This Moist Lemon Pound Cake is a delicious combination of sweet and tart. Made with fresh lemons, you’re going to love this dense and flavorful dessert.
For other amazing desserts, try this Berry Chantilly cake and cream cheese danish (VIDEO), too.
Table Of Contents
Lemon Pound Cake Details
This recipe makes the moistest lemon pound cake! You’ll be coming back for seconds before you know it!
- Taste: Every bite of this lemon loaf is bursting with zesty lemon flavor and topped with sweet and tangy icing.
- Texture: Its super MOIST! It’s honestly the best part about this recipe. The crumb is so soft, it just melts in your mouth. If this is your type of dessert, you’ll love the moistness of cranberry orange bundt cake and strawberry bundt cake as well.
- Time: The process of making the pound cake is pretty quick, but it takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to bake. You also need to wait for it to cool before you add the lemon icing on top.
- Ease: Since this entire recipe is made it one bowl, it makes it easy enough for newbie bakers to nail it from the first try!
- Dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt- for the dry ingredients
- Granulated sugar– for sweetness
- Wet ingredients: butter, eggs, buttermilk, lemon juice, and zest
- For the lemon icing: lemon juice and powdered sugar
Note: for thicker glaze, add heavy cream and extra powder sugar.
How to make lemon pound cake
- Sift the dry ingredients. Sift together into a bowl the flour, salt, and baking soda using a sifter.
- Mix the butter with sugar. In a large bowl, add the sugar and butter, and mix them with an electric hand mixer.
- Add the lemon zest, juice, and eggs. Add these ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture.
- Slowly add the flour mixture and buttermilk. Splitting it into thirds, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the wet ingredients. In between each third, mix the batter again to make sure it is smooth and lump-free.
- Prep the loaf pan. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan.
- Bake. For 1 hour, bake the lemon pound cake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, drop the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Make the icing. Combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl, mixing until smooth.
- Ice the pound cake. When the cake is done, allow it to rest in the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer it to a cooling rack. Once cool, drizzle the lemon icing over the top.
- Serve. Slice the cake and serve as is or alongside a scoop of cool Honeydew Melon Fruit Sorbet or some Fruit Pizza.
- Use room temperature butter for optimal texture. If you forgot to soften your butter, just warm in the microwave on the “melt chocolate” setting. Yes, it works better than the “soften butter” setting. Just do it in 10-second increments.
- Only use fresh lemon juice. The artificial stuff does not taste the same!
- Avoid over-baking by inserting a toothpick in the center of the pound cake towards the end of bake time. If it comes out clean, you’re done baking!
Add-ins and Substitutions
- No lemons? use lemon extract to mimic lemon flavor.
- Add berries like strawberry or blueberries to add more texture and berry flavor.
- Thicken the icing by mixing in heavy cream and extra powdered sugar.
Pound cakes are extremely dense, which is what causes them to crack on top. The outside of the cake will cook first, resulting in the batter rising up and cracking the top of the loaf. So if your pound cake cracks, it’s okay!
This type of cake got the name “pound cake” in the 18th century because, traditionally, it calls for a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, and a pound of butter. You don’t necessarily have to make it with that much of each ingredient, but the proportion of each is what makes a pound cake a pound cake.
Eureka lemons are best for baking since they have the perfect amount of acid to balance the sugar. Meyer lemons on the other hand, are a lot sweeter and less acidic making them perfect for lemonade.
Use room temperature ingredients, don’t over-mix the eggs, use buttermilk, and don’t over-bake. Also, adding syrup or icing on top will moisten the cake as well.
- Milk– Enjoy it with a glass of cold milk as a midnight treat.
- Coffee– this pairs surprisingly well with coffee. Must be all the rich butter!
- Tea– any fruit dessert pairs well with tea, especially black tea.
Make This Lemon Pound Cake in Advance
Make ahead: The lemon glaze icing can be made days in advance and wrapped with plastic wrap to preserve freshness. The lemon pound cake can be made the day before and baked the following morning.
Storing: This Lemon Pound Cake can last for about 4 days at room temperature or a week in the refrigerator. Wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.
Freezing: Yes, you can definitely freeze this pound cake. Just place it in an airtight container to avoid any freezer burn and this cake will last for about a month in the freezer. If possible, ice it after thawing so that the icing is thick and smooth as it’s drizzled on top. Frozen icing will crack, melt, and absorb when it is thawed.
