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.
Turned out perfectly, dense yet tender and moist. I added dollops of raspberry-rhubarb compote to the batter, and mixed the same into the glaze for a colourful, tart-sweet addiition. The whole loaf was gone in minutes.
So glad you enjoyed it, Roni :) Thanks so much!
Should I turn oven down to 300 degrees if I use glass dish?
Hi Denise and yes, I would lower it for glass. Baking time should be close if you’ve lowered the temp, but watch it closely near the end of baking to be sure. Enjoy!
Would this recipe do well in my mini-bundt cake pan?
Hi Elaine, I imagine it would. I have no idea on baking time, so watch closely :)
I found this recipe about a year ago. It’s taken me that long to comment. Lol. I am the baker in the family so I’m always responsible for desserts. It started off innocent enough. I made it for a summer dinner. It is now the most requested item I make. What a great anytime treat!! It’s easy to put together and guaranteed to please. The creator is right! Take the extra time to FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. You will not be sorry. Thanks for posting!
So glad you are enjoying it Christy! Thanks so much :)
YUM!!! I love allll things lemon. 🍋 First time zesting a lemon. Literally bled for this bread. 😂 Whoops. My 1 lemon didn’t yield the full 2 TBSP of zest, so I added another tablespoon of lemon juice. Still wasn’t lemony enough for my liking, but it was delicious! I’ll try with more lemon, adding poppyseeds and maybe almond extract to the glaze. 🤪🤍🤍🤍
SO very much appreciated you calculated all the macros! Do you know how many grams of the bread = your 290 cal & macros??
Glad you enjoyed it, Stephanie. Try adding more zest to the cake, as adding more juice might upset the liquid balance. The lemon hit on this one really comes from the glaze, so if you are a lemon lover, I’d stick with the lemon juice glaze. As for the calories, it would be for 1 slice, assuming you slice 10 from a loaf. Thanks!
Thank you for the recipe. Super simple and my cake turned out amazing!! 😍😍
So glad to hear :) Thanks so much!
I made this and my family loved it they all thought it was box cake haha
That is funny :) So glad you all enjoyed it. Thanks!
I made a double batch of this a couple of weeks ago thinking my family would eat one loaf and I would freeze the other….. NOPE.. never happened!! Both loaves were gone in no time.
We are a family of lemon lovers and I must say that this recipe is one of the best… if not the best I have ever had.
Just getting ready to make again!
So glad you all enjoyed it, Robin :) Thanks so much!
Hi, Can I use cottage cheese in place of sour cream?
Hi Marlene and I honestly have no idea of that would work or not. Sorry.
I’ve made this recipe a ton and it is absolutely perfect. It’s my favourite for unexpected guests… I always have a loaf in the freezer. Just grab a few slices and thaw while you put the coffee or kettle on. I’ve substituted the sour cream for Greek yogurt regularly and it works perfectly. This past time I zested too much lemon so I added some to the glaze and it was even more amazing if that’s even possible.
This is a website that I’ve made a bunch of recipes from and it always turns out amazing. Thank you!!
So glad you are enjoying it, Kadie :) Thanks so much!
This is baking right now! I am so excited to try it. Lemon pound cake is a favorite of mine but I haven’t made one in ages. I am bringing this to a long-awaited dinner with my kids and granddaughter tonight! ❤️
I’ve read through the comments above and your replies – how kind you are to help with troubleshooting!
Thank you for sharing this recipe! Take care!
Do enjoy Leslie and thanks so much :)
I saw a comment above where someone used vegan sour cream. I am wondering if it would work with both vegan sour cream and a vegan butter?
I love the recipe! So delicious, but would like to make for a friend who is on a special diet.,
Hi Sue, I haven’t heard of whether this would work or not. I understand that generally speaking, you can swap out vegan butter for butter in baking, but I’ve not tried it myself with this loaf. I’d certainly give it a go :) If you try it, let me know how it works out.
Silly question, maybe, but do I leave the paper on the cake when I pour the glaze over it? Or do I remove the paper first?
Hi Bonni, After I lift the loaf out of the pan with the paper, I generally pull the paper down from the sides right away, but leave it underneath. I let it cool a bit more, then I slide the paper out from underneath as well, leaving it to sit on a cooling rack until completely cool. When you’re ready to glaze, simply place a baking sheet underneath the cooling rack and spoon the glaze on, letting it drip down the sides of the loaf. The baking sheet will catch any drips that drip off completely. If you were to leave the paper underneath when you glaze, the glaze will pool on the paper and not drip away and you’ll have a sticky-bottomed loaf :)
Hello, I made this recipe today and doubled it, and used vegan sour cream. It turned out so yummy. It was a hit with my family. Thank you!!
