Lemon Pound Cake

This bright and buttery lemon pound cake is the perfect anytime cake.

Lemon Pound Cake

Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Josh Hoggle

Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
8 servings

This lemon pound cake recipe has a moist and tender crumb with a golden-domed crunchy crust that’s topped with a lemony glaze that adds an accent of sweetness. A handful of pantry staples come together to create this citrus-infused cake that is perfect for breakfast, tea, dessert, or as a snack. 

Making sure you beat the butter until fluffy is essential to the crumb of the pound cake. The butter may appear broken after you add in the liquid, but that’s ok, keep going. We’ve tested this cake in a loaf pan but you can also try a bundt cake mold, for a different visual appeal. This recipe calls for regular lemon juice but feel free to try another citrus such as orange, Meyer lemon, lime, or calamansi.


  • Baking spray with flour

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 cup whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, plus 8 to 9 tablespoons fresh juice, divided (from 3 medium lemons)

  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray. Line loaf pan with parchment paper; coat with baking spray.

  2. Beat granulated sugar and butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until very fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well on medium speed after each addition.

  3. Stir together sifted flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in a mixer on low speed, alternately with milk and 1/4 cup of the lemon juice, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Beat on high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour, 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove cake from loaf pan and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.

  5. Place powdered sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon zest in a medium bowl. Whisk in remaining 4 to 5 tablespoons lemon juice as needed to reach desired consistency until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake.

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