For the cake:
- 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (85 grams) cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature
- 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the glaze:
- 1 cup (125 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream
Make the loaf:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to evenly distribute the zest. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and sour cream and pulse until combined. On low speed, gradually drizzle in the melted butter in a slow steady stream until well combined.
Make a well in the dry ingredient mixture. Pour in the wet ingredients. Mix gently with a rubber spatula until just combined. Batter will be slightly thin.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 50 minutes if using a metal pan, or once an internal temperature of 200-205°F is reached.
If using a glass or ceramic pan, decrease your baking temperature to 325°F and increase your baking time by about 10 minutes.
Cool in pan for 15 to 20 minutes then run a thin flexible knife around the edges before inverting onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Make the glaze:
In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients until thick but pourable. Add more juice or milk to thin out or more sugar to thicken until your desired consistency. Spoon over the loaf, letting it drip down the sides if desired. Let set for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
The glazed loaf can be covered in foil or plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
El mejor panque de limón que he hecho y probado en toda mi vida.
Vale la pena ensuciar el procesador.
Lo hice en un Pyrex cuadrado y salió muy bien con la disminución de temperatura que sugiere la receta.
I would like to make this in 4 mini loaf tins, if possible how much batter, oven temp and for how long
Hi Sue! I’m sorry, but as we haven’t tried that, we can’t say for sure! I would just recommend following Tessa’s instructions (“Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached, or once an internal temperature of 200-205°F is reached”). I hope that helps! Happy baking 🙂
straightforward instructions, delicious result; great job!
I made this and it turned out quite scrumptious. Thank you for sharing the recipe.
Hi Jessica! Yay, I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this lemon loaf so much!!
Hi Tessa, thank you for sharing. Lemon Pound Cake looks delicious. The recipe is asking for four eggs. I was wondering if it will work with 3?
Hi Olga! We haven’t tested the recipe with only three eggs, so I can’t say for sure! You will definitely lose some of the structure, moistness and tenderization that the extra egg will bring, so I don’t recommend skipping the last egg. I hope that helps!
Would I be able to make this in a bundt tin? And would I need to double the recipe? Looks delish!
Hi Abby! We actually have a lemon bundt cake recipe on our site (linked here)! It’s very similar to this pound cake, but the directions and tips are bundt-specific! Be sure to read all of Tessa’s great tips in the pink box above the recipe 🙂 Happy baking!
Oh great! I’ll give that a go. Thank you!
It looks delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
We hope you give this recipe a try, Baishakhi! You’ll love it!
Honestly the best lemon cake recipe ever! Intense lemon perfection. Moist, not too dense, and the zest in the icing is a game changer. I used all purpose flour, and only had a smaller loaf pan. So I made a mini ramekin with the batter that didn’t fit in the small pan. Came out great! And I got to sample the ramekin while the loaf cooked. Highly recommend!
Yay – so excited to hear that you loved this pound cake, Becca!! I love the idea of a “chef’s sample” with your side ramekin while the loaf finished baking!! 🙂
Can the eggs be swapped to flax? Looking for an eggless recipe 🙂
We haven’t tried that, so I can’t say for sure. Let us know how it goes if you experiment!
Has anyone had any luck making this into individual sized cakes? Like maybe in muffin pans?
Love this recipe. Made it 4 times in one month. The glaze is spot on as well. The only issue I seem to have is this dark brown hard crust along the top edges of the loaf. It gets disguised by the glaze of course and I don’t mind it, but I’m afraid people will think it is overdone when I serve it. Is it part of the charm of the recipe or am I doing something wrong? I bake in a dark metal loaf pan.
Hi Daphne! We recommend using a light colored metal loaf pan for that very reason! Here is Tessa’s favorite loaf pan. Let us know how it goes the next time you make this recipe!
Looks and smells amazing, but it is getting very overdone looking on top and it still has 20 minutes to go! I’m baking in a glass pan, center rack, 325, I just lowered the temp to 300….fingers crossed!
