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Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon pound cakes aren't just for lemon lovers. Get the most out of the lemon flavor of this pound cake by grating zest first, then squeezing out lemon juice. Lemon zest, juice, and glaze give you triple the lemon for a crowd-pleasing pound cake.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 2 loaves
Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Source: Everyday Food, May 2005


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • Lemon Glaze


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Butter and flour two 4 1/2-by-8-inch (6-cup) loaf pans.

  2. In a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), combine buttermilk with lemon zest and juice. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

  3. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  4. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts alternately with the buttermilk mixture in two, beginning and ending with flour; beat just until smooth (do not overmix).

  5. Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes (tent with foil if browning too quickly). Cool 15 minutes in pan. Turn out cakes onto a rack; cool completely before glazing.

  6. Set rack with cakes over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Pour glaze over cakes, letting it run down the sides; let dry, about 30 minutes.

Cook's Note

The batter can also be baked in a 12-cup buttered and floured nonstick Bundt pan; the cooking and cooling times are the same.

Reviews (56)

  • Richard C 4 Aug, 2014

    I baked this recipe today. It was creamy and delicious. I will add a little lemon extract next time to boost the flavor even more. The glaze was excellent.

  • Shelley H 24 Jul, 2014

    I followed the directions carefully.
    It was dry and the lemon taste was almost non-existent. I will try different recipes next time.

  • white_oak 30 Jun, 2014

    Moist and delicious... definitely a keeper! I baked them in 4 mini loaf pans for about 40-45 minutes.

  • Linda4 20 Jun, 2014

    Excellent. Very moist, plenty of lemon flavor.

  • cinnamonbun 17 Jan, 2014

    Just made this cake yesterday and it was delicious. It was light and fluffy with a very nice texture, with the perfect amount of lemon flavor for me. Also it was a huge hit with my mom who is the best baker I know, will definitely make this again.

  • Andrea9267 27 Apr, 2013

    I baked this for the first time today, and it won't be the last time! I used a bundt pan and it was absolutely perfect. For the people who didn't think it had enough lemon taste, try using small lemons...their juice packs more of a punch. The cake is moist and fluffy. Just plain delicious!

  • tarheels84 15 Mar, 2013

    This made a good cake. It had enough lemon taste and was moist. However, I cake fell slightly and by placing on the rack of the oven the bottom of the cake got a little over done. I will try this one again but I do have better lemon cake recipes.

  • glendathegoodwitch01 14 Feb, 2013

    I just baked this today, and it came out perfect. I used a bundt pan, and it looks so beautiful. I agree with the others, I would add a bit more lemon. Thank you for this great recipe

  • Mmeyerp 25 Jul, 2012

    HELP! I tried this recipe yesterday but the center didnĀ“t expanded and the texture was not right, can anyone tell me what I did wrong?

  • LittleRedFrog 17 Mar, 2012

    Very good and fluffy and moist cake!
    It's tradition to bring cakes at my work for your birthday so I brought 2 of these and there were only crumbles left on the plate not 30 minutes later.
    Got only compliments on it, that it is very nice and fresh, and especially the glaze.
    Have to admit that I had a hard time keeping myself from licking off the glaze from the cake before people got a piece =P

  • Montserat 18 Oct, 2011

    This is a wonderful recipe. I adapted and used orange instead + lessen the sugar by 2 tsp. The cake was moist, light and flavourful. This is the first time that I felt an 'explosion' of flavour after every bite especially the after taste. The orange flavour came out well and I think the buttermilk added a creaminess in the texture when eating. Lovely, lovely cake even without the icing! Try it!

  • LindaGadz 12 Apr, 2010

    I made this recipe from her book Fresh Flavor Fast which calls for the juice of 5-6 lemons...1 c rather than the 1/3 listed above. It was very moist and flavorful.

  • 1babeinwoods 13 Mar, 2009

    Men and women alike love this rich, yet light tasting, dessert bread. Perfection!

  • gailg0404 12 Mar, 2009

    I added 1/4 teaspoon of lemon extract and it came out perfect!!!

  • mountain456 10 Mar, 2009

    Does anyone know if this is the recipe that caused the feud between Ina

  • Bayguy 3 Mar, 2009

    This was not the best lemon pound cake recipes I have tried. Ina Garten has one that has a much more intense lemon flavor and is probably one of the best I have ever tried. Every time I make it people rave about it.

