This Lemon Pound Cake is positively bursting with bright and sun-shiney lemon flavor. Taste testers unanimously say it's better than Starbuck's famous lemon loaf, and we couldn't agree more. Sweet, moist, rich, and buttery, it's definitely a lemon lover's dream come true.
That intense lemon flavor is all thanks to real, fresh lemon juice and zest. But don't worry, the ingredients are super simple and it all comes together really easily. Even the gorgeous, bright white, perfectly thick, tangy, lemon glaze can be whipped up in about 5 minutes flat.
This cake stays moist for days, and it's even freezer friendly! It's the perfect sweet treat for morning, noon, or night, and is incredible served with fresh berries, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream. For more lemon-y goodness, try our lemon blueberry cake or lemon blueberry pound cake next!
HOW TO MAKE LEMON POUND CAKE
As we mentioned before, this recipe comes together with very little effort and zero complicated tools or hard-to-find ingredients. We like to keep the prep short and sweet, and the outcome even sweeter.
You'll begin by preheating your oven and prepping the pan. Then it's mixing up the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients, and then combining the two mixtures. Once it's all combined, you'll pop it into the oven and whip up that easy glaze. To finish off the whole thing, you'll allow the cake to cool completely and add the glaze to the top... twice!
Alright, now that you know the gist of things, let's get into it!
PREHEAT YOUR OVEN AND PREP THE PAN
The first thing you want to do is get your oven preheating to 325°F. Making sure your oven is at the right temperature before your Lemon Pound Cake goes in is extremely important when it comes to getting an accurate bake!
While you're in prep mode, you'll also want to grease a standard 8 x 5" loaf pan with butter and dust it with flour. If you have a can of Baker's Joy (or any other baking spray with flour) feel free to sub this spray in for greasing and dusting the pan with flour!
USE ROOM TEMPERATURE INGREDIENTS
It is very important when it comes to cakes that your cold ingredients have had time to come to room temperature before they are incorporated into the batter. Cold ingredients will not cream and blend as well as room-temperature ingredients.
Ingredients you will want to set out in advance are as follows: butter, lemons, and eggs.
REAL LEMON JUICE AND ZEST
One of the reasons this Lemon Pound Cake is especially delicious and over-the-top lemon is the fresh lemon zest and juice. And, really, that lemon flavor comes more from the zest than anything else!
Zest is the thin, outermost layer found on citrus fruits. It contains natural oils that provide big and powerful flavors. If you have never zested citrus fruit before, don't feel intimidated; it is extremely easy to do! However, you will need to have a rasp grater on hand. You can find rasp graters at most grocery stores and certainly on Amazon!
We will come back to the lemon, but for now, let's move on to the dry ingredients.
MIX THE DRY INGREDIENTS
For the dry ingredients, you will need a simple combination of cake flour, baking powder, and salt. This Lemon Pound Cake recipe is so easy; you don't even have to sift your dry ingredients. Yes, please. All you have to do is add them to a medium bowl and whisk!
It is important that you use cake flour and not all-purpose flour for this recipe. Cake flour contains fewer proteins than all-purpose flour, which gives this Lemon Pound Cake an extra tender, soft crumb.
Now it's time to get into your Lemon Pound Cake wet ingredients! It begins with unsalted butter (room temperature, of course), granulated sugar, and lemon zest. Mix these ingredients together using a handheld mixer for about 3 minutes, just until everything appears light and fluffy in the bowl!
Wipe down the sides of the bowl and give it another mix for about 1 minute more.
COMBINE THE LEMON POUND CAKE INGREDIENTS
You will also need eggs and vanilla extract. Add the eggs to a measuring pitcher or small bowl, along with pure vanilla extract. Mix the eggs and vanilla together, and then stream the mixture into the creamed butter and sugar.
Mix this on medium-high speed until well combined, and then you'll add in the juice of 2 lemons, which equals about a quarter cup of fresh lemon juice.
Mix in the lemon juice, and add in your flour mixture. Mix the flour in at low speed, taking extra care not to over-mix the batter. Once the dry ingredients go in, gluten will begin to form. If you over-mix the batter, you'll run the risk of your Lemon Pound Cake coming out slightly tough in texture. No, thank you!
BAKE, ROTATE... AND BAKE SOME MORE
Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan and smooth over the top.
Place the cake in the center of the oven and bake at 325°F for about 25 minutes. After the 25 minutes is up, rotate the pan in the oven, and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes.
Rotating the pan in the oven will promote a perfectly even bake!
Your poundcake is ready to pull from the oven once a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out either clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to it.
COOL AND TURN OUT
Transfer the cake to a wire rack and allow it to cool for 15 minutes in the pan. After the 15 minutes is up, turn the cake out onto the wire rack and allow it to finish cooling completely.
Note, you cannot add a glaze to a cake until it has reached room temperature, so don't rush this step! If there is any heat still radiating from the cake, the glaze will melt.
GLAZE YOUR LEMON POUND CAKE (TWICE!)
The lemon glaze is beyond simple to make! In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice until smooth. That's it! Pour half of the glaze over the top of the lemon pound cake, and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes is up, pour the remaining glaze over the top.
Giving the first round of glaze a mere 10 minutes to set will provide you with a bright white, beautifully thick lemon glaze that absolutely cannot be beaten!
Once you've got your second coat of lemon glaze in place, set the poundcake aside and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 45 minutes to an hour. Once the glaze is completely set, slice into your lovely Lemon Pound Cake and enjoy!
HOW TO STORE LEMON POUND CAKE
Lemon Pound Cake should stay moist and delicious for a few days if stored in an airtight container, at room temperature. If you want to keep it for longer, freeze it!
To freeze this cake, simply slice it into servings and wrap each one in wax paper before sealing them in a freezer-safe, zip-top bag. Freeze for up to 2 months!
6 MORE BAKES YOU’LL LOVE
- Strawberry Pound Cake
- Peach Cake
- Lemon Raspberry Cake
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Lemon Muffins
- Peach Cobbler Pound Cake
This Lemon Pound Cake is every lemon lover's dream. Made with fresh ingredients and bursting with bright flavor, it can't be beaten!
- 1 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- Generous ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons, separated
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a standard-sized 8 x 5" loaf pan, and dust with flour.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest to a large bowl and use a handheld mixer on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Wipe down the sides of the bowl and mix for 1 minute more. You could also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for this task.
In a measuring pitcher, whisk together the eggs and the vanilla extract. Add the egg mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Then, add the juice of 2 lemons, and mix on medium-high speed until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan in the oven, and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pound cake to a cooling rack and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
Carefully, run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Then, turn the pound cake out onto the cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
Lay down a sheet of wax or parchment paper on your work surface. Place the cooling rack and pound cake over the wax paper.
Drizzle half of the glaze across the top of the pound cake. Allow the glaze to set for about 10 minutes, then pour the rest of the glaze over the first coat.
Allow the glaze to sit for about 45 minutes to 1 hour more. Serve, and enjoy!