Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Southern Lemon Pound Cake Recipe – This Lemon Pound Cake makes a delicious dessert for lemon lovers! Made with lemon juice, lemon zest, and topped with a lemon buttermilk glaze, this lemon pound cake recipe is a treasure!

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Lemon Pound Cake was never my favorite growing up. There was just something about it that didn’t appeal to me.

But then, I reworked a favorite pound cake recipe of my family’s and now, I’m addicted to this Lemon Pound Cake.

I mean addicted.

The fresh burst of lemon flavor coupled with the sweet deliciousness of the pound cake really does make each bite perfection.

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Not too sweet, not too tart, but just right.

This Lemon Pound Cake will really be a popular cake throughout your spring and summer entertaining, I think. You can easily make this pound cake ahead of time and then serve to friends and family as dessert.

I love to serve it at a BBQ, at family reunions, showers, and of course after a big Sunday supper. Oh, and for Mother’s Day? Seriously, yes!

But please, do me a favor and do not skip out on making the lemon buttermilk glaze that you drizzle over this cake.

It is just the right thing to do.

I have a strong suggestion for you though.  Do be sure to make it when you are expecting guests or headed off to a social occasion where people are expecting it. Otherwise, if you are like me, it might not be safe to be alone with this cake.

Save yourself the temptation.

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe - Lemon Pound Cake makes a delicious dessert for lemon lovers! Made with lemon juice, lemon zest, and topped with a lemon buttermilk glaze, this lemon pound cake recipe is a treasure! // addapinch.com

Here’s my Lemon Pound Cake recipe. I can’t wait to hear how you like it.

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4.78 from 84 votes

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Lemon Pound Cake makes a delicious dessert for lemon lovers! Made with lemon juice, lemon zest, and topped with a lemon buttermilk glaze, this lemon pound cake recipe is a treasure!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 457kcal
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


For the Lemon Pound Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups butter 3 sticks
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Lemon Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk


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.

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.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 56mg | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 12.7% | Vitamin C: 1.8% | Calcium: 2% | Iron: 8%
Tried this recipe?Share a photo on Instagram and tag me with @addapinch and #addapinch!

Robyn xo

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe - Lemon Pound Cake makes a delicious dessert for lemon lovers! Made with lemon juice, lemon zest, and topped with a lemon buttermilk glaze, this lemon pound cake recipe is a treasure! // addapinch.com


From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2012.


297 comments on “Lemon Pound Cake Recipe”

  1. Well, mine turned out perfect the first time. Loved it & will definitely make it again. Do you refrigerate? I left mine under a glass cake cover on the counter. I was wondering if that would be ok since there’s cream cheese in it. 
    Thanks so much for sharing. 

  2. I made this for our annual 4th of July block party with strawberries and blueberries on top. It was so delicious, and everyone loved it! I am making it again today for a family BBQ!

  3. Hi, I saw the recipe and have a question. I realized that on the cake doesn’t go any baking powder, or something like it. Is it that? 

    • I baked accordingly and mine did not rise, it needs a rising agent.

      • Hi Maegan,
        I’m sorry your cake didn’t rise. I’ve not every had that issue when baking according to this recipe. It does not need any additional ingredients other than those listed. Like given in Step 2 of the recipe instructions, it’s important that the butter, eggs and cream cheese reach room temperature before creaming them with your mixer. It is important that you cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar well until very fluffy. Add each egg one at a time and mix. When adding the next ingredients as instructed, make sure to not over mix at this point.
        I hope this helps. Thanks!

  4. Yes, I made this cake recipe but you don’t taste the lemon. The vanilla extract is over powering the fresh lemon and zest. Cake is good taste but lemony tasting.

  5. I’ve baked this a couple of times and add a little lemon extract to the cake….it was very lemony

  6. Does the pan make a difference? Can I use a simple round cake pan?

    • I’d suggest using using a bundt or tube pan like in the recipe for desired results, Lorraine, since the recipe is for a pound cake. Enjoy!

    • Lorraine: I’ve made this wonderful recipe many times in a standard square 9x9x2 cake pan and it works just fine, so a round pan would work as well. No need to buy a special pan.

  7. I made this pound cake and everyone said it was the best pound cake I’ve ever made.

  8. This is the best lemon pound cake I have ever made. Just follow the directions exactly , and use the recommended tube pan or bunt pan’s do not alter the. Ingredients an you will have a perfect lemon pound cake.

  9. Made this cake today and it is delicious 

  10. Omg. The best cake ever. 

  11. How do you make lemon zest?

    • Lemon zest is made with the yellow part of the lemon peel.   Use a grater…like a box grater and use the smallest holes. Use the whole lemon to grate and then you can juice the rest of the lemons for the recipe.   You can also use a hand grater or a lemon zester utensil made especially for zesting lemons…you can find them in the grocery store.  

      Wash your lemons well and then run them (whole) up and down the grater like you would when you grate cheese.  Use the yellow peel only and don’t grate too deep because that will get into the pith (white part) of the lemon and the white pith of the lemon is bitter, so be careful not to get any white pith into the yellow zest.

