Lemon Pound Cake

Topped with homemade lemon icing, this Lemon Pound Cake is every lemon lovers’ dream dessert. It’s dense but soft and tender, just as a pound cake should be, with a refreshing lemon flavor for summer.

Lemon pound cake with lemon icing drizzle and lemon slices.

The Best Lemon Pound Cake

When life hands you lemons…make lemon pound cake!

This pound cake is SO good! So much lemon flavor, but not overpowering or crazy tart. The texture is dense, but tender and soft. I love the refreshing lemon flavor for summer.

One of the great things about pound cakes is how few ingredients they require, compared to other cakes. For example, this lemon pound cake has no leavening in it and doesn’t need it. Pound cakes are meant to be dense. Adding baking powder or baking soda might give it a little rise, but I find that unnecessary. I actually tested it with some baking soda to see and while that version was fine, I 100% preferred the texture and flavor of this one. Besides, why add extra ingredients that you don’t need?

But what I love most about this lemon cake is the icing. Instead of a basic glaze that soaks into the cake, this icing is cooked on the stove. It gives a little more substance to the icing, which rests nicely on top of the cake, with a lovely light lemon flavor that complements the cake.

If you adore lemon flavor or the texture of pound cake, you absolutely must try this Lemon Pound Cake!

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

What You’ll Need

This lemon loaf is made with basic pantry staples, plus lemon. No need to run to the store for special ingredients.

For the Lemon Pound Cake:

  • Butter – Unsalted and at room temperature.
  • Sugar – Of course, what cake doesn’t need sugar?
  • Eggs – Be sure to add them one at a time.
  • All purpose flour – A baking staple.
  • Salt – Just a bit.
  • Milk – I use 2%. You could also use sour cream.
  • Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice is a must!
  • Lemon zest – Again, fresh is necessary.
  • Vanilla extract – Adds a sweet flavor.

For the Lemon Icing:

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Heavy whipping cream – A necessity for rich and thick icing.
  • Lemon juice – Make sure to use fresh, NOT bottled lemon juice.
  • Vanilla extract – A bit of flavor.
  • Corn syrup – You could substitute honey, but it will change the flavor.
  • Powdered sugar – Adjust the amount based on your preference to make it thicker or thinner.
Aerial view of a lemon bundt cake garnished with lemon slices.

How to Make Lemon Pound Cake

Making this pound cake is simple. But it’s important to pay attention to the details, such as room temperature ingredients and adding ingredients one at a time.

  1. Preheat oven. Preheat oven to 325F and spray bundt pan with baking spray.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. The mixture should be light and fluffy. Then add eggs one at a time, mixing after each one.
  3. Add in salt and flour, then the wet ingredients. Stir in flour and salt until just combined. Then add milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  4. Transfer to pan and bake. Spread the batter in the bundt pan and bake for 70-80 minutes.
  5. Allow cake to cool. After 10 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. Prepare the icing. Combine all ingredients except powdered sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar.
  7. Drizzle icing over cake. The icing should still be warm for this step.
Lemon pound cake with lemon icing on a serving platter.

Tips for Success

Making the perfect pound cake is simple but requires a little bit of patience and attention to detail. Here are a few tricks to help you make the best pound cake.

  • Make sure to whip the sugar mixture until light and fluffy. You will really be able to tell a difference in the texture.
  • Don’t over mix. That said, take care not to over mix the batter after adding the eggs and other ingredients. It can provide a more dense, tough loaf.
  • Adjust the icing. If your icing is too thin, add additional powdered sugar until it’s the right consistency to drizzle it. If you find your icing to be a little thick, just add a touch more water to thin it back out.
A slice of lemon pound cake on a white plate.

How to Store Leftovers

This lemon pound cake will last at room temperature for up to 5 days. Keep out of direct sunlight or heat, to avoid melting the icing. You can also keep it in the fridge, if you prefer it chilled.

Either way, keep the pound cake covered in an airtight container.

Can I Freeze Pound Cake?

This pound cake recipe is great for freezing. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months, without the icing.

Before freezing, allow it to cool completely. To freeze the entire cake, double wrap it in clear warp, then wrap it in aluminum foil. To freeze slices, double wrap the slice in saran wrap and then place them in an air-tight freezer safe container.

When you are ready to eat the cake, thaw it overnight in the fridge.

Print
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Lemon pound cake with lemon icing on a serving platter.
Recipe

Lemon Pound Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 85 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1214 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Topped with a homemade lemon icing, this Lemon Pound Cake is every lemon-lovers’ dream dessert. It’s dense but soft and tender, just as a pound cake should be, with a refreshing lemon flavor for summer.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Lemon Pound Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (336g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (621g) sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups (390g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk or sour cream
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Lemon Icing:

  • 2 tbsp (28g) salted butter
  • 1/3 cup (69g) sugar, packed
  • 5 tbsp (75ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp corn syrup or honey
  • 1 1/42 cups (144g-230g) powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C) and prepare a 10-14 cup bundt pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a large mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until well incorporated after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure things are well combined.
  4. With the mixer on low, carefully add the flour and salt and mix until just combined.
  5. Add the milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  6. Spread the batter evenly into bundt pan and bake for 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out moist but mostly clean.
  7.  Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then invert cake onto cooling rack to cool to room temperature.
  8. Combine all the icing ingredients except for the powdered sugar in a small sauce pan.
  9. Heat on low until sugar is melted, then turn heat to medium to bring to a boil.
  10. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and immediately pour into a heat-proof glass bowl.
  11. Whisk in 1 1/4 cups or so of the powdered sugar. Allow to cool a bit and thicken, but still be pourable. If your icing is too thin, add additional powdered sugar until it’s the right consistency to drizzle it. If you find your icing to be a little thick, just add a touch more water to thin it back out.
  12. Drizzle the icing over the cake while the icing is still a little warm. It will be too firm to pour and get a nice drizzle if it cools completely.

Keywords: sour cream pound cake, easy lemon dessert

More Easy Lemon Desserts:

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Recipe rating

5 Comments
  1. Paula

    I want to make this but without the lemon flavor. So basically I want to make it just a classic pound cake. When eliminating the lemon juice so do I replace it with 6 tablespoon of milk in its place?

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12