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Cut lemon pound cake on wooden board, leaves around

The BEST Lemon Pound Cake

Calling all lemon lovers. This sweet, moist, and very lemony pound cake has sour cream for a perfect dense crumb, lemon zest and juice for that bright lemon flavor we all love, and a wonderful golden brown top. Easy to make, it is versatile (variations included in the post) and fantastic with a simple glaze!

  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings



For the cake:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons (130g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)

For the glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven 325ºF/170°C.
  2. Butter or spray one 9x4 loaf pan.
  3. Spray or butter the pan and line the bottom with parchment if you want. It makes it easier to remove it later.
  4. In a large bowl beat butter and sour cream until smooth, about 1 minute.
  5. Add lemon zest and mix.
  6. Add sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more.
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next.
  8. Add vanilla and juice.
  9. Sift flour with baking soda and salt and add it to the butter mixture at low speed, in 2 additions, beating only until well mixed. Don't overbeat.
  10. Pour batter into the pan and smooth the top.
  11. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. It might take longer depending on your oven and the type of pan you use. If the top is browning too quickly, tent with a piece of aluminum foil for the last part of the baking.
  12. Cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack, run a smooth-bladed knife around the edges to loosen and remove from the pan carefully.
  13. Let cool completely before glazing.

For the glaze:

  1. Mix the powdered sugar and juice until smooth.
  2. Put the cake on a wire rack and a piece of parchment paper below to catch the drippings.
  3. Slowly drizzle the glaze along the center of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
  4. You can scoop the glaze that drips onto the paper and pour it over again. Do so quickly before the glaze sets. 


  • Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Sour cream: full fat is what I always use because it makes for a richer cake, but low fat can be used to with good results.
  • Flour: if you have cake flour I like to use it for pound cakes. It lightens up the crumb a little, while still being dense. But keep in mind that all-purpose will work just fine also.
  • Creaming: take your time to cream butter, sour cream, and sugar. It makes the cake rise better and makes for a wonderful crumb.
  • Baking: pan sizes are important (see variations below) because dense cakes such as this lemon pound cake take a while to bake. So if the pan is too small it will color too much on the outside before being fully baked on the inside.
  • Storing it: well wrapped it keeps for 3 days at room temperature, a week in the fridge, and a month or more in the freezer. I love to freeze leftover pound cake in slices so I can toast them whenever I get a craving.
  • Bundt cake: you can easily double this recipe and bake it in a bundt pan or tube pan. I do it all the time.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooling time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/10
  • Calories: 347
  • Sugar: 37.7 g
  • Sodium: 120.9 mg
  • Fat: 13.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.4 g
  • Fiber: 0.6 g
  • Protein: 4.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 86.5 mg

Keywords: lemon pound cake