This lemon pound cake recipe is the perfect morning or afternoon treat!

 Moist, light, and citrusy, drizzled in a sweet glaze, there is everything to love about this dessert.

slice of Lemon Pound Cake with a bite taken out

Perfectly Moist Pound Cake

Why wait in line for a luscious slice of Starbucks’ famous lemon loaf when it’s so easy (and less expensive) made from scratch at home?

  • This recipe uses just a few ingredients you likely have on hand already like butter, flour, and eggs.
  • It’s easy to make and can be baked in advance. Then just freeze in individual slices for future coffee cake breaks!
  • Top with the glaze below or serve with whipped cream and fruit (like fresh raspberries).
  • Lemon pound cake has a soft and buttery texture with a fresh citrusy zing. It’s the perfect complement to coffee or tea

Lemon Pound Cake ingredients with labels

Ingredients

Pound Cake Batter: The freshest ingredients are best for the most flavorful lemon pound cake!

    • Use real butter (not margarine), sugar, full-fat sour cream, and large eggs.
    • Check that your baking powder/soda isn’t expired.
    • Lemon is the signature flavor, use real fresh lemons (since you’ll need the zest anyhow). Bottled lemon juice is often bitter.
    • Ensure ingredients are at room temperature.

Lemon Glaze: This is a simple glaze (not an icing) with lots of lemon flavor. Use real fresh lemons here too.

Optional Add-Ins:

  • Fresh blueberries can be added to the recipe by tossing them in flour before adding them to the batter. This keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the cake pan.
  • Add a spoonful of poppy seeds and add 1/4 teaspoon or so of almond extract.
  • A little bit of lemon extract can be added if you’d like.

Get an extra burst of lemony flavor and serve slices with some homemade lemon curd.

process of adding ingredients together to make Lemon Pound Cake

How to Make Lemon Pound Cake

  1. Zest and juice lemons as directed in the recipe below.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter & sugar with an electric mixer until light & fluffy. Mix in lemon juice and eggs.
  4. Add the flour mixture and sour cream & beat on low speed just until combined. Don’t overmix!
  5. Spread batter into a prepared pan & bake until a wooden pick or cake tester comes out clean.

Cool and glaze.

PRO TIP: Before zesting or cutting the lemon for juice, microwave it for 20 seconds to warm it enough to extract the most juice.

before and after cooking Lemon Pound Cake

Tips

  • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Scrub the lemon to remove any wax that might have been sprayed on it.
  • When testing lemon, you want just the yellow part of the skin. The white part underneath (the pith) is bitter. Use a microplane grater or zester to remove the zest.
  • Be sure to measure the flour by scooping it into the measuring cup, not scooping it with the measuring cup.
  • Mixing the butter and sugar for a long time is essential, this adds air into the butter giving the perfect texture. Use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer if you have one.
  • Do not overbeat the eggs or the batter with the flour. Mix just until combined.

sliced Lemon Pound Cake with lemon garnish

Storing Pound Cake

Wrap leftover lemon pound cake in plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature (or refrigerate it for an afternoon refresher) and use it within a week. Use leftover slices to make delicious French toast sticks or add to a fancy strawberry trifle.

Freezer: Freeze leftover cake or slices in plastic wrap and place in zippered bags for up to 3 months.

Did you make this Lemon Pound Cake? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

 

slice of Lemon Pound Cake on a plate
4.94 from 49 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Lemon Pound Cake

This moist & tangy Lemon Cake with a homemade glaze pairs perfectly with coffee or tea for an afternoon pick-me-up!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 12 slices

Ingredients  

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Grease and flour an 8"x4" loaf pan.
  • Use a fine grater or a zester, zest the lemon. Cut the lemons in half and juice them.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Place butter and sugar in a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until light and extra fluffy, about 10 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice and mix until combined. Add eggs and mix 2 minutes more.
  • Turn the mixer to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and then sour cream beating just until combined. Do not overbeat. Spread into the prepared pan.
  • Bake 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely on a baking rack.
  • For the glaze, place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add melted butter and 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice. Add more juice as needed to reach desired consistency, you may not need all of the lemon juice.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the pound cake and let the glaze set for at least 10 minutes.

Notes

  • You will need about 2 lemons for this recipe.  Scrub the lemon before zesting to remove any wax that might have been sprayed on it. 
  • When testing lemon, you want just the yellow part of the skin. The white part underneath (the pith) is bitter. Use a microplane grater or zester to remove the zest.
  • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Be sure to measure the flour by scooping it into the measuring cup, not scooping it with the measuring cup.
  • Mixing the butter and sugar for a long time is essential, this adds air into the butter giving the perfect texture. Use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer if you have one.
  • Do not overbeat the eggs or the batter with the flour. Mix just until combined.
4.94 from 49 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 269 | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 368IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American

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Recipe Adapted. “Sour Cream Pound Cake.” Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. East Bridgewater: Meredith Books, 2003. 168. Print.

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. I love the tast of this cake but as it was cooking the sides were cooking darker than the top so I took it out and it is fine. But I was wondering how to correct this so it’s all evenly cooked.

    1. Hi Connie, I can’t say for sure but if using a dark metal pan or a glass pan they do conduct heat more efficiently and can cause the sides to over brown. So we recommend using a standard metal loaf pan for this recipe.

  2. Sounds delicious but I’m wondering if I can use half AP flour and sub the other half with almond flour, just to “healthily” it and cut the carbs a little?? Otherwise, I’ll save the recipe for when we have guests to help eat it!

    1. Hi Debbie, almond flour is a very moist flour so I am not sure how well the loaf would hold together if part of the flour was replaced with almond flour. I would love to hear how it turns out if you try it though!

  3. I made this lemon pound cake and it was so delicious I was compelled to share. I also shared the recipe. Thanks

  4. My new absolute favourite….This loaf has excellent texture( from beating the sugar and butter for 10 minutes as suggested) what a game changer, and the flavour is amazing!5 stars

  5. Not sweet enough for my liking. The texture was great, it just wasn’t enough flavourful. I may be because I’m used to the flavour profile of 7up pound cake.3 stars

  6. Fun to make and was so delicious; what a special treat. Next time I’ll add the fresh blueberries for a fun twist.5 stars

    1. That sounds like the perfect addition! You will have to let us know how it turns out.

  7. Made everything, all organic…cake was not that moist & glaze is awful. I would omit this. The whipped cream was perfect. I won’t be making this again. Sorry, I usually like the recipes & I only use organic ingredients.

  8. I was disappointed in the lack of lemon flavor in the pound cake. But the loaf baked up nicely and the glaze was good.

    1. Hi Candy, this pound cake does have a light citrus flavor but for more punch, you can add a little extra lemon zest and juice into the cake or try amping up the lemon flavor in the glaze with some lemon extract. Hope that helps!