Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

Moist and tender lemon pound cake with a lemon buttermilk glaze. This is the perfect easy cake to throw together for a last-minute gathering, brunch, or spring dessert. Works great in bundt cake pans too!
close up of sliced lemon pound cake

This pound cake is absolutely divine! A super moist and tender crumb with a dash of lemon and a delicious buttermilk glaze. It’s so easy to bake up for last minute guests or bring to a special occasion.

close up of sliced lemon pound cake

If you’re looking for a super moist and lemony pound cake with a velvet smooth crumb, this is the one for you. I’ve had my fair share of dry pound cake so when I was testing recipes, super moist was my #1 goal without losing that classic pound cake denseness and texture.

Truthfully though, the real star of this lemon pound cake is the lemon buttermilk glaze. It’s the perfect sweet and zesty topping and really gives this lemon pound cake its WOW factor!

Moist pound cake ingredients

How to make a pound cake moist is the #1 most-asked question related to making pound cake. The secret to a moist poundcake is buttermilk and baking powder. The buttermilk not only adds much-needed moisture but its also acidic which breaks down the gluten in the flour, resulting in a very tender and moist crumb.

I like to take it another step further and use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour which makes the pound cake incredibly light but if you can’t get your hands on cake flour, all-purpose will still work just fine. Just replace two Tablespoons of flour with cornstarch and sift together. Be very careful not to over-mix which will make your pound cake tough and hard.

The baking powder gives the pound cake just enough lift to make it light without losing that classic pound cake texture.

If you want to make your pound cake EXTRA moist you can brush on some simple syrup right out of the oven or you can add in 2 ounces of vegetable oil to the liquids in the recipe.

For the glaze, we’re using powdered buttermilk instead of fresh because it adds a ton of flavor without making the glaze too thin.

powdered buttermilk

How to make pound cake step by step

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and make sure the rack is in the center of the oven.
  2. Prepare your 5″x9″ loaf pan with cake goop or any kind of preferred pan release.
  3. Weigh out your ingredients using a scale and bring ingredients to room temperature. When your ingredients are room temperature or even a little warm, they will mix together more easily and your lemon pound cake will have a better texture.
  4. Sift together your cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. lemon pound cake dry ingredients
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light, white and fluffy. 2-3 minutes. Make sure you don’t skimp on the creaming because this really adds to that light and fluffy texture later. If your butter is too cold, your butter and sugar are not going to cream very easily.close up of creamed butter and sugar on a green spatula
  6. While mixing on low, add in your room temperature eggs, one at a time, letting each mix in fully before you add in the next. adding eggs to pound cake ingredients
  7. Add the lemon extract and zest to the buttermilk and set aside.
  8. While mixing on low, add 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, repeat two more times with the remaining flour and buttermilk mixture, and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix. adding buttermilk to mixing bowl adding flour to pound cake mixture
  9. Pour your batter into a prepared 5″x9″ loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out cleanly. lemon pound cake batter in a blue loaf pan
  10. Allow the pound cake to cool in the pan until barely warm and then remove it from the pan and allow to cool fully on a cooling rack before glazing. lemon pound cake on a cooling rack

How to make lemon buttermilk glaze

  1. Combine the powdered sugar, salt, buttermilk powder and lemon juice in a bowl. lemon buttermilk glaze ingredients in a bowl
  2. Mix until smooth with a hand mixer or whisk lemon buttermilk glaze in a bowl
  3. Add in your softened butter and mix until smooth and creamy. adding butter to lemon buttermilk glaze lemon buttermilk glaze on a blue spatula
  4. Pour the glaze over your lemon pound cake (I put mine on a cooling rack over a pan to catch the glaze) and then garnish with fresh lemons if you like.glazing lemon pound cake
lemon pound cake on a white plate

Why is it called pound cake?

The first pound cake came from Europe around the 1700s. A typical pound cake was made of one pound of butter, flour, sugar and eggs. This type of cake was very heavy, dry and dense. The only sort of lift in the cake came from the eggs.

The difference between a pound cake and a regular cake is how dense the cake is. A pound cake usually only has a glaze or is paired with whipped cream and berries because of how heavy it is while a traditional cake is much lighter in texture and can therefore be paired with richer fillings and frostings. Pound cakes are typically baked in a loaf pan or a bundt cake pan and take much longer to bake than a traditional cake.

close up of pound cake sliced

How to flavor pound cake

Don’t like lemon? No problem! You can flavor this pound cake in so many different ways! Leave out the lemon zest and replace it with fresh blueberries or raspberries. Add a layer of cream cheese frosting or mix in some chocolate chips. You can also switch out the extract for vanilla and add in some spices to make a spice pound cake! Replace the buttermilk with pumpkin puree for a yummy pumpkin pound cake. The options are truly endless!

