by Michel Van Devender

This is the MOST requested cake in our house, and hands down, the best lemon pound cake recipe I’ve found. Two of my sons have birthdays a day apart in April, and they both request this for their birthdays, every year! Yes, I end up making two, but try to spread them out over the course of a couple of weeks so we can extend the cake joy. For me, the best desserts are chocolate, but I love this cake so much. The recipe is from Julia over at Dozen Flours . I think the reason it is sooo good is because there’s no lemon extract, just straight up lemons. For this reason, the cake requires several extra steps including zesting and separating the lemon segments. It is a bit tedious and time consuming, but in my opinion, well worth it. Hope you enjoy!



The Best Lemon Pound Cake

Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 4 – 5 small lemons, organic if possible (smaller lemons typically have more juice + flavor)
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups superfine sugar (also called caster or baker’s sugar)
  • 6 eggs, warmed for 10 minutes in hot tap water
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • Glaze:
  • 1 – 2 lemons
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a tube cake pan, including center column. Set aside.
  2.  Thoroughly clean and dry lemons. Zest lemons in a bowl (large enough to add sugar later), avoiding the pith (the white part below yellow) as it will add bitterness to the cake. I usually do 5 lemons, although the original recipe calls for 4. Set aside.
  3.  Using lemons you zested, cut off top and bottom of each lemon. Over a bowl, separate lemon segments from membranes, capturing any juice in bowl. This can be done with a sharp knife, or I sometimes find it easier to use my hands. If you can recruit your significant other to do this for you, bonus! The goal is to collect as many lemon segment clusters as possible. There will be some juice, but not a lot. You can look at the original recipe, linked above,  for more details on this process as it is outlined with step-by-step instructions and also provides links to tutorials. 
  4. Add sugar to bowl with lemon zest. Combine and work together with your fingers or a fork until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Set aside.
  5. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  6. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat butter for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add half the sugar and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add the other half of the sugar and beat for 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl a couple of times.
  7. Remove eggs from warm water. Add one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, beating until just combined.
  8. On the lowest setting, beat in the dry ingredients followed by the sour cream.
  9. Gently fold in the lemon segments and juice.
  10. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake for approximately 90 minutes, checking every 10-15 minutes after 60 minutes. When done, a cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
  11. Remove cake from oven and cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes. 
  12. After cake has cooled slightly, carefully remove from pan and place on a plate.
  13. While cake continues to cool, juice 2 lemons. Add powered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing with a whisk, until desired consistency. If glaze is too runny, add more powdered sugar. If too thick, add more lemon juice. 
  14. Drizzle glaze over top and sides of cake.
  15. Serve! We sometimes eat warm because my boys cannot wait until cake has cooled, although I prefer the taste of the cooled cake. 

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