Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe Video (scroll down for printable recipe)

Pound cake was one of my late grandmother’s favorite desserts. She loved all desserts, but pound cake was special I think because she also loved the English practice of High Tea and poundcake fits perfectly into that tradition. About a year before she died, she gave me all of her recipe cards and cookbooks. Anyone in the family will tell you that she was not the world’s greatest cook and she would tell you herself that she never enjoyed cooking. That’s why it might seem strange that her collection included probably 50 books and over 100 handwritten recipe cards, some in her writing, some in her mother’s writing. So maybe she didn’t like cooking and maybe she wasn’t even good at it, but she loved all the things that come with cooking: the family, the friends, eating, cocktails, boisterous party-goers, colorfully printed paper napkins and plates, candles, flowers, nut bowls, guest lists, menu planning, hosting, birthdays, Christmas, brandy, sherry. All of it.

It was no surprise to me that the largest section of her collection was desserts. And do you know there are at least 10 different poundcake recipes in that section? Lemon pound cake is what I’ve got for you here. Maybe I’ll eventually make all of them: chocolate pound cake, almond pound cake, Old Dominion pound cake, coconut pound cake, pumpkin pound cake, blueberry pound cake, lavender pound cake, praline pound cake, Peckens pound cake from the kitchen of Katherine Isbell, Mrs. Burket’s pound cake. I wish I’d thought to ask who Mrs. Burket was. Katherine Isbell was a friend or neighbor of my great-grandmother, I think. There are many recipes from her kitchen in the boxes.

See the Chocolate Pound Cake recipe and video, too!

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe – Printable


Lemon Poundcake

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5 from 21 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x


  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Glaze, optional:
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 23 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Set oven to 325ºF and grease and flour 2-9″x5″ loaf pans.
  2. Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs one at a time and combine well. Add vanilla.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients together and add half to the batter.
  4. Add half the milk and lemon juice.
  5. Add remaining dry ingredients and remaining milk/lemon. Mix until smooth.
  6. Pour into loaf pans.
  7. Bake 50-60 minutes.
  8. Cool.
  9. Make glaze by adding lemon juice to sugar and mixing until a thick, pourable consistency. Pour over cooled cakes.

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Other Recipes from Grandma Hornsby’s File:


Gingerbread Muffins


  1. The Other Randy on September 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Before I forget (like I did last time for the Apple Crisp episode): This season’s opening titles are fantastic!!!

    Since my new strategy for making room in my freezer is working out fairly well (it’s going to be Taco and Chili WEEK until next Sunday), I can make the whole recipe this time (if memory serves, pound cake freezes really well). I love pound cake. Actually, I love any cake that doesn’t depend solely upon frosting for it’s awesomeness.

    Are you familiar with mug cakes (a one serving recipe where you mix the ingredients in a mug and then microwave it)? I pretty much believe that microwaves are basically good only for reheating food, but I’ve come across a couple of mug cake recipes that were really good (given that you can make one in less than 5 minutes, it takes a lot of self-discipline to not have cake with every meal), but most others were mediocre. It’s great concept for single people, but we need more great recipes (hint, hint).

    • Hilah on September 28, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Oh thank you, Randy! We had fun making the new titles and one thing I really like is that we will be able to freshen it up periodically with new food shots.

      You are correct that pound cake freezes most excellently! My grandma used to cube leftover poundcake and freeze it. When the time came for a fast dessert, she’d thaw it and layer with pudding and cream sherry and fruit and whipped cream to make a trifle.

      I have seen these mug cakes everywhere! We tried one a while back, actually a bowl cake that makes 4 servings, and it was okay, but not something I’d make again. That’s a great suggestion, though! One thing I did have success with was a pretty good one-serving microwave mac and cheese. Definitely going to make a video for that when I get it perfected. Any other ideas, bring em on!

      • cpmt on October 26, 2014 at 6:30 am

        it looks like grandma’s!! i will try it (since I don’t have her recipe)

  2. Faridah Ayuby Berseh on September 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Hilah,can I do it in a round pan and laid with it lemon fostered cream Cheese in between the cake.As the cake itself has already lemon flavour.
    Please advice. ….and give your comments .

    • Hilah on September 28, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Hi Faridah!
      I have never made this cake in anything but a loaf pan, but I think you could bake it in two round pans instead. Maybe spread lemon curd between them and top with whipped cream — that would be pretty and tasty. Hope that helps!