  • Bayguy 3 Mar, 2009

    The lemon glaze recipe is found by clicking on the blue "lemon glaze" link!

  • SoloSinging56 27 Sep, 2008

    There could be one or several reasons why your cake had cornbread texture, over mixing or the 'baking powder'. First of all I would not make a pound cake using baking powder and baking soda. The soda is a leavening agent in itself, which also helps to even out the buttermilk's acidity, the buttermilk also helps to activate the leavening process. JBG

  • foodlover2 15 Sep, 2008

    Delicious. Needs a little extra lemon flavor as others have suggested.

  • miracle0790 24 Aug, 2008

    help! i tried baking this and it turned out the texture of cornbread. what did i do wrong?

  • delphi24 20 Jul, 2008

    This poundcake is so tasty! If you're not a serious lemon fan, however, the glaze may be too strong. Overall, I think the recipe would be just great as an accompaniment to a light, summer dinner (or, following a meal of BBQ ribs, which is what I did). :)

  • kat0711 19 Jul, 2008

    This is so moist and lemony, you don't even need the glaze, but once you have it with the glaze, you MUST have it! I'm thinking of cutting the cake into bite size squares and cover them with glaze like little chocolate candies. But, the cake is perfect, very lemony, moist and sweet, the glaze is my new favorite thing, and together, it's my new favorite recipe, I'm about to make it again.... Oh, and I had no problem baking it, I always set the timer a few minutes earlier and check..

  • thaovu 12 Jul, 2008

    I've made this recipe in a bundt pan many times and it turned out great. You just have to be a little more attentive about the baking time. In my experience, it needed to bake little longer and I had to put a tent foil on it to avoid burning the top. The cake bottom got burned the first time I made it, so now I put the over rack one level up from the lowest (but ovens vary).

  • Malgosia 12 Jun, 2008

    Delicius, simple and easy.

  • cathyockinga 21 May, 2008

    This could be made in a bundt pan as many of the bundt recipes are a little dense like a pound cake.In fact I have a lemon bundt cake recipe that is very very much like this.

  • runraggedranch 20 May, 2008

    Has anyone made this in a bundt pan? I'd like to do that as a party dessert - so it looks a little more festive. Thank you!

  • gracieb83 28 Apr, 2008

    I made this again in the loaf pans for a baby shower this weekend, and it got RAVE reviews. I'm actually snacking on the second loaf which I brought into the office today. Here's a few other notes. 1) I would zest at least 1 more lemon, as the lemon flavor is very light. 2) double the glaze in order to get the kind of coverage you see in the pic. 3) in a 9 inch pan, you'll want to use the whole recipe, but I don't know the timing, just that it was kinda low.

  • gracieb83 13 Apr, 2008

    I just made this - very good and not too complicated. I also did mini muffins. 15 minutes seems to be the perfect amount of time. They're adorable little bites

  • WenchCat 13 Apr, 2008

    OReilly~One stick equals 1/4 pound or 1/2 cup of butter.
    LVaughn~how long did you bake the minimuffins..I like that idea!!!

  • oreilly 13 Apr, 2008

    Can somebody let me know how much a stick of butter weighs please? I really love anything with lemon. Currently in Ireland and would like to try to make it here.

  • LVaughn 12 Apr, 2008

    I loved this cake. Made my second batch today, but only made one loaf and made mini muffins with the rest of the batter. Taking them with other mini muffins to a cook out tomorrow. The mini muffins make a wonderful presentation and everyone can take one whenever, without anyone having to cut portions or using more paper plates. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  • PghGrl50 11 Apr, 2008

    I like to add lavender flower buds to the cake. It is also fab if you just substitute orange (zest

  • chaos 10 Apr, 2008

    For ToniPete--I don't know if this one will work at 7k feet but the lemon-ginger bundt cake in the most recent Everyday Food will. I just made it at the same elevation last week and yes I've had every problem imaginable with cakes up here.

  • mlwnurse 10 Apr, 2008

    Whatever you make with the powdered buttermilk doesn't taste as good as if you used real buttermilk!

  • cnesbit 10 Apr, 2008

    The glaze isn't purple, it's just the reflection from the background that the cake is laying on.

  • NancyMadeline 9 Apr, 2008

    So how did you make the glaze purple ?

  • inichols 9 Apr, 2008

    I use the vinegar or lemon juice as well often, but another thing to look for in your local grocery store is DRIED BUTTERMILK. It is in a can right over, usually, the canned milk section and all you do is add the recommended amount of liquid and you have buttermilk and it lasts for a very long time since it is dry. I keep a can of it constantly around my kitchen as the taste of buttermilk is a must here in Texas and makes everything so much better.

