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Classic Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Lemon pound cake is a timeless dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. Its dense, moist texture combined with the refreshing zest of lemon makes it a delightful treat. This recipe is enriched with cream cheese and buttermilk, ensuring a rich flavor and perfect crumb. Let’s dive into making this classic cake from scratch.


For the Cake

  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • The juice and zest of 2 small lemons

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream


Step 1: Preheat the Oven

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Prepare the Pan: Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan or two 9×5 inch loaf pans. Ensure the pans are thoroughly coated to prevent sticking.

Step 2: Prepare the Batter

  1. Cream the Butter and Cream Cheese: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together using an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the Sugar: Gradually add the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Incorporate the Eggs: Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add the Extracts and Lemon: Mix in the vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Step 3: Combine Dry Ingredients

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Alternate Adding Dry Ingredients and Buttermilk: Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until just combined.
  3. Add Sour Cream: Fold in the sour cream until the batter is smooth and well combined.

Step 4: Bake the Cake

  1. Pour Batter into Pan: Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s), smoothing the top with a spatula.
  2. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 70-80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If using loaf pans, the baking time may be slightly shorter, around 60-70 minutes.
  3. Cool the Cake: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 5: Prepare the Glaze

  1. Mix Glaze Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and heavy cream until smooth and pourable. Adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar or heavy cream as needed.
  2. Glaze the Cake: Once the cake is completely cool, drizzle the glaze over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides.
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Tips for the Perfect Lemon Pound Cake

  1. Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure that your butter, cream cheese, and eggs are at room temperature before mixing. This helps achieve a smooth, lump-free batter.
  2. Don’t Overmix: When adding the flour mixture, mix until just combined. Overmixing can result in a dense cake.
  3. Check for Doneness: Oven temperatures can vary, so start checking your cake for doneness a few minutes before the end of the suggested baking time.
  4. Let the Cake Cool: Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing to prevent the glaze from melting off.


Can I Use Low-Fat Ingredients?

For the best texture and flavor, it’s recommended to use full-fat ingredients like full-fat cream cheese and whole buttermilk. However, you can use low-fat versions if desired, but it may slightly alter the texture and richness of the cake.

How Should I Store the Cake?

Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, you can refrigerate it for up to a week or freeze it for up to 3 months. If freezing, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and foil before placing it in a freezer-safe bag.

Can I Make the Cake Ahead of Time?

Yes, this lemon pound cake can be made a day ahead. The flavors tend to develop and improve after resting. Just be sure to glaze the cake on the day you plan to serve it for the freshest presentation.

Can I Add Poppy Seeds?

Absolutely! If you enjoy the texture and flavor of poppy seeds, you can add 2-3 tablespoons to the batter.

How Can I Make the Cake More Moist?

The addition of sour cream and buttermilk already helps make this cake moist. However, ensuring not to overbake the cake is key. If desired, you can also brush the cooled cake with a simple syrup made from equal parts sugar and water, boiled until the sugar dissolves.


This Lemon Pound Cake is a classic dessert that is sure to impress with its rich, buttery texture and bright lemon flavor. It’s perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a casual family dinner or a special celebration. Enjoy a slice with a cup of tea or coffee, or serve it with fresh berries and whipped cream for an extra treat. Happy baking!