More Tasty Fruit Desserts to Try!
Watch the VIDEO Here
Full Recipe Instructions
Lemon Pound Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled off with a knife
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Sift the 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Then set it aside for later.￼￼
- In a separate bowl combine 1 cup unsalted softened butter with 2 cups granulated sugar. It works best to do this using an electric hand mixer. It may seem like a lot of sugar but trust me, this loaf is big. So the extra sweetness is necessary.
- Once the sugar and butter are combined mix in 2 tablespoons lemon zest, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, and 3 eggs.
- Now mix in 1/3 of the buttermilk. You will need a total of 1 cup, but only add 1/3 cup at first. Once it's mixed, add in a third of the flour mixture. Continue interchanging a third of the buttermilk and a third flour of the mixture with mixing in between. This will ensure the batter is smooth and not lumpy.
- Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and coat it with nonstick spray. Then pour the lemon pound cake batter into the loaf pan.
- Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour, then drop the temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 20 minutes. A good way to tell if the pound cake is baked through is by inserting a toothpick in the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, your pound cake is done baking.
- Now make the icing by combing 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a small bowl. Tip: if you want to make the icing thicker, and some heavy cream or milk and a little more powdered sugar. Add a little at a time until you get your desired consistency.
- Once the lemon pound cake is baked, let it rest for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer it to a cooling rack. Once it’s cooled, drizzle on the lemon icing.
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Maria Luna says
I love cake all different kinds
Judy Brach says
Can this recipe be used in a lamb mold. I usually use a pound cake mix, but this sound really yummy.
Hi Judy, it’s hard to say because I am not too sure how big your lamb mold is and how much batter it can fit.
This looks amazing! I will do it this weekend. But, how do we prepare the buttermilk? Do you have any recipe? Thank you!
Thank you Isabella! I hope you love this lemon pound cake! I would recommend buying buttermilk but if you don’t have any you can make your own. I don’t have a recipe for buttermilk on my blog. However, you can make your own by combining 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. I hope that helps. Let me know how it goes! 🙂
Made loads of different lemon cakes but will give this one a go tomorrow to see if its really as good as it looks and as easy as you say.xx
I hope you love it Daniella! Tip before you make it, don’t overmix that batter or the incorpotaed air will cause it to rise too much and overlfow.
from wangaratta w/ love zeny says
hi Dina i love your lemon pound cake recipe ..its yummy thanks for your recipe it’s easy to follow ..God bless u always and more power.11-15-2022
Thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂
Nice and simple.. it is a big hit at work… thank you.. and my family loves it..
Hi Felicia 🙂 Awesome to hear this lemon pound cake was a big hit! I am always happy when people love my recipes! Thank you so much for your feedback and support! I hope you find more delicious recipes to enjoy from my food blog! 🙂
Elisabeth Page says
This loaf is so delicious! My husband loves the starbucks iced lemon loaf and he thinks this home-made version is even better. Thanks again, Dina!
Yay! That is so awesome to hear! Always a win when the husband approves! 🙂 Such a huge compliment that says my lemon pound cake is better than Starbucks’ recipe! Thank you so much for your awesome feedback! I hope you find many more delicious recipes to enjoy on my food blog! 🙂
I just want to say that I had the same problem with the batter that Diane had with the batter being too much and overflowing in the oven I just turn the oven to 350 and continued cooking it till a tester came out clean it is cooling now so hopefully it will come out tasting good but if I make it again I will use a bundt pan. Luckily I put a pan under the loaf pan cause I had a feeling it would overflow so I don’t need to clean my oven.
Hi Janet 🙂 I have noticed that over mixing can incorporate more air into the batter. This can make the batter overflow and cause a mess. I hope that helps clarify and I hope you enjoyed the flavor of this lemon pound cake! 🙂
This recipe was a disappointment. I followed the recipe to the letter. I was skeptical when I saw how much batter was produced to fit into a 9 x 5 loaf pan, but I baked it according to the directions, first at 325 degrees for one hour and lowered the oven to 300 degrees for another twenty minutes, When I checked it, the top was crusted and folded over the sides of the pan and on the verge of burning and it didn’t look right. I checked with a toothpick and it not only was NOT dry, but it was soupy wet on the toothpick, practically dripping with batter. I knew it was not done but, had no idea how much longer to bake it, so I kept baking it till the toothpick came out dry (maybe another fifteen minutes), let it cool and tried to slice it. The top was so overbaked it cracked on the top and the insides were way too dry. I made the icing anyway hoping the moisture on the top might improve things but it was hopeless. Worst poundcake ever. What a waste of a lot of expensive ingredients and my time. And there is nothing wrong with my oven. What were they thinking to say it tastes almost like Starbucks? Their poundcake is very moist, and the flavor is much better than this one was too. Did I follow a different recipe than these other folks posting here?
