Rich, tangy, moist from scratch Lemon Pound Cake has the perfect crumb with lemon flavor throughout and a smooth citrus-y lemon glaze. It’s so easy to make in a loaf pan and every slice is marvelous!
This cake was inspired by our favorite classic Pound Cake. Both are great for brunch, luncheons, showers, and absolutely any occasion.
Aaaah lemon! Such a delicious flavor in sweets and savory dishes that brings a fresh, brightness to everything. We just love it. This Lemon Pound Cake Recipe is no exception, where every bite is bursting with lemon flavor. The cake is moist and tender, with a tanginess that compliments the sweetness of the cake. Lovely brown edges and a smooth tart icing, makes every slice irresistible.
We don’t necessarily consider this recipe a Starbucks Lemon Loaf copycat, but if you love their lemon cake, you will definitely love our recipe, too!
Lemon Pound Cake Recipe
This easy pound cake calls for pretty standard ingredients, but the results are a marvelous crumb that you can’t get enough of! A freshly baked loaf doesn’t last long in my house. Here’s what you’ll need:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Butter: Butter is the base of pound cake. We use unsalted butter, so the cake doesn’t end up too salty.
- Eggs: Eggs provide structure and a necessary ingredient in pound cake.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk keeps the cake moist and adds tanginess.
- Sugar: For sweetness and to properly cream the butter.
- Cake flour: Cake flour renders the best results. It’s lighter than all-purpose flour and produces the most light, delicate crumb. However, you can use all-purpose flour, if that’s all you have.
- Baking powder: Gives the cake a little lift.
- Salt: Boosts the other flavors.
- Vanilla extract: A little bit of vanilla extract adds a nice touch of flavor.
- Lemon juice and zest: Since lemons are the star here, use fresh for best flavor.
- Powdered sugar: This is needed to make the glaze. Do not use granulated sugar.
Tips for Success
Making lemon pound cake is very easy, but follow these tips for optimal results:
(To make this lemon cake recipe and skip the tips, follow the steps below included in the printable recipe card.)
- Don’t omit the lemon zest: you might be tempted to skip the zest, but don’t! Along with the lemon juice, the zest is what contributes to the wonderful lemon flavor.
- Use fresh lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice tastes SO much better than the bottled stuff and really makes a difference in this lemon cake.
- Spoon and level the flour: by scooping, you could end up using too much, resulting in a heavy, dry cake. Make sure to spoon and sweep the flour.
- Butter and eggs should be room temperature: the butter and eggs should both be at room temperature before starting. This allows everything to incorporate better and results in a fluffier baked good.
- Don’t over-mix: Over-mixing can make the cake dense and tough like a brick.
- Butter and flour the loaf pan: this way the cake won’t stick to the pan once cooled, and will have a quick release.
- Remove air bubbles: Once the batter is poured into the pan, bang it on the counter once or twice to bring up any air bubbles.
- The glaze should be thick and not runny: The lemon glaze for this pound cake is pourable, but very thick and not runny. You may not need all the lemon juice called for. Add more, as needed to get the proper consistency.
How to Store Lemon Loaf Cake
Storing leftovers: Any pound cake that isn’t eaten keeps well at room temperature, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.
To freeze: Wrap baked and cooled cake in 1-2 layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil, and transfer to a freezer-safe bag. It can stay frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before slicing and serving. We recommend freezing without the glaze and adding that after thawing.
More Lemon Recipes:
- The Best! Lemon Bars
- Lemon Tart
- Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- Easy Lemon Trifle
- Lemon Blueberry Scones
- 5 Minute Lemon Curd
Lemon Pound Cake
For the Cake
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour , spoon & leveled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the Lemon Icing
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter and flour a standard 9×5 loaf pan (making sure to get butter in all the corner grooves and discard any excess flour.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) or using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high until light, fluffy, and pale in color, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary, about 4 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low and with the mixer running, add eggs one at a time, allowing the first to fully incorporate before adding the next. Then beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl again.
- With the mixer on low, add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until almost combined, then add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with another third of flour mixture and then the last half of the buttermilk, ending with the last third of the flour. Beat until just incorporated. Don’t over-mix.
- Using a rubber spatula, give the batter a final turn to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be a thick and very creamy.
- Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bang the pan on the counter once or twice to bring up any air bubbles. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean from the center and the top feels firm to the touch. (If after about 30-40 minutes the top is browning too much, tent a piece of aluminum foil over top and continue baking. All ovens run differently, so baking times can vary. Keep an eye on it.)
- Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes inside the pan. Then invert from pan and transfer to a wire rack or serving dish to cool completely.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, make the icing. Whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. (Add more powdered sugar to make it thicker or more lemon juice to thin it out. The consistency should be thick, but pourable.) Pour over the top of the loaf making sure it covers the top completely. Allow the icing to set/dry completely before slicing.