  12. I always thought the way Starbucks made the Lemon Pound Cake was the best ever. After I made this accordingly and tried it, I believed this one was the best I had ever had.

  13. Hello, Thank you so much for sharing your recipe, I made the Lemon Pound cake and it came out perfectly… it was delicious. 😊😉

  14. I wanted to know, Do you sell your pound cakes and Can I order online?

    • So sweet of you, Victoria!
      I don’t sell them – I share my recipe and hope that you will enjoy making them (and eating them)!
      This is delicious – enjoy! xo

      • Do you really cook this cake 1 hour and 30 minutes? I did so and it is way, way overdone! Mine “looked” right at about l hour 10 min but did not test done inside (using the clean skewer method) until almost l hour 30 min. I had covered the top with loose foil at 1 hour 10 min because it was too brown. The top crust was still very over-browned and the bottom and sides were even worse! It was dry as well. I have an oven thermometer that shows my oven as accurate. I cook pound cakes often (but never lemon) and know getting the baking time perfect is a delicate matter, but never had one over cook so badly.

      • Hi Brenda,
        I have made this cake so many times and have never had an issue with it being dry or overcooked. It always bakes in 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes as noted in the recipe. I do not have to use foil to keep it from browning too much. I’m sorry yours was overcooked, but I’ve never had that happen. Thank you so much!

  15. I used this recipe twice in the past month and the cake was delicious both times. I plan on including  this recipe during the holidays this year. I’m not a “baker” and have tried other recipes in the past and have received “unfavorable” results. This recipe is simple and delicious. I’m now interested in trying others on the site. Wish me luck 😂

  16. I baked this cake replacing the creamn cheese with sour cream. My son who is an executive chef called me after tasting the cake to verify that I really baked it. I felt honored.

  17. I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake! What a winner! I’d been perusing the Internet for two to three weeks looking for a Lemon Cream Cheese pound cake, the first thing I look for in a good cake is the crumb and if the cake texture looks almost velvety in appearance, that, to me determines the moisture in the cake.
    I saw that criteria once or twice, most looked too dry, also they looked like cornbread, terribly unappetizing. The worst yet was when people recipes  called for shortening and no salt! Yech, what a tastebud disaster. Along with pumpkin anything, I dislike shortening cakes baked without salt.
    Your cake is the cream of the crop in appearance and I also chose yours because it called for a teaspoon of salt, my Mother always taught, always add salt to your confections it balances out the flavor.
    Well, I baked the cake and I am satisfied with the outcome. Lady, your cake is the bomb!
    The only problem there was my bundt pan was too small, the next time, I’ll bake in an angel food cake pan.
    Thank you so much for my go to pound cake recipe.

  18. Hello , I was wondering can you substitute cake flour for the all purpose flour?

  19. I made this recipe over the weekend and it came out beautifully! I could not have expected it any better. Then when I tasted it…OMG! It was Magnificent….then when everyone else tasted it, they were exceptionally pleased. This will now be my go to cake. I give it a two thumbs up!!!!!

  20. 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!

  21. Hey I’m trying this cake today should I use salted or unsalted butter

  22. Made a vegan version of this and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY! I was worried with all the substitutions that had to be made (particularly the 6 eggs, seeing as that makes up a lot of the cake) but all the worrying was for nothing! Followed to a T otherwise and all was well. 

  23. I took a wild notion to bake a cake today. I picked this recipe for my first cake. Followed the instructions and it came out PERFECT! Will definitely be baking this again and again!

    • Justin – this is such a happy comment for me to see!
      Your first cake – I’m so happy you found this recipe, enjoyed baking it and eating it! I am just tickled with this and that you want to bake more! Thank you so very much for sharing this with me!

  24. I made this today and it was delicious. I left out the zest and poked holes in the cake with a skewer so the glaze could really soak in. Everyone loved it!

  25. My husband made this lemon pound cake for my work potluck. It was delicious! Everyone who tried it, loved it. Even my young son loved it, and he is a very picky eater. I told my husband that he will have to make it again soon. He said that he made some minor adjustments to the recipe:

    1.) For the cake section of the recipe: he used all of the lemon juice from 2 lemons that he hand squeezed instead of just 2 TBS and then squeezed and shaved off the pulp and put it into the batter.

    2.) For the directions section of the recipe: at the end of step 2, before putting the batter into the pan, he added 2 TBS to a 1/4 cup of Sierra Nevada Hazy IPA slowly while mixing the batter (the alcohol cooks off but aerates the pound cake).

  26. This recipe is amazing and so simple.

  27. I was looking for a lemon pound cake recipe and came across this one, checked out the reviews and decided to give it a try and just so you know it came out wonderful, the only change I made was to the glaze, I did not have any buttermilk so I added 2 tbsp of melted butter.

    So that everyone knows, this cake uses 6 eggs and no leveling ingredients, you don’t need baking powder and baking soda because the eggs is what makes the cake rise and expand, you can switch up from cream cheese to sour cream and get the same result, this is a great recipe and I will use this again and again.

