Lemon Pound Cake Loaf

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This Lemon Pound Cake is bursting with sweet-tart lemon flavor and incredible lemon icing. Lemon lovers, this recipe is for you!

Lemon Pound Cake Loaf

The fun thing about this recipe is it reminds me of my childhood pound cakes. My dad would make his pound cakes the old-fashioned way in a loaf pan. His pound cakes always had a lovely golden brown crust and were moist with a beautiful texture, and he always had some type of glaze over it.

This lemon pound cake recipe is an homage to those hundreds of cakes I enjoyed in my youth, and now you can create new food memories for yourself and your family.

My goal was to prepare a moist lemon pound cake with a crispy, crusty top that uses quality ingredients, like fresh lemon juice, cream cheese, and European butter, but without being too sweet.

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Key Ingredients

Before you embark on your lemon pound cake baking journey, take a look at this list of ingredients to make sure you have everything you need for a delicious lemon cake.  

Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest

In order to get the most lemon flavor, I use lemon zest and lemon juice in the cake and in the icing.

Flour

I only use unbleached all-purpose flour when I bake. My motto is the less it’s processed, the better the quality.

Baking soda

I was taught to use baking soda; most recipes you will find may call for baking powder or both.

Eggs

You cannot have a classic lemon cake recipe without eggs.

Unsalted Butter

If you use a European-style butter like Lewis Roads or Kerrygold’s, you will notice the enhanced flavors in your cake.

Sugar

For this recipe, we need granulated sugar and powdered sugar (confectioners sugar).

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How to Make a lemon pound cake recipe

I want my lemon pound cake recipe to be fun, tasty, and a crowd-pleaser for you and your guest to enjoy. Here are the steps required to pull this recipe off successfully every time.

Lemon Pound Cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F and place on the oven rack in the center. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a large bowl. Should take about 3-5 minutes, depending on if you’re using a hand mixer or a stand mixer.

Add eggs 1 at a time until fully combined. Add cream cheese, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. The batter should be thick and fluffy.

Place all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a mesh strainer and sift over a medium bowl.

Add flour to cake batter 1 cup at a time until no streaks of flour are visible. Cut 2 strips of parchment paper that are long enough to hang out the loaf pan by at least 2-3 inches.

Pour batter evenly into two greased 9-inch loaf pans with a strip of parchment paper in the center (I usually weigh each pan, but you can add the batter one cup at a time.) Drop pans gently on the counter 3 times to remove any air bubbles.

Bake for 1 hour, rotate pans, and cook for another 15 minutes until golden brown or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Wait ten minutes before removing the cake from the pans by grabbing the parchment paper. You may need to use a butter knife to loosen the cake around the edges. Cool for a minimum of 30 minutes before icing.

Lemon Icing: While the cake bakes, in a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice together until smooth. Pour icing evenly over the cooled cakes. Slice and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are the best practices, techniques, substitutes, and flavor builders you’ll need for lemon pound cake.

  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice flavor is 100 times better than bottled lemon juice. However, if that’s all you have, use the lemon juice in a bottle.
  • One major key is to properly cream your butter and sugar. Creaming for 3-5 minutes allows enough air to be incorporated into the cakes.
  • Use room-temperature eggs, butter, and cream cheese. This will allow them to blend faster and evenly in the batter.
  • Feel free to use sour cream instead of cream cheese.
  • You can use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour to make this cake gluten friendly.
  • If you want to use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. Use 1 cup 2 tablespoons of cake flour per cup of all-purpose flour. 
  • If you use salted butter instead of unsalted butter, omit the salt from the recipe.
  • Using fresh lemon zest omits the need for using lemon extract. 
  • Use 1 teaspoon of lemon extract instead of lemon zest. 
  • For an easy release, use a piece of parchment or foil to lift the cake out of the pan. 
  • Glass, metal, or silicone 9-inch loaf pan will work for this recipe. 
  • Use the zesting side of your cheese grater to remove the zest from the lemon if you do not have a microplane or zester.
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FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about lemon pound cake.

What’s the difference between a glaze and icing?

The difference between a glaze and icing is the thickness. A glaze will be lighter, not hardening much after it cools. An icing is thicker and solidifies as it cools.

Is pound cake the same as loaf cake?

Yes, a pound cake and a pound cake loaf are essentially the same thing. They use the same ingredients and measurements. The difference is the baking pan. A loaf cake is only baked in a loaf pan. Whereas a pound cake can be baked in a bundt pan.

What does lemon juice do to a cake?

Lemon juice adds a fresh, bright lemon flavor to the cake, plus the citrus keeps the gluten from developing too much, which helps keep the cake moist and tender.

Why is my lemon pound cake dry?

The reason why your lemon pound cake is dry could be because of a few factors are all the reasons below.
 
First, a pound cake can be dry if too much gluten forms, which happens from over-mixing. Blend your dry ingredients into the cake on low speed. 

