The BEST Lemon Pound Cake Recipe (With Video!)

Honey, let me tell you, you’ve just found the Best Lemon Pound Cake on the Internet, no lies! It’s the perfect blend of tart and sweet, super moist, and bursting with that zesty lemon flavor that’ll have you coming back for seconds. And y’all, this Lemon Cake Recipe has a secret ingredient that takes it to a whole new level of yum. Trust and believe, once you give this a try, it’s gonna be your go-to for years.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

A lemon pound cake on the table with glaze and fresh slices of lemon.

Nothing beats the rich, buttery flavor of a homemade pound cake. My mouth waters at the thought of each bite melting in my mouth. I take pride in my own recipes; there’s nothing that I love more than serving one of my freshly baked cakes to someone new and watching their face light up after the first bite.

After years of hard work, dedication, and countless minor oven burns, I’ve earned the title of pound cake master. I was taught by none other than my Big Mama: a woman who could whip up the perfect one in minutes from what seemed like thin air.

She dedicated a rather large portion of her life to teaching me her tricks and sharing the traditions her mother passed on to her. We made them for holidays, Sunday dinners, and rainy summer days. Each one was delicious but they were made sweeter by the fact that they were shared with the people we loved.

Other cake recipes inspired by Big Mama, are my Sour Cream Pound Cake and Fresh Strawberry Pound Cake.

Today, the tradition lives on but in new ways. But that doesn’t mean that adding new flavors and remixing the classic can’t be just as tasty. So when I started Grandbaby Cakes I decided to take the lessons my grandmother taught me and apply them to new recipes.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

This lemon cake recipe is probably one of the best I have developed.  I think starting with a classic cream cheese pound cake recipe that I have been making for years put this recipe on the good foot and I thought the base of it would lend itself to a citrusy makeover.

  • Classic dessert everyone loves. You can absolutely never go wrong with a classic pound cake. It’s moist, buttery, and never overly sweet.
  • Serve it up in a variety of ways. Accompanied by vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream and fresh berries, it makes the perfect dessert.
  • Perfect for lemon lovers! The lemon brings bright, citrus flavors to the traditional version. If you love lemon, then you definitely need to try these lemon pancakes or this blueberry lemon pound cake.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make the best lemon pound cake on the counter.
  • Lemon Pudding: My secret ingredient in this recipe is: Instant Lemon Pudding.  That’s right, lemon pudding.  This ingredient adds two elements to this lemon cake recipe.
    1. One, it adds additional lemon flavor in a fun and exciting way.  Each bite of this lemon pound cake recipe is bursting with lemon so you definitely won’t miss it.  Trust me when I say it makes this cake no ordinary lemon bundt cake.
    2. And two, it adds additional moistness to the finished cake.  Think about how moist a pudding is.  Now imagine that going into your cake.  Each bite will melt in your mouth.
  • Unsalted butter and cream cheese: Cream cheese adds incredible flavor, an unbeatable texture, and a wonderful taste.  Butter combined with cream cheese adds wonderful fat to this cake. The two together combine for a tender fluffy cake.
  • Granulated sugar: White sugar is best for its light texture and it won’t affect the color of the cake. Sugar sweetens and creates a tender textured cake.
  • Eggs: Give the cake structure and color.
  • Cake flour: Cake flour is lower in protein than regular flour which means the cake is lighter. If you don’t have any, you can make your own right here!
  • Fresh lemon zest: Adds a more intense lemon flavor to the cake. Be sure you only use the yellow outer portion of the lemon as the white pith can be a bit bitter. Be sure to make extra to sprinkle over the top of the finished cake.
  • Powdered sugar: Used to make the simple glaze added to the cake after baking.
  • Lemon juice: Added to the glaze for a final touch of lemon flavor.
Overhead shot of the Lemon Pound Cake with slices cut out of it and whole lemons and lemon slices next to it.

How to Make the BEST Lemon Cake Recipe

Let’s look at an overview of what goes into making the BEST lemon cake recipe. Be sure to check the recipe card below for the full instructions.

To get started, gather up all the ingredients listed in the recipe card and preheat the oven. Preheating is the first step to baking the perfect cake.

  1. Combine the softened cream cheese, butter, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cream them together using high speed until smooth.
  2. Next, slowly add the sugar and instant pudding to the bowl and cream until the mixture is light and fluffy. Just note this will take about 5-7 minutes.
  1. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  2. Using the mixer on the slowest speed, add the flour one cup at a time into the bowl. Only mix long enough to incorporate the flour and do not overbeat at this point.
  1. Next, add the lemon zest to the bowl and mix it into the batter.
  2. Pour the cake batter into a greased and floured or baking sprayed 12-cup bundt or tube pan. 
  1. Bake your lemon cake for 1 hour and 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  2. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Then remove the cake and cool it on a wire rack for at least an hour.
  3. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. If it is too runny, add a bit more sugar or if it is too thick, add a little bit more lemon juice. You want to consistency to coat the back of a spoon but slide off easily. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cooled cake and sprinkle with lemon zest.
Drizzling lemon glaze over the baked cake.

Storage

After baking: Store the whole cake and leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container or well sealed in plastic wrap. Do not store it in the refrigerator as the air may dry the cake out more quickly.

Freezer: You can also freeze the cake for up to three months. Just be sure it is well wrapped so it doesn’t absorb any flavors from the freezer. Thaw out the cake at room temperature before serving.