      • Faridah Ayuby Berseh on September 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        Thank very much for helping me.It’s agreat idea and I will most probably tried doing it ….as you suggested.

  3. Rob on September 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm


    I was so excited about this recipe that I ran out and picked up lemons just to make this! It’s in the oven right now with about 10 minutes remaining on the timer.

    Please note you are missing the Vanilla extract in the Instructions part of the recipe.

    • Hilah on September 28, 2013 at 9:10 am

      Thanks, Rob! I will fix that vanilla extract listing.
      So happy you enjoyed it! Pound cake is under appreciated these days and it’s up to you and I to bring it back! 😉

  4. Rob on September 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Update: this was a huge hit! Yum! I will be making this again.

  5. Faridah Ayuby Berseh on September 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    It ‘s great….ideal. Awesome…

  6. Vicky on September 29, 2013 at 5:26 am

    I was searching for “the best lemon pound cake recipe” that was moist and fluffy but still had a nice tight crumb to it and of course I wanted it to be super lemony. Your recipe hit the mark! It is the best lemon pound cake ever! Seriously, it’s going to be my go to recipe. Thank you for sharing and for the informative video. This pound cake is great even without the glaze. I’m off to try your tres leches cake!

    • Hilah on September 29, 2013 at 11:35 am

      Yay! I love this recipe too. Can’t go wrong with grandma recipes. Thanks so much for your endorsement of the pound cake, Vicky! 🙂

      • phyllis malfi on October 16, 2015 at 10:14 am

        What size loaf pans did you use?

        • Hilah on October 17, 2015 at 9:10 am

          Hi Phyllis,
          I used 9″ long x 3″ deep loaf pans

  7. Ron on October 1, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Pourable, not horrible! You are simply the best! Still making the pizza dough weekly. Love the new intro, graphics, music and transitions. Are you using Final Cut Pro X? Going to try the Lemon Pound Cake this weekend!

    • Hilah on October 2, 2013 at 10:02 am

      Thanks, Ron! We are happy with it, too.
      Yes we use FCX. Despite the complaints I’ve heard about it, it works great for our purposes. Hope you like the pound cake!

  8. Carrie on October 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Turned out Great! Thx!

    • Hilah on October 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for the feedback, Carrie!

  9. azof on October 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    heey sweetie i made this cake today and it was very delicious thank you darling and keep going

    • Hilah on October 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

      Wonderful! So happy to hear that, Azof!

  10. Jen T on October 22, 2013 at 8:49 pm


    I stumbled across your youtube channel awhile back while searching for a tutorial on biscuits. Yours was easy, hilarious and delicious biscuits resulted! I love your short and funny format because I have a very short attention span! I’ve been a fan ever since and have learned tons about cooking from you. I made your chicken fried steak tonight and my family was hooked! Trying this recipe next, can’t wait to see how it turns out…thanks for helping ADD people like me learn to cook with your wonderful, highly entertaining videos!

    • Hilah on October 23, 2013 at 9:16 am

      Hi Jen!
      Hooray! I am so glad to hear of your success! This all makes me very very happy to hear. Thank you for writing!!! 😀

  11. Bill Radetzky on November 27, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I made this yesterday. It was great! I love the lemon pound that my wife buys at a shop that will remain nameless. This is just as good or better. She wonT be buying that ever again. You are thebest! I love your vids and recipes!

    • Hilah on November 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      Hooray! That makes me so glad to hear, Bill! I hope you wife enjoys this one as much, too. 🙂

  12. Amber on December 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Hi Hilah,

    This looks great. I was wondering if I didn’t have two loaf pans,could I use a bundt pan instead? I know if I bake it all together in one thing it will probably take more time to be done. Or would it just be a better idea for me to put it in the loaf and bake the other right after the first one cools? I only have one loaf pan at the moment. Thanks!

    • Hilah on December 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      Hi Amber,
      That should work. You’d probably need to bake an hour and fifteen minutes, but check it after an hour. Be sure to grease and flour the bundt pan very well!

