This lemon pound cake is soft, moist, flavorful, and the perfect treat for lemon lovers. The recipe is easy to make, with a few pantry staples, fresh lemon juice, and zest.
You can eat the lemon pound cake as is or drizzle it with a quick finger-licking good lemon glaze.
On this page:
Check out our Best Easy Desserts
Easy, quick, soft, moist, and packed with lemon flavor. You won't believe how tasty and easy this lemon pound cake recipe is. It's one of our family's favorite pound cake recipes in texture and flavor.
You'll need fresh lemons to infuse the batter with their fragrant and zesty aroma. We use both grated zest and fresh lemon juice for maximum lemon flavor.
You can whip up the cake batter in 5 minutes in a mixing bowl. You'll need all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, oil, a milk of your choice, including plant milk, vanilla extract, and yogurt.
The yogurt allows us to make a lemon pound cake that is perfectly moist, fulfilling, and delicious without eggs, butter, or sour cream.
Sure; ours is a modern take on pound cakes, but we are sure you'll love it!
And to make it vegan, feel free to swap milk and yogurt for plant milk and dairy-free yogurt.
You can serve a slice at any time of the day. Try it for breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or as dessert; in this case, we recommend drizzling it with our irresistible lemon glaze.
Get yourself some good quality lemons, ideally unwaxed or organic if you can, since we are using lemon juice and lemon zest.
First, zest the lemon, cut it in half, and juice it. It's easier to zest a whole lemon than a squeezed one.
Also, when zesting a lemon, ensure you only grate the yellow peel, not the white pith underneath. The white flesh is bitter, and you don't want it in your lemon pound cake.
There's no need for lemon extract or lemon syrup.
You can use all-purpose flour. Alternatively, you can use 50% all-purpose and 50% whole-wheat flour to make the pound cake a little more wholesome and nutritious.
To make it gluten-free, substitute a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour mixture for wheat flour.
Baking powder allows the cake to rise and become airy and light.
If you don't bake often, ensure your baking powder hasn't been sitting in your pantry for too long. Always check its expiration date to avoid disappointment.
There's no need to add baking soda.
You can use any yogurt of your choice for this recipe. Try full fat, reduced fat, and 0% fat.
You can even use dairy-free yogurt and make a vegan lemon pound cake. We tried soy yogurt and coconut yogurt, and they both work wonderfully.
Like yogurt, any milk works for this recipe. We like to use soy milk or almond milk.
White sugar and brown sugar both work. You can also add a pinch of salt if you like.
When making pound cakes, we prefer using neutral-flavored vegetable oil like canola oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, or a light olive oil because they make the cake lighter than butter and let the lemon flavor shine through.
If you want to make this cake oil-free, you can substitute apple sauce or water for oil in the same quantities.
Add vanilla extract or the seeds of a vanilla pod to add warmth and balance the tanginess of the lemons.
You'll need lemon juice, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar to make the lemon glaze.
Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Line a 9 x 5 Inches (23 x 12 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.
To a large mixing bowl, add grated lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, yogurt, sugar, canola oil, and vanilla extract.
Whisk until well combined. You can use a manual whisk or a hand mixer.
Sift in the flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined.
Do not overmix; it should only take you a few seconds. Some lumps are ok.
Note: overmixing develops the gluten in the flour, making the pound cake heavy and gummy, so don't overmix. Some lumps are ok.
Pour batter into the loaf pan.
Bake in the oven at 350°F or 180°C for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.
Take lemon pound cake out of the loaf pan and cool down completely on a wire rack.
In the meantime, make the lemon glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
Pour lemon glaze on the cake, slice it, and serve. It's also delicious with vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, and fresh berries.
Note: the lemon pound cake is also delicious without the glaze.
Vegan lemon pound cake
You can make this recipe vegan by simply swapping dairy-free yogurt (we love soy yogurt or coconut yogurt) and plant milk (we love soy milk or almond milk) for regular yogurt and milk.
We promise you won't notice any difference in taste and texture. If anything, the vegan lemon pound cake has a more aromatic flavor thanks to the plant-based ingredients.
Lemon bundt cake
You can make this classic pound cake into any shape you want. For example, turn it into an easy lemon bundt cake by simply baking it in a bundt pan. We used a 9-inch or 23-cm bundt pan.
Easy lemon cake
You can also use the same batter to make a delicious and soft round lemon cake that you can fill with tangy and creamy lemon curd.
