Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

It’s nice to have a cake around the house. It’s nice to have something to slice and serve when the neighbors come over for coffee or when family drops in, but it’s equally nice to have a little something to treat yourself with when you’re at home and looking for a snack. I tend to think that a good, moist bundt cake or tube cake is the way to go, since they don’t need any frosting and often keep a little bit better than layer cakes do because they are much easier to wrap up with plastic wrap and keep fresh (no worries about squishing the icing!).

This cake is just that kind of everyday cake that you want around the kitchen. It’s a Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake that is moist, tender and – most importantly – very flavorful. The lemon in the cake and the lemon glaze keep the cake light and fresh tasting, perfect for an afternoon snack.  Without the glaze, which has plenty of fresh lemon juice, the lemon flavor in the cake is fairly subtle. I baked this cake in a tube pan, the same type of pan that I would use for angel food cake. It is easy to get a cake out of this sort of pan, since the sides are removable, but my favorite thing about it is the fact that you still get to see the beautiful, high-rising top of the cake, with all it’s little nooks and crannies just waiting to be filled with a drizzle of icing.

When you’re mixing up this cake, don’t worry if the batter seems thing. Pound cake, although it is tender in the end, is dense compared to many other cakes and really requires a thick batter to achieve this texture. The butter in the cake lends a nice background flavor to it, but the vegetable oil that I added in is what helps keep it moist for several days after baking.

Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp lemon zest
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in lemon zest, then beat in the eggs one at a time until well-combined.
In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine vanilla, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Working in two or three additions, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture, ending with a final addition of dry ingredients. Stir only until no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before topping with lemon glaze (recipe below)

Serves 16

Lemon Glaze
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake.

29 comments

  1. This would actually NOT be a good thing to keep in my kitchen because, um, I LOVE lemon pound cake and I think I’d eat it all by myself ;-)

  2. This cake looks wonderful! I’m wondering though why wouldn’t you use some fresh lemon juice in the cake too? Or is there a reason not to put that in the batter?

  3. gosh, I’d eat the whole thing!

  4. Looks so delicious! I’m a lemon lover–this wouldn’t last more than a few minutes in my apartment…too bad for the guests!

  5. I’m going to make this cake this weekend! :) Thanks for the recipe!

  6. This is my kind of cake, Nic – lemony and tender, yum! Looks delicious.

  7. Anything lemon sounds great but this sounds even better. :) Definitely will make it soon!!

  8. we have some many lemons right now so this sounds terrific!

  9. BEAUTIFUL! The lemon+buttermilk combination sounds amazing. And only 1/2 stick of butter? For a pound cake, not bad! :)

  10. This is in my oven right now…mmm. Except I used 1/2 ww flour and 1/3 brown sugar (what with running out of white :) Let ya know how it turns out. I did add a few squeezes of lemon juice, as I am for some reason unable to ever follow a recipe exactly, I also used yummy irish butter, which I read about on someone’s food blog pound cake post, or was it here? :)

  11. I made it for a meeting Saturday… thanks for another totally awesome recipe!

  12. I’m going to make this today or tomorrow to go along with some fresh raspberries I picked up at the farmer’s market. Can’t wait!

  13. This recipe is delicious and easy to make. The second time I made it, I used lime instead of lemon. Both delicious!

  14. Hi Nicole, I hope you don’t mind if we link to this recipe from PBS Parents.org Kitchen Explorers for a post next week on bringing food to neighbors in need. Your cake looks so delicious and I don’t have a picture of the one we made!

  15. I’ve made this a few times now, and each time it’s gobbled up quickly with RAVE reviews! Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

  16. I made this cake yesterday and we manage not to eat it entirely straight out of the oven, we did well because it’s even more delicious this morning! It was my second attempt and as in France I don’t have access to buttermilk I substituted fromage blanc (cottage cheese-ish) the first time, and homemade sour milk (blend of & tbsp white vinegar and 1 cup milk, let it set for a while until it thickens… I waited 12 hours and used only the thick part, discarded the clear liquid) this time. The second ended up being lighter and moister.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  17. This cake is on the other side of delicious! Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough lemons to make 2 Tbsp of lemon zest so I compensated by adding 1 T of zest and 1 tsp of lemon extract. I also didn’t have enough zest for the icing so I made it sans the zest. Still turned out fabulous and I can only imagine how much more lemony it would be with proper ingredients. This one is a definite keeper!

  18. This cake is soooo good.. I just made this cake but for the drizzle I piped a lemon cream cheese frosting and the kids and I loved it
    2 (8oz) cream cheese
    1/2 Cup of soften butter
    2 1/2 Cups powder sugar
    1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 Tablespoon lemon zest
    juice from 1/2 of lemon

    1. Cream butter and cream cheese.
    2. Add vanilla extract.
    3. Add Lemon zest.
    4. Add lemon juice
    5. Add powder sugar.

    Pipe frosting down cake like a drizzle.. Oh yea I used a bundt pan..

  19. Can I substitute the lemon zest for lemon extract?

  20. Thanks! I made this last night and it turned out great. Will be posting about it on my blog and linking back to you.

  21. YUM! I just made this tonight and it was SO YUMMY! I had to add some more lemon juice and water to the glaze so that I could pour it over the cake and I made mine in a bundt. It was SO delicious! My normally non-lemon-loving family gobbled this up.. even my 2 year old! We served the slices with a nice dollop of cool whip :)

  22. I see that you used a round pan for this… I want to just a square pan like the one you use for banana loaves. because I’m using a different pan, should I put the cake in the oven for longer for the middle to cook better?

  23. Cynthia – If you want to use a regular loaf pan, the baking time should be similar to that of a banana bread. That said, this recipe will probably make more batter than will fit in a standard loaf pan, so you might either way to split it up into two pans (which would probably take less time in the oven) or fill one loaf pan 2/3-3/4 full and bake off any leftover batter in another pan (or muffin pans, for instance).

  24. This is the BEST Lemon poundcake recipe I have found!!! Everytime I make it my family cuts into it before it’s totally cooled! I put the glaze on before it’s cooled to let it soak in the cake a little. This cake doesn’t even last 24 hrs in my house!

  25. This recipe is awesome. Very moist and supple. I’m allergic to citrus so I was unable to use the lemon flavoring so I used vanilla with a splash of almond extract. The cake becomes even more moist the next day. It’s a very cost effective cake. It takes less butter , eggs and sugar than the typical pound cake recipe in my experience. I was tempted to use cake flour but regular ol ap flour did just fine. It’s a definite keeper. Thank you for the recipe.

  26. Paulette Yates Corry

    This will become a staple in my repertoire .Simply delicious without the garish amounts of butter and sugar in so many other pound cake recipes.The lemon is just enough…love…love…love! Thx Granny:)

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