Lemon Pound Cake

filed under: Cakes on February 16, 2019

Finding the best Lemon Pound Cake recipe is a triumph! This recipe never disappoints and is fantastic right until the very last crumb! (Getting better on day 2 and 3!) If you love pound cake, don’t miss my famous Cream Cheese Pound Cake!

What is a Lemon Pound Cake?

The definition of pound cake is this: a rich cake containing a pound, or equal weights, of each chief ingredient, typically flour, butter, and sugar.  One of the original pound cake recipes was: (THIS IS NOT THE RECIPE, THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A TRADITIONAL POUND CAKE. ACTUAL RECIPE IN RECIPE CARD BELOW)

  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1 pound flour
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

With updates in the sourcing of flours, accessibility of ingredients, quality of butter, and the addition of extracts in baking, some changes have been made to that original recipe.

Technically speaking, this lemon pound cake recipe does not have equal parts of flour, butter, and sugar as it has more flour. However, it still maintains the rich flavor and beautiful, dense crumb that is commonly associated with a pound cake. Try my Lemon Loaf for another lemon-flavored dessert with a dense crumb.

What Kind of Pan Do You use for a Pound Cake?

The standard pans for pound cakes are either a Bundt cake pan or a loaf pan. Pound cakes tend to release beautifully from pans and that is where you can have fun! Decorative bundt pans help to create the most beautiful looking pound cakes and showcase “naked” cakes beautifully. A simple glaze is all that is needed to showcase the beauty of the cake itself!

Loaf pans (longer rectangle pan) are also common when making pound cakes. A standard loaf pan size is 9x5x3. If you want to use mini loaf pans for this recipe I recommend dividing the batter equally into 3 smaller pans.

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

The ingredients are fairly simple for this recipe, but it is important to find good quality and make sure they are fresh to ensure that beautiful crumb!

  • Granulated Sugar – you could use a super-fine granulated sugar
  • Unsalted Butter – we add salt separately so no need to use salted butter here. Make sure it is not cold though.
  • Eggs – room temperature is best. I also prefer to use extra-large eggs.
  • All-Purpose Flour – measure properly! Use a fork to sift the flour in the bag, then a spoon to add the flour to the measuring cup. Level the cup with a knife and add to the recipe.
  • Salt – I prefer kosher salt (a larger granule) in baking
  • Baking soda – fresh is best!
  • Buttermilk – allow the buttermilk to come to room temperature. If you don’t have any you can make your own by adding vinegar or fresh lemon juice to whole milk. Check out four recipes for homemade buttermilk here!
  • Lemon Extract – opt for good quality, like McCormick. One tablespoon of fresh lemon juice is equivalent to 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract, so if you are opting for fresh lemon juice in this recipe instead of extract, use 1/4 cup.
  • Lemon Zest – grated fresh works best

If needed, check out my High Altitude Baking tips if baking at a higher altitude.

Lemon Glaze for Lemon Pound Cake

Although this lemon pound cake is flavorful enough to stand on its own, I love what a perfect lemon glaze does to it. My method is unique in that I add some glaze when the cake is hot and let it soak into the cake, then add more after it has cooled. This means amazing flavor and a beautiful presentation!

How to Make Glaze

The ingredients are simple, just whisk confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, and butter together in a bowl until glaze is smooth. (You can use a hand-held mixer or stand mixer as well as by hand.) I prefer softened butter to melted, as I find the softened butter incorporates better and doesn’t appear greasy. I have also used a salted butter, as I find it cuts the richess of the sugar just a bit. If you don’t have salted, feel free to use unsalted.

4.88 from 16 votes
Lemon Poundcake with Lemon Glaze
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

A beautiful lemon flavor pound cake with the most wonderful lemon glaze!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon pound cake
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • cups granulated sugar
  • cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.

  2. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, thoroughly beating each egg into the butter mixture before adding the next.
  3. Sift flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture; mix well. Pour in 1/2 the buttermilk and beat until combined. Repeat adding the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, beating well after each addition, and ending with the flour mixture. Stir lemon extract and lemon zest into batter. Pour into prepared bundt pan.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F.
  5. Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cake platter or plate.
  1. Beat confectioner's sugar, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons softened butter together in a bowl until glaze is smooth. 

