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.
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 :*
I’m teaching my son how to cook and bake. This pound cake is his first ever and it turned out great! He is 14. It warms my heart he wants to learn to cook!
I’m a cook in the Coast Guard now for 18 years!
That is so awesome, Anissa! Both of my kids were participants in the kitchen and I love that they can cook so well for themselves now that they are out on their own :) Thanks!
I made this tonight for a meeting. I didn’t even get to try it, but everyone else loved it! One lady even told me it was the best she ever had! Thank you to the commenter that mentioned this does well quadrupled. Going to make the first 2 batches as per, but add more zest on top to the last 2, for those that really like the zing! Thank you!
So glad to hear, Lisa :) 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!
So glad to hear, Monica :) Thanks!
Hi, I want to make this recipe dairy free. Can it go without the sour cream?
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.
Did you try it without the sour cream? If so how did it come out ?
Can I use a bundt pan for this lemon loaf?
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 :)
Thanks so much for such a beautiful recipe! Everybody loved it so much and its by far the best lemon pound cake I have ever made/tried! Thanks again!
So glad to hear Paula! Thanks :)
You said it freezes well. Do you recommend freezing them with or without the glaze on the loaf?
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.
Hello! Can I make this in a Bundt pan? Thanks!
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.
Without doubling the recipe it makes a small bundt, for me cooking time was approximately 50 minutes. This is a very delicious recipe, I added a extra tablespoon of lemon juice because I left out the zest. Also, I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream.
Glad you enjoyed it and good to know it works as a bundt, as well :) Thanks!
Oh, Jennifer, what can I say but DELICIOUS!!!!
I had made this just for the two of us but my sister was having company (us included!). When I asked her if I could bring dessert, she said “yes”.
Will definitely make again!!
My husband’s response was, “good crumb, lovely taste”. Think he’s been watching too many British baking shows!
Lol! The Great British Baking Show has had such an influence :) So glad you enjoyed this. My favourite. Thanks!
What a lovely subtle flavour in this loaf/cake. I split the batter into 2 smaller pans – ate one and put the other in the Freezer. I will certainly be making this again. So nice with the Lemon Icing drizzled over top. Thankyou for this lovely cake which can be enjoyed by everyone.
Thanks so much, Mary and I’m glad you enjoyed this lovely loaf!
This turned out beautiful!! I quadrupled the recipe with no problems. This has become a favourite! Definitely five star recipe!!
So glad to hear, Patti and useful to know it can be quadrupled without issue, too :) Thanks!
Absolutely loved by all! This is the first time I have made a lemon loaf without poppy seeds but the family loved it. I did find I needed 3 lemons to get 2 tblsp. of zest.
Will be making again soon.
So glad you enjoyed this Elizabeth. I must have the worlds most efficient lemon zester, because I can almost always get 2 Tbsp of one (large) lemon. I use a microplane.
The world always needs your beautiful recipes Jennifer! And you know I’m always looking for more lemon recipes and adore lemon loafs! Love your beautiful glaze and the gorgeous photos. Sharing and pinning!
Made this today and it turned out SO good. No modifications required, you’ve got the lemon loaf mastered! Thank you for sharing your recipe :) Can’t wait to make (and eat!) this again.
So glad you enjoyed it :) Thanks!
I just made this recipe. This is very soft and perfect sweetness ! By the way , your recipe it says “2 Tbsp lemon zest from about 1 large lemon”, but I couldn’t take from even Large Lemon enough 2 TB spoon ! So I just ignore that and made 1 TB from 1 and half of Large lemon .
Thank you !
A lemon pound cake is one of my very faves! Thank you so much for sharing your “secret” with us.
Thanks Cindy :)
Dear Jen I died and went to heaven this morning when I had a piece of this Lemon Pound cake this morning with a cup of coffee. This would make a beautiful gift as it came out so pretty. I have made many A lemon loaf in my day but yours really does take the cake. It is so tasty and moist and the glaze is amazing. I think the sour cream has a hand in making this a winner. I love this recipe. Many Thanks!
Hi Despo and I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this. It really is one of my favourites and you’re right, it is perfect as a gift. It’s always appreciated, too :)
Such a pretty loaf cake, I love that lemon glaze! :)
Thanks Laura :)
The internet definitely needs another lemon loaf when it is this delicious, Jennifer! Seriously, this looks just perfect! Love how light and moist it looks, plus that glaze is to die for!! Cheers, friend!
Thanks Cheyanne :)
The texture of this cake is amazing Jennifer! I would be afraid that I’d polish off way more than one piece. That won’t stop me from trying it though! :)
Thanks so much, Chris and yes, I freeze it or “gift” it to keep me in check around here :)
I haven’t heard of icing sugar, is it the same as confectioners sugar/powder sugar?
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 :)
One of my favorites! There’s a little coffee shop in Placid where I always go for my favorite lemon pound cake but it’s looking like I’ll be able to make my own thanks to you!
Thanks Annie and mine, too!
That’s just the most beautiful sight in the world ~ I’m craving a slice right now. Move over Starbucks!!
Thanks Sue and yes, I never feel the need for Starbuck’s lemon loaf with this one at home ;)
Lemon pound cake is one of my all time favorite desserts Jennifer! Perfect in the morning with coffee or after dinner as a dessert. So light and fresh!
Thanks so much, Mary Ann and I’d have to see, it is right up there with my favourite desserts, too :)
Sorry can I know one cup is how many gram?
Hi Yeong, I’ve updated the recipe to include metric measurements. Simply toggle from Imperial to Metric in the recipe card to display grams :)
I searched for a recipe of a lemon cake and I found this , It looks really easy to make , bought the ingredients right away and and baked as soon as I got home . I tried it as soon as it cooled down. It’s perfect, just the way I like it .
It’s my mom’s favorite too . Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.
Thanks so much, Maria and so glad you all are enjoying this one :)
Hi, can these be frozen ahead of time?
Hi Courtney, yes, you can bake them ahead and freeze them to enjoy later.