Lemon Pound Cake

This simple lemon pound cake is buttery, moist, and filled with a delicious lemon flavor. It’s made with lemon zest and fresh lemon juice in the batter, and drizzled with lemon glaze for a pound cake recipe that won’t disappoint!

A slice of lemon pound cake with lemon glaze on a white plate.

If you’re looking for the perfect lemon dessert, then look no further. This lemon pound cake has a bright, citrus-y, lemon flavor that’s perfect for spring (although I enjoy it all year round). And it also has the perfect pound cake texture that’s dense, buttery, and perfectly moist. It’s one of those cakes that isn’t too sweet, but absolutely delicious in its simplicity.

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Pound cake recipes are actually very simple. A traditional pound cake gets its name because it uses 1 lb of each ingredient: butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Instead of using baking powder or baking soda to help the cake rise, it simply uses the air in the batter from beating in the eggs. You end up with a cake that’s buttery, dense, and has a fine crumb.

However, I’ve found that I can make an even more delicious pound cake by altering the ingredients just slightly. So we’re actually making this lemon pound cake using a buttermilk pound cake recipe as the base. For the ingredients we’re using:

  • 3 ¼ cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 ½ cups white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (make sure to use fresh lemon juice and not the stuff from the bottle)
  • 1 cup buttermilk

I like using cake flour because it gives the lemon pound cake a finer crumb – however, if you don’t have any on hand, I’ve given a substitution in the recipe notes. The addition of a little baking soda just helps the cake rise more easily. And the buttermilk makes the cake extra moist and delicious. Trust me, it’s worth the extra grocery trip.

An iced Lemon Bundt Cake

How to Make a Lemon Pound Cake in a Bundt Pan

  1. First, you’ll whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Then in a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. When making pound cake – it’s super important to beat the butter and sugar together very well (about 3-5 minutes). This is the creaming process, and it aerates the batter and allows the cake to rise. Then beat in the eggs 1 at a time – again, it’s very important to beat in the eggs 1 at a time to help aerate the batter (remember, there’s very little baking soda in a pound cake to help it rise).
  2. Then combine the lemon zest, lemon juice and buttermilk together in a liquid measuring cup. Beat about ⅓ of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then mix in about ⅓ of the buttermilk. Repeat this process adding in about ⅓ at a time. Alternating between additions of the flour mixture and buttermilk ensures that the batter is evenly mixed, gives the cake a better crumb and texture, and helps the cake rise properly. Trust me – it’s worth it.
  3. Then the cake gets poured in the greased and floured bundt pan, and bakes for 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. *Note that oven times can vary by as much as 10-20%. So since this cake bakes for 60 minutes, I’d start checking around 45 minutes just to be sure.

A slice of glazed lemon pound cake on it's side on a white plate.

How to Prevent a Pound Cake from Over Browning

Because pound cakes (and loaves for that matter) have such a long bake time, they can often get too dark on the outside before they’re fully cooked in the middle. I, therefore, recommend baking this cake at 325F degrees and baking it in a light-colored bundt pan. As well, if you see the top getting too brown you can always tent a piece of aluminum foil over top or simply cut off the top (which will become the bottom) before you invert the cooled cake onto a pan.

Can you Freeze a Pound Cake?

Yes, this lemon pound cake freezes beautifully. Let the cake cool fully, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, place in an airtight container, and pop in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight, then bring it up to room temperature and make the glaze the day that you plan to serve it.

An overhead shot of a lemon bundt cake with white icing and lemon slices

If you love lemon recipes, make sure to try these other favorites:

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A slice of lemon pound cake with lemon glaze on a white plate.

Lemon Pound Cake

This simple lemon pound cake is buttery, moist, and filled with a delicious lemon flavor. It's made with lemon zest and fresh lemon juice in the batter, and drizzled with lemon glaze for a pound cake recipe that won't disappoint!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 459kcal

Ingredients
  

Lemon Pound Cake

  • 3 cups cake flour* sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter** softened
  • 2 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons***
  • 4 large eggs**
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar you may need a little more
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted

Instructions
 

Lemon Pound Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
  • Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and dust with flour.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  • In a large bowl beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until very fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). It should no longer look like little pebbles.
  • Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, ensure each is well mixed in. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl in between each.
  • In a liquid measuring cup (or bowl) stir together the lemon juice and buttermilk. 
  • Beat ⅓ of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then mix in ⅓ of the buttermilk and lemon juice mixture. Repeat the process, adding ⅓ at a time until all of the flour mixture and all of the buttermilk mixture is combined. The batter will be thick.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean (it may take 50-70 minutes). 
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack or plate to continue cooling. 

Lemon Glaze

  • In a medium bowl whisk together the lemon juice, melted butter and powdered sugar. 
  • If the mixture seems too thin, whisk in a little more powdered sugar as necessary. It should drizzle, but not look transparent.
  • Pour the lemon glaze over the cooled cake, letting it drip over the sides. 

Notes

*If you don't have cake flour, use 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour and ⅓ cup cornstarch instead of 3 cups cake flour. Sift the all-purpose flour and cornstarch together 3 times before using in the recipe. 
**Use room temperature butter, eggs and buttermilk. Remove them from the fridge 30 minutes before making the cake. 
***You'll need 3-4 lemons total for this recipe. 

Nutrition

Calories: 459kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 7gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 145mgPotassium: 95mgSugar: 42gVitamin A: 610IUVitamin C: 1.5mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 0.6mg
Keyword lemon pound cake

lemon bundt cake pinnable image with text overlay

Fiona

Fiona blogs over at Just So Tasty where she shares easy, classic recipes for desserts & sweet treats. A peanut butter lover, chocolate connoisseur, and sprinkle addict - she hopes to make your life sweeter, one cookie at a time. She also teaches yoga, because life is all about balance.

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