Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

Every day on my walk to work, I pass through Chinatwon in San Fransisco, and for some reason the other day I was drawn in to buy some giant lemons that I saw in the store front. What can I say? They were on sale three for a dollar, and I really couldn’t pass up that deal. But of course three days later, they are just staring at me straight in the face, still unused.

So of course, as what usually happens when I make a new recipe, I thought to myself what the heck can I make with these? Bingo. First thing that pops into my mind is the amazing lemon pound cake that my aunt would make for special family celebrations. I’ve adapted it a little to solely use lemons (no extracts here!) and I’ve included a quick lemon glaze that is completely optional. Some people really love it with the glaze, but I think it is just as amazing on its own.

Serving Size: One Bundt Cake or Two 9x5in Loaves


Lemon Pound Cake

  • 3+1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2+1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1+1/2 (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (substitute: 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

Lemon Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1Tbsp lemon zest


Prep Work:

  1. Take the butter out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. If you are in a rush, microwave the butter in a microwave-safe container at 50% power in 1-minute intervals until it is softened (but NOT melted)
  2. Carefully wash the lemons in their skin, and zest enough 2 Tbsp into a small bowl. Then, cut the lemons in half and juice into a small bowl (removing any rebellious seeds that may jump out).
  3. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl, and set aside
  4. Prepare the bundt pan or loaf pans by either spraying them with cooking oil or lining the loaf pans with parchment paper.


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. With an electric or stand mixer (or if you are feeling really ready for a workout, you can use a whisk) beat the sugar and three sticks of butter together in a bowl until light and fluffy. This should take about 10 minutes with an electric mixer).
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, thoroughly beating each egg into the butter mixture before adding the next.
  4. When the last egg is completely incorporated, add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture; mix well. Pour in 1/2 the buttermilk and beat until combined. Repeat this process, alternating between the dry flour mixture and buttermilk, making sure that the mixture is completely mixed after each addition. Finally, add the 2 Tbsp of lemon juice into the batter and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 325F.
  6. Bake in the oven (I recommend on the middle rack) for 60 to 75 minutes. To test if the cake is done, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, then carefully remove the pan. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing it to a plate.
  7. To make glaze: Beat confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons butter, and lemon zest together in a bowl until glaze is smooth. Pour about half the glaze over the cake; let cool. Pour remaining glaze over the cake.

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