Iced Lemon Pound Cake

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

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

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

Batter for lemon pound cake on

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

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

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

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


Iced Lemon Pound Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 8-10
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This iced lemon pound cake is moist and rich, feels like springtime, and tastes incredible under a thick layer of lemon glaze.


  • 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 lemon*
  • 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


  1. Lower the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5 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.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: Zester | KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Farberware Nonstick Loaf Pan | USA Bakeware Loaf Pan | Eat Dessert First Fork
  3. Lemon Zest: 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.

Keywords: lemon pound cake, lemon cake, pound cake

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


  1. yes!! anything with lemon glaze is a winner (: and i love the sound of sour cream in here; it’s just bound to make the cake a little tangy and more tender and delicious!

  2. This sounds sooooooo good! I’ve said it before, but lemon glaze might be my drink of choice 😉 I’m actually amazed that spring seems imminent in North Carolina…what a huge difference from Colorado! I’m sure we’ll still have cold days, but there was one snowstorm (only a few inches, but very icy) so far this season and everyone freaked out…so I think it’s pretty uncommon 😉

  3. YUM. Lemon desserts are some of my favorites! Definitely need to make your grapefruit Greek yogurt cake too. ALL of the citrus! 🙂

  4. I ned to make this for my father in law! He loves lemon desserts – good excuse to bake 😉 
    So funny to hear how cold it is up north while here in the Deep South we’ve had literally ONE weekend where it got down to about 15…the next weekend it was back up to 80! 

  5. The lemon loaf recipe in your first cookbook is not only my most made recipe in the book, but one of my favourite recipes ever! I made it for the first time last Spring, and countless times since then. And anything citrus flavoured is exactly what I’m craving right now. I’m so tired of Winter! It’s been below 0 degrees here almost everyday since early December. Desperately missing early fall and everything pumpkin and cinnamon, but first we have to go through spring – and some weather where it’s finally warm enough to eat ice cream and not drink 1930 cups of coffee a day is exactly what I need right now 🙂

  6. Drool!!!

    Iced lemon pound cake = the best ever. I just made your orange cranberry bread yesterday, and it was amazing too. Love citrus and berries so much 🙂

  7. This looks so fresh and refreshing! Perfect way to escape from the cold winter for at least a moment!

  8. I’ve had a hankering for lemon something these days. 
    I was going to bake a lemon bliss bundt cake–and guess what??
    Move over lemon bliss cause Sally’s in town with iced lemon pound cake!!
    Instead of a large bundt cake, this loaf is just perfect for the hubby and me and cinnamon tea !!

    1. Brenda, in case you want to bake a larger lemon bundt cake– this one is my favorite:

  9. Aww that sunny yellow cake with the mint and pink raspberries look so pretty and inviting! Perfect for Sunday afternoons (or breakfasts 😉 )

  10. I can attest to the fact that your Brown Butter Pound Cake is to die for good! I’ve made it and couldn’t quit nibbling on it! This looks like another winner! Just noticed that your recipe doesn’t include the Make Ahead Tips section. Can’t wait to try this.

  11. My aunt is a professional chef. When she gave me a zester as an 18th birthday present, telling me this is something I can’t live without, I said thank you and then rolled my eyes. Boy, was I wrong! Now I love my zester and zesty recipes like these!

    1. You’re right. I didn’t think a zester would come in this handy! I use it more than practically any other kitchen gadget.

  12. One of my favorite pound cakes is almond – very much looking forward to trying your lemon recipe! I think tonight is a good night for that. (After I make my son’s requested Dorito salad for supper.) It’s drizzly and foggy here – yuck. But above freezing at the moment so not complaining!! Enjoy your day!

  13. Hi Sally! I’m just a little surprised you didn’t mention that its MLK day, because you seem to acknowledge other holidays. I love your recipes, but I’m just saying…today is an important day, and should be respected.

    1. Hi Leatta! My sincerest apologies; I don’t tend to include non-food related holidays on my blog (such as Presidents Day, MLK Day, Veterans Day) but that is certainly something to keep in mind for future holidays this year and for years to come. Thank you so much for bringing it up.

  14. Why must you tease us with spring dessert in January 😉 I only ever had pound cake at a wedding, I think it was vanilla with mascarpone frosting and it was so delicious!  Def love how easy they seem to make.

  15. Hey Sally! This look delicious. You always seem to put up at recipe that exactly matches what im craving! Two questions: 1. I assume the butter is softned, correct? 2. What about adding blueberries to this receipe? My husbands favorite cake is your lemon blueberry cake, so I wanted to give him something similar. Thanks for everything!

  16. Simply beautiful! I love anything with lemon and cannot wait to try out this recipe. Sally, I have to ask – Is there a difference in baking when using Meyer Lemons as opposed to regular lemons? I see Meyer Lemons in the shops and am eager to try them out. This may be a good opportunity, but not at the risk of spoiling the taste of this gorgeous cake! Thank you!

    1. I find Meyer lemons have a slightly sweeter flavor and lower acidity. There will be less of a *bite* in desserts if you use Meyer instead of regular. I don’t think anything in the recipe should be changed if you decide to use Meyer lemons in this 🙂

  17. Hi Sally!!!
     I made this pound cake this morning!! And just like all your other recipes I have made. It came out perfect.. Thanks so much for this recipe!!!!

  18. This is my favorite kind of cake. In fact lemon is my favorite flavor to put in nearly any dessert. My mum always loves to make different kinds of lemon cakes like this. So you brought back some fond memories (:

  19. Sally I can share with everyone that  your Brown Butter Pound Cake is wonderful. I made it for my book club and everyone went crazy for it and wanted the recipe. I have your first cookbook, so I’ll have to find that lemon recipe too. I love, love lemon so this might be my next book club dessert! Thanks. 

  20. Sally,

    I’m wondering if I can use this recipe to make my Easter lamb cake (in the aluminum mold). It calls for a pound cake recipe and I’ve always used the box mix. I’d love to try a scratch recipe if you think it would hold the  shape.  It sounds delicious!  

  21. Hi hi! Just wondering, Sally, do u think this recipe would work in a 9×13 pan? I often do volunteer baking where 40 portions are required, so any recipe that works in a sheet pan is wonderful. This looks and sounds spectacular, by the way

    1. Hi Lynie! This isn’t enough batter for a 9×13 pan, but this lemon cake is enough for a 9×13 pan. The cake will take 40-43 minutes at 350. You can leave out the blueberries.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally