Lemon Pound Cake is soft and moist with a golden exterior and a tangy lemon glaze...an easy, scrumptious dessert recipe for Easter, spring, or summer!
The time has arrived for all things lemon! I don't know what it is about springtime and the approach of Easter, but this time of year always gives me a hankering for lemon recipes of any kind...and particularly desserts. And this year, that means a delectable, from-scratch Lemon Pound Cake!
It's hard to beat a good pound cake, but sometimes it's not so simple to create a good pound cake. Luckily, today's recipe is beyond good...it's downright delicious. Annnnd it's easy to make, to boot!
How to Make Lemon Pound Cake
To create this pound cake recipe, I took a classic sour cream pound cake recipe made in a bundt pan -- the kind you'd likely find in your grandmother's recipe files or old church cookbooks -- and gave it a lusciously lemon twist. That means that this here pound cake is from-scratch and 100% homemade! No cake mix or pudding mix in the mix -- heh.
- This pound cake, like many cake recipes, starts out with the usual whisking of the dry ingredients.
- Beat the wet ingredients separately.
- Then alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the wet ingredients.
- The last additions are a lemon trifecta: lemon zest, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and a splash of pure lemon extract.
- Pop in the oven and bake until the cakes tests done.
- For the finale, a puckery-sweet glaze puts everything over the lemon-lovin’ top. It's as simple as stirring even more fresh lemon juice into powdered sugar.
And that’s it! This Lemon Pound Cake was the perfect antidote for my newly unleashed springtime lemon cravings. My family went crazy over it as well. I mean, I knew my lemon-fanatic middle son would love it (and he did). But everyone who tried it positively scarfed it down…the whole cake didn’t last long at all. So by popular demand, I’m going to make it again for Easter (and probably every week for the rest of the summer)!
How Do I Bring Ingredients to Room Temperature?
It's happened to the best of us — you get all excited for a recipe and skim the ingredients, make a quick grocery list if you don't have everything, pick up the necessary items, and head home to get baking.
Only when you get to putting the ingredients together do you notice other instructions there in the ingredients. Phrases like "room temperature." That wouldn't be a big deal except you don't have the time to bring ingredients up to room temperature.
Is there a quick resolve for this problem? Yes! For this recipe, it's best to use butter, eggs, and sour cream at room temperature, and I'll tell you how to get them there so you can still make your cake and eat it, too.
Butter: If you keep your butter in the fridge, you *could* microwave it on low power for a few seconds at a time (checking and rotating often) until it's softened. I have mixed results with this method as some part of the butter typically melts, no matter how watchful of an eye I keep.
A better way is to put your butter in a warm bath. You'll want to place the butter in a bowl and put that bowl inside another bowl of warm water. If you have frozen butter, you might need to change the water bath once or twice until it's fully softened. Again, make sure it's not so hot that the butter melts.
Eggs: Most people don't keep their eggs on the countertop anymore. Although I've heard this is fine for some eggs like farm-fresh, I never keep store-bought eggs on the counter. So to bring eggs to room temperature, place them in a warm (not hot) bowl of water for five or ten minutes. Do not stick them in the microwave unless you're going for scrambled eggs! 😉
Sour Cream: To bring the sour cream up to room temperature, I'd do the same as with the butter — try that warm water bath. Be sure to stir the sour cream around as it warms to transfer the heat evenly.
Why Room Temperature Ingredients?
I wish that all baking could be as simple and easy as pulling things from the fridge and going from there. But, unfortunately, it's not always the way. But why is it important to use room temperature ingredients? I mean, you're just going to bake the cake or cookies or cupcakes anyway right? What difference does it make?
Well, it's all about the texture. Using room temperature dairy products and eggs when baking ensures you'll get that light, airy, fluffy texture. The ingredients will also whip together more easily if they are not used cold. Think about what it's like to beat cold, hard butter versus softened butter. If you're not convinced you can always try both ways and see which cake you prefer. 😉
What Makes This Lemon Pound Cake Moist?
This traditional pound cake gets its soft, dense texture and moist crumb from a combo of butter, sour cream, and half a dozen (yep — a whole six of 'em) eggs. I decided to slightly decrease the sugar in the original recipe. My cake still turned out nice and sweet with a decidedly crisp, golden crust.
Of course, brushing a lemon syrup on and then sealing in the moisture with a lemon glaze ensures this will be the moistest, most lemony-est cake ever. The only downside is that it will be so good, you'll have to make it all the time!
Helpful Tips, Tricks, and Equipment
- You'll want to use a bundt pan with a 12-cup capacity. If you're still worried about overflow, place a baking sheet under the pan while your cake bakes. As someone who is admittedly paranoid and doesn't like cleaning my oven, I always do.
- Some people swear by a no-stick baking spray that contains flour, but I think the safest way to ensure that your pound cake will release from the pan is to very generously grease and flour the pan.
- For best results, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature and don't overmix after adding the dry ingredients.
- The lemon juice is added towards the end of the recipe, along with the flour and sour cream. This prevents the batter from curdling, which could adversely affect the final texture of the cake.
- This cake is already pretty moist and lemony. But if you want it to be over-the-top moist and lemony, you can make a half-batch of Lemon Simple Syrup from this recipe (feel free to leave out the sliced lemons). Poke holes all over the cooled pound cake and brush on the syrup. Allow it to soak in before brushing on any remaining syrup. Then glaze as usual.
So how about you? Are you a fan of a simple, classic pound cake? Do you adore lemon desserts, but relegate them to the spring and summer months? Or are you the type to choose the slab of lemon pound cake out of the Starbucks bakery case even in December? Finally, do you adore an icing that makes your mouth pucker? If you answered "yes" to any or all of the above, this scrumptious Lemon Pound Cake recipe is for you!
More Lemon Treats
- Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars
- Lemon Fruit Dip
- The BEST Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lemon Blueberry Overnight Baked French Toast with Lemon Syrup
Lemon Pound Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
For the glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- Arrange a rack in the center position of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. In another large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- With the mixer set to low speed, alternately add half of the flour mixture, half of the sour cream, and then the remaining flour mixture, sour cream, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Mix until all ingredients are just combined, taking care not to overmix.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and firmly tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes (up to 1 hour hour and 30 minutes) until a few moist crumbs stick to a toothpick inserted in the center. Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire to finish cooling completely.
- For the glaze, measure the powdered sugar into a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice with a spoon until completely smooth. Add a bit more lemon juice if the glaze is too thick. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake and allow to harden and set. If desired, garnish with additional lemon zest.
Adapted from Taste of Home.
Post originally published on March 19, 2018.