  28. Oh my this was amazing. I added more lemon than it calls for

  29.  I agree with one of the comments that the vanilla overpowers the lemon.  I used 1/4 tsp vanilla and 3/4 tsp lemon extract.  I also used mini cake/bundt pans because I want to give them as Christmas gifts in decorative boxes.  It took less time to cook, also.  They are beautiful and more importantly, they are delicious.  Can’t wait to hear the oohs and ahhhs.  

    Thanks for a great recipe.  I think anything lemony at Christmas is a slice of sunshine!

  30. Love this recipe, have made it twice using duck eggs. Delicious!!! My husband loves lemon. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  31. Will halving all the ingredients still achieve the same results, just with a smaller cake? I dont want to end up throwing away a bunch of cake because its too much too eat.

  32. I always make my brothers a pound cake for the holidays. This year my brother wants a lemon pound cake. I want to use your recipe but I have one question. Your recipe calls for lemon zest. How much lemon zest? I’ve not baked anything that called for this before so I have no idea the proper way to use it. 

    Thank you

    • Hi Anita,
      The recipe uses the zest from the peel of one lemon. There are several articles online about zesting a lemon. It’s done with a zester but can use a fine grater. Just use the outer peel for zest – don’t get into the pith (or white part).
      Hope this helps! Enjoy the cake – it’s delicious. Make sure you make the glaze…so good!

    • Hi Anita,
      To zest a lemon, you’d want to use a zester and carefully just remove the colored zest portion of the outside of the lemon. Be sure not to get the white pithy part of the lemon as it is bitter. You’ll want to zest one lemon for the pound cake portion and then another one for the icing. If for some reason you do not have a zester, you can omit it, but it does lend a tremendous amount of flavor to the lemon pound cake and I highly, highly recommend it. You can find zesters fairly inexpensively at most local grocery stores, Walmart, Target and of course online at Amazon. I can’t wait to hear how your brothers enjoy it!

  33. This is the best cake! I poke holes in the cake and make some extra glaze to drip into the holes!

    A hit!

  34. This was the first lemon pound cake I made and it was a big hit. I added 1/2 tb of lemon extract to the cake and the juice from the lemon I zested in addition to the 2 tb of lemon juice. 

    The crusty exterior was sublime. 

    Thank you so much for this recipe. 

  35. Oh my. This is delicious. Made it for New Year’s 2019; followed the recipe exactly and it came out absolutely perfect. I have not baked in years and so wasn’t sure how this would turn out. The cake is so dense and moist, with a delightfully fresh taste of light lemon. I ensured that the eggs, cream cheese and butter were room temperature and the cake rose just perfectly. The glaze is just the right texture and has enough tartness to balance the richness of the cake. A keeper for sure!

  36. Don’t know if I need to sift the sugar and flour, need to know asap. Thanks

  37. Omg! This is the most delicious lemon pound cake I’ve ever made!! It is so much better than even Starbucks pound cake!!! Soooo unbelievably moist too! You won’t be sorry!!!

  38. I just made this lemon pound cake 2 days ago, and it was 2 DIE FOR!!! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! By the way, we did use the buttermilk substitute. It is very easy to make🤤🤤🤤 This cake made birthday wishes come true!

  39. Can I use salted butter?

  40. I live at high altitude (5280 feet). Do I need to adjust anything?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Abby,
      You will need to make adjustments for high altitude baking. You should be able to find information for your area and altitude online or from your local extension service. Enjoy it! xo

  41. Can I refrigerate the batter overnight?

  42. I don’t like buttermilk. Can I use regular milk. This lemon pound is a new one.

    • Hi Pearl,
      The buttermilk is just used in the glaze, which is delicious, but you can use regular milk for this glaze if you wish. It will taste a bit different, but if you don’t like buttermilk, you should enjoy it. Hope you enjoy the cake! It’s so good! xo

  43. I have made this several times and it always comes out perfect. I always pick the largest lemons for the zest and always have extra fresh squeezed lemon juice left over after adding the required 2 tablespoons for the cake as well as the glaze. I make sure the eggs, butter and cream cheese are at room temp, as well as the lemons so I get the most juice possible (rolling the lemon also helps). I’m also careful not to over beat, as stated in the recipe. I bake for the full 90 minutes. I will refrigerate my leftovers but always warm a piece in the microwave for 10 seconds before eating to bring out the lemony flavor. Lots of compliments and it is now a favorite of mine to make. Thanks for a wonderful addition to my collection!

  44. This cake is fabulous! First used it as a base for a lemon trifle with lemon curd, whipped cream and lots of berries. Addicting! Made it again today for a birthday celebration and we are all salivating just looking at it. I used gluten-free flour (with xanthum gum already in the mix) and added an extra egg and it was perfect. Cooked 1.5hrs both times I made it, black bundt pan (don’t know how many cups).

  45. robin, do you use unsalted butter in this recipe?

  46. Made this yesterday for today’s Easter dinner — it was really fun to make (fluffing up the butter, cream cheese, and sugar, especially :)), and turned out BEAUTIFULLY. It was a HUGE hit with the family, relatives asked to take extra slices home with them, and I’ve already shared your website with them! Many thanks for a fantastic recipe, this will be my go-to cake for family/friends/church/potlucks! Best regards to you!

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