  • darcythegreat 9 Apr, 2008

    1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup or For each 1 cup buttermilk called for in a recipe, use 1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream try those I hear they work or my grandma used to use
    1 cup milk plus 1 3/4 tablespoons cream of tartar

  • makoleary 9 Apr, 2008

    A general substitute for buttermilk is 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup. For 3/4 cup, I would just approximate 3/4 of a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and then add milk to make 3/4 cup. Another substitute is plain yogurt.

  • tonipete 9 Apr, 2008

    I live at a 7000 ft. altitude. This sounds good, however, will it work in high altitude, if not what changes should I make? I haven't had much luck in baking cakes here,.

  • ellijayrealestate 9 Apr, 2008

    Besan - Try this subsitution for buttermilk:

    4 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar, or fresh lemon juice
    1 cup milk

    Place the vinegar in a glass-measuring cup, and add enough milk to make 1 cup total liquid. Stir to combine and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes (The mixture will begin to curdle). Use as needed in recipes that call for buttermilk

  • varisa 9 Apr, 2008

    I made this cake for my family and friends. They all loved it very very much!!!

  • ShirleyJo 9 Apr, 2008

    BESAN, The buttermilk substitute I have used successfully for years is:
    1tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus sweet milk to make 1 cup. So you would only need 2-3 teaspons of lemon juice or vinegar with the milk to make 3/4 cup buttermilk for this lemon pound cake. This substitue works for recipes calling for soured milk also!

  • DMW 9 Apr, 2008

    Hey this all sounds great, but I can't read this tiny writing--are there print options here to make the recipe font larger?

  • HookemHorns 9 Apr, 2008

    Besan - you can make your own buttermilk by placing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in 1 cup of whole milk, and allow it ot sit a few minutes. I use this all the time when a receipe asks for buttermilk.

  • Besan 9 Apr, 2008

    I wanna try this cake, but we dont have buttermilk here in palestine,,, so plz tell me what i can substitute for it? does milk do the job?

  • NohraC 8 Apr, 2008

    I made this cake last night and took into the office this morning for a coffee break time treat. I can't tell you how wonderful it turned out. Everyone loved it !! It disappeared in minutes with everyone raving about it. The lemon aroma was wonderful. It was a really light cake. I will make this again and again.

  • Hallegirl 8 Apr, 2008

    Love everything lemon so anxious to try this cake. Wondering how many it could serve if I take it to church for a potluck luncheon?

  • gemdt 8 Apr, 2008

    The lemon glaze is listed right under 5 large eggs, you just have to click on it.

  • shirleygassier 8 Apr, 2008

    The lemon pound cake sounds very good. It will go well at a church bake sale, or pot luck for desert. However, I hoped to recipe for the glase would have accompanied the cake recipe. Can it?

  • rocketjsquirrel 8 Apr, 2008

    This is the most AMAZING Recipe. It's the BEST Lemon Pound Cake my family has ever had anywhere. Surprise friends and family with this WONDERFUL recipe. . . you can't go wrong with this one!!

  • StarGenie 8 Apr, 2008

    Can'rt wait to try this cake...we love anything lemom!

  • lmc007 8 Apr, 2008

    I just printed out this recipe..i can not wait to make it, my son and husband and i are sucker's for any lemon sweets, i will write when i make this to let you know how it came out

  • cake4me 8 Apr, 2008

    I made this lemon pound cake in a lemon loaf pan I found on Kitchen Krafts and it came out beautifully! The pan has lemon and lemon slice impressions that show nicely on top of the cake. I only had one pan so I put the other half of the batter in a regular pan.

  • alexmommy 23 Mar, 2008

    I didn't have all the ingredients, so I substituted some and made an experiment. I used plain unsweetened yogurt instead of buttermilk, which we don't get commercially in Mexico. I also used unsalted margarine instead of butter. It turned perfectly moist, with an excellent grain. I also used one 10 1/2" round tube mold instead of two loaf pans. It took about 1 hour 15 minutes to cook at 350 degrees. It was a successful experiment. You can use any of these in an emergency.

  • 2nutty 31 Dec, 2007

    If you like Lemon this has a lovely fresh lemon flavor that you notice especially from the glaze. I Will happilymake this again.

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