Second, your measurements may be wrong; make sure you’re following the recipe as written. Use dry measuring cups for dry ingredients only. Do the same with liquid measuring cups. 

Third, over-baking your pound cake will result in a dry cake. Make sure your oven is heating to the right temperature. 

Why does my lemon loaf cake sink in the middle?

There are a few potential reasons why your lemon loaf cake may sink in the middle. One possibility is that you didn’t beat the eggs and sugar together enough, which could cause the cake to fall.
 
Additionally, over-mixing can also make a cake dense and lead to it sinking in the middle. Finally, sometimes you just need to rotate your cakes while baking.

What is a lemon glaze made of?

Lemon glaze ingredients include powdered sugar, melted butter, salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

Should lemon pound cake loaf be refrigerated?

Yes, to keep lemon pound cake loaf the freshest it should be refrigerated. You can individually wrap each slice or the whole cake with plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container.

How to store lemon pound cake?

Lemon pound cake is best 3 days after it’s made but will remain fresh, covered on the counter in a cool place for about 4 days. It can stay fresher longer by placing slices in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.
 
Freeze the cake for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating. Reheat the cake in a 300°F oven for 5 minutes or pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds.

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More Lemon Recipes

If you love desserts with lemon in them, you’ll definitely want to try these. 

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Before getting started, here are the steps I use to get organized. 

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325°F before pulling the ingredients out.

Step 2: Put everything measured into individual bowls.

Step 3: Start following the recipe and get ready for the best lemon pound cake recipe you’ve ever had.

If you’re in the mood for a delicious, lemony pound cake, this recipe is perfect. It is full of bright lemon flavors, and the icing is perfectly sweetened. Whip up this delicious cake up today, and let me know how it turns out! And don’t forget to leave a comment and star rating below. I can’t wait to hear from you.

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Lemon Pound Cake Loaf

Kenneth Temple
This Lemon Pound Cake is bursting with sweet-tart lemon flavor and incredible lemon icing. Lemon lovers, this recipe is for you!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 14 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 persons
Calories 436 kcal

Ingredients
  

Lemon Pound Cake:

  • 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese room temperature
  • zest of 2 small lemons
  • ¼ cup lemon juice about 1 ½ small lemons
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Icing:

  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 7 tablespoons lemon juice about 3 small lemons

Instructions
 

Lemon Pound Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F and place oven rack in the center. In a large bowl with cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs 1 at a time. Next, add cream cheese, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice. Place flour, baking soda and salt in mesh strainer and sift in another bowl.
  • Add flour to cake batter 1 cup at a time. Cut two strips of parchment paper that are long enough to hang out the loaf pans by at least 2-3 inches. Pour batter into two greased 9-inch loaf pans (I usually weigh each pan to make sure there’s equal amounts in each pan. You can also add them 1 cup at a time.) Drop pans gently on the counter 3 times to remove any air bubbles.
  • Bake for 1 hour, then rotate the pans, cook for another 15 minutes until golden brown or when a toothpick is inserted into the center and comes out clean. Once removed from the oven wait 10 minutes before removing the cake from pans removing the cake from the pans by grabbing the parchment paper. You may need to use a knife to loosen the cake around the edges. Allow cake to cool for minimum 30 minutes.

Lemon Icing:

  • In a large bowl add powder sugar, butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice mix together until smooth. Pour evenly over cooled cakes. Slice and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are the best practices, techniques, substitutes, and flavor builders, you’ll need for lemon pound cake.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice flavor is 100 times better than bottled lemon juice. However, if you’re in a rush for time, use the lemon juice in a bottle.
  • One major key is to properly cream your butter and sugar. Creaming for 3-5 minutes allows enough air to be incorporated into the cakes.
  • Use room temperature eggs, butter, and cream cheese. This will allow them to blend faster and evenly in the batter.
  • Feel free to use sour cream instead of cream cheese.
  • You can use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour to make this cake gluten friendly.
  • Feel free to use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour.
  • If you use salted butter instead of unsalted butter, omit the salt from the recipe.
  • Using fresh lemon zest omits the need for using lemon extract.
  • Use the zesting side of your cheese grater to remove the zest from the lemon if you do not have a microplane or zester.
Storage
 Lemon pound cake is best 3 days after it’s made but will remain fresh, covered on the counter in a cool place for about 4 days. It can stay fresher longer by placing slices in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.
Freeze the cake for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating. Reheat cake in a 300°F oven for 5 minutes or pop in the microwave for 10 seconds.

Nutrition

Calories: 436kcalCarbohydrates: 85gProtein: 5gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 177mgPotassium: 80mgFiber: 1gSugar: 66gVitamin A: 350IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg
Keyword easy lemon pound cake loaf, glazed lemon loaf, glazed lemon pound cake, lemon loaf glaze, lemon loaf pound cake, lemon pound cake loaf, loaf lemon pound cake
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