You can stop your search – you’ve just found the BEST Lemon Pound Cake recipe! Bonus: It’s super easy and foolproof to make, hundreds of successful home bakers can’t be wrong!
Where are my pound cake lovers at?!
Pound cakes are 99% of what my childhood dessert memories are made of. (The other 1% is mainly filled with Strawberry Cake Rolls, in case you wanted to know.)
Marble pound cake. Chocolate pound cake. Carrot pound cake (no not kidding, though I’ve switched to making Carrot Sheet Cakes now that I’m the mom in charge).
My favorite thing about pound cakes is how easy they are to make – basically foolproof (my recipe has been tested by 100s of teens at our local school!), endlessly customizable and pretty much always appropriate.
This version is nicely lemony, with a tangy-sweet glaze. Perfect for spring, Easter or whenever your pound cake cravings hit!
How to Make Lemon Pound Cake from Scratch:
Is this a traditional recipe…
… and why is pound cake even called pound cake?
So I’ll fully admit: This is NOT the kind of recipe that gave pound cake its name: A pound of each ingredient. Nope, sorry. Not here.
I’d like to think I make a slightly modernized version of the traditional pound cake:
With a little extra tang from buttermilk (which you definitely WON’T find in the traditional recipe), not quite as much sugar (but still PLENTY sweet and cake-like, just not instant cavity inducing, ha!) and also super foolproof.
How to make pound cake moist:
First and foremost: Do NOT overbake the cake! Baking the pound cake too long will result in a dry loaf, no matter what recipe you’re going to use.
Secondly, be careful when measuring your flour. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level with a knife. Using too much flour results in a dry and crumbly cake.
And last but not least: Don’t cut back on the butter. Do not use substitutes such as applesauce. You’re making a dessert. Live a little 😉
How to make a thick lemon glaze for pound cake:
As you can see in the pictures, I like my pound cake with a thick glaze.
You only need two ingredients for a nice lemon glaze: Icing sugar and lemon juice.
Don’t worry if it seems like there’s not enough lemon juice at first, the icing sugar will quickly absorb it all. If you add too much juice, your glaze won’t be as nicely white and thick!
By using fresh lemon juice, the glaze gets an incredibly delicious lemon tang. This adds a lot of extra citrus flavor to the pound cake, so don’t skip it!
Lemon Pound Cake
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3 large eggs room temperature preferred
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup buttermilk room temperature preferred
- 1 lemon zest AND juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Prep: Preheat oven to 360°F. Line a 9×5 inch (OR 8×4 inch) loaf pan with baking parchment.
- Cream ingredients: Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer using the beater attachments until creamy (you can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment). Add eggs and sugar and cream until light in color and fluffy. Add buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract and mix until combined (it’s OK if it looks split and weird after adding buttermilk).
- Add dry ingredients: Add flour, baking powder and salt to creamed ingredients. Mix on low with your mixer, until you have a smooth batter.
- Bake: Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Glaze: Mix icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth and barely pourable (it’s a thick glaze). Carefully spread on top of completely cooled cake.