This moist and fluffy Lemon Pound Cake is so easy to make from scratch, and absolutely bursting with bright lemon flavors! The sweet lemon glaze really takes this cake over the top. If you’re a fan of Starbucks Lemon Loaf, this lemon pound cake is for you!
This is one of my Dessert recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Pound cake is one of those classic desserts that dates back all the way to the 1700’s. Of course the ingredients have changed over time, but it’s still very much a classic.
I will say, this recipe is a bit of a non-traditional pound cake, in that it could really go either way… to be called a pound cake, or sweet quick bread.
In fact, it has a lot in common with Starbuck’s Lemon Loaf, but it’s not a copycat or anything.
So whichever name you call it, just know you’ll probably be making it often! That amazing sweet lemony flavor is so pronounced, and it’s so easy to make!
How to make lemon pound cake?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Cream the butter. Beating the butter until it’s light and fluffy. A mixer is super helpful for this.
- Add sugar and beat. Creaming the butter and sugar together until it’s light and fluffy again.
- Mix in eggs.
- Mix in all other wet ingredients. This would be the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and milk.
- Combine dry ingredients. I like to do this in a separate mixing bowl, then whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Mix in flour mixture. Be careful not to over-mix, you want to stir just until no flour streaks remain in the batter.
- Transfer to loaf pan.
- Bake and cool.
- Combine lemon glaze ingredients. This is the powdered sugar, lemon juice, milk, and the optional lemon zest.
- Stir until smooth. You can use a spoon, fork, whisk, whatever gets the job done.
- Pour over cooled pound cake.
Although not 100% necessary, I do highly recommend using a mixer for this recipe. A hand mixer works well, or you can bust out your trusty stand mixer (if you have one), but a mixer makes creaming the butter, then butter and sugar together so much easier.
Variations of this recipe
- Buttermilk – I normally use whole milk for this recipe, but buttermilk can be used instead. This will add extra tang.
- Thicker glaze/icing – if you prefer a thicker glaze, or even an icing on top of the bread, you can decrease the amount of liquids added to the powdered sugar. For more of an icing consistency, the key is to add the glaze when the bread has completely cooled.
- Greek yogurt – Plain, full-fat greek yogurt can be substituted for the sour cream if you’d like.
- Mini – Divide the batter evenly among 3 mini loaf pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Traditionally, pound cakes were made with a pound of flour, pound of butter, and pound of eggs. This recipe is a more non-conventional pound cake, in that it’s more of a moist/fluffy loaf.
I’ve only tested this recipe as written, so while I’m sure it could be, I can’t speak to how it may change the baking time.
You definitely want to use non-expired baking powder for this recipe, or your cake won’t rise. To test your baking powder, add a bit to hot water. If it bubbles and fizzes, you’re good to go! However, if your baking powder is older than 6 months, it’s best to just get a new can. The older one can still be used for cleaning purposes!
Making pound cake ahead of time
Good news… you can make this cake ahead of time.
My family even thinks this pound cake is even better and more moist on the second day, so it’s truly up to you!
One thing I don’t recommend, is making the batter ahead of time. This is due to the chemistry of baking. The baking soda will start reacting with the other ingredients as soon as it’s mixed, which can result in a less than quality cake.
Leftover pound cake should be kept in a bag at room temperature, and consumed within 3 days for best texture.
This pound cake can be frozen for longer storage. Wrap cake tightly in plastic wrap, then add to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Individual slices of cake can also be frozen, just make sure to wrap each slice in plastic wrap before adding to the freezer bag.
I’ve been using these loaf pans for years… in fact, I like them so much I bought several! Inexpensive, with even baking and square corners, and they’re the perfect size for pound cakes and quick breads.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Sweet Lemon Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar whisked to remove any lumps
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp whole milk
- 1 tsp lemon zest optional
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly spray two 9×5" loaf pans and line each with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add butter to a large mixing bowl and beat on medium with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat again until fluffy and combined.
- Add eggs and beat until combined. Add sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest and milk, then beat until combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt, whisking until well mixed.
- Add flour mixture to batter and stir with a rubber spatula until JUST combined and no flour streaks remain.
- Divide batter evenly among the two prepared loaf pans, using the spatula to smooth the batter into an even layer.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- While cake is cooling, in a small mixing bowl, add all sweet lemon glaze ingredients (powdered sugar, lemon juice, milk and the optional lemon zest).
- Whisk well until smooth. Once cake has cooled, remove it from the pan and pour the glaze over the top of the cake.
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- Calorie count (5319) is for the entire 9×5″ cake. However many slices you want to cut is up to you.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.