This moist Lemon Cake Recipe is fluffy, tangy and so easy to make from scratch! Every bite of this supremely moist pound cake is bursting with fresh lemon flavor and the easy lemon glaze on top will have you hooked after just one bite.
This homemade lemon pound cake tastes even better than the Starbucks Lemon Loaf!
If you like the Starbucks Lemon Loaf then you’ll love this delicious, moist lemon cake recipe that’s made completely from scratch in less than 10 minutes. It’s one of my favorite afternoon or breakfast treats and it always gets rave reviews, everyone loves it! It’s gone in minutes whenever I make it.
This batter is made with freshly grated lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. When it the cake comes out of the oven it is infused with a homemade lemon syrup to give it an extra lemon kick, and then after cooling down the pound cake is topped with the most delicious lemon glaze.
This easy lemon cake is not dry and not fudgy, it’s perfectly moist while still being fluffy and it keeps fresh for a few days! A perfect cake for every occasion. If you like lemon desserts, you have got to give this cake a try!
Tips and Tricks for Making This Easy Lemon Cake Recipe
- You can also make this recipe in a bundt pan. It looks prettier than in a loaf pan but make sure to grease your bundt pan generously so that your cake will come out of the pan.
- Don’t leave out the lemon zest, that is what gives it the wonderful lemony flavor! I always use organic lemons and my favorite grater that I’ll like below.
- For the best flavor use freshly squeezed lemon juice! Don’t use the bottled stuff, trust me fresh lemon juice tastes so much better.
- When you make the lemon glaze for this pound cake don’t add too much liquid. You want the glaze to be nice and thick not runny. Start with 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp milk and add the remaining 1/2 tbsp as needed.
This cake keeps well covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Looking for more Lemon Dessert Recipes?
- Easy Lemon Cream Pie Recipe
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
- Easy Lemon Raspberry Cake
- Easy Lemon Curd Mousse
You might have realized by now that I love lemon desserts. My husband even complained that all I do is make lemon desserts … until he tried today’s recipe and demanded more. Bahaha! If you love everything lemon like me check out my whole collection of recipes with lemon there is even a delicious lemon risotto.
Tools used for making this Recipe:
Loaf Pan: I can recommend all the baking pans from this brand! They’re super easy to clean and cakes bake evenly.
Citrus Zester: This one easily zests the rind without the pith, I really love this tool. It’s perfect for zesting citrus fruits, grating hard cheeses, and ginger.
Lemon Squeezer: This tool makes it super easy to juice lemons AND limes. It is a 2-in-1 tool that is super sturdy and easy to use. You’ll be amazed at how much juice you’ll get out of a lemon.
Want to try this Lemon Loaf Recipe?
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Moist Lemon Cake Recipe
For the lemon pound cake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice, about 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, see below for substitution
For the lemon syrup:
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, about 1 lemon
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
For the lemon icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1.5 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9x5-inch (or 8x4-inch) loaf pan.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using an electric mixer), cream the butter and sugar together at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4-6 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer running on low-speed, add the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Beat on medium-high speed until combined.
- With the mixer on low, add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until almost combined, then add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with another third of flour mixture and then the last half of the buttermilk, ending with the last third of the flour. Beat until just incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean with only a couple moist crumbs. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours.
- Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes in the pan. Stir together the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar for the lemon syrup. Carefully invert the loaf pan, and transfer the cake to a cooling rack, then brush the syrup on the cake while it’s still warm. Allow cake to cool completely.
- When the cake is cooled, combine all the icing ingredients, start with 1 tbsp lemon juice and milk and add the remaining lemon juice as needed. The icing should be thick and not runny. Pour icing over cake and let dry before serving.
- If you don't have buttermilk you can make your own by combining 1/2 cup of milk with 1.5 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until it starts to curdle
- The longer you beat the sugar and butter, the better the result will be because this process incorporated air into the batter and make the cake fluffy and tender
- I recommend using fresh lemon juice but you can also bottled lemon juice
- This cake would also taste great with lime juice or orange juice
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If you’ve tried this or any other of my recipes, don’t forget to rate the recipe and to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you!
Came out great on the first try thank you!!!!
The best lemon cake
Give thanks to you PlatedCravings/Julia for sharing this recipe. I am eager to make your version of Lemon cake; may I use a Bundt pan instead? If so, for how long should it bake?
Thanks once more!
The best cake ever and of course the best lemon cake!!! The texture is perfect! Thank you for the recipe!😍
It’s very moist it is full of flavor and the icing is awesome.
Made this recipe twice in one day. Because I could not get it out of the loaf pan. I greased it both times. Arghhhh love the flavor but any suggestions?
Julia Foerster says
You could make a sling with parchment paper so you can lift the cake out of the pan.
Best lemon loaf ever
Moist, lemony and delicious
Hi there is buttermilk a must for this recipe?
Julia Foerster says
Yes, it is! There is an easy way to make a substitute in the notes section of the recipe card.
Ann Watters says
Query – it says to invert the loaf, but in the photos it looks like it is right side up — ???
Julia Foerster says
You need to invert the loaf pan to get the cake out. But the cake should then be placed right side up on a cake platter.
I made this today for my son in laws birthday and it was a resounding hit!! So buttery and soft and lemony! Heaven!! Thank you!
Cathy Pugh says
Perfect, I make it exactly how the recipe is written. My brother’s favorite dessert is the lemon pound cake from Starbucks and this recipe is perfect for lemon lovers. He eats three slices each time it’s fresh out of the oven.
Loved this so much!! Made this a while ago for family friends and they loved it. Soft, pillowy, and just the right amount of lemon flavour. Need to make again soon!
Liz Yeung says
I love the cake recipe! My family love it! Do you know what’s the cooking instructions for baking in a muffin tray? Like temp and time?
I’m giving this a try. Can I double all the ingredients pls?
Amazing! Best lemon loaf recipe
Can I make this in a bunt pan?
I am wondering this same thing. :)
THIS WAS AMAZING!!! Made for a women’s retreat and all of the attendees were raving about it and asking for the recipe.
Great recipe. I’ve made it 3 times because my kids and husband can’t get enough! I used more lemon juice in the batter by accident (a whole lemon) and it came out beautifully moist and wonderfully lemony!
Photobrate-Photo booths says
This cake was one of the most (and moist) delicious items I have baked in some time. The flavor, texture was great. I did omit the part of pouring the lemon syrup on it. it’s definitely sweet enough with the powdered sugar icing. I love this and will keep it in my cookbook. I have a lemon tree so using lemon is something I make a point of.