake in a fragrant lemon-cardamom liquid and serves it with spiced pomegranate syrup.
3 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour a 14-cup Bundt or 10-inch tube pan. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
Place 2 1/2 cups of the sugar in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle with lemon zest, and, using your fingers, rub into sugar. Add butter and yogurt, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 8 minutes. (It will look broken and curdled at first, but that’s okay.)
Add egg yolks and whole eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan. (Lift the pan a couple inches off the counter, and let it drop. Do this a few times to get rid of any air bubbles in the batter.)
Bake in preheated oven on center rack until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating pan after 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes.
While the cake bakes, bring water, lemon half, cardamom pods, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; cover pan until ready to use.
After cake cools 15 minutes, invert onto a rimmed baking sheet, and remove pan. (Cake will be upside down.) Using a thin knife or wooden skewer, make about 16 slits or holes all over bottom of cake. Remove lemon half and cardamom pods from lemon-cardamom liquid, and discard. Gradually pour lemon-cardamom liquid over bottom of cake, 1/4 cup at a time, allowing it to soak into cake after each addition. Cool cake completely before inverting onto a serving platter, about 2 hours.
Whip cream until light and airy. Serve cake with Pomegranate Syrup and whipped cream.