FAQ

Can I use a bundt cake pan?

Yes you can absolutely make this lemon pound cake in a bundt cake pan, I would double the recipe to make sure you have enough batter and it will take longer to bake.

Can I use lemon juice to add more lemon flavor?

Lemon juice actually doesn’t have a lot of lemon flavor and it adds a lot of liquid to the recipe. If you want more lemon flavor try adding more lemon zest and extract.

What if I don’t have buttermilk? What can I use as a substitution?

You can use regular milk plus 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar as a buttermilk substitute or you can check out my buttermilk substitute blog post for more substitutions

You might also like

Moist Lemon velvet cake recipe

Lemon blueberry cake recipe

Lemon raspberry cake recipe

Homemade lemon curd recipe

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
close up of sliced lemon pound cake

Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

Moist and tender lemon pound cake with a lemon buttermilk glaze. This is the perfect easy cake to throw together for a last-minute gathering, brunch, or spring dessert. Works great in bundt cake pans too!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Serves: 8 slices
Calories: 464kcal

Ingredients

Lemon Pound Cake

  • 4 ounces (113 g) unsalted butter softened but not melted
  • 8 ounces (227 g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 8 ounces (227 g) cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces (142 g) buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest

Lemon Buttermilk Glaze

  • 6 ounces (170 g) powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 ounces (57 g) lemon juice fresh-squeezed
  • 2 Tablespoons buttermilk powder
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter very soft but not melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Equipment

  • 5"x9" loaf pan
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer

Instructions

Lemon Pound Cake

  • Heat oven to 350ºF and prepare a 5"x9" metal loaf pan with cake goop or another preferred pan release.
  • Sift together your cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the lemon extract and lemon zest to the buttermilk and set aside
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light, white and fluffy. 2-3 minutes.
  • While mixing on low, add in your room temperature eggs, one at a time, letting each mix in fully before you add in the next.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture while mixing on low, then add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix until barely combined.
  • Add in 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 the buttermilk mixture, and the rest of your flour, then the rest of the buttermilk mixture and mix until just combined. Don't over-mix.
  • Pour your batter into a prepared 5"x9" loaf pan and bake at 350ºF for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out cleanly. If you use a glass pan, bake for an extra 10 minutes.
  • Allow the pound cake to cool in the pan until barely warm and then remove it from the pan and allow to cool fully on a cooling rack before glazing.

Lemon buttermilk glaze

  • Combine powdered sugar, salt, and buttermilk powder and lemon juice in a bowl.
  • Mix with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth
  • Mix in the soft butter until smooth and creamy
  • Place the pound cake on a cooling rack and then onto another pan to catch the glaze runoff.
  • Pour your glaze over the top of your cooled lemon pound cake and garnish with fresh lemon slices if you desire.
  • Transfer your finished pound cake to a serving platter and enjoy!

Notes

  1. If you can’t get your hands on cake flour, all-purpose will still work just fine. Just replace two Tablespoons of flour with cornstarch and sift together.
  2. If you want to make your pound cake EXTRA moist you can brush on some simple syrup right out of the oven or you can add in 2 ounces of vegetable oil to the liquids in the recipe.
  3. Don’t forget to grease your pans! Using cake goop is the best way to make sure your loaf doesn’t stick to the pan.
  4. Weigh out your ingredients using a scale and bring ingredients to room temperature. When your ingredients are room temperature or even a little warm, they will mix together more easily and your lemon pound cake will have a better texture.
  5. You can use regular milk plus 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar as a buttermilk substitute or you can check out my buttermilk substitute blog post for more substitutions
  6. If you don’t have buttermilk powder for the glaze, use 2 Tablespoons of real buttermilk and add an extra 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. 
  7. I recommend using a nonstick metal pan, but if you want to use a glass pan, bake for an extra 10 minutes. 
  8. To bake this in a bundt pan, double the recipe to make sure you have enough batter and bake for longer. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 464kcal (23%) | Carbohydrates: 73g (24%) | Protein: 8g (16%) | Fat: 16g (25%) | Saturated Fat: 9g (45%) | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 130mg (43%) | Sodium: 245mg (10%) | Potassium: 150mg (4%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 51g (57%) | Vitamin A: 567IU (11%) | Vitamin C: 5mg (6%) | Calcium: 74mg (7%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

350 f 40-45 mins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating