Iced Lemon Pound Cake

Bake my lemon strawberry crumb bars next.

Luscious and moist lemon pound cake with sweet lemon icing. Simple and satisfying, this tastes incredible with fresh berries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s that time of the year again.

And I’m not referring to all the healthy eating we’ve got on our minds each January. No no no. Rather, it’s time to whip out our citrus zesters because life’s popping up lemons everywhere.

Luscious and moist lemon pound cake with sweet lemon icing. Simple and satisfying, this tastes incredible with fresh berries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This citrus season, I know exactly what you should make first: grapefruit Greek yogurt cake. And if grapefruit isn’t how you roll than iced lemon pound cake is a home run. I brought a 2nd loaf of this pound cake to our friends on Saturday. It was a dreary winter night for umbrellas and staying warm by the fire, but as we sat around the table sampling cookies and gobbling up this lemon cake, it somehow felt like spring wasn’t so far away. ♥

Spoiler alert: it is.

Basically, this sunshine sweet lemon pound cake is the dessert to serve at a dinner party in the dead of winter.

Lemons for lemon pound cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Batter for lemon pound cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Last year, I posted brown butter pound cake on my blog. In that post, I chatted about why I love baking pound cake but why it’s not really my top choice dessert to eat. Preparing it is, well, a piece of cake. Easy ingredients, pour into a loaf pan, and bake. The thing is– pound cake can taste sorta boring. That’s why I created a brown butter version. And why we’re looking at a lemon variation today.

Also, I have a lemon loaf recipe in my first cookbook. It’s one of my favorite recipes in the entire book. It’s a lighter-crumbed quick bread– soft and airy like birthday cake, but with big and bright lemon flavor that hits as soon as you take the first bite. Today’s recipe has the same wake-up-your-tastebuds flavor, but the texture is completely different. It’s unapologetically moist, very dense without tasting heavy, super rich, and has a smooth velvety crumb.

 

Batter for lemon pound cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Today’s recipe is a lot like the brown butter pound cake, but I cut back 1 egg to make room for lemon juice and a little sour cream. The sour cream went into test batch #2. The 2nd pound cake rose a little higher than the first and produced an even moister cake crumb, if that was even possible. The stars aligned– it was definitely the winner.

Note: if you don’t have sour cream, you can use milk instead. Keep in mind your pound cake won’t have a super tight crumb signature to pound cakes. The cake will have a lighter texture.

Deliciously moist lemon pound cake recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Luscious and moist lemon pound cake with sweet lemon icing. Simple and satisfying, this tastes incredible with fresh berries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I believe the saying goes… when life hands you lemons, make lemonade glaze. The icing on top of the pound cake adds a whole other level of lemon flavor. It’s thick and will set after a couple hours, producing this mouthwatering sweet and zingy layer you’ll want to save for last. You’ll need some heavy cream (or half and half or milk), lemon juice, and confectioners’ sugar.

Serve the lemon pound cake alone or under a mountain of fresh berries (there’s our health food!)– or thaw some frozen berries out this time of year. Top with vanilla ice cream or even a drizzle of raspberry sauce over the icing. It’s all as happy as a summer picnic even if it’s freezing rain outside the window right now.

Spoiler alert: it is.

Luscious and moist lemon pound cake with sweet lemon icing. Simple and satisfying, this tastes incredible with fresh berries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Iced Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (187g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (172g; 1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • zest of 1 lemon1
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Lemon Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons (22ml) lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream or milk

Directions:

  1. Lower the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, then beat in the sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and the vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients just until combined. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat for 10 seconds to rid any large lumps. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Pound cakes are dense and, therefore, take awhile in the oven. This takes about 48 minutes in my oven. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out *mostly* clean. A couple moist crumbs may remain.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool for 1 hour, then carefully remove from the loaf pan.
  6. Make the icing: Whisk all of the icing ingredients together and pour over slightly warm cake. Allow cake to cool completely before serving.
  7. Cover and store leftover cake at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Make ahead tip: You can make the pound cake ahead of time by freezing it. (I suggest icing it right before serving.) Bake it, cool it, then wrap it in aluminum foil and freeze the loaf as a whole. Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before topping with icing and serving. The cake freezes well up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes:

  1. I usually use zest from 1 and 1/2 lemons instead of just 1. I like a lot of lemon flavor and if you do too, zest more than just 1 lemon.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Zester | Kitchenaid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Farberware Nonstick Loaf Pan | Kitchenaid Loaf Pan | Eat Dessert First Fork

Love lemon? Try making homemade lemon curd.

