Lemon Pound Cake
Glazed lemon pound cake is ultra moist and packed with fresh lemon flavor! This is a simple recipe that can be made with pantry staples.
Traditionally made with a pound each of eggs, flour, butter, and sugar, classic pound cakes are often dry, dense, and flavorless.
This recipe for lemon pound cake doesn’t follow the traditional ingredient ratios or flavor profile, and it’s certainly not dry or dense! The combination of sour cream and oil in the batter keeps the cake moist, while cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda make for a slightly lighter and fluffier pound cake.
The finishing touch is the two-ingredient lemon glaze. I included freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest in the batter as well, but that extra punch of lemon flavor in the glaze takes this pound cake over the top.
Glazed lemon pound cake is perfect for summer parties and potlucks or enjoying alongside your afternoon coffee.
Ingredients for This Recipe
This recipe may require more ingredients than the traditional butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, but the ingredients are all easy to find and may already be sitting in your pantry! Here are the key ingredients to have on hand for the pound cake and glaze:
- Lemons: You will need 3 to 4 large lemons or 4 to 5 medium lemons to have enough zest and juice for the cake and glaze.
- Cake flour: Contains less protein than all-purpose flour, which makes for a lighter cake. Pound cakes can easily bake up dense, and using cake flour (or a homemade substitute) helps to prevent that from happening.
- Butter: Set the butter out on the counter about an hour before starting this recipe. It should be room temperature; this helps the butter incorporate evenly into the batter.
- Oil: You can use canola or vegetable oil in the batter. Melted coconut oil will also work.
- Sour cream: Use full-fat sour cream that’s been brought to room temperature. Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt also works.
- Baking powder and baking soda: Not traditionally found in pound cake recipes, but I like adding both to ensure the cake is slightly lighter and fluffier.
How to Make Lemon Pound Cake
This recipe for lemon pound cake is straightforward and easy to follow. You’ll first need to make the cake batter:
- Combine the dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Cream together the butter and sugar: In another bowl, beat the softened butter until smooth. Then, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs to the butter mixture: I recommend adding one egg at a time and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the wet ingredients to the butter mixture: Once the eggs are fully incorporated, add the oil, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla.
- Add the sour cream and dry ingredients: Add the dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with the sour cream.
- Pour the batter into a bundt pan: Spray a 12-cup bundt pan VERY well with non-stick spray before adding the batter. Spread out the batter evenly using a spoon or angled spatula.
- Bake the pound cake: Bundt pans are quite deep, so the cake needs to bake for an hour to 70 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
After the cake has finished baking, you’ll need to let it cool to room temperature on a wire rack. While the cake is cooling, you can prepare the lemon pound cake glaze.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice: If the glaze is too thick, add extra lemon juice. If it’s too thin, add extra powdered sugar.
- Drizzle the glaze all over the cake: Let it sit for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Pound Cake Be Made in Advance?
Yes! Pound cakes are quite hearty and keep well on your countertop. Be sure to store the cake in an airtight container (glazed or plain). It should last about four days.
Can Lemon Extract Be Added to the Batter?
I’m sure you could add lemon extract to the batter for an even stronger lemon flavor. You’d likely need to substitute 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.
Just make sure you do NOT use lemon oil, as lemon oil and lemon extract are not the same thing.
Can You Freeze This Cake?
Absolutely! This cake can be frozen with or without the glaze for up to 3 months. Wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap and store it in a large freezer bag in the freezer. Thaw to room temperature before serving.
Adjusting the Pan Size
If you don’t have a bundt pan or don’t have the correct size bundt pan on hand, you can easily adjust the pan size to fit your needs! This recipe calls for a 10-inch bundt pan, which holds 12 cups of batter.
Other pans you could use to bake this amount of batter include:
- A 9×13-inch pan
- Two 9-inch round or square pans
- Three 8-inch round pans
- Make sure to zest the lemons first. Once you’re done zesting them, roll them on the counter, cut the lemons in half, and juice them.
