Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

4.91 from 123 votes
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This easy Lemon Pound Cake recipe makes a dream dessert for lemon lovers! Made with fresh lemon juice and zest and topped with a lemon buttermilk glaze, this moist pound cake is bursting with delicious flavor!

Overhead view of lemon pound cake drizzed with lemon buttermilk glaze sitting on a white plate.

This Lemon Pound Cake’s sweet, slightly tart flavor happily greets your tastebuds as you take your first bite. Soft, moist lemon pound cake is drizzled with fresh, luscious lemon glaze for an out-of-this-world taste, making this homemade Lemon Pound Cake a favorite dessert recipe!

This pound cake is amazing. I think it’s the absolute best lemon pound cake and tops all the others! I was not a huge fan of lemon pound cakes before developing this recipe. Others I’ve had before didn’t interest me – either they were dry, or the lemon didn’t taste like real, fresh lemon.

I was determined when I set out to develop this recipe many years ago, and I created it with my Mama’s delicious Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipe in mind. That was definitely the right decision because I’m in love with this Lemon Pound Cake, and so are my family and friends. It’s not too sweet, not too tart, but just right. And it’s such an easy lemon pound cake to make! I know you’ll love it too!

Five slices of glazed lemon pound cake sit on a white tray.

The bright lemon flavor, coupled with the sweet, moist pound cake, really makes each bite delicious perfection!

This cake is simple to make, has only a handful of basic ingredients, yet is loaded with fresh, amazing flavor! Let me tell you how I make it.

To make this, you’ll need:

Ingredients

Ingredients for Lemon Pound cake lie on a marble countertop - fresh lemon, sugar, sticks of butter, flour, eggs, homemade vanilla extract, cream cheese and salt.
Ingredients for the Lemon Buttermilk Glaze sit in a glass mixing bowl with a whisk on a marble countertop. A small bowl with buttermilk sits beside the larger mixing bowl.

Butter, Cream Cheese and Eggs

Allow the butter and cream cheese to soften to room temperature before mixing so that they will cream together well and combine with the sugar smoothly. This will give the cake a rich and creamy taste and moist texture.

Also, allow the eggs to reach room temperature before mixing them into the cake batter. As with most pound cakes, the recipe calls for a good many eggs—six whole large eggs are in this cake, giving it a sturdy yet tender crumb.

Lemons

Use fresh lemon juice and zest for this cake’s bright, delicious lemon flavor. Juicing and zesting fresh lemons is simple, and the result is worth it! You should need approximately two medium-large plump lemons—one lemon should yield enough juice and zest for the cake itself, and a second lemon should yield the same for the glaze. However, be sure to measure the juice and the zest to be sure you’ve got the correct amount for the recipe, just in case the lemons used are smaller than those I’ve described.

The fresh lemon gives this pound cake its perfect brightness, which makes such a difference in the taste of the cake – making it the best lemon pound cake!

Resource: How Much Juice Is In One Lemon

Sugar, Flour, and Salt

Sugar and flour are simple yet important ingredients you’d expect in the recipe. I use granulated sugar for the cake itself and powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar) for the lemon buttermilk glaze. All-purpose is the type of flour needed for the pound cake recipe.

Just a small bit of salt balances the sweetness of the pound cake.

Vanilla Extract

The vanilla extract enhances the flavor of this cake, and by using the best available, you can prevent any flavors that may detract from the recipe. I prefer using my homemade vanilla extract or a high-quality store-bought vanilla. I don’t recommend using imitation vanilla flavoring, as I’ve found that it can leave a bitter aftertaste.

Resource: How to Make Vanilla Extract

Buttermilk

Buttermilk is used for the lemon buttermilk glaze and is important to the glaze’s flavor, so don’t skip it. The glaze only uses a tablespoon, so if you don’t have it on hand, see how to make my buttermilk substitute.

How to Make Lemon Pound Cake

Bowl of a stand mixer holds block of cream cheese, three sticks of butter and sugar.
Bowl of stand mixer holds butter, cream cheese and sugar after creamed together.
Final egg is blended into other mixed ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Egg shells sit on marble countertop behind the bowl in egg container.

Cream ingredients and add eggs. In a large mixing bowl, mix together – or cream together – the room-temperature softened butter and cream cheese with the sugar until fluffy. Then, add one egg at a time to the creamed mixture and mix after each addition until all the eggs are incorporated into the mixture.

Freshly zested lemon is being added into mixed lemon pound cake ingredients in the stand mixing bowl.
Flour is slowly added to other mixed lemon pound cake ingredients in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.
Lemon pound cake batter after all ingredients have been mixed together in the stand mixing bowl.

Finish making the cake batter. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest to the mixture and combine well. Add the flour, salt, and vanilla and mix until the batter is just combined well but do not overmix.

Lemon pound cake batter is poured into a greased and prepared silver bundt cake pan with handles. Pan sits on marble countertop.

Bake the cake. Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt or tube pan. Place pan in preheated oven and bake until the cake becomes golden brown and a skewer inserted into it comes out clean. (About 1 hour and 15-30 minutes). You can follow my tips for how to tell when your cake is done.

Ingredients for the Lemon Buttermilk Glaze sit in a glass mixing bowl with a whisk on a marble countertop. A small bowl with buttermilk sits beside the larger mixing bowl.
A wire whisk whips together the ingredients for the lemon buttermilk glaze in a glass mixing bowl.

Whisk together the glaze. As the cake is cooling, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze and allow it to sit until the cake is completely cooled.

Let the cake cool. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack and allow it to finish cooling. This step is important because if the cake is allowed to remain in the pan to cool too long, the cake may possibly stick to the insides of the pan. Once cooled completely, place the pound cake on your desired cake stand or cake plate and prepare to glaze it.