Anyone else baking in a new Samsung? Well, the top was a bit burnt, toothpick came out clean in 2 spots, then the middle fell out when I removed it from the pan and placed it on the cooling rack 20 minutes after pulling from the oven. It must be my oven? It’s a fairly new Samsung. I shaved off the top corners and poured the batter back in the under-belly of the loaf before placing back in the oven. The corners were lemony delicious! Can’t wait to see how the rest of round 2 turns out. I’ve never had so much trouble with a quick bread/loaf cake,
Hi Elizabeth! Oh no, I’m sorry your cake didn’t turn out as it should! If the middle was runny enough to pour, something definitely went wrong here! It could be your oven – do you have an oven thermometer to check that it’s definitely at the temperature it says it is? Check out Tessa’s article here about ovens, full of tips!! If you don’t have an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is at the temperature it says it is, invest in one now! They are inexpensive and really help your baking so much! This oven thermometer is one of Tessa’s favorites.
I also wonder what type of pan you’re using to bake? Glass vs metal pans can make a big difference on the baked result, as Tessa shows in this article here.
How do you measure your ingredients? By volume (using cups), or by weight (using a digital kitchen scale)? When measuring by volume, it’s so easy to mis-measure flour/sugar/etc and throw off the entire chemistry of a recipe. Tessa talks about how to best measure ingredients to ensure accuracy every time, in this article here!
I also want to mention your leavening agent. If your baking/soda powder are not fresh, they won’t do their jobs and your baked goods can not rise properly, fall after baking, and much more. Tessa talks about the science behind leavening agents, and how to test for leavener freshness, in this article here!
Hopefully something here helped! Feel free to reach back out to us with any further questions – we are always happy to help!! 🙂
Just finished making this and it is MILES better than whatever Starbucks serves – which is my opinion is always a little dry and too sweet. This was so good on it’s own I almost didn’t make the glaze! I will definitely be making this again soon!
I used to have a Starbucks habit, before COVID quarantine. It’s funny but I don’t really miss the coffee, but I DO miss the occasional slide of lemon loaf. So I was excited to try this recipe. It did not disappoint! Relatively easy to make and much better (and more lemony) than Starbucks. I also couldn’t help but notice the huge reaction to this one from friends and family, everyone commented and wanted a piece of this one!
Happy to hear it was such a hit!! And so glad you love this recipe, it’s a favorite on the HTH team too! 🙂 So lemony and perfect for spring!
Hi there, is it possible to add poppyseeds to this recipe? If so, what amount and are there any special considerations for such an addition?
Hi Dale! We’ve not tried that, but you definitely could! Quite a few readers have had success, and one reader specifically mentioned using 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds, which is the amount we use in our Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins. Let us know what you think if you give this recipe a try 🙂
Oh man, I just made this cake… twice in 3 days because it’s SO INCREDIBLE It’s super moist, wonderfully lemony and definitely an uncanny substitute for Starbucks lemon loaf!!! I love it when a recipe works out exactly as described
Yay!! That’s amazing to hear, so happy you love this recipe! 🙂
Great recipe. I loved the texture of the crumb and I made the glaze to be barely oozing to create a think cap on top of the loaf. I used the zest of two lemons in the batter, but it still wasn’t lemony enough for me. The flavor of butter was the top note (and that’s not a bad thing). I will definitely make this again and will try a little lemon extract to bump up the lemon flavor.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted? I have in other recipes of mine but I just want to be sure as I have plenty of salted butter on hand, thanks for your delicious recipes
Hi Sally! We personally don’t use salted butter in recipes as explained in this article about Salted vs. Unsalted Butter; however, the general rule of using salted butter in place of unsalted is to reduce ¼ teaspoon of the salt in the recipe per 115g of butter. So for this recipe, you would omit the salt completely if using salted butter. I hope that helps!
Best lemon pound cake recipe EVER! My kids polished off half of it in no time. Will definitely be making this often. Turned out great even though I didn’t follow the recipe to the T (over mixed batter) Absolutely delicious! Thank you 🙂
So happy to hear it was such a hit! Thanks for the comment 🙂
Hey, I made this today and the smell was divine. My family couldn’t wait for it to cool, they dug in before I could even add the glaze definitely 10 stars!!