- If you’d like the cake itself to have an even stronger lemon flavor, don’t add extra lemon juice. Instead, try substituting some of the vanilla extract with lemon extract or adding more lemon zest.
- This is a very moist cake, so it does have a tendency to stick to the pan. Make sure to spray your pan VERY generously with nonstick cooking spray right before you add the batter.
- The lemon glaze for the lemon pound cake is optional but highly recommended. If not using, I suggest dusting the cake with powdered sugar instead.
More Easy Lemon Desserts to Make!
- Classic Lemon Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
- Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake
- Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes
- Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
Lemon Pound Cake
Lemon Pound Cake
- 3 cups cake flour spooned & leveled (345 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (2 sticks; 230 grams)
- 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar (450 grams)
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- ¼ cup canola oil can sub vegetable or melted coconut oil (60 ml)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (60 ml)
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest 3 large lemons or 4 medium lemons
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt at room temperature (240 grams)
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (180 grams)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (30 to 45 ml)
- To make the lemon cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, then slowly mix in the granulated sugar.
- Once all of the sugar is added, increase to medium speed and continue mixing for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is light in color and fluffy.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to stop and scrape around the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
- Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl again, then add the oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.
- Add the dry ingredients in two additions alternating with the sour cream (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Mix in each addition on low speed and until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape around the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is well combined.
- Spray a 10-inch (12 cup) bundt pan generously with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure to coat it VERY well, otherwise the cake may stick to the pan!
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it around into one even layer.
- Bake for 55 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted all the way into the center of the cake comes out clean. Mine is usually perfect between 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Slide a butter knife down the sides of the cake to loosen any parts that may be stuck. Carefully invert the cake on top of a cooling rack and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
- To make the lemon icing: Whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice together until fully combined and no lumps remain. If the icing is too thick, add a little more lemon juice. You want the icing to be thin enough to drizzle, but thick enough to set up on the cake. If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar as needed.
- Drizzle the icing all over the top of the cake. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes to give the icing time to harden.
Just wondering, can you use avocado oil instead of canola oil for this recipe?
Yes, that would be fine.
With the price of butter nowadays, would this recipe work with 1cup butter flavored Crisco instead?
Also, would cutting the sugar down by 1/2 cup affect the result?
It would be fine to use Crisco and you can cut the sugar by 1/2 cup as well.
Hi. I made this cake, the flavor was delicious and it was lovely and moist. The only problem is that it is a bit crumbly. I understand it’s odd for the cake to be moist but crumbly, however, that’s the only way to describe it. When slicing the cake it breaks up. I did not put the glacé icing. Please can you advise. Thank you.
Hi, Carla! The cake shouldn’t be crumbling that easily when you slice into it. Did you make any adjustments to the recipe?
I baked this cake on a very hot summer day, and the result was the perfect summer cake [to be joined with a tall glass of iced tea]! This is not a typical, dense pound cake, but rather it has a lighter crumb, which was a happy surprise when I cut into it. Don’t be concerned that three tablespoons of lemon zest plus 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice would be too much, because it is a magical balance for the butter and sour cream. I have frozen single slices with freezer paper and a freezer bag for future enjoyment. Definitely recommend adding this recipe to your repertoire!
Thank you, Lynn! So glad you enjoyed the cake!
The cake taste great but the bake times for me were far to long. I baked at 350 for 50 min center of the oven(where I set all my cakes) and the inside was moist but the outside charred. I was very disappointed the outcome. I’m trying it again with temp at 325 for 45 min and check it out. I don’t know if the ovens to hot or the pan to thin. We will see next time.
Have you checked your oven temperature with an oven thermometer lately? If you make it again, reducing the oven temperature to 325°F should help. If you happened to use a darker bundt pan, you might want to try a lighter one next time.
Superb lemon pound cake recipe! The cake was moist and delicious and it rose up beautifully during baking. The outer crust that was in contact with the pan had a bit of a crunch to it, which I loved. I skipped the glaze because there’s already so much sugar in this recipe, and didn’t miss it at all. Thanks for providing another great recipe!