Glazed Lemon Pound Cake Loaf

This delicious Glazed Lemon Pound Cake Loaf has been my go-to recipe for lemon loaf for years. 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.

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

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
 

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102 Comments



  • Batter looks and tastes great, and it was super easy to put together, even for an amateur like me! Just put it into the oven, let’s hope it turns out good :) thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Shetarrah, you could use full-fat yogurt, but keep in mind that full-fat yogurt has less fat than full-fat sour cream, so it may have an impact on the moistness of the finished loaf.

    • Hi Kelita and yes, it would make a difference. I haven’t tried it, but I suspect that the texture would be extremely light and not “pound cake” like. You would also need to use more cake flour vs all purpose. It doesn’t translate cup for cup.

  • I want to try this recipe. I have a question. Can I use the “paste method” of mixing this batter ?
    I know you have said to make this cake as is, but i was wondering if it would work using the Paste method.

    • Hi Emmi, I have no idea :) I have never tried it. You are certainly free to try it, but you won’t know how it stands up to the original method unless you make it per the original instructions first. I love to experiment with baking, so I’d try as written first, then reverse creaming next and decide which texture you prefer. Hope that helps :)

  • Hi Jennifer –
    How do you store this pound cake because of the sour cream, in the fridge or at room temperature?
    Can you tell me what it tastes like on the 2nd day? Most cakes taste best the day they are made. Wondering if it will still be moist.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Ann, I just keep this wrapped in plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature. You could certainly refrigerate if you like. It is still very good the next day, for sure. I usually freeze any left “next day”, to enjoy later. It freezes beautifully!

  • I am going to make this for our big canada day barbecue. ..I am going to top it with sliced strawberries in syrup…I think that would be good…

  • Who can resist a lemon cake? This was super easy to make and was a great treat for breakfast while watching the royal wedding. I also made 2 more and gave as gifts, easy to wrap and transport! Only 4 stars because I want more lemon flavour so I think I will try other recipes…there really can’t be enough lemon for me. My tip would be to watch it like a hawk at the end, as soon as it’s done get it out of your oven so it doesn’t dry out. My first one was just slightly over-baked and was quite dry. (I wish you could add pictures to the comments!)

    • I usually use unsalted butter for baking, because it’s considered “better butter”, but I have baked this one with salted as well and it’s just fine. So you can go either way here.

    • Hi Jodi, I haven’t done this myself, so I can only give you a guess. I’m thinking in the 35 minute range, but I’d start checking at 30 minutes. Just keep cooking until a cake tester comes out clean.

  • This is a light, fine crumb cake, easy to make. I glazed the warm cake with a mixture of 1 Tbsp butter, 1 c. xxx sugar, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, & 1 tsp lemon zest. I found the unglazed cake a bit too mild for my taste, so will judiciously add more lemon zest and lemon juice to the batter next time, or maybe try lemon yogurt in place of the sour cream.

  • My husband loves lemon pound cake and this looks like a great recipe I can whip up easily or keep frozen for our dessert cravings. Do you honk I could substitute plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream? I usually have that in the fridge along with the other ingredients except for sour cream. Thanks!

    • Hi Afreen, You could certainly try it with yogurt. Full fat yogurt would be best. I might add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to it.

  • Hi Jennifer!

    I have a question about the recipe. Do you use Sicilian lemon (Citrus limon), that yellow, or green lemon? I’m Brazilian, I do not speak English, I hope you understand what I mean :) Thanks :*

  • Made this as a gift for my bf to bring to work for his bday and it was a HIT! Also snuck a piece myself and it was suuper tasty. Came out perfect, moist, cruncy/carmelized on the top crust.

    I made one small modification and added about a tablespoon of Chia Seeds (which I soaked in 3 TBS water ahead of time, to avoid them absorbing liquid from the recipe). It came out great and had the nice traditional appearance of a lemon-poppyseed cake with little bursts of nutritious chia. Adding this to my repertoire for sure!

    • Hi Rachel, I honestly have no idea how just skipping the sour cream will affect the final loaf. I’ve never done that. If you try it, let me know how it works out. You could use a vegan sour cream.

    • I have never tried this one in a bundt pan. I’m not sure there’s enough batter, especially if your bundt pan is large. Obviously the cooking time would change, but I have no idea to what. If you try it, let me know how it turns out :)

    • Hi Nienke, If you are freezing whole for later use, I would probably glaze after thawing, just to keep extra moisture out of the equation. I am typically freezing “left-overs”, to avoid waste, which are already glazed. Even glazed, it stands up pretty well to freezing/thawing.

    • Hi Chelsi, I’m not sure there is enough batter to make it in a bundt pan. Perhaps if you doubled it, it might work. Of course the cooking time would change considerably. You’d have to check regularly.

    • Sorry Dora, I usually write icing/confectioners’ sugar, but didn’t this time. So yes, it is the same as confectioners/powdered sugar. We know it as Icing Sugar here :)

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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