Can I use cake flour substitute?
Hi Safiya! Please check out the pink tip box above the recipe for more details 🙂
Can I bake this in a 10 inches round pan? I want to use it as one of the layers for a wedding cake
Hi there! That sounds delicious, though we haven’t tried a 10-inch round pan, so I can’t say for sure! This recipe has only been tested in a 9×5-inch pan as well as a bundt cake pan, but feel free to experiment! We’d love to hear how it turns out!
I want to bake this Lemon Loaf for my husband, but we do not have the same brand flours as what you e.g. talked about in your recipe discussion.
As a result, e.g. the cake flour I could get a hold of does not weigh the same at a 3/4 cup as what your recipe indicates it more or less should. Would you prefer me following the gram weight of the flour in your recipe, or should I still use 3/4 cup of flour even though it then weighs more than the 85 g, for example?
I hope to hear from you soon. 🙂
Hi Elrien! Great question, the general rule is to always use the weight provided by the recipe you’re following regardless of the brand. Can’t wait for you to enjoy this recipe 🙂
I loved the cake. I skipped using the food processor and the cake turned out great.
I was not a fan of the glaze. I don’t think it tasted good with the milk- it diluted the acidity that the glaze needed. I would add extra lemon juice and omit the milk.
Thanks for your feedback!
If we don’t have cake flour can I just use regular flour?
I realized after posting this you already answered this above. Thanks!
Super easy and tasty! The icing was delicious and perfect consistency as well. I made it in a Williams-Sonoma gold 8 1/2x 4 1/2′ pan, increased the time by 5 minutes as instructed. The loaf was beautiful and I could have probably left it in for only 3-4 minutes extra.
Adding extra zest to the batter is key!
So happy you enjoyed this recipe, Cheryl!
Doubled it, Bundt pan, no glaze. Left it on the counter with a note that said ‘lemon pound cake, help yourselves’ got home an hour later and there were 2 pieces left. 4 teenagers. By dinner it was totally gone. A+
Doubling it maxed out my cuisinart (leaking, dripping) so I sort of rapidly dumped that liquid portion into the dry, not realizing I hadn’t whisked. Pushed the whole thing through a sieve before baking to get rid of the lumps. Not sure if that is why it had such an amazing texture of if it would have otherwise, but worked great. Lost some zest but still super wonderfully lemony.
Oh wow, happy to hear it was such a hit! So glad what could have been a disaster still worked perfectly!
Hi! Do you have any tips for using a stand mixer for this recipe? I don’t have a food processor but I need this loaf cake in my life!!
Hi Callie 🙂 You’re welcome to use a mixer but just know the results won’t be exactly the same since a mixer doesn’t blend the ingredients together the same way. Please let us know what you think!
Delicious and so easy. I just need help with the loaves sticking in the tin! I made mini loaves with this recipe but they stuck fast in the tins
Hi Sue! So happy you enjoyed this recipe! You definitely want to grease your pans well. For next time, you could try greasing your pans, adding a layer of parchment paper, and then greasing the parchment paper. That way you’ll have something to grab onto when pulling the loaves out. Hope that helps!
Hello!! How many people could eat from this loaf
Typically a 9×5 loaf pan has 12 servings, but it all depends on how thin your slices are. Keep in mind people will be wanting seconds too 🙂
Hi, one more question – above you link the USA loaf pan but the linked one is 8.5×4.5 and you mention it needs to be 9×5 so I wanted to see if that specific 8.5×4.5 can be used?
It doesn’t look like my other question posted so I’m kids asking again – I’d like to make this the day before because I need to travel with it the next day, if I refrigerate it and keep it in a cooler bag for the drive can it stay fresh longer than the 2 days room temperature that you’ve mentioned?
Keeping it in a cooler should help! Be sure to keep your loaf covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. I didn’t realize you were attempting to travel with this loaf when I responded to your other question, but you could still freeze this loaf after making, and then let it thaw in the cooler bag during the drive. Just glaze when you get to your destination! Hope that helps 🙂
Yup, tried and tested 🙂 Enjoy your lemon loaf!