Here's how to make lemon curd the simple way-- only 5 ingredients needed and it comes together on the stove in 10 minutes! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pays me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Luscious and moist lemon pound cake with sweet lemon icing. Simple and satisfying, this tastes incredible with fresh berries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Luscious and moist lemon pound cake with sweet lemon icing. Simple and satisfying, this tastes incredible with fresh berries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

171 Comments

Comments

  1. Jane Landis on June 8, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I baked this recipe to use in your Lemon Berry Trifle. The cake is only about 1 1/4″ in height when baked. My baking powder has not expired but could that be the problem? Or, I did use kosher salt as my salt. Do you think that could have caused the cake to not “rise” up very much? Anyway, I’m going to use the cake in the trifle but will have to use another pound cake in order to have enough for the trifle. The flavor is good but am disappointed in the final results. 🙁

    • Shannon on July 13, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      I baked this cake last night and mine was also short….but I actually expected it to be because of the pics shown above…. I think it’s just the way this cake is! Tastes great to me!

  2. Ann hill on June 12, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    My loafs only raised 2 inches followed directions exactly .i have fresh baking powder so its not that .

  3. Molly on June 27, 2018 at 4:06 am

    Hi Sally! I made this pound cake, as well as several others in the past, and it tasted great. However, I can never get my pound cakes to bake all the way through. They always end up burned around the edges and underdone in the middle. I’ve tried putting foil over the top to stop them from burning. Do you have any suggestions as to what I’m doing wrong? Thanks so much for your help and all of your amazing recipes!

    • Sally on June 27, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Have you ever used an oven thermometer to test your oven? It might running a bit hot but with an inexpensive thermometer it can be an easy fix! Also be sure you are using the right size pan 🙂

  4. sarah on June 30, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    5 stars

  5. Stephie Scat on July 1, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    i made this for the first time today. My loaf was done at about 55 minutes, however, I started checking it at about 42 minutes as my oven tends to bake things quicker. ( I do have an oven thermometer.) I felt the end product was just a bit dry, however, I did test it several times in between and a toothpick didn’t come out clean until about 55 minutes. I didn’t want to over bake it, so I watched it closely, but I will cut the baking time a bit next time. However, it was still very good and everyone liked it! I was very happy with this recipe, and I have tried many like it! Thanks.

    • Sally on July 2, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Yes, I would suggest a few minutes less next time. But I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor!

  6. Oksana on July 2, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    First time I tried to bake this lemon pound cake according to the recipe. But two days later my husband requested it once again (it was so good!). But I didn’t have any butter at hand so I came up with an idea to use coconut oil instead. It worked out so well. And that coconutty flavour – it was delicious))

  7. Kirst on July 17, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Hi sally!

    I made this cake yesterday and it was PERFECT. So easy and came together quickly with a great lemon flavour. I made it again today and it came out quite a bit more dense and didn’t rise. Any idea how this could have happened?

    • Sally on July 18, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Hi Kirst! I’m so happy you loved the lemon pound cake! I’m unsure what could have happened between the 1st and 2nd loaf. Did you change anything? Even the smallest change: the oven rack position, the loaf pan?

      • Kirst on July 18, 2018 at 4:29 pm

        Nope! Everything was the same, and all ingredients came from the same batch. Could it be an over mixing issue?



      • Sally on July 20, 2018 at 9:26 am

        Overmixing could very well be the culprit.



  8. Sophia on July 27, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    I have a Freinds birthday coming up and he requested a lemon cake. I was thinking about making this since I won’t have a lot of time beforehand to make a more fancy layered cake. Do you think if would work to bake it in a different pan? For example a bundt pan to get a more fancy shape?
    I love all your recipes btw and am super excited to test this one out since lemon cakes are my favourite.
    Cheers
    Sophia

Reviews

  1. Susanna on May 14, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    We had this for Mother’s Day dessert and it was fantastic! It is completely gone already and everyone raved how dreamy it was. Will absolutely make this again!

