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 days 2 and 3!) If you love pound cake, don’t miss my famous Cream Cheese Pound Cake or Peach 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:


  • 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!

  • 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
  • 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.

4.89 from 17 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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  • barbie says:

    This was such a tasty treat, the best lemon pound cake I
    have ever made.Cheers for the recipe & from all who enjoyed

  • Frances Griffith says:


  • Joyce Emery says:

    do you think this would turn out ok if I added some frozen blueberries? I have been looking for a good lemon recipe , this sounds good .

  • ANNA KNOX says:

    you should specify the size of eggs. med. large extra large etc.

  • Susan Maxwell says:

    I made 1/2 of the recipe for I wasn’t sure if I would like it. It was delicious. I made to small loaves in bread pans. My granddaughter likes lemon so I gave her one and now I need to make it again. I am going to also try it with orange peel and orange juice.

  • Holly says:

    Question not comment: if I wanted to make a small version of this lemon pound cake, say, an 8×8 or so pan, could I do that if I halved the ingredients?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      That is not an exact halving of the recipe (the slightly smaller pan) so I would recommend simply dividing the recipe into two pans and freezing the other.

  • Ron says:

    Can you substitute lemon juice for lemon extract?

  • Dale says:

    I made this cake tonight and while it’s delicious, I made my cake in the standard loaf pan (as the recipe indicated was acceptable) and I filled it pretty full and there was still so much batter leftover. Obviously the batter overflowed and it took longer to bake, so I’m wondering… what did I do wrong? Tasted great, but way too much batter 🤔

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Sorry Dale! If using a loaf pan I would recommend 3 loaf pans.

  • LINDA says:

    It looks horrible because it fell in the middle, yes, in the bundt pan. I live at 8000 feet and even though I used 2 Tbs extra flour, it still fell. It smells really good and I have not glazed it yet and fortunately it is only for my husband and me, THIS TIME. But what should I have changed for high elevation?

  • M. Cooper says:

    So funny story, my wife and I are pregnant and our child is 13 weeks. In line with growth milestones, our child is stayed to be the size of a lemon. To celebrate, because that’s what everyone does at week 13…lol, we decided to make a lemon Bundt cake. We used your recipe and hands down, it came out AWESOME!!!

    My wife tasted it (She’s the official taste tester of the house) and said this recipe was “Bee-stamped Approved 🐝”

    All in all, thank you for sharing your gift with the world and giving us a way to sweeten our 13 week milestone.

    Take care Amanda and remain safe!!!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      That is the best! <3 Love it!

  • M Chappell says:

    Was so good. A dear friend of mine always makes lemon pound cake for church dinners said it was exquisite . Thanks so much.

  • Shirley says:

    Re inquiries about a substitute for eggs… I frequently use Egg Beaters, found in the refrigerator section with eggs, instead of fresh eggs. It works beautifully in baking..

  • Eunice mutio says:

    Hi. You are the best the recipe you always give are the best.i love them since I am up coming beake, you help me a lot.thank you

  • Yan says:

    Hello. Can I substitute lemon extract with fresh lemon juice??

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Yan! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. 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. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Betty says:

    This looks and sounds amazing. I would like to bake in my regular size bread pans. I like to give to neighbors and shut-ns. Would by baking time be the same as for bunt pan.

    What about for the mini bread pans?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Betty! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tried baking this cake in other sized pans, so I can’t say how the baking time would be affected. Have a great day!

  • Christine Ewell says:

    What Kind of flower would you suggest in place of all purpose white flour for those who are gluten intolerant and will Stevia (for disbeyics) work the same?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Christine! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tried using gluten-free flour or Stevia in this recipe, so I can’t say how they would affect the recipe. Have a great day!

  • Debbie Dyer says:

    Can I use cake flour instead of all purpose?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Debbie! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tried using cake flour in this recipe. However, for every cup of all-purpose flour used in a recipe, substitute 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour. Have a great day!

  • LYJ says:

    I made this cake with real lemon juice and while good really didn’t have the full lemon flavor I wanted. Making another one tomorrow and using the extract with more zest. Can’t wait.

    I love your recipes…cakes, pies, breads are simple and straight to the point.

  • Kristi Stone says:

    Do you think this recipe would work if I used gluten free flour?? Love your recipes too🥰

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Kristi! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tried using gluten-free flour in this recipe, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness. Let us know if you try it and how the recipe turns out. Have a great day!

  • Anthonia Manimaran says:

    Hi Amanda,
    I made an orange pound cake in a Nordic bundt pan tonite.

    However, after I skewer tested it twice into the cracks of my bundt cake right out of the oven, I’d place my cake near an opened window for 2 mins then transferred it to a windowless corner.

    8 mins later, my cake deflated around the funnel of my bundt pan.

    I don’t know what went wrong. I would appreciate any advice.

  • Lenda says:

    Made it had a strong lemon taste could not eat it could the lemon extract been to old

  • Valerie Woods says:

    Going to try them all for Christmas and mail them to my kids in Houston Texas ladder Georgia and Saginaw Michigan they all look wonderful I love poundcake and I love lemon keep it up girl

  • Fiona says:

    I would like to see the ingredients in grams as we don’t use cups

  • Mellisa salem says:

    My cake overflowed the pan and made a big burnt mess in the oven. I double checked the recipe and I did everything right. I was so sad.

  • ginnylieske@yahoo.com says:

    what temperature for loaf pans and how long to bake?

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.