Lemon buttermilk glaze is poured over top of a Lemon Pound Cake on a white dish.

Glaze the cake. Drizzle the zesty Lemon Buttermilk Glaze onto the pound cake. Please do not skip making this glaze. It is an amazing part of this cake!

Serve the cake and enjoy!

Storage Tips

To store: Place completely cooled cake in an airtight container or under a cake dome for up to 3 to 4 days.

To freeze: Wait to glaze if you plan to freeze the baked and cooled cake immediately. Wrap the baked and cooled cake tightly with plastic wrap, then foil. Store the wrapped cake in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw and serve, unwrap and allow to thaw completely before slicing. Glaze the cake after it’s thawed completely and just before serving for best results.

Dessert for Spring and Summer Entertaining

I love lemon and citrus desserts, such as my Lemon Bars or Key Lime Pie, any time of the year, but especially in the warmer months. And freshly squeezed Lemonade is a treat on warm days.

But this Lemon Pound Cake is certainly a spring and summer entertaining star!

You’ll enjoy it for luncheons, showers, and parties of all kinds. It’s a bright favorite on your Easter dessert table, and everyone loves it for Mother’s Day celebrations.

But don’t just save it for holidays and parties – it is the perfect complement to warm-weather barbecues, family picnics, and Sunday suppers!

Side shot of lemon pound cake with lemon buttermilk glaze drizzled on top and sides.

More Favorite Warm Weather Desserts

Easy Peach Cobbler

Coconut Cake

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream

Easy Cheesecake Pie

Berry Trifle

If you tried this Lemon Pound Cake Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. Thanks for visiting!

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

4.91 from 123 votes
This easy Lemon Pound Cake recipe makes a dream dessert for lemon lovers! Made with fresh lemon juice and zest and topped with a lemon buttermilk glaze, this moist pound cake is bursting with delicious flavor!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 16 servings

Equipment

Ingredients 

For the Lemon Pound Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (339 g) butter
  • 1 (8-ounce) package (227 g) cream cheese
  • 6 large (300 g) eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (6 g) lemon zest
  • 3 cups (594 g) sugar
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (2.8 g) kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) vanilla extract

For the Lemon Buttermilk Glaze

Instructions 

For the Lemon Pound Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare bundt or tube pan by coating with shortening or butter and flouring light. Set aside.
  • Let the butter, cream cheese, and eggs come to room temperature. Cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add lemon juice and zest and combine well. Add flour and salt and vanilla. Mix until just well-combined but do not over mix. Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt or tube pan.
  • Bake until golden brown and skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 – 30 minutes. When cake is done, cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then carefully turn the cake out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

For the Lemon Buttermilk Glaze

  • As the cake is cooling, whisk together ingredients confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and buttermilk to make the glaze. Allow to sit until cake has fully cooled, then drizzle over top of lemon pound cake.

Notes

Storage Tips:
To store: Place completely cooled cake in an airtight container or under a cake dome for up to 3 to 4 days.
To freeze: Wait to glaze if you plan to freeze the baked and cooled cake immediately. Wrap the cooled cake tightly with plastic wrap, then foil. Store the wrapped cake in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw and serve, unwrap and allow to thaw completely before slicing. Glaze the cake after it’s thawed completely and just prior to serving for best results.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 56mg | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 635IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

4.91 from 123 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Review




441 Comments

  1. Danna R says:

    I’ve never baked pound cake before so I decided to try your recipe & it’s so good. I forgot to add the salt but both the cake & glaze are perfect for each other. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’ll try to make it with orange next time.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I love that your first time baking a pound cake turned out so well with this recipe, Danna. Let me know how you like it as orange pound cake if you try it.

  2. Cynthia Whitaker says:

    5 stars
    Made this cake today. Delicious!!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the lemon pound cake, Cynthia.

  3. Rosemary says:

    I’d like to try with orange instead of lemon. Would I need to change anything? Less sugar?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Rosemary, I haven’t made this as an orange pound cake here is Heather’s comment: “I made this recipe for the first time last night, although I changed the lemon to orange, and it was perfect. It rose like it should and browned to perfection. This will be my go to recipe from now on.
      Thank you so much for sharing!” If you try it an orange cake, I hope you enjoy.

  4. Valencia Armstead says:

    This is the only and best version I have ever used. I’m a small town Southern Girl and this is one of the first things you learn in Grandma’s kitchen. This is similar, but this version is the one. I’ll include in my family collection. it’s that good. The cream cheese and buttermilk glaze is the key to moisture everytime, buttermilk add that compliment to the glaze make all the difference.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks, Valencia! I love how moist this cake is, too. I appreciate that you are adding it to your collection of recipes.

  5. April says:

    Hi Robyn – love your recipes ! On this one, I have for years make a cream cheese pound cake just like this recipe except for the addition of the lemon/zest. What surprised me was 1 teaspoon of salt. My recipe calls for a pinch of salt (1/8th or so). Because of the lemon, is that why the salt is a full 1 teaspoon? Seems like a lot. But you are the expert, so am asking why. Thanks!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      April, I’ve always used a teaspoon of kosher salt in my Cream Cheese Pound Cake as well as this one. That is the way my mother always made hers. This lemon pound cake recipe is based upon her cream cheese cake recipe.

  6. Lddoherty says:

    Is there no leavening in this recipe??

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      There is no chemical leavening agent in this pound cake. The eggs and air beaten into the batter cause the cake to rise. I hope you enjoy the cream cheese pound cake.

    2. Shevaun says:

      Would it benefit from a lemon simple syrup being brushed over the cake?
      Would that be too much?

    3. Robyn Stone says:

      Shevaun, I have not added a lemon simple syrup on this cake. I have found the lemon buttermilk glaze I add is enough. But you can try it and see if you like the added lemon syrup.