Glazed Lemon Pound Cake Loaf

My go-to lemon loaf recipe for years! This delicious Glazed Lemon Pound Cake Loaf is always perfectly moist and lemony!

I have been making this same lemon loaf for years. It’s my “go to” when only lemon loaf will do. The fact that I’ve never posted it to this point is simply my belief that maybe the internet didn’t really need another lemon loaf recipe. But what the heck. It’s good, it’s tried and tested (many, many times!) and for anyone who has yet to find their “go to” lemon loaf, it’s definitely worthy of consideration.

I suppose lemon loaf is somewhat subjective. What makes this loaf a winner for me is the lovely texture (not too light, not too dense), the perfect level of moistness (not too oily, never dry) and just the right amount of lemon. With this one, the hit of lemon actually comes more from the glaze than the cake, though there is obviously some lemon in the cake. But it’s in the lemon glaze that the the perfect balance is struck, so definitely don’t skip that.

The final point I love about this loaf, is that it needs only 1 large lemon and pretty much typical pantry and fridge items to make it. That means I’m always stocked to make this one, which has come in handy many times when I needed a little something special to share or gift.

Featured Review: I made this lemon pound loaf today and it tastes incredible! I was worried that it wouldn’t have much lemon taste because of the small amount of lemon juice that goes into the batter. There was no need to worry though, the lemon taste is the star of this loaf. This recipe is pure perfection! – Krista

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake Loaf

Cook’s Notes for Glazed Lemon Pound Cake Loaf

When it comes to baking loaves like this one, there is really just one secret to success. Follow the instructions :) Take it from someone who has (in the past :) skipped certain instructions like “at room temperature”, “whisk together well in a separate bowl” and “add alternately” … yet had what I considered (at the time) to be a reasonably fine result.

It was only when I started following those instructions that I discovered the reason they were there. There’s fine and then there’s great. I learned I prefer the great, so I am willing to be a bit more organized and patient. It’s a small price to pay for great lemon loaf :)

So the moral of that story … be sure to take your eggs, butter and sour cream out of the fridge 30 minutes before you start baking. Be sure to combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a separate large bowl and whisk it together well. You will be rewarded!

This lemon loaf freezes beautifully. Freeze it whole in a freezer bag, or slice it first and freeze it. Slicing first means you can grab a slice when you feel the need, instead of trying to cut/thaw a slice from a frozen whole loaf. To thaw a slice, simply set a frozen slice on the counter on a piece of paper towel and it will be ready to enjoy in 20-30 minutes. To thaw a whole loaf, set on the counter inside the sealed freezer bag until thawed.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake Loaf

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake Loaf

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: best lemon loaf recipe, glazed lemon loaf, lemon pound cake loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Energy: 290 kcal
Author: Jennifer Maloney

Perfectly lemony and moist loaf, with a tart sweet lemon glaze. Freezes beautifully!

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Ingredients

Loaf:

  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest from about 1 large lemon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sour cream removed from fridge 15 minutes before using

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup icing/confectioners' sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice plus more, as needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray an 8x4-inch loaf pan with baking spray and line with a piece of parchment paper that covers the bottom and long sides, with an inch or so extending past the top of the pan (these will be the "handles" to lift the loaf out of the pan).

  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar until light coloured and fluffy. (Don't skimp on this process. It should beat about 3 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time and beat in well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together well the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. With mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream, starting with 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the sour cream, 1/3 of the flour, last of the sour cream, then finally the last of the flour.

  4. Scrape into prepared 8x4-inch loaf pan and level batter. Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a knife along the short ends and use the parchment paper edges to lift and remove from pan. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  6. While loaf is still a little warm, prepare the glaze, adding enough lemon juice to make a pourable glaze. Place a baking tray under the cooling rack to catch any drips and spoon glaze slowly over top of loaf, allowing it to drip down the sides a bit. Cool completely, then slice and enjoy.
 
Glazed Lemon Pound Cake Loaf
 

163 Comments



  • Hi Jennifer,

    Looks like the perfect cake for a party I’m putting on this weekend. Can you freeze the glazed cake, or must I glaze just before serving?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Susanne, you can freeze it glazed, although the glaze may crack along the way (in the freezing or thawing). If you don’t care about that, go ahead and freeze it glazed. If best presentation is in the mix, you might glaze after freezing.

  • Should the cake be refrigerated after serving or will it be fine sitting on the counter if eaten within a couple days?

    • Hi Miranda, I just keep it on the counter, wrapping the cut end well with plastic wrap. Should be fine for several days.