  13. hudA on January 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    LOVED IT. i made it today and it was delicious
    thanks for sharing

  14. Atiqah Shafinaz on January 20, 2014 at 4:26 am

    Hye hilah, i just wanna say that really in ♥ with all your vids, my pound cake came out from the oven perfectly, and the cake was a hit, it was super duper moist :’)

    • Hilah on January 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      That’s great to hear, Atiqah! Thanks for writing. 🙂

  15. Reksi on January 22, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Hilah, thanks for posting this easy recipe! I am from Indonesia, where Lemon is very expensive…so I change the recipe with lime and it still turned out so well (I also use margarine instead of butter, also due to ‘budget constraint’). Also, this cake turned out well even when: 1. I packed it into 1 pan because that’s all I have, making this cake as huge as it can be 2. My oven is a bit mental, the temperature is always wrong (so I maxed it out hahaha)

    I burned the top of this cake until it became as brown as my skin tone and’cracked’ (like in banana cake, not my skin)….BUT! THAT BURNED OUT part is my favorite ones! It’s crunchy and taste caramel-ish with a little bit of sourness from the lime. Amazing! It feels like I’m eating candy flavored cake.

    I will keep making this cake in the future although I will reduce the sugar in half :))

    • Hilah on January 23, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Hi Reksi!

      Thanks so much for sharing your “adventures”! 😉 Lime sounds great. So glad you tried that variation. Also good to know that it will work with margarine. Can you get oranges easily? I think an orange cake would be yummy.

      Hope you try some more recipes, too! Thanks for writing!


  16. Katherine Herron on January 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I think that is so cool to have all those old recipes, and to wonder who those people were and what their lives must have been like. What a treasure to have those, and thanks a mill for sharing!

    • Hilah on January 24, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      It is really a fun thing to do, to look through the recipes. Just wish I’d asked my grandma about more of them before she passed.
      Thanks for writing, Katherine!

  17. Cecelia on February 8, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Can you make this with gluten free flour?

    • Hilah on February 11, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Hi Cecelia! As long as you are using a flour designed for baking, I think you could.

  18. Shari - Simply Shari's Gluten Free on February 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Mmm…a nice tender crumb with plenty of butter. I have to try this with gluten-free flour.

    • Hilah on February 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Let us know how it works!

  19. Belen on March 9, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Love it! I made it with my mom and it was delicious. I added way too much lemon juice to the glaze, but I think I like the flavor of it even more now. Thank you!

    • Hilah on March 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Hi Belen!
      I’m delighted it worked out for you! Maybe you just can’t have too much lemon flavor. 🙂

  20. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward on April 14, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Hi, Hillah! This is such a delicious poundcake and glaze. I baked the recipe in four mini loaf pans for about forty minutes. I reduced the sugar to 1 1/2 cups and replaced half of the butter with Greek yogurt. It’s a versatile and beautiful dish. Best, Shanna

    • Hilah on April 15, 2014 at 10:31 am

      That’s marvelous, Shanna! Thank you so much for sharing your changes. It’s great to know this pound cake can be made a little healthier.

    • Tere Del Rio on November 3, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Hi Hilah / Shanna,

      I am from México and I am a lover of lemon cakes. I made this fantastic recipe yesterday, and I also used 4 mini loaf pans. They burned a little =(
      Now, I know that I have to reduce the baking time, because of the size.
      Where in the oven you recommend me to put the pan? the top, the middle?
      Thank you for sharing and I will continue trying until my mini loafs are perfects.

      • Hilah on November 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

        Hi Tere!
        Thanks for chiming in! Place the pans in the middle rack next time and reduce the time to 30 minutes, I think. (I haven’t done it, but that seems about right). Glad they were good, even with burned edges. 🙂

  21. Lindsay on May 15, 2014 at 11:05 am

    This looks increadible def brings back memories of my childhood. Im curious though you list flour as flour. Was this made AP – Cake- ?! Bleached/Un? Thanks so much!!

    • Hilah on May 15, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Hi Lindsay!
      I hope you try it! I always mean AP flour unless otherwise specified. And I prefer unbleached, but the recipe would work with bleached AP flour, too.

      • Lindsay on May 15, 2014 at 11:36 am

        So lovely of you to reply so promptly! I wanted to assume it was an Unbleached AP…just stumbled upon your site today and its already becoming a fav! Hilariously entertaining yet informative ♡

  22. JC on May 22, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Great recipe……I always do my pound cakes in a bundt pan….it always looks great after drizzling the icing all over the top so that it slides down the inside and outside of the cake……thanks for the recipe!

