Lemon Pound Cake

This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

This Lemon Pound Cake is everything you love about citrus desserts. It has a perfectly light lemon flavor, it’s wonderfully moist, and it’s topped with a heavenly lemon glaze.

Side view of lemon pound cake.

Grocery store bakery sections now have tables loaded with plastic clamshell containers filled with pre-sliced loaf cakes. Banana bread, marble bread, vanilla pound cake, coffee cake bread, and lemon loaf cake.

I understand, I do. These kinds of cakes are caught somewhere between bread and cake. They are the perfect thing to grab for any time of day. Delicious with coffee in the morning, heated up with tea as an afternoon snack or even with a scoop of homemade ice cream for dessert.

But. I’m guessing if you are a frequent visitor to this site, you know what I’m going to say. I don’t do store-bought baked goods, unless I absolutely have to, and even then, reluctantly.

I have recipes for banana bread, zucchini bread, pound cake, and coffee cake . Use these recipes to make your own assortment of snack cakes. If a slice of iced lemon loaf is what you are craving, this lemon pound cake recipe is for you.

Pound cake gets its name from its original recipe – which required a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, a pound of butter, and a pound of eggs. Simple ingredients that were easily available in simpler times.

As rich and delicious as a true pound cake is, that’s a lot of butter and sugar. So ratios in pound cake recipes, thankfully, have evolved.

I’ve made a strawberry pound cake, an orange pound cake and a sour cream pound cake. I love the bright citrus punchy flavor lemon adds to my favorite desserts. (Other recipes for lemon lovers include: glazed lemon bread, lemon cheesecake, lemon bars and lemon meringue pie). It is surprising I didn’t create this recipe sooner.

Pound cake is delicious. Adding fresh squeezed lemon juice and fresh zest to the batter add lightness, brightness and a little burst of sunshine. Trust me when I tell you that you will want to make this recipe time and time again.


Recipe Snapshot

  • TASTE: Lemon and vanilla – just like spring
  • TEXTURE: Moist and spongy.
  • EASE: Easy
  • TIME: One hour and 30 minutes

What You’ll Need

Ingredients

  • Butter: Use unsalted butter of good quality. I made countless cakes and learned that low-quality, generic butter caused my cakes to stick to the pan.
  • Sugars: Regular granulated sugar is best for this recipe. Powdered sugar makes the smooth, sweet glaze.
  • Eggs: The recipe uses only 5 eggs which is far from a pound. I found that using any more than this will cause the cake to taste eggy.
  • Sour Cream: Makes the cake tangy and moist.
  • Vanilla flavoring: Vanilla extract flavors the cake. Make your own using this recipe or use high-quality natural extract.
  • Lemon Flavor: Both lemon juice and zest give this cake its bright citrus flavor. Use real lemon juice, from a lemon. It has a better flavor.
  • Milk: A little milk creates the glaze.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour, measured out using the spoon & leveled method.
  • Leavening: Baking powder is used for the leavening in this cake recipe.
  • Salt: Kosher salt, just to balance the flavors.

Recommended Tools

  • Bundt pan: A 12-cup bundt pan (affiliate link) is best for the amount of cake batter this recipe yields. I also recommend using a lighter-colored pan since the cake bakes for an extended amount of time. Darker pans will work but keep in mind the crust will be darker.
  • Mixer: Either a stand mixer (affiliate link) fitted with the paddle attachment (affiliate link) or and handheld electric mixer (affiliate link) will work. I’ve used both and get good results with either.
Sliced lemon pound cake.

How to Make Lemon Pound Cake

You’ll find this to be a very easy pound cake recipe. It’s simple to put together and yields fantastic results every time.

Make sure to preheat the oven to 350°F well in advance and allow the cold ingredients to come to room temperature before using them. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan and dust with flour, tapping out any excess; set aside.

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below

  1. Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together until well combined.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes until light, fluffy, and increased in volume. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat on medium speed until combined.
  3. Combine. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and begin mixing on low speed. As the mixer runs, slowly pour in the milk. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until the batter is completely combined. The batter will be thick.
  1. Bake. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 55-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. Make the glaze. Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice to a medium mixing bowl and mix until well combined and no lumps remain. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and let sit until the glaze has set.

Handy tip:

Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream.

Side view of lemon pound cake with slices taken out.

Tips For Success

  • Use room temperature ingredients: Make sure all cold ingredients are brought to room temperature. This allows them to mix together easily for a fully emulsified batter.
  • Beat the butter and sugar: Mix the butter and sugar together for a full 5 minutes. This incorporates air which yields a lighter and more tender cake. After you add the eggs and sour cream, the mixture will look curdled. Don’t be concerned, it will smooth out when you add in the dry ingredients.
Slice of lemon pound cake with fork taking a bite out.

Storage & Freezing

  1. The cake will keep for up to 4 days wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature or for up to 1 week stored in the refrigerator.
  2. The cake can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Side view of lemon pound cake with slices taken out.

Lemon Pound Cake

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

This Lemon Pound Cake is everything you love about citrus desserts. It has a perfectly light lemon flavor, it’s wonderfully moist, and it’s topped with a heavenly lemon glaze.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ cups (345 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, from about 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk, at room temperature

For the glaze

  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

Make the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan and dust with flour, tapping out any excess; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together until well combined.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes until light, fluffy, and increased in volume. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The mixture will look curdled; that’s ok– it will come together when you add the dry ingredients.
  5. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and begin mixing on low speed. As the mixer runs, slowly pour in the milk. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until the batter is completely combined. The batter will be thick.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 55-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
  7. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the glaze

  1. Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice to a medium mixing bowl and mix until well combined and no lumps remain.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and let sit until the glaze has set.

Notes

Use room temperature ingredients: Make sure all cold ingredients are brought to room temperature. This allows them to mix together easily for a fully emulsified batter.

Beat the butter and sugar: Mix the butter and sugar together for a full 5 minutes. This incorporates air which yields a lighter and more tender cake.

Sour Cream: You can use ½ cup plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Make ahead tips

  1. The cake will keep for up to 4 days wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature or for up to 1 week stored in the refrigerator.
  2. The cake can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 309mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

Tried this recipe? Share it on Instagram!

Mention @introvertbaker or tag #introvertbaker!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 Comments

  1. Would it be just as good, if I replaced the vanilla extract with lemon extract??

  2. Hi
    You mentioned lemon zest in the glaze ingredient’s list. How much?

  3. I only have salted butter. How much salt would I need to cut back in the recipe to compensate??

      1. I made this cake, it was not sweet enough and it fell. I followed the instructions, so I don’t understand what happened.

      2. I’m so sorry you had issues with the recipe. I had many rave reviews from my taste testers but I understand that not everyone’s tastes are the same and you may desire a sweeter cake. As far as the cake falling, did you bake it in a bundt pan? And did you make sure it was baked all the way through before removing it from the oven.