  • Hi Jennifer, this recipe looks so amazing and I can’t wait to try it. I may try it ahead of time as written in the loaf pan but do you think this could be used for an Easter Lamb cake in the lamb mold? Would I have to double the recipe? When I make a lamb cake, it’s usually from a Dromedary pound cake mix and they’ve discontinued the mix. This is what my mom always used to make our Easter Lamb cakes with so that’s all I’ve known. I want to continue the tradition (but not the 9 cakes she always made..lol). Thank you..

    • Hi Lin, This cake is not quite as firm as some pound cakes I’ve made, but I suspect it would work. Just grease the pan really well :) I would double the batter, but you may not need to use it all. I just don’t think the single recipe would be quite enough. You can gauge how much you filled the pan with the mix and just fill it to that point. If you do make it ahead you can judge if you think it’s firm enough. If not, you might try the 62nd Street Lemon Cake I have on my site instead. It is a firmer version.

    • Help! It’s Easter morning and I’m all ready to bake this loaf. However, I can’t find my loaf pan anywhere! Could I do this in a cake pan, instead? I have 8” square or round. Should I double the recipe?

    • Hi Rina, You could, but bear in mind that whole milk yogurt is about 3.5% b.f., while sour cream is 14%. The difference in butter fat between the two will make a difference in the finished loaf. So while yogurt will work, sour cream will give you the best results :)

  • This is such a great lemon loaf! Like others, I keep making it over and over. Be sure to cook at 325, not 350 like I did the first time! Thank you for giving your guidance about making sure the eggs, butter and sour cream are at room temp before starting. Always comes out great.

  • After spending like 20minutes to convert the receipe in metric [I live in Belgium we don’t use cups here], I just realise you’ve made a button just for that! So BIG thank you, I will use your receipes more often because I’m tired of going through this process when I want to try american baking receipes.
    We don’t have any sour cream in here, what pourcentage of fat is yours ? I will try it with a similar dairy product and add lemon juice to it.

    • Hi Jen and yes, my recipe card software calculates the metric for me. I’m always a little worried it doesn’t convert properly, so if anything seems out of whack, be sure to just double check. As for the sour cream, I believe it’s about 14% b.f. Enjoy!

  • Hi Jennifer! I am newbie baker and loving your blog. How do you make a glaze? Just mix the sugar and lemon? Or do I whisk it up in the electric mixer?

    Thanks for the help!!

    • Hi Reguina, no mixer needed. If it had butter in it a mixer is good, but this one will come together nicely with a spoon. When you first add the lemon juice to the icing sugar, it will look like there isn’t nearly enough liquid, but just stir and stir and the lemon juice will melt the icing sugar into a smooth glaze :) It will be pouring consistency, not spreadable. Hope that helps!

  • My loaf pan measures 9.25 x 5.25 inches…..how long would I bake it, also it’s a dark metal pan. Thank you, Jennifer. I look forward to making this!

    • Hi Mary, You can bake this in a 9×5 pan, but it will be a pretty short loaf. Cooking time will be less. Can’t say how much exactly, but I would probably start checking at 40 minutes. For a dark pan, you may want to reduce the oven temperature to 300F. Hope that helps :)

      • A short loaf and less cooking time with a 9×5 pan? I’m in the same boat, but what size pan do you typically use, recipe says 8×4? Thanks, I’m excited to make this!

        • Hi Steph and yes, this one is best baked in an 8 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. That said, if you only have a 9×5 pan, it will be shorter, so you will want to reduce the baking time. Check often for doneness and you will be fine.

  • Hi, it looks awesome! I havent tried it yet but before I do can I ask if it will still taste sweet without the glaze? I dont want to add the glaze but i also dont want the cake to taste bad without it. Also, will the mixing times still be correct if I hand mix? I don’t have an electric mixer, and im a huge amateur, so im not sure if i can eyeball it to make sure its mixed well enough. Thank you! Cant wait to try it.

    • Hi Reagan, So a couple of things … you don’t need to do the glaze, but the glaze in this recipe is where the real hit of lemon is, so you’d want to up the lemon juice and zest in the loaf if you aren’t doing the glaze. Maybe double. As for making without an electric mixer, you will need to really (really!) use your muscles and whisk the butter and sugar until it lightens in colour (goes from yellow coloured to whitish.). Also whisk the eggs in well after each addition. After that, you should be good :) Enjoy!

    • Hi Kate, it may be a little too tender for fondue. While it is a pound cake, it is not a dense one that would cut well into cubes etc.

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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