    • Sally on May 15, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      So happy that it was a such a it, Susanna!

  2. sarah on June 30, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    5 stars

  3. Stephie Scat on July 1, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    i made this for the first time today. My loaf was done at about 55 minutes, however, I started checking it at about 42 minutes as my oven tends to bake things quicker. ( I do have an oven thermometer.) I felt the end product was just a bit dry, however, I did test it several times in between and a toothpick didn’t come out clean until about 55 minutes. I didn’t want to over bake it, so I watched it closely, but I will cut the baking time a bit next time. However, it was still very good and everyone liked it! I was very happy with this recipe, and I have tried many like it! Thanks.

    • Sally on July 2, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Yes, I would suggest a few minutes less next time. But I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor!

  4. Oksana on July 2, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    First time I tried to bake this lemon pound cake according to the recipe. But two days later my husband requested it once again (it was so good!). But I didn’t have any butter at hand so I came up with an idea to use coconut oil instead. It worked out so well. And that coconutty flavour – it was delicious))

Questions

  1. Talia on May 4, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    I have someone that requested this cake so she can keep it in the freezer and defrost/serve when she has company. Do you think it’s ok to freeze with the glaze? I see your note to freeze the loaf and add the glaze later, just hoping I can make his work for her!

    • Sally on May 7, 2018 at 10:25 am

      Hi Talia! This lemon pound cake can certainly be frozen with the glaze. For the best taste, though, I recommend fresh glaze.

      • Talia on May 8, 2018 at 2:02 pm

        Thank you!!



  2. J on May 4, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    How do I halve this particular recipe as it requires 3 eggs?

  3. Anisah Sheikh on May 12, 2018 at 8:07 am

    So you cover the tin with foil to get the pale top?

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 6:24 am

      Hi Anisah! To avoid over-browning, I suggest loosely covering with foil towards the end of baking.

  4. Jane Landis on June 8, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I baked this recipe to use in your Lemon Berry Trifle. The cake is only about 1 1/4″ in height when baked. My baking powder has not expired but could that be the problem? Or, I did use kosher salt as my salt. Do you think that could have caused the cake to not “rise” up very much? Anyway, I’m going to use the cake in the trifle but will have to use another pound cake in order to have enough for the trifle. The flavor is good but am disappointed in the final results. 🙁

    • Shannon on July 13, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      I baked this cake last night and mine was also short….but I actually expected it to be because of the pics shown above…. I think it’s just the way this cake is! Tastes great to me!

  5. Ann hill on June 12, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    My loafs only raised 2 inches followed directions exactly .i have fresh baking powder so its not that .

  6. Molly on June 27, 2018 at 4:06 am

    Hi Sally! I made this pound cake, as well as several others in the past, and it tasted great. However, I can never get my pound cakes to bake all the way through. They always end up burned around the edges and underdone in the middle. I’ve tried putting foil over the top to stop them from burning. Do you have any suggestions as to what I’m doing wrong? Thanks so much for your help and all of your amazing recipes!

    • Sally on June 27, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Have you ever used an oven thermometer to test your oven? It might running a bit hot but with an inexpensive thermometer it can be an easy fix! Also be sure you are using the right size pan 🙂

  7. Kirst on July 17, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Hi sally!

    I made this cake yesterday and it was PERFECT. So easy and came together quickly with a great lemon flavour. I made it again today and it came out quite a bit more dense and didn’t rise. Any idea how this could have happened?

    • Sally on July 18, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Hi Kirst! I’m so happy you loved the lemon pound cake! I’m unsure what could have happened between the 1st and 2nd loaf. Did you change anything? Even the smallest change: the oven rack position, the loaf pan?

      • Kirst on July 18, 2018 at 4:29 pm

        Nope! Everything was the same, and all ingredients came from the same batch. Could it be an over mixing issue?



      • Sally on July 20, 2018 at 9:26 am

        Overmixing could very well be the culprit.



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