Hi Diane, I am so sorry to hear that. Based on what you mentioned, you definitely overbeat the batter. Overbeating the batter will create air bubbles and cause your batter to rise too much. It will also create a fragile crust as well. I hope that helps clarify things.
It’s soooo yummy, i made it for my family and everyone was impressed by the taste 😍❤️
Thank you so much for taking the time to write your kind comment. I am so happy that you enjoyed this lemon pound cake!☺️
Why did my loaf get so big that it flowed over in the backing process
Hi Lesley, there is a chance that you overmixed the batter and caused it to have too much air. Which resulted in it rising too high and overflowing.
Laura Trahav says
I must try this recipe, but with all of the ingredients, seems to much for a loaf pan! Think I will make in a bunt pan. It sounds sooo delicious! My trade mark is baking from scratch. I am going to post the six layer Red Velvet, green velvet cake I made last Christmas!
I hope you love the recipe, Laura!
Thank you. This is delicious! Because I used a silicone loaf pan, I didn’t line it with parchment paper. I sprayed it with bakers spray but that wasn’t enough. A portion stuck to the bottom of the pan. Woops. I’ll be sure to take your advice next time. And there WILL be a next time! It is so moist and full of lemon flavor.
You are very welcome!! So happy to hear you loved this lemon pound cake so much! Next time it will come out perfectly 😉 And excited that this recipe will be a repeat recipe in your home 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to leave your awesome review and I hope you find many more delicious recipes on my blog 🙂
This cake was absolutely delicious! Only thing I did differently was addna little vanilla flavoring. Can’t wait to make this for a family gathering!
Thank you so much, Stephanie! I am so glad you loved this lemon pound cake 🙂
This pound cake has a rich buttery taste with hints of lemon. I enjoyed it with a cup of strong, black coffee. (I usually drink my coffee with creamer, but for this pairing I didn’t want the coffee to take away from the cake.) For my taste the two complimented each other so well. I will definitely be making this again!
Thank you so much Kari for your awesome feedback 🙂 So happy to hear you loved this Lemon Pound Cake! This recipe really is a perfect pairing partner for coffee 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to leave your review and I hope you find many more delicious recipes on my blog 🙂
I made the recipe into 3 mini loaf pans and it came out delicious! It took about 30 minutes at 325°.
So happy to hear you loved this lemon pound cake, Tasha! Good to know the mini loaf pans worked and thanks for the information 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to leave your awesome review! I hope you find many more delicious recipes on my blog 🙂
This recipe is amazing. I have made this two times in the last week as family and friends asked for more!! It is light and tastes so good with your coffee. Thank you for publishing. This recipe is a definite keeper!!
Thank you so much Cathy for your awesome feedback! Very happy to hear you loved this lemon pound cake 🙂 Glad to hear this will be a repeat recipe in your home 🙂 I hope you find many more delicious recipes on my blog!
I’m obsessed with the lemon loaf from Starbucks, so I couldn’t wait to make this. OMG… it’s even better. It was so moist, and had the perfect amount of lemon flavor. And the icing was just perfect. I could not stop eating it. I’m so glad I found this recipe! Thank you.
Wow, Marina, that is amazing! I am so glad you enjoyed this lemon pound cake so much. I too had a hard time eating just one slice. It’s so insanely delicious and moist!:)
Hi, I’d like to make this cake , it looks so moist and delicious; could you please indicate the dimensions of the used pan.
Hi Ingrid, fro this iced lemon loaf, I used a 9×5 inch loaf pan. I hope you give this lemon pound cake a try! It’s super moist and simply to die for! 🙂
Veronica M says
Deliciously home cooked!! Loved it! Used kefir instead of buttermilk cause that’s what I had on hand, and just added couple tbsp milk.
Hi Veronica, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a kind review! Very happy to hear that you enjoyed this lemon pound cake recipe 🙂