Lemon Pound Cake is moist, slightly dense and full of lemon flavor, topped with a tart lemon icing. This Lemon Bundt cake is made with lemon zest, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and topped with lemon icing- this is the perfect pound cake for anyone who loves lemon desserts!
This lemon cake recipe is made completely from scratch using pantry staples, baked in a cast iron fluted cake pan. But, you can also bake in a traditional Bundt pan.
This pound cake recipe is super moist, full of lemon flavor, and will keep for days. Drizzled with a simple lemon icing, you’ll find this lemon cake recipe simple to make.
Why this recipe works
- Made with simple ingredients – This pound cake recipe uses ingredients readily available at most grocery stores.
- Prep ahead of time – Bundt cake is one of the type of cake that’s better the second day!
- Texture – Whipped egg whites folded into the batter make this cake fluffy and moist.
- Ease – Simple steps ensure the perfect pound cake each and every time. Made in one bowl with either an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer.
- Flavor – Full-fat buttermilk, along with pure lemon oil and lemon juice give this lemon cake incredible flavor. Lemon oil is made from the rinds of lemons. It does not contain any alcohol. (Do not substitute lemon extract! It’s not the same product!)
- Easy dessert – This Bundt cake is the perfect lemon dessert recipe for any occasion.
What you’ll need
- Butter – We always use unsalted butter with all baking recipes in order to control the salt in recipes.
- Eggs – With all of our baking recipes, we use large eggs. Be sure and bring eggs to room temperature for this cake recipe, as they will incorporate into the batter better. Separate the eggs, carefully. Do not get any egg yolk into the egg whites or they will not whip.
- Cream of tarter – Helps stabilize whipped egg whites, prevents sugar from crystallizing and acts as a leavening agent for baked goods.
- Flour – We prefer a good-quality unbleached all-purpose flour. You can also use cake flour if desired.
- Buttermilk or sour cream – Adds a tartness and moisture to this cake recipe.
- Baking soda and salt – Salt is always added to baking recipes to enhance flavor. Baking soda reacts with the buttermilk to help the cake rise properly.
- Pure lemon oil – Lemon extract has fillers such as water and alcohol as an ingredient, where as pure lemon oil is nothing more than the extract from lemons. It’s super concentrated, so you only need a very small amount.
This old-fashioned lemon pound cake has separated egg whites, which are whipped and folded into the cake batter. Making it super fluffy and moist. Very similar to an old-fashioned pound cake recipe. This lemon cake will keep for days and also freezes well.
I used a vintage 1930’s Lodge fluted cake pan for this Bundt cake recipe. Lodge is recreating this baking pan in their Legacy series. Order it here!
You can also bake lemon pound cake in a traditional Bundt pan. While I prefer to bake in cast iron, either will work fine. (Baking in cast iron helps distribute the heat better, which helps cakes and baked goods rise better and bake more evenly!)
How to make Lemon Bundt Cake
- Prepare baking pan – Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt or fluted cake pan, tap out excess flour. Set aside.
- Mix dry ingredients – In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted flour, salt and baking soda.
- Separate eggs – Separate the eggs, carefully. Beat egg whites with an electric hand mixer until you have a fairly stiff peak. (Be sure everything is grease free or egg whites will never whip up!)
- Cream butter – In either a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer on low speed.
- Add sugar – Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
- Add the eggs yolks – Add the egg yolks one at a time, be they are at room temperature so they easily incorporate into the cake batter.
- Add lemon juice, lemon oil, buttermilk and dry ingredients – Mix only until the batter is smooth and combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl occasionally. (If adding lemon zest, add here too.)
- Fold in egg whites – Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter.
- Place into baking pan – Scoop cake batter into the greased and floured cake pan.
- Bake – Place the cake pan into a preheated 325 degree F oven.
How to keep a Pound Cake moist
Lemon pound cake is one of our favorite cake recipes for cookouts, barbecues, potlucks and for holiday desserts.
- My secret ingredient to keeping pound cake moist and super fresh is dough conditioner. Professional bakers, such as my mom add this to all of their baking recipes. Add 1 teaspoon of dough conditioner to 1 cup of flour.
- Cream together butter and shortening at low speed. Vegetable shortening is a key ingredients to helping cake recipes stay moist.
- Don’t over mix the cake batter. Overmixing cake batter can cause cakes to be tough.
- Add room temperature eggs one at a time and only until combined.
- Use full-fat buttermilk and fresh ingredients.
- Don’t overbake the pound cake! Check if your cake is done with a toothpick when inserted comes out clean.
How to easily Remove a Cake From a Cake Pan
Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a baking rack.
Chances are you did not cream the butter and sugar long enough. Or you did not bake it long enough and it fell some after cooling.
Adding buttermilk, sour cream, or cream cheese gives more moisture and flavor to the cake. Sour cream and cream cheese add a richness. Cakes made with them are often super moist.
Remove the cake from the pan and let cool on a wire rack to cool. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes (depending on the recipe) before removing from the pan. This allows the cake to become firm enough to remove from the pan.
More Cake Recipes
- Pound Cake
- Lemon Loaf Cake
- Marble Pound Cake
- Loaf Coffee Cake
- Orange Dreamsicle Cake
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Chocolate Whoopie Pies
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Lemon Bundt Cake
Lemon Bundt Cake
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 7 large eggs separated, room temperature
- ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup buttermilk (or sour cream)
- 2 teaspoons pure lemon oil
- Zest of one large lemon optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour or cake flour
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
Lemon Bundt Cake
- Use a pastry brush to grease a 12-cup Bundt or cast-iron fluted cake pan with a thin layer of vegetable shortening. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
- Use a sifter or metal strainer to sift the flour into a medium size bowl. Add baking soda and salt, set aside.
- Separate the eggs, carefully. Do not get any egg yolk into the egg whites or they will not whip. Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a clean, grease free bowl. Whip until you have a fairly stiff peak. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, using either a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sugar gradually, beating thoroughly. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Scrape the bowl again. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, buttermilk and lemon oil. Combine.
- Gradually add the dry mixture to the cake batter and incorporate only until the batter is smooth and combined.
- Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter.
- Use a rubber spatula to scoop the cake batter into the prepared cake pan. Gently spread the batter around evenly.
- Place the cake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 1 hour 10 minutes. Or until a toothpick when inserted comes out mostly clean, with some moist crumbs.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a baking rack. Once cooled, then drizzle with lemon icing.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk. Add more milk if you want a thinner icing)
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