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Lemon Pound Cake Loaves

My family always asks for this love-me-tender lemon pound cake. Sometimes, I shake things up and make cupcakes with the batter. So awesome for brunch! —Lola Baxter, Winnebago, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 mini loaves (6 slices each)


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • ICING:
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 5-3/4x3x2-in loaf pans.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon zest and extracts. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  • Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, mix icing ingredients. Spoon over loaves.
    Freeze option: Do not make icing. Securely wrap cooled loaves in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze. To use, thaw at room temperature. Prepare icing as directed.
For large loaf: Prepare batter and bake in one greased and floured 8x4-in. loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Ice as directed. Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices).
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 262 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 58mg cholesterol, 201mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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  • dirtswife
    Mar 11, 2021

    I made this exactly as posted and it turned out great. It didn't really look like the picture (I blame Taste of Home for that, not the recipe) but it's a nice, dense pound cake with a hint of lemon and a punch of lemon in the icing. For people complaining that the cake is too dry, I would remind them that this is a homemade pound cake and not a store bought cake - I think we've all forgotten what real homemade cakes taste like.

  • janetteryser
    Jan 22, 2021

    After reading some reviews that their cake was dry I decided to add an extra egg, and it turned out great. I used a single 9x5 bread pan and baked for 50 minutes. I also doubled the icing recipe and before I poured it over the top, I used a skewer to make holes throughout the cake. This enabled the icing to reach more than just the top and added to the overall moisture too. It turned out so good. I’ll certainly make this again.

  • Charlotte
    Sep 17, 2020

    Decided to make this for my husband and, wouldn't you know it, a hurricane blew through on the day I had planned to bake. I was short on a few ingredients (lemon zest, lemon extract, and sour cream) so I decided to alter it a bit based off of what I had on hand and other comments here. I also decided to try orange, but I'm sure doing this with lemon juice would work but may be a tad less sweet. I forgot the zest entirely and replaced the lemon zest and extract with 1/3c orange juice. For the sour cream, I did as another reviewer recommended and used milk instead (almond milk actually). For the icing, I used the powdered sugar and mixed it with orange juice until it was a thick dribble consistency and I could spoon it over the top. It was delicious and very, very moist. My husband loved it!

  • ukiebaker
    Jul 25, 2020

    Made the cake as written and agree it was a bit dry. Made it a second time and used 1/2 C avocado oil instead of the butter and it was moist so i just sprinkled it with confectioners sugar instead of the icing.

  • montnan
    Jul 24, 2020

    I don't like ratings when the person hasn't actually made the recipe, but this is pretty much the recipe I've been using for years. I use 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp lemon extract, the grated rind of the whole lemon and usually bake in a 9x5" loaf pan for about 45 min. I use milk (usually skim) rather than sour cream. Perhaps that helps with the moisture? For the glaze I use the juice of the whole large lemon (about 3 T) with about 3/4-1 Cup powdered sugar, making a very light glaze rather than a thicker icing. I spoon the glaze over ALL sides of the cake, letting it absorb into the cake. Sometimes I use a thin bamboo skewer to poke holes before glazing to let the glaze soak in even better. I find that it slices much better if refrigerated until thoroughly cold. I have made 2 loaves in the smaller pans, and I have doubled the recipe and baked in an angel food cake pan. I think the thinner glaze soaking into the cake makes it more moist. It is like a pound cake in texture, rather than a moist, larger-crumbed cake. I love lemon, and this has a good lemon flavor.

  • love2bake2
    Jun 13, 2020

    I agree with Trish. It’s a good cake, but dry. I would maybe try to saturate the cake with a lemon syrup if I used this recipe again.

  • Victoria
    May 10, 2020

    The cake tasted delicious but for the frosting, 1/2 of a cup of powdered sugar works just as well!

  • TrishtheDish1
    Apr 23, 2019

    I'm giving this cake 4 stars because it has a good lemon flavor, however, it was a bit dry overall. I didn't make the glaze, but made a lemon frosting recipe from another site. Thank goodness for that frosting, it provided some much needed moisture missing from the cake itself.

  • jdlobe
    Apr 7, 2018

    I made this for my daughter in law who loves the lemon cake at a famous coffee shop. I think this one is better than the one they sell! Not only great flavor, but the texture is excellent as well. Even better with the icing!

  • KristineChayes
    Mar 1, 2018

    This was really good, but I increased the lemon extract to one teaspoon and added a tablespoon of lemon zest, since my family loves lemon flavored desserts. I plan to make several of these loaves for a church bake sale next month, along with the other breads I'll be baking. The icing was the perfect touch!