The lemon curd combined with the lemon cake makes for a tremendous tangy and sweet treat.
Fitness lemon pound cake
For a healthier version of this classic lemon pound cake, substitute all-purpose flour for the same quantity of whole-wheat flour.
Then replace the sugar with unrefined coconut sugar and add a handful of walnuts to the batter before baking the cake. This one will give you slow-sustained energy and fewer blood glucose spikes.
Don't overmix the batter
This is the most important tip we can give you to make a soft, fluffy, and light pound cake. Whisk the ingredients together for a few seconds until they are just combined. Some lumps are ok.
Overmixing activates the gluten in the flour, which will inevitably make your cake heavy and gummy.
If you use an electric mixer, do so on medium or low speed for only a few seconds.
How to scale this recipe?
This recipe is easy to scale. We calculated the scaling number for you.
Pick the loaf pan size you want to use for your cake, then multiply all the ingredients in our recipe box by the scaling number in this table.
We used a 9 x 5 inches loaf pan (23cm x 12cm).
|Loaf pan size in inches||Scaling number|
|8 x 4||0.70|
|8.5 x 4.5||0.85|
|9 x 4||0.80|
|9 x 5 or 9.5 x 5||1|
|10 x 5||1.10|
|11 x 5||1.20|
How do I know if my cake is fully baked?
Depending on the type of oven, type of milk, and type of flour, your cake will take more or less time to cook than our pound cake.
For this reason, when baking ANY cake, always check the cake's core with a clean toothpick or skewer before you take your cake out of the oven.
To do that, insert the toothpick or the skewer into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean and dry, your cake is ready. If the toothpick comes out wet, bake for a few minutes longer, then check again.
Room temperature: store lemon pound cake at room temperature, best if covered in a cake dome or wrapped in foil or plastic wrap for up to 4 - 5 days.
Freezer: you can also freeze it for up to 3 months. To do so, let it cool down completely, slice it, and wrap each in plastic for easy portioning and quick thawing.
Thaw in the microwave or the refrigerator.
Because originally, this cake was made with a pound of each of the ingredients used.
The secret to the perfect pound cake is the correct dry-to-wet ingredients ratio.
You either baked it for too long, or the recipe is wrong.
Cakes rise thanks to baking powder. If your lemon cake does not rise, it is because your baking powder has been open for too long or expired.
More pound cake recipes
Chocolate pound cake (vegan)
A rich, indulgent, and moist pound cake packed with chocolate flavor and a slight orange aroma. This one's a must for chocolate lovers.
Check out our chocolate pound cake recipe.
Blueberry lemon pound cake
Light, tangy, colorful, and zesty, our blueberry lemon pound cake is flavor and texture perfection. The blueberries make the cake beautifully moist and tart; a finger-liking good lemon-vanilla glaze balances their flavor.
Check out our blueberry lemon pound cake.
Vegan zucchini bread
Zucchini bread is kind of a pound cake with shredded zucchini, nuts, and dark chocolate chips. This might be the best zucchini recipe you'll ever make. The bread is light, soft, naturally sweet, and beautifully moist.
Check out our vegan zucchini bread recipe.
More easy cake recipes
If you're looking for more quick and easy cakes, get inspiration from these sweets with few ingredients:
- Easy apple cake: a reader favorite with quick preparation
- 8-ingredients pear cake with tender and soft pear bits
- Lemon blueberry cake with just 8 ingredients and an airy texture
- Orange cake with quick orange curd
For many more easy dessert ideas, check out our desserts category page.
Lemon Pound Cake
- Loaf pan 9 x 5 inches (23cm x 12cm). If you don't have this size, see the chapter "How to scale this recipe" above.
- Manual whisk or electric whisk.
- 1 medium lemon the grated zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup milk (also dairy-free milk)
- ⅓ cup yogurt (also dairy-free yogurt)
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup oil canola, sunflower, avocado, or a light olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C. Line loaf pan with parchment paper.To a large mixing bowl, add lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, yogurt, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract.Whisk until well combined.
- Sift in flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk until just combined.Do not overmix; it should only take you a few seconds. Some lumps are ok.
- Pour batter into loaf pan.
- Bake at 350°F or 180°C for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.Take lemon pound cake out of the loaf pan and cool down completely on a wire rack.
- In the meantime, make the lemon glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
- Pour lemon glaze on the cake, slice it, and serve. It's also delicious without glaze, or with vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, and fresh berries.
If you liked this lemon pound cake, you might also like the following: