Yet another recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Have I mentioned I am addicted to this particular blog? Love it.

Anyhow, this recipe is a HUGE wow with Deb at Smitten Kitchen so I figured I should give it a try (like I did with the Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake). It is adapted from an Ina Garten (a.k.a. Barefoot Contessa) recipe and according to Deb at Smitten Kitchen, it is one of her top favorite cakes ever. You know it has to be good.

This turned out delightfully well, if you love lemon.

I love lemon…this might be just a tad MUCH lemon for me, but it was still really delicious and very elegant – a perfect treat to take to someone or entertain with. Or like me, just serve to my regular, normal, everyday family after dinner.

Oh and please, please check out Deb’s site to look at some REALLY beautiful pictures of this cake.

Lemon Pound Cake





Yield 2 loaves


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted.


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and 2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Mixing at medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, and lemon zest.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to butter and sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Divide batter evenly between pans, smooth tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  4. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.
  5. When cakes are done, let them cool 10 minutes. Invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon lemon syrup over cakes. Let cakes cool completely.
  6. For glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar and remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cakes, and allow glaze to drizzle down the sides.

Recipe Source: Adapted from ‘’Barefoot Contessa Parties!’’ by Ina Garten

19 Responses to Lemon Pound Cake

  1. Kim says:

    I am baking these pound cakes now and they are sinking in the middle any suggestions on what could be causing this problem? The batter taste delicious and looked great so I can’t imagine what I did wrong.

    • Mel says:

      Not sure, Kim – did they end up working out? Sometimes if I open the door a lot to check on baked goods, they end up falling. Any chance that happened?

  2. Faye says:

    Your homemade lemon pound cake looks delicious! As I was reading through the ingredients, I noticed one ingredient is posted as 3/4 cup plus…what is the ingredient? Please let me know, I want to try your recipe! Thanks!

  3. Holly W says:

    I made this three times before it finally turned out (cakes have never been my speciality) but am glad I persevered. It wasn’t the ingredients but the size of the pans and the baking time that threw me. I used Meyer lemons which I think are perfect for this recipe. I cut the recipe in half to make only cake and baked it in an 8×8 glass pan for about 35 minutes. I did not turn the cake out of the pan to cool. I poked holes in the cake with a skewer and carefully spread the lemon syrup over it using a basting brush. I skipped the glaze altogether and served the cake with strawberries and whipped cream. It was a hit with my family (thank heavens, after three tries!).

  4. Tyleia H says:

    If I omitted the lemon would this work as a regular pound cake? or can you suggest a pound cake recipe for strawberry shortcake? I’m gonna search other sites too but you are my go to for recipes 🙂

  5. Tiffiny says:

    Hi Mel! Thanks for this great recipe! My poor dad is always sad because my mom doesn’t bake much and by much I meant not at all. Haha! So I decided to bake for him as his Father’s Day gift this year. So I asked my mom, “what are some of Dad’s favorite baked goods that he never gets to have?” and she replied, “lemon pound cake.” And lo and behold! You have a recipe! It turned out great and was SO delicious. Thanks for helping me to make this Father’s Day special!

  6. Thanks! I should have googled that but thank you for telling me. I never knew that. Now I need to get some lemons!!

  7. Mel says:

    Hi Bex – many people use the homemade buttermilk sub which is a cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice stirred in. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before using.

  8. Bex says:

    I usually have most of the ingredients in your recipes but I never have buttermilk here and wondered if there is a way to substitute something for it without having to buy some at the store?

  9. Suzanne says:

    Great, thanks for the info!

  10. Suzanne says:

    Hello there. I just recently found your blog and am so in love. I have printed about 15 recipes just today. It’s getting a little out of hand. But, what can I say, everything you post looks absolutely amazing!

    Will you please share with me what kind of loaf pans you use? Mine are super cheapo and tend to burn things and I think they are too large. I want my loaves to turn out beautiful like yours do! =) Thanks for your advice.

    • Mel says:

      Suzanne – for this pound cake, I use a large 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan. To be honest, I don’t remember where I got mine but they aren’t super high quality. I probably picked up at least one of them from Walmart. For bread and smaller loaves, I use an 8 1/2-inch by 4-inch pan and I get those from Chicago Metallic. Hope you like this recipe! I’m glad you’ve found so many others to try, also!

  11. Mary says:

    I made this cake as a 8 inch round cake. Baked at 325 degrees for 1 hour. It turned out fine. I also added 2 tablespoons of poppyseeds to the mix.

  12. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – I have never tried this recipe in a bundt pan but I’m always up for changing recipes. If you did it in a bundt pan, I would bake at 350 degrees for the same amount of time, checking often to see if it is done. Let me know if you try it!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am new to your blog but *love* it, thank you for your time and dedication – it seems like you have a lot of fans too!

    Do you think this cake would work in a bundt pan as well? If so, any recommendation on how long I should bake and at what temp?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *