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.

lemon pound cake on a platter with lemon glaze

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.

Lemon pound cake slices on a plate

Ingredients

Ingredients lemon milk and flour

Lemons

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.

Flour

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

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.

Yogurt

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.

Milk

Like yogurt, any milk works for this recipe. We like to use soy milk or almond milk.

Sugar

White sugar and brown sugar both work. You can also add a pinch of salt if you like.

Oil

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.

Vanilla

Add vanilla extract or the seeds of a vanilla pod to add warmth and balance the tanginess of the lemons.

Lemon glaze

You’ll need lemon juice, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar to make the lemon glaze.

Lemon pound cake bite

Instructions

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.

cake batter

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.

pound cake batter

Note: overmixing develops the gluten in the flour, making the pound cake heavy and gummy, so don’t overmix. Some lumps are ok.

Lemon pound cake spatula

Pour batter into the loaf pan.

pound cake ready to bake

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.

Lemon pound cake cooling down

In the meantime, make the lemon glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.

lemon glaze

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.

Lemon pound cake with glaze

Variations

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.

Tips

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 inchesScaling number
8 x 40.70
8.5 x 4.50.85
9 x 40.80
9 x 5 or 9.5 x 51
10 x 51.10
11 x 51.20
Table with loaf pan size and scaling number.

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.

Lemon pound cake with glaze

Storage

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.

Questions

Why is it called pound cake?

Because originally, this cake was made with a pound of each of the ingredients used.

What is the secret to a good pound cake?

The secret to the perfect pound cake is the correct dry-to-wet ingredients ratio.

Why is my lemon pound cake dry?

You either baked it for too long, or the recipe is wrong.

Why does my lemon cake not rise?

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)

pound cake with chocolate

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.

lemon blueberry pound cake slices

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.

Louise holding a slice of zucchini bread

More easy cake recipes

If you’re looking for more quick and easy cakes, get inspiration from these sweets with few ingredients:

For many more easy dessert ideas, check out our desserts category page.

lemon pound cake

Lemon Pound Cake

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 13 votes
This lemon pound cake is softmoistflavorful, 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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Course: Beakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American

Equipment

  • 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.

Ingredients

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium lemon the grated zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup milk (also dairy-free milk)
  • cup yogurt (also dairy-free yogurt)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup oil canola, sunflower, avocado, or a light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

LEMON GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • 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.
    wet ingredients
  • 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.
    pound cake batter
  • Pour batter into loaf pan.
    pound cake ready to bake
  • 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.
    Lemon pound cake cooling down
  • In the meantime, make the lemon glaze by whisking together powdered sugarvanilla extract, and lemon juice.
    lemon glaze
  • 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.
    Lemon pound cake with glaze

Video

Easy Lemon Pound Cake | Whip it up in 5 minutes!

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 slice of lemon pound cake out of 12 slices with lemon glaze. A slice without lemon glaze is about 202 kcal.

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Potassium: 180mg, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 35IU, Vitamin B6: 0.03mg, Vitamin C: 9mg, Vitamin E: 1mg, Vitamin K: 3µg, Calcium: 83mg, Folate: 48µg, Iron: 1mg, Manganese: 0.2mg, Magnesium: 9mg, Zinc: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe? Leave a comment below or mention @theplantbasedschool on Instagram. We are also on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.

If you liked this lemon pound cake, you might also like the following:

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”zywHuxBn” upload-date=”2022-11-16T07:27:56.000Z” name=”Lemon Pound Cake.mov” description=”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.
” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]


Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

5 from 13 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi! Very nice recipe! However, when I had to make it gluten free, it didn’t rise as much and was a bit dry .. do you recommend any adaptions for gluten free flour? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Eva,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Flour: I don’t see from your comment whether you used a mix of multiple flours for this pound cake.
      Our best advice in orde to mimic the protein, fiber and starch content of wheat flour is to use a gluten-free flour mix 🙂 The gluten-free mixes can often replace regular all-purpose flour at a ratio of 1:1 to help breads and cakes rise.

      Moisture: Some gluten-free flours need more liquid and fat than regular flour. One way to aid this, is to add extra oil to help add moisture to this cake.

      I hope this helps! Have a wonderful weekend when you get there.

      Kindest, Louise

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe I love pound cake but never want to use that many eggs in a recipe. I’m so excited to try out your cake recipes!

    1. Hi Fatima,
      I’m so happy to hear you feel inspired!! Thanks so much for your kind message – and have a fantastic weekend.
      Kindest,
      Louise

      1. 5 stars
        Ok I am the only Vegan In the family and whenever they are, having dessert I can’t have it because it’s not vegan and this is so good and I am excited to try your other recipes!

        1. Hi Reese,
          Oh, I’m super happy that you found a cake solution for your family get-together with this pound cake.
          Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, and have a wonderful weekend when you get there!
          Kindest,
          Louise

  3. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe and it came out great!

    I used unsweetened yogurt, didn’t add extra sugar and was very pleased with the result.

    This is an amazing healthy alternative for a pound cake!