  2. Pour about half the glaze over the cake; let cool. Pour remaining glaze over the cake.

Recipe Video

If you love this recipe (and I know you will) you will also like my easy 7-Up Pound Cake!

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  • Jess K says:

    What a beautiful pound cake! Sounds so fresh and perfect for ushering in Spring. Pinned!

  • Jen Hartnett says:

    Looks wonderful, but why can’t I ever pin any of your recipes ??

  • Betty Rhodes says:

    Can I cut back some on the sugar and still make this cake?

  • Karen C. says:

    As soon as this came in my inbox, I printed it out and headed to the kitchen. Batter was beautiful. Left a nice aroma in the kitchen and turned out wonderful. It taste lemony as I used real lemon peel. Highly recommend this recipe. I’m going to put some in the freezer for later. Enjoy everyone.

  • Pat says:

    I’d love to use your recipes but can’t since you don’t list nutritional values! Husband in low sodium diet.

    • Foodiewife says:

      There are plenty of free websites that can calculate the nutritional value of any recipe.

  • Marilyn R Lewis says:

    Absolutely I made this lemon pound cake didn’t have any buttermilk added lemon juice to 1 cup 2% milk best cake recipe my sister tasted it and came back for seconds and wound up eating half of cake

  • Foodiewife says:

    That video made me drool. I have a heaping bowl of freshly picked Eureka lemons from our tree. I admit I have a bundt pan addiction. I know what I’m making today. The buttermilk, I am sure, is what makes that cake look so moist and tender. Genius!

  • Mary Dsouza says:

    In this recipe no baking powder is mentioned only baking soda is shown. Will the cake rise without baking powder. Please confi as i want to prepare this cake.

    • Liz says:

      The cake rises perfectly! 🙂

  • Patrice Shannon says:

    I don’t have a bundt pan, will a loaf pan work?

    • Kimie says:

      Also wondering the same thing – don’t have a bundt pan; any alternative pan I can use?

  • Lee-Ann Christians says:

    Just a quick question. Can I use cake flour instead of All Purpose flour? Thank you

    • Amanda says:

      I don’t recommend it in this recipe.

      • Lee-Ann says:

        All Purpose flour not available in South Africa. Is this a good substitute?

        70 grams of bread flour with about 60 grams of cake flour?

  • Catherine says:

    The picture shows that the pound cake is yellow. My cake did not turn out yellow. I used fresh lemon juice. Did you add yellow food coloring by chance? I used half sugar/brown sugar minus l/2 cup and it turned out just fine.

  • Theresa Martinez says:

    Thank you for the inspiration. Delicious. I used fresh lemon juice in the cake rather than the lemon extract. Nice balance if flavors.

  • Mary says:

    Wonderful pound cake.I have been looking for a lighter lemon pound cake.
    The Buttermolk is Key.

  • Aurelia says:

    Thank you for the recipe

  • Sandy says:

    I made this in a bundt pan. My oven is spot on for temp. But it took 20 more min to get it done. And there was still a small part not completly done.
    But it is very good and lemon bursting.Everyone loves it. Wonder if anyone else had that problem or why that happened.

  • Sabrina Mcdonald says:


  • linda Jackson says:

    I made this cake instead of using all purpose flour I used cake flour. i used 2 cups of butter versus a cup and a half this recipe was the bomb

  • S mclean says:

    Is their A Substitute for eggs,i dont eat eggs.
    Thank you

  • Allyson Carey says:

    Love your cakes would love some recipes. Thanks

  • Michelle says:

    We live on a farm and have ducks. Can I substitute duck eggs vs. chicken? They’re huge (bigger than jumbo chicken) so I’m certain of measuring proportions. My friend is a lemon nut and I’d like to make this for her.

  • Kari Kyle says:

    Love the lemon flavour and the buttery softness of the loaf. Now if I can just get my bunt pan to work I would be happy. It sticks to the bottom and I rip my load in half. Grrrrr to the bunt

  • Elizabeth says:


  • Georgina Davis-Gastelum says:

    Can I make cupcakes with this recipe?

  • Janice Keller says:

    My husband requested a lemon pound cake, so I tried this one. It was wonderful! It is somehow light, but substantial at the same time. It came out looking exactly like the picture and tastes better than I expected it to. My husband proclaimed it the best cake I have ever made.

  • Ofelia Carranza says:

    I love your recipes, I have done some of them and came up delicious. Thank you so much for sharing.