    • Hilah on May 22, 2014 at 9:26 am

      That looks so pretty, JC! You could definitely make this recipe in one big bundt pan.

  23. Gwen on May 31, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Can you use Lemon extract instead of Vanilla to get a more Lemon flavor? Can you use self rising flour?

    • Hilah on June 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Gwen,
      You could use lemon extract but I really don’t think you need to. The zest and the juice give the pound cake a lot of lemon flavor. I have never used SR flour with this recipe so I really can’t say what it will do. If you try it, leave out the other leavening like baking soda and baking powder.

  24. Butool M on June 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Hi your recipe looks wonderful I was just wondering if you could leave out the lemon parts of the recipe just to make a simple , plain pound cake- my family’s not super into lemon. Let me know ASAP cause I want to make it tonight for a party.
    Thanks Hilah!
    Loved your video!

    • Hilah on June 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Hi! I think it would work if you used buttermilk instead of milk and lemon juice. Omit milk and juice and replace it with 1 cup buttermilk. The recipe needs some acidity to work. I am more confident just advising you to leave the lemon juice and milk and omit the zest, but if you really don’t like lemon you can try it with buttermilk.
      Let me know if you try it!

  25. Melissa C on August 29, 2014 at 12:30 am

    I just found your website tonight and I’m so mad I have not found it sooner but so glad I found it now. I’m making the lemon pound cake for my husband (lemon is his favorite) this weekend. I will also look thru recipes and try to find a few things to take to. family and friends houses this weekend. I can’t wait to watch more of your videos as I work better that way then just reading a recipe. Thanks again and can’t wait to try more stuff!
    Melissa C

    • Hilah on August 30, 2014 at 11:55 am

      That’s great, Melissa! I love this recipe so much. I know you and your husband will enjoy it!

  26. Cheryl on September 2, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Hi. Can u tell me how much is 1 cup of butter in grams. I am from Malaysia and we are used to grams. Thanks.

    • Hilah on September 2, 2014 at 7:53 am

      Hi Cheryl!
      One cup of butter is a half-pound, so equal to 226.8 grams but you’d probably round it to 225 grams?

  27. elsa on November 5, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    how much does 1 cup butter means in grams

  28. Selinsu Varol on November 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Hey Hilah , I just tried your recipe and absolutely loved it ! Here’s the photo of my lovely experient hahahah :


    • Hilah on November 17, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  29. Lesley on December 21, 2014 at 1:15 am

    Hey darl
    If I were to do them as cupcakes would
    I have to lower the cooking time.

    • Hilah on December 22, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Hi Lesley,
      You would just cook them less time, maybe 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

  30. hanaa on February 3, 2015 at 9:35 am

    hiaaaa …………….!!!! i tried this out and it was jus fantaaasticcc!! my folks gobbled it up in a matter of minutes…..! honestly, i’v never baked such a moist and light cake as this up until now… im ever so grateful to yu ..thank yu so much for this great recipe….

    • Hilah on February 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Hooray, Hanaa! Congratulations on your best cake ever! Happy to be a part of it 🙂

      • hanaa on February 4, 2015 at 9:15 am

        I’d love to make a chocolate cake as moist and yummy as this one…. do u hv a recipe for it?? or should I tweak this recipe.. if so, how much cocoa powder wud yu recommend? ? plzz reply…. btw, yu r awesome!!

  31. Jennifer Johnson on February 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    What kind of flour did you use to make the cake and could you email me back asap thanks love the video.

    • Hilah on February 11, 2015 at 8:28 am

      All-purpose flour

  32. Jessica on February 21, 2015 at 11:36 am

    My friend got me to try lemon pound cake once and it was good. So I am definitely going to try this recipe out!

    • Hilah on February 21, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      You’ll love this pound cake, Jessica!

  33. Hernán on March 22, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Hi Hilah!

    I had never baked a single thing before I saw your Youtube channel. I started with a few easy brownies batches (that took a while to be any good), and then I found you. My favorite cake ever is lime cake and your lemon pound cake seemed like a good and easy-to-follow reference. –>I did it<– Last night (March 22nd, 2015). Perhaps it sounds like a small thing but for me this is huge. Most think that burly and scruffy looking nerd herders can't. I baked a pound cake, and lemon nonetheless!!

    Thank you so much!! It's amazing, delicious, and more importantly, safe for baking dummies like myself 🙂 Can't wait to try this with Mexican limes (my origins) or even grapefruit.



    • Hilah on March 22, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      Ooh, that sounds so delicious, Hernán! I love the idea of mixing up different citrus juices, too. Yum.
      So happy you had success with this pound cake recipe! Have fun trying new variations with it!

  34. sharon on April 17, 2015 at 10:19 am

    what kind of flour plain or self rising?

    • Christopher on April 17, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      Always plain unless otherwise specified

  35. madiha adeel on June 10, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I have tried this recepie yesterday and the cake was just PERFECT!!! I am so happy everyone liked it alot… its super soft n moist…. thanks alot for sharing 🙂

  36. Diarra on June 13, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Oh my God this is the BEST lemon cake I’ve ever had. I’ve been baking this for years and never had I found my go to recipe. Brought this to work this morning and I got many requests to bring one again.
    I surely will because 1) its so easy to make 2) its freaking delish.
    Thank you so much for sharing your passion with us. Its greatly appreciated across the pond (France) 😉

  37. Wai Yi on June 20, 2015 at 4:41 am

    I tried your recipe! IT rocks! But I think you should not put the icing cause it will be too sweet. I LOVE IT, thanks for sharing!

  38. Ann on July 13, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Omg these are the best lemon pound cakes i have ever made! it was so good i made three loaves.Thank you for sharing!

  39. mine on August 2, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Hi. I tried your recipe and I can say that it was really really really awesome! Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe 🙂

  40. Felicia on September 9, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Hi ! 24 servings is a little too much for me. Will the outcome still be the same if i were to reduce all the ingredients by half to fit it to 12 servings instead?

    • Hilah on September 9, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Felicia, that should work. You can also go ahead and bake two pound cakes and then freeze one of them for later. Pound cake freezes very well. Let it cool completely then wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil.

  41. Rizah on September 22, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Hey I’m from Rwanda, Africa. I just finished making this cake using your recipes and mehn it’s finger liking good! Thank you so much!!

    • Hilah on September 22, 2015 at 8:51 am

      So happy to hear, Rizah! 🙂

  42. Amanda on February 26, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Baked this today n turned out really good in the two loaf pans. As the eggs used were small n I had just enough milk for the recipe, added a bit of water as the batter was a bit dry. Add store bought Italian Orange Peel and like that I hv some bits of peel to bite.
    Of course I will be baking this again.
    This is the fourth recipe of yours that I had tried. Will demurely try the rest of your yummy recipes.

    • Amanda on February 26, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Correction: Will definitely try the rest of your recipes. Hate auto spell

  43. Britt on April 10, 2016 at 7:17 am

    This is honestly the best lemon loaf ever! My go-to recipe from now on.

  44. Mandy on May 6, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Hi! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Did you use glass or metal loaf pans???

    • Hilah on May 6, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Hey Mandy! I use metal pans.

  45. Mine` on June 17, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    This is now my go-to recipe for a simple and quick lemon dessert.

  46. Brenda Combs on January 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    We pride ourselves on being good cooks. My daughter is usually the baker and I am the cook but today we switched places. I read this recipe and looked at the picture and it read and looked like a good one. I tried it and it was to die for. Thank you for posting such a scrumptious recipe. We will be using this one again.

    • Hilah on January 9, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Wonderful! Great to hear, Brenda 🙂

  47. Deborah Johnson on July 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    I made this recipe but used a bunt pan.I also added extra lemon juice to the glaze so that leaves could poor it on the cake when it was done.Piercedi holes in it with a meat fork first.Very good

  48. Cheryl on February 18, 2018 at 6:47 am

    Thanks for sharing. Lemon pound cake is my favoriite. In fact, I love anything lemon. ? I will try this one soon,

  49. Mary A. Daniels on April 16, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Cake is great but I really love that accent makes it so much better and makes me trust your recipes

  50. Tee on August 5, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Do u use plain flour r cake flour

    • Hilah on August 6, 2020 at 11:27 am

      regular all-purpose flour

  51. Lani on December 22, 2020 at 4:49 am

    Would it be possible to add poppy seeds?
    If so, what quantity?

    • Hilah on December 23, 2020 at 5:28 am

      Sure, you could add a couple tablespoons of poppy seeds

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