Expert Tips

  • Use room temperature butter and cream cheese. The extra softness allows more air to incorporate into it while you’re beating it.
  • Beat the butter, cream cheese, and sugar really well together for about five to seven minutes. More air equals a lighter cake especially since no other leaveners are used in this lemon cake recipe.
  • Adding the flour. Use the lowest speed on the mixer and don’t overbeat. 
  • Be sure to preheat your oven. This step ensures more consistency and even cooking.
  • Allow the cake enough time to cool. If the cake is hot the glaze may melt rather than harden.

More Lemon Cake Flavors

This cake is definitely one of my favorite lemon cake recipes online. And y’all know how much I love a good pound cake. To try lemon in other pound cakes, I tried this Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake, 7 Up Pound Cake and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake.

If you want lemon flavor outside of pound cake, try this Strawberry Lemonade Cake (which is perfectly tart and sweet!) and this classic Lemon Layer Cake which is basically this cake in layer form with an irresistible frosting!

FAQs

What is the best flour to use for a pound cake?

I recommend using cake flour which is lower in protein than all-purpose flour and makes a more tender cake. You can buy it or make your own.

How do you make pound cake moist?

The addition of dairy ingredients such as cream cheese and sour cream work to make a moister cake. In this recipe, instant lemon pudding adds an extra boost of moisture.

Lemon pound cake with a few slices cut and one flat in the front.

More Cake Recipes You’ll Love

If you love this lemon pound cake recipe, check out more pound cake recipes on Grandbaby Cakes!

*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!* Post a photo of how your version of the recipe came out on Instagram (using #grandbabycakes)!!

Overhead of lemon pound cake with slices cut.

Lemon Pound Cake (Ultimate Lemon Cake Recipe)

This is the Best Lemon Pound Cake on the Internet!  Tart, sweet, and filled with lemon flavor, you will adore this classic recipe with a secret ingredient for years to come!
4.37 from 530 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 16 slices

Ingredients

For the Pound Cake:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese one brick, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 package lemon instant pudding (just use the mix/don't cook this!) 3.4 ounce
  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Optional: lemon zest for garnish

Instructions

For the Pound Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Add room temperature cream cheese, butter and salt to large mixing bowl and begin creaming on high speed until smooth.
  • Slowly add sugar and instant pudding to bowl and cream until light and fluffy which takes about 5-7 minutes.
  • Lower speed of mixer to medium and add one egg at a time and mix until incorporated.
  • Slow mixer to slowest speed and add flour one cup at a time into bowl until just incorporated.
  • Do not overbeat at this point.
  • Add lemon zest to bowl and mix.
  • Once everything is incorporated, pour cake batter into greased and floured or baking sprayed 12 cup bundt or tube pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 5-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove cake and place on cooling rack for an hour or until it is completely cooled.

For the Glaze:

  • Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. If it is too runny, add a bit more sugar or if it is too thick, add a little bit more lemon juice. You want to consistency to coat the back of a spoon but slide off easily.
  • Drizzle on top of cooled cake, sprinkle with lemon zest and serve.

Video

Notes

  • Use room temperature butter and cream cheese. The extra softness allows more air to incorporate into it while you’re beating it.
  • Beat the butter, cream cheese, and sugar really well together for about five to seven minutes. More air equals a lighter cake especially since no other leaveners are used in this lemon cake recipe.
  • Adding the flour. Use the lowest speed on the mixer and don’t overbeat. 
  • Be sure to preheat your oven. This step ensures more consistency and even cooking.
  • Allow the cake enough time to cool. If the cake is hot the glaze may melt rather than harden.

Nutrition

Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 76mg | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 0.6mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @GrandbabyCakes or tag #grandbabycakes!

This recipe was originally published March 2019, it has been updated for content and process photos.

Filed Under:  Dessert and Baking, Easter, Oven, Pound Cakes, Spring Recipes, Winter Recipes

Comments

  1. I made this last month and it was so delicious. I can’t wait to make the Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake.

    1. Thank you!! Looking forward to hearing what you think of the lemon blueberry pound cake!

  2. I love lemon and this recipe was to die for. It was hit with the family. A lemon pound cake was requested by my son-in-law for his birthday. So I’m a subscriber and saw your lemon pound cake. Your directions were spot on….kinda got a little because when checking on the cake it didn’t seem like it was going to rise but lo and behold it baked beautifully. Thank you for recipe and the good tasting lemon pound cake….Love It,,,,

    1. Thank you so much for being a subscriber, Ms. Paula! Happy to hear that everyone loved the cake!

    1. Hi Pamela, this is a pound cake so denser than traditional cake and does not use baking powder.

  3. Made this and shared it with my don and his family. Got a great review from them and us too! The extra fluffiness of the butter and cream cheese made an obvious difference! Thank you.

  4. Is this a shelf stable cake cause of the cream cheese? Can I replace that ingredient with something else?

    1. This cake requires the cream cheese since it is a major part of the base.

  5. As another reviewer mentioned, my cake too rose a good 1 to 2 inches over my 12 cup Bundt pan. This made me anxious….batter did not have a lemon forward flavor but a glaze will fix that…I even doubled the zest. Oh well it’s a fun project on a blustery night…..smells lovely and should be done in a couple minutes like an hour and 10-15 min. Hope it releases well from the pan! My side test cake in a ramekin was pretty tasty….thanks!

    1. Hmm, thank you so much for the feedback! I’ll take a look. Did you happen to hydrate the pudding before adding it to the batter, or did you add it in it’s powder form?

  6. I make this cake all the time for my family. It’s truly a perfect treat. I even used this recipe to perfect my Key Lime Pound cake and added the zest like you shared in the Key Lime recipe.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

4.37 from 530 votes (336 ratings without comment)

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