So glad to hear, Farah :) Thanks so much!
hello if my pan is 10x5x2in or 2lb should i use the numbers for 2x?
Hi Mario, I’m assuming your pan is 9×5, which is the 2lb loaf pan. If so, I don’t think it would hold 2X batter. You can use the 1X batter and just create a shorter/wider loaf.
thanks a lot for replying
Hello, can fresh blueberries be added to this loaf? If so how much is too much, and do I have to flour them first? Thank you for your time!
Hi Lina and sure, you could add some blueberries if you like. I’ve never tried it with this loaf, so I don’t know how much they will sink, but I think you can’t go wrong giving them a dusting of flour anyway. I wouldn’t put too many in. Maybe 1 cup-ish. See how that looks and add a few more if it looks sparse. If the berries sink, you could try pouring in half the batter, scattering some on, then mixing the rest with the rest of the batter and pour on top. Starting with them higher up in the loaf usually helps. Let me know how you make out :)
Thanks Jennifer! I’ll be sure to let you know!
I made this cake and followed all the directions but for some reason the middle sank in. It was cooked as I tested the middle. The cake tasted delicious just not sure what happened and I would like to correct it for the next time.
Hi Catherine. Let’s see if we can figure it out for you. You say you tested, but under-baked is a big cause of cakes sinking. Have you sliced into the centre of the loaf yet? Does it looks baked through (even crumb structure)? If you don’t think that was the issue, did you make any ingredient substitutions? Did you use full-fat sour cream and good butter? Finally, have a look at your creaming method. You should be mixing the butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes, but you shouldn’t be doing it at too high a speed. You’re shouldn’t be beating it vigorously. Speed 4 or 5 on a stand mixer is about right. Finally, where are you located? Are you baking at high altitude? Anything sounding like a likely suspect?
Fiz hoje ficou perfeita, só um problema que não sei o que fiz, mas queimou muito embaixo e lateral, e deixei no forno mínimo o que posso ter errado
Hi Vivian, I am wondering if you baked it in a convection (fan-assisted) oven. It should be baked in a regular oven setting or if not possible, reduce the oven temperature too 300F.
Hi! I really want to try this recipe, but does the 1 tbsp of lemon juice make the cake lemony enough? I only have 1 lemon for this recipe but I have lemon extract. Could I substitute?
Well, lemony enough is subjective :) As noted in the recipe post, much of the lemon flavour comes from the glaze, which is quite tart, despite the icing sugar. There is the 2 Tbsp of lemon zest in the loaf, as well as the lemon juice, but if you like things really lemony, you can add a splash of lemon extract to the loaf, if you like.
Can’t wait to try this for Easter! What does the recipe need to be if I only have a Bundt pan?
Hi Morgan, it would depend on the size of your bundt pan. An 8×4 loaf pan holds about 4 cups of batter. So if you have an 8-10 cup bundt pan, you would be looking at doubling the recipe. Obviously, the baking time will change. I have no idea how much, as I haven’t tried it myself, so watch it closely and test often. Enjoy :)
Need a cake for a meeting while I am gone. Can I freeze this for a week with the icing on it?
Hi Phyllis, while you could freeze it with the icing on it, in an ideal world, you would freeze before icing and ice once thawed. The icing does tend to get a touch moist after the freezing/thawing process.
Hello! I’m planning on making this soon, and I was just wondering: how long does this loaf keep? Can it be stored at room temperature in a sealed container, or ought it be refrigerated?
Hi Vi, this loaf will keep well several days at room temperature. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
I made this last night. It is absolutely delicious! I did not add the glaze as I think the loaf is sweet enough on its own and I’m supposed to be cutting my sugar (oops!) I will definitely make this again.
So glad you enjoyed it, Rachel :) Thanks so much!
I used yogurt instead and it tasted great without glaze! I think I might have mixed it too much because it ended up a bit dense, but I would still definitely make it again.
So glad to hear, Jenn :) Thanks!
Can I substitute Greek yogurt (honey flavored) for the sour cream?
Hi Pamela, I wouldn’t :) While a plain Greek yogurt might do in a pinch, I think the honey flavoured would make your loaf too sweet.
I made this yesterday! It was delicious! Perfect for when you crave a scrumptious lemony dessert! Thank you!
So glad to hear, Dena :) Thanks so much!
So glad you enjoyed it, Mary :) Thanks!