Introducing your new go-to cake. Sweet and tender Lemon and Sour Cream Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze! This delicious cake is bursting with the brightest lemon flavor and a moist, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Perfect for all your citrus season baking needs, it’s simple to make and pairs perfectly with our two-ingredient lemon glaze. This is the ultimate lemon pound cake for any occasion!
See what one of our readers had to say:
Do you enjoy pound cake? We sure do! From the simple (but delicious!) vanilla pound cake to the indulgent chocolate marble pound cake. We have shared a variety of flavors over the years, but this lemon and sour cream pound cake remains a reader-favorite.
Let’s Talk Pound Cake
Pound cake is the ultimate classic dessert that truly never goes out of style. Its dense, moist texture and rich flavor have made it a beloved treat for generations. Whether you’re a baking novice or a seasoned pro, pound cake is a versatile and timeless dessert that is perfect for any occasion. In this post, we’ll teach you how to make the perfect lemon pound cake, along with tips and tricks to ensure your cake is absolutely delicious.
The Key Points In Pound Cake
We have been baking pound cakes (and cakes in general) for a combined 40+ years. There are things we have learned through years of experimentation and developing, perfecting the classic pound cake. Let’s talk a bit about what makes a pound cake – well, a pound cake!
- Traditional Ingredients: A pound cake is characterized by its use of simple and staple ingredients, including flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. The classic ratio of one pound each of these ingredients is what gives the cake its name and distinctive richness.
- Dense Texture: Pound cake is known for its dense, yet tender, crumb, typically achieved through the creaming method and the absence of leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda. However, through the years, we found that this leads to a dryer mouthfeel and the cake isn’t as pleasant as it’s leavened counterparts. So, for this recipe, we added a dash of leavening to create a lighter crumb that’s still dense and moist, but more enjoyable to eat!
- Versatile Flavors: Though the traditional pound cake is plain, we have adapted it into countless flavors over the years, all while maintaining its signature dense structure and buttery taste. From coconut, vanilla, key lime, and chocolate chip to the latest addition – lemon!
5 Reasons Why We Love This Lemon Pound Cake (and You Will Too!)
- Bright flavor. The cake’s vibrant lemon flavor is refreshing and perfect for citrus season.
- The perfect structure. The use of sour cream in this cake results in an ultra moist, tender crumb that practically melts in your mouth!
- Easily adaptable. Prefer a loaf or maybe even mini bundts? No worries! This recipe can easily be divided between two 9 inch loaf pans or into mini bundt pans. Just be aware that the bake time will change depending on the pan you use.
- Easy to make. With simple instructions and basic ingredients, this cake is accessible to both new and experienced bakers.
- Effortlessly gorgeous. This cake is one of the few recipes on our blog that requires ZERO effort in terms of decorating. All you have to do is turn it out of the pan and drizzle with icing!
Expect A Thick Batter
Unlike a regular butter-based cake or an oil-based cake, this batter is THICK! It will not pour into the pan like other recipes you might be used to. This batter will need to be spooned into the pan and spread gently to level.
All The Ingredients You Need For The Perfect Lemon Pound Cake
For The Cake:
- Cake Flour – has a smaller amount of protein which creates a lighter, softer, more tender texture.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – Each of these leavenings make their own contributions to the texture and structure of this cake. Baking powder both starts and finishes the process of rise in this cake, starting as soon as it is mixed with liquid and continuing more robustly once it is in the oven. Baking soda reacts with the acidity in both the sour cream and the lemon juice to give the rise a boost while also neutralizing enough of the acidity to keep the cake from tasting sour.
- Salt – just a bit enhances the flavor of the lemon and balances the sweetness.
- Unsalted Butter – adds richness, tenderness, and structure and allows us to control the level of salt.
- Granulated Sugar – adds the perfect amount of sweetness, promotes browning, and also helps with the texture and structure of the cake.
- Eggs – are a binder that also contribute structure, stability, moisture, and richness.
- Lemon Juice & Zest – provide the flavor for this cake. The lemon juice reacts with the baking soda and the zest gives an added punch of flavor.
- Sour Cream – is our secret ingredient to the perfect pound cake! Since sour cream is one of the fattiest dairy products, it creates a rich and moist cake that is oh-so delicious.
For The Icing:
- Powdered Sugar – melts easily, ensuring a smooth, perfectly sweet icing.
- Lemon Juice – provides the bright, zingy flavor that defines this icing.
How To Make This Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake In 3 Steps (With Photos!)
Step 1: Prepare the batter
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes.
Mix in the eggs slowly, one at a time.
Stir in lemon juice and zest.
Add the dry ingredients and sour cream alternately. Always begin and end with the dry ingredients! We do the dry ingredients in three additions and the sour cream in two.
Step 2: Bake
Transfer the batter into a greased bundt pan and bake at 350℉ for 40 minutes, or until the cake tests done. Let cool in the pan and turn out onto a cooling rack.
Step 3: Make the glaze
In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar. Spoon over the cake.
Fresh or Store-Bought Lemon Juice?
For the brightest, most authentic lemon flavor, our recommendation is freshly squeezed lemon juice. Compared to bottled which can be dull and almost metallic-tasting, fresh juice offers a bolder, more vibrant taste that truly elevates this cake. Plus, since you’ll need zest for the recipe anyway, using the whole lemon minimizes waste.
If your cake is stuck to the pan, it could be one of two things. Either the pan wasn’t greased enough (it happens to all of us!) or the cake is still a little too warm to be turned out. If you suspect it’s still too warm, let it cool for a little longer and try to turn out again. If it’s stuck because the pan isn’t greased enough, run a knife along the edges of the cake and place upside down on a cooling rack and tap the top and sides of the pan. The cake may tear, but it will still taste delicious!
Check your baking powder and baking soda to make sure they’re in-date! If either are expired, this is most likely the culprit. If your leavening is in-date, then the cake batter was most likely over-mixed. This doesn’t mean the cake is ruined! It will still taste delicious, but it may be more dense than desired.
Dryness can be a common issue with baking cakes. It’s either a result of over-mixing or over-baking! Though, keep in mind that under-mixing and under-baking can be equally as bad. So, be sure to follow the directions in the recipe card below (and make sure your oven is at the right temperature by using an oven thermometer!) for the best results with this cake!
Did you use the correct flour? If so, then a tough cake can caused by over-mixing, which over-develops the gluten and that leads to a tough, dry, dense cake.
When you make this Lemon and Sour Cream Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.
Lemon and Sour Cream Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1¼ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1⅛ cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 2½ Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1¼ cups sour cream, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Heat oven to 350℉.
- Spray a 10 inch bundt pan with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Stir in flour mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 35 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 325℉ and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cake tests done.
- Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl.
- Add lemon juice.
- Beat until smooth.
Notes + Tips!
- No cake flour? No problem! Measure out 2 cups of all purpose, spoon out 2 Tablespoons of flour, and add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to the flour.
- Make sure the eggs and the butter are at room temperature before baking.
- The cake batter is thick. Use a rubber spatula to spoon it into the pan and spread it evenly over the top.
- This cake is delicate. Be careful when slicing and serving!
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Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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