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

It’s a citrusy delight with a golden, buttery crumb and lots of tangy, refreshing lemon flavor. It’s drizzled with a sweet glaze for the perfect bite.

plated Lemon Pound Cake with a fork

Moist Lemon Pound Cake

  • This recipe uses kitchen staples, so it’s easy to make at a moment’s notice.
  • This pound cake is tender and dense with a moist crumb and a vibrant lemon flavor.
  • Pound cake can be baked in advance and frozen for lunches, dessert, or for last minute guests.
Lemon Pound Cake ingredients with labels

Ingredients for Lemon Pound Cake

The freshest ingredients are best for the most flavorful lemon pound cake!

  • Lemon Zest and Juice: This is the key flavor – be sure to use real lemons for a bright, citrusy flavor.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter so you can control the salt in this cake. Butter provides richness, flavor, and a perfect moist crumb.
  • Eggs: Use large room temperature eggs for even mixing.
  • Sour cream: Adds a tender and moist texture and a rich flavor to this pound cake recipe.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the base and provides structure.
  • Baking powder & soda: Help the cake rise and give it a light texture.

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

Optional Add-Ins:

  • Fresh blueberries can be added to the recipe. Toss 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.

How to Make Lemon Pound Cake

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

Top with the glaze below or serve with whipped cream and fruit (like fresh raspberries).

Tips for Luscious Lemon Pound Cake

  • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Scrub the lemon to remove any wax that might have been sprayed on it.
  • When zesting a lemon, zest 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.
  • Don’t skimp on the mixing time – it is needed to add air to 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 for up to 1 week. Freeze leftover cake or slices in plastic wrap or an air tight container 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
4.98 from 119 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 slices

Ingredients  

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 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 the oven to 325°F and grease/flour an 8"x4" loaf pan.
  • Using a fine grater or a zester, zest the lemon. Juice the lemons in a small bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest.
  • Place butter and sugar in a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until light and extra fluffy, about 10 minutes. Scrape the sides as needed.
  • Mix in lemon juice, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Turn the mixer to low and gradually alternate adding the flour mixture and sour cream to the batter, mixing just until combined.
  • Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, melted butter, and 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice or as needed to reach the desired consistency.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake and let it set for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

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 zesting 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.
4.98 from 119 votes

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
Lemon Pound Cake with writing
slices of Lemon Pound Cake with writing
plated Lemon Pound Cake with a title
Lemon Pound Cake with glaze and a slice on a plate with a title

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

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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 have baked this delicious loaf but it’s been a while. Top of sheet says COOK TIME is 1 hour 30 minutes but under instructions it says 55-65 minutes.
    Loaf is in the oven as I write this…
    Thank you

    1. Thank you for letting me know; I’ve updated the prep time/cook time to display correctly. Enjoy the loaf!

  2. Size of loaf pan. Fortunately I could not locate an 8 x 4 pan at the local stores and had to use a 9 x 5 the result was a very flat looking cake although tasty
    is there any way of increasing the recipe to fit a 9 x 5 pan?5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Wanda. To accommodate a 9×5 pan, you would need to increase the recipe by 1.2x and it would likely need a little longer to bake. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  3. So I made this but omitted the glaze and instead I whipped up a lemon raspberry cream mousse which was fantastic it reminded me of raspberry lemon aid ….that said, I recently moved to a high altitude location but I’m from Louisiana( big difference) I keep having the same issue with my cakes they come out way too dense my famous Chantilly cake certainly doesn’t have its beautiful light texture the flavor is the same it’s perfect but as far as texture goes it’s so dense it almost ruins it and unfortunately when I made this recipe I had the same issue the flavor was fantastic but the denseness of the cake was a little much is there any recommendations or variations that I can use to fix this issue because it’s sucked all the fun out of baking5 stars

    1. I’m sorry Áine, I do not have experience at high altitude baking but maybe another reader has some suggestions!

  4. Delicious. Mine didn’t rise as much as picture shows but it came out light. I also used lemon curd what a great match. These recipes will be used often 5/5 for sure.5 stars

  5. I like this recipe, I made twice but for the first time the cake in the pan was flat; for the second time risse very nice but the color of the pound cake was very orangie. Please let me know what’s wrong I did it. Thank you.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!