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
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.
Get the Recipe: Glazed Lemon Pound Cake Loaf
- 1/2 cup (113 g) butter, salted, or unsalted, at room temperature
- 1 cup (190 g) white sugar
- 3 large (3 large) eggs, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp (2 Tbsp) lemon zest, from about 1 large lemon
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
- 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp (1/4 tsp) table salt
- 1/4 tsp (1/4 tsp) baking soda
- 1/4 tsp (1/4 tsp) baking powder
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) sour cream, removed from fridge 15 minutes before using
- 1/2 cup (70 g) icing/confectioners' sugar
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice, plus more, as needed
- Preheat oven to 325 F. (not convection bake). 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).
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar at medium speed (about "4 or 5" on a KitchenAid mixer) until light coloured and fluffy. (Don't skimp on this process. It should cream 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- While loaf is still a little warm, prepare the glaze by stirring together all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl, 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.
Is there a special reason for lining the pan with parchment paper, never had any cake mix stick to the pan without it, and just spraying with oil?
Hi Carol, my theory is better safe than sorry. Not every pan in every kitchen will bake without sticking and there is nothing worse than baking a beautiful loaf and having it stick to the pan. It’s super easy to line the pan and it makes it easy to lift out of the pan. And it never sticks ever :)
can you substitute vegetable oil in place of the butter? if so how much oil would you need to use?
Hi Mel, possibly, but it’s not a 1-for-1 substitution and as I haven’t tested this recipe with oil, I don’t know the appropriate amount to substitute.
This lovely recipe made 6 tiny loaves and they baked up in 45 minutes. I am excited to bring this to work tomorrow, the closest to Starbucks lemon loaf yet. Delighted to have found your yummy recipe.
So glad to hear, Leah :) Thanks so much!
What a lovely recipe! I made it this morning and was delighted by the simplicity and taste. Thanks for sharing.
So glad you enjoyed it, Emily :) Thanks so much!
The best lemon cake ever. I have been making this recipe for years. It never fails!
So glad you’re enjoying it, Carmena! Thanks so much!
I have tried numerous times to make a lemon loaf and failed every time. So you can understand when I say that I didn’t hold out much hope for this recipe, regardless of the glowing reviews. Imagine my surprise when this lemon loaf turned out perfect and delicious. I would give it 20 stars if I could. Thank you so much for this recipe. I will be following you for more recipes!
I’m so glad to hear, Judy! I know how frustrating that is. So glad this worked so well for you. Enjoy! Thanks :)
I have made this amazing lemon pound cake of yours many times and everyone just LOVES it, so thank you!
Can I add poppyseeds to this recipe, and if so, how much? Or would it make the loaf taste totally different?
Hi Brenda, I’m so glad you are enjoying it! As for poppyseeds, it will certainly have a slightly different taste but if you enjoy the poppy seed flavour, it’s worth a go. Generally you only need a Tablespoon or two of poppy seeds stirred into the batter. Let me know how it is if you try it :)
Jennifer, I want to thank you for including weight measurements for those of us who are “scale users” I think more home cooks are using scales; so much easier and accurate.–especially for flour. The lemon cake is a stand-by here, everyone loves it. Love your blog.
I love my scale too Beverly and often think how much easier it would be to write and publish recipes if everyone had one. So much more reliable method, for sure. Thanks!
What temp if you have convection oven? Ty
Hi Kathleen, I haven’t tested this with a convection setting, but it is typically advised to lower the temperature by about 20F for convection.
This is my go to Lemon Loaf. I make 2 at a time and freeze them. I can use one lemon for two loafs.
I’m so pleased you’re enjoying it, Ingrid! Thanks so much :)
Ouuu, I love this recipe! Today, I made this recipe and the cinnamon swirl recipe, but as minis. Just in case anyone wondered, I used aluminum loaf pans, 5 23/32 x 3 5/16 x 1 7/8. The recipe made 3, filled 2/3 full. I baked each recipe at the same temp, but the lemon was done about 10 minutes sooner than 1 loaf, and the cinnamon was done about 12 minutes sooner. Just fyi! Thank you.
So glad you are enjoying these, Paula. Thanks so much! And thanks for the info on the smaller loaf pan timings.
Very welcome, Jennifer!
Loved it!!! I Definitely recommend this recipe 💖💯
So glad to hear :) Thanks so much!
Hello! Lemon lover here! I have made a few lemon loaf recipes in my time, but I must say that this is the best! I used a bit of extra zest and juice, and it turned out wonderfully flavorful. The lemon glaze on top is perfect for extra flavor. I actually made it gluten free, and nobody could tell any difference. I read another comment/question about doubling and making in mini loaf pans, so I will try both of those next time. Great recipe. Thank you.
So glad you enjoyed it, Paula and good to know it works well gluten free! Thanks so much :)
Love this recipe; so flavourful & tasty. I double the lemon juice & zest for more lemon flavour. I love the glaze; gives it that finished look. Waiting for my latest loaf to come out of the oven. Mmmmm good!!
So glad you are enjoying it! Thanks so much :)
Can this recipe be used for mini loaves? if so, how many, oven temp and cooking time? Thanks!
Hi Judith and yes, it would adapt fine for mini loaves. I have no idea how many, as I don’t know how big your mini loaf pans are. Simply divide between mini loaf pans, filling 2/3-ish. Oven temperature would be the same. Cooking time would be reduced, obviously, so simply watch closely and test when then start to look done.
This is delicious I substituted gluten free flour and it turned out perfect, thank you
Glad to hear, Mary :) Thanks so much!
This was soooo GOOD! I made this today and had to stop myself from eating the entire loaf.
So glad you enjoyed it, Victoria :) Thanks so much!
I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while and I was wondering can you use yogurt instead of sour cream?
Hi Aria, while yogurt will technically “work”, it is much lower fat than sour cream, so it will have an effect on the finished loaf in terms of moistness and shelf-life.
I’ve made this recipe several times in the past month and it disappears very quickly each time I make it. It’s very moist and full of lemon flavour!
So glad to hear, Barb :) Thanks so much!
Love this recipe. I always double it and it disappears within a day!
So happy to hear, Jan :) Thanks so much!
This is a wonderful loaf full of lemon flavour and so moist! Reminds me of the delicious lemon loaf my mother baked growing up. Received many compliments on this.
PS Love your site and all your great recipes!
So glad you enjoyed it, Joanne! And thanks so much :)
You just freeze the loaf glazed. Does the glaze not stick to the freezer bag? I was going to try freezing it then glazing, but it won’t be the same as your recipe indicates to glaze while the loaf is still warm.
Hi Denis, if you’re freezing the whole loaf, I would freeze it unglazed, then glaze after thawing/before serving. The glaze will be fine even if not put on a warm loaf and it will certainly look better that if it’s been frozen and thawed.
Can this recipe be doubled?
Hi Amanda and yes it should double just fine.
Made this once with lemon and once with orange, both amazing and delicious. Want to make blueberry but without citrus, can I just omit lemon(zest & juice) and add blueberries to the batter? Any advice greatly appreciated
Hi Mary and so glad you are enjoying it! For just blueberry, you can just omit the zest and replace the juice with an equal amount of milk or water. Let me know how it is :)
Amazing!!! Love this moist and perfect lemon bread!!!🍋🍋🍋
So glad to hear, Char :) Thanks so much!