Hi, will it last a little longer than two days if it’s refrigerated once it cools down? I want to make it a day before it would be tried so I’m hoping it can stay fresh a little longer than the 2 days room temperature (even though all comments show it’s eaten within that time frame lol)
Mine hasn’t lasted longer than that either, so I can’t say for sure haha! I know reviewers have frozen this loaf in the past, then thawed in the fridge and glazed at that point if that helps!
This isn’t a 5 star recipe at all. IT’S A DAMN 10 STAR RECIPE
Woohoo!! I’m thrilled you loved it!
I am not really a fan of the Starbucks Lemon loaf even though I love lemon. That being said, this recipe is incredible! So fresh and lemony! I’ll definitely make this again!
Only way to describe this. F*CKING DELICIOUS
I’m not normally a fan of lemon pound cakes, or anything baked that has lemon, but I actually liked this recipe, my brother and mom loved it, my brother also said it has the perfect texture to be made into cake pops, which probably could’ve been a good idea.
I’m definitely intrigued on the cake pops! Or, loaf pops? haha! Let me know how that experiment goes if you ever try it out!
This cake was super moist and had the right amount of lemony flavor!
This was really simple to make, and it was extremely moist. Definitely not a dry bread at all! I did have to bake mine for extra time, but using an instant read thermometer made it easy to know when to take it out.
Perfect! I’m glad you went with the internal temp for a great outcome 🙂
Taste is fabulous! Just the right amount of lemon. Had a hard time finding the correct size pan. I had one a little too small and after visiting 9 stores purchased one a little too big. So that was a challenge. Loaf was a little flat as a result, but still a good bake.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this! For future reference, I normally include a link in the pink tip box above each recipe to my favorite pan/tools 🙂
This recipe is everything you could want in a lemon pound cake. It’s wonderfully lemony and has that perfect, moist pound cake crumb. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to make! This has become a new favorite in my house.
Ecstatic to hear that!
Very nice! Second time I’ve made this recipe and it’s easy to put together, with ingredients I had on hand!
Love love lemon! So was a great challenge month 🙂
This pound cake is delicious and the recipe is so easy to follow!! Highly recommend!
This is my family’s favorite new recipe! We also use oranges instead of lemons sometimes and turns out great! Have made it at least 6 times in the last few months!!! 🙂
oh my gosh haha! I’m absolutely thrilled this recipe is such a hit!! Love the citrus substitution choice, yum!
Everyone loves this Lemon Loaf Pound Cake! They must watch sugars, so I make a thinner glazing…but otherwise I don’t change a thing! It’s gone 30 seconds after I serve it! Easiest & most delicious recipe out there! Makes great hostess gift too!❤️☕️☺️
This would be a perfect hostess gift, great idea, Rita! I’m so happy this loaf is such a hit every time you make it 🙂
Lemon loaf pound cake. This turned out to be a lemony moist cake with a touch of glaze.
Yummy! I ran into a few hiccups along the way (totally user error, lol) but it still turned out delicious! I’ll definitely be making this again so I can correct the hiccups.
In case you’re wondering about the hiccups, my loaf pans are dark so it overbaked. (Always trust your nose. It will tell you when your baked goods are done cooking.) And my food processor doesn’t have a low setting. Just on, and “on” is high speed! Next time, I’ll be using my Vitamix so I can control the speed. 🙂
Great tasting! Just had issues getting it out of the pan and the center needed more cooking time while the rest was done. I will try again tomorrow but will line the pan with parchment paper and poke an upside down flower nail into the paper spraying all well. The nail should help the cake bake more evenly.
I’m glad you enjoyed this, Amy! If you plan to use parchment, I’d recommend still spraying the pan, then adding the parchment, and then spraying the top of the parchment to ensure ease of removing the loaf. I haven’t had any issues with this loaf baking up properly, how did yours turn out?
This lemon pound cake is not so easy to make! It is extremely moist and refreshing! And, I truly believe that it becomes even more moist and refreshing with age! Deliciously yummy!!!