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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.

Two slices of moist lemon cake with lemon glazing lying on a white plate with a fork garnished with two lemon wedges. A wooden cutting board with the rest of the cake is in the background.

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!

A loaf of moist lemon cake on a wooden cutting board, line with parchment paper. Two slices have been cut off and are lying in front of it. Next to it, there\'s half a lemon and two lemon wedges next to it.

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.

A slice of moist lemon cake with lemon glazing lying on a white plate garnished with two lemon wedges. A fork has taken out a piece of it. There\'s a wooden cutting board and half a lemon in the background.

Looking for more Lemon Dessert Recipes?

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.

Close-up of a loaf of moist lemon cake on a wooden cutting board, line with parchment paper. Two slices have been cut off and are lying in front of it. Next to it, there are two lemon wedges.

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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4.97 from 1476 votes

Moist Lemon Cake Recipe

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 lemon flavor. If you like the Starbucks Lemon Loaf then you'll love this homemade lemon pound cake!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10

Ingredients 

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

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9x5-inch (or 8x4-inch) loaf pan (see note).
  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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 incorporates air into the batter and makes the cake fluffy and tender
  • I recommend using fresh lemon juice but you can also use bottled lemon juice
  • This cake would also taste great with lime juice or orange juice
  • Some readers have commented that their cake stuck to the pan. If you're unsure how well your cake pans perform, line the pan with parchment paper. In my experience, this cake always comes out of the pan easily if it is greased well. I use these OXO cake pans (affiliate link).

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 98mg | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!
Nutrition Facts
Moist Lemon Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 306 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 144mg6%
Potassium 98mg3%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Sugar 34g38%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 350IU7%
Vitamin C 0.9mg1%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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1,132 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this gluten free using bobs red mill 1-1 baking flour. SO YUMMY! Since I’m gluten I’ve never tasted the SB lemon loaf so I can’t compare to that BUT I can truly say this is DELICIOUS!!

  2. Thanks for these tips am gona use them to bake my best lemon cake this weekend coz i love cakes so much but am gona use soucepans at home but incase i do not have butter,wat else can i use? any other best substitute for bettercheese?Thank u.

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious and perfectly lemony! I’d say I like this better than the Starbucks version that I was hoping to make. I usually reduce sugar in recipes by 1/3 or more. I reduced this one by 1/2 and it is the perfect sweetness for us. The right blend of sweet and tangy. :)

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy to make. A moist cake with a delicate lemon flavor. Great for breakfast or a snack.

  5. 5 stars
    Easy, delicious, moist, and fluffy. Instructions are clear and simple. I substituted yogurt for buttermilk and it still worked. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  6. Hi! I can’t wait to try this recipe for my friend’s birthday! Can I make it in one 6” round springform pan to make a tall cake and/or can I use two 6” pans to make a layer cake?