Lemon pound cake is a dense, citrusy cake that melts in your mouth. It’s simple to make and has a simple icing for extra sweetness!

lemon pound cake with icing and slice cut off the end showing inside of loaf

When it comes to cake, pound cake it one of my favorites, and when it comes to flavors, lemon is one of the best! Why not combine the two and make lemon pound cake? This dessert is dense, but with a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It is simply delicious with the icing or simply a dollop of whipped cream.

Why this recipe works: It uses both fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for the ultimate flavor. There’s also sour cream that helps provide a moist texture and tangy flavor. I also like to add a touch of almond extract to complement the lemon.

lemon pound cake ingredients in bowls labeled with text

How to make lemon pound cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub it between your fingers to increase flavor. Add butter and mix until light and fluff. Add eggs one at a time, then mix in the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  4. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Transfer batter to loaf pan.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and milk. Pour over the loaf, slice and serve.
photo collage demonstrating how to make lemon pound cake in a mixing bowl
photo collage demonstrating how to make lemon pound cake in a mixing bowl and loaf pan

Helpful tips

Bring all your ingredients to room temperature and weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale. If you don’t have a scale, then fluff up your flour with a fork and spoon it into a measuring cup (don’t pack it down).

When zesting a lemon, remember to zest only the yellow part, not the white layer, which is bitter. Learn more tips on how to zest a lemon. Remember to strain the lemon juice to remove any pulp and seeds. Allow your cake to cool completely before adding the icing otherwise it will melt.

lemon pound cake loaf topped with icing dripping down the front and lemon slices on top

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my pound cake dry?

It was either over-baked or there was too much flour. Remember to use an oven thermometer for accurate temperature readings and a kitchen scale for accurate ingredient measuring.

Why does my batter look curdled?

This can happen when lemon juice is added to batter. Don’t worry! It will also come together when the flour is added making a nice, smooth batter.

Can I use store-bought lemon juice?

I do not recommend using store bought lemon juice since it doesn’t have enough flavor.

Can I freeze lemon pound cake?

Yes, once the cake is completely cooled, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before bringing to room temperature and adding the icing.

hand holding plate with two slices of lemon pound cake on it

More lemon recipes

Like I said earlier, lemon is one of the best flavors when it comes to baking. Lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting are the perfect example of how citrus complements desserts so well. You can also try making a lemon curd tart. The filling is so creamy and the presentation is stunning. If you’re looking for a simpler recipe, I definitely recommend lemon sugar cookies!

lemon pound cake with icing and two slices cut off the end of the loaf

Lemon pound cake is so simple, yet provides plenty of flavor. You can make this cake for dessert with your partner or share it with your friends at your next gathering. I also think it makes the perfect dessert for baby showers and Mother’s Day. If you enjoyed this recipe, leave a review and tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media when you bake!

lemon pound cake with slice cut off the end of the loaf

Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon pound cake is a dense, citrusy cake that melts in your mouth. It's simple to make and has a simple icing for extra sweetness!
5 (4 ratings)

Ingredients

Lemon Pound Cake

  • 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • Zest of one large lemon, about 1 Tablespoon
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract, optional

Lemon Icing

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), add sugar and lemon zest. Use fingers to rub lemon zest into the sugar to amplify flavor. Add butter and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla extract and almond extract (if using) and mix until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined (avoid over mixing). Transfer mixture to prepared pan and spread evenly.
  • Bake lemon pound cake at 350° F for 50 to 60 minutes. After 30 minutes, tent aluminum foil over the cake to prevent the top from browning. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.
  • For the icing, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and milk. Pour over cooled lemon pound cake and garnish with lemon zest or slices. Cut and serve.

Notes

Store lemon pound cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
Freeze lemon pound cake without icing for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before bringing to room temperature and adding icing.
High altitude adjustments: Decrease sugar by 2 Tablespoons. Add 2 teaspoons milk with the sour cream. Baking times may vary.
Recommended tools: Lemon zester, lemon juicer, kitchen scale, 8×4 loaf pan.
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 329kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 140mg, Potassium: 79mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 535IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg

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