Lemon pound cake recipe

(131 ratings)

This lemon pound cake is rich and moist thanks to the use of oil instead of butter and cream cheese in the batter too.

Lemon pound cake being sliced on a cake stand
(Image credit: Getty)
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time50 mins
Total Time1 hours 10 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories426 Kcal21%
Sugars28.1 g31%
Saturated Fat5.2 g26%
Protein4.2 g8%
Fat26.4 g38%
Carbohydrates42.7 g16%

Lemon pound cake is a popular American bake that we’re sure you’ll love. It’s zesty, moist, and easy to make. 

The American answer to a classic British lemon drizzle cake, this lemon pound cake recipe is easy to follow and perfect for making with kids. The recipe makes a cake large enough to serve 12 people but you could easily halve the recipe if you have a smaller tin or consider baking mini cakes instead. 


  • 250g cream cheese such as Philadelphia
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • 250g self raising flour
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the topping:

  • 125 g icing sugar, sieved
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Grated lemon zest for decoration if desired




  1. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). Grease a 25cm non-stick ring-shaped tin.
  2. Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Gradually beat in the eggs and oil and then fold in the flour, lemon zest and juice and mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  5. Combine the icing sugar with the lemon juice to form a thin icing and drizzle over the cake. Decorate with a scattering of grated lemon zest, if liked.

Top tips for making lemon pound cake

This cake will keep for a few days when stored in an airtight container or cake tin. Pound cake tends to dry out quite a lot and will taste best as close to when you baked it. You can freeze the uniced, baked cake. Simply cool and wrap tightly in clingfilm. For more information on how to make this lemon pound cake with kids or what tin to use, read our tips below. 

How can kids help make lemon pound cake?

This is a great bake to make with little ones and they can help at several stages. Firstly, allow the children to weigh the ingredients into different bowls. It’s best to monitor this to ensure it is done accurately but they can help with the pouring of sugar and flour into bowls.

Depending on how young the children are, they may find the electric whisk a little powerful to hold onto. Consider letting them hold your hand while you do it or, if you don’t mind a little extra washing up, complete the mixing until it’s nearly ready and let them finish off with a manual whisk. 

Kids can transfer the batter into the tin and level the top with the back of a spoon. Once the cake is baked and cooled, the children can make the icing and decorate the cake. Instead of decorating with lemon zest, consider buying some edible paper decorations of their favourite cartoons, film characters, or simply some edible pretty flowers or wafer butterflies. 

Is Victoria sponge the same as pound cake?

You can think of Victoria sponge cake and pound cake as sisters. They have many of the same ingredients but the quantities and methods differ slightly. Pound cake has a denser texture compared with a classic Victoria sponge which is light and fluffy. Pound cake got its name because traditionally it uses a pound, or approximately 454g of butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. 

What can I use instead of a bundt pan for pound cake?

You can swap a bundt tin for a regular cake tin. Keep in mind that the cooking time may vary and you won’t have the aesthetically pleasing ring shape for your cake but it will still taste great. If you are using a bundt or ring-shaped tin, food writer Jessica Ransom says: ‘Try filling the hole in the middle of your cake with fresh berries when you present the cake. For this recipe raspberries and blueberries would go especially well with the lemon flavours but sliced strawberries would also be a great choice.’ 

This recipe calls for a 25cm ring-shaped cake tin, also known as a bundt tin. Bundt tins come in lots of shapes, sizes, and designs but a classic doughnut-style shape is a good simple choice. It instantly makes your cake look more impressive and using a non-stick one will ensure you don’t have any trouble removing it from the tin once baked. 

MGE Round Non-Stick Circular Cake Tin 25cm - View at Amazon

MGE Round Non-Stick Circular Cake Tin 25cm - View at Amazon

You can use this circular cake tin for all kinds of bakes, not just this lemon pound cake. It gives a fun new twist to Victoria Sponge or chocolate cake and looks impressive once baked. You can place a bowl in the space in the middle with custard or cream to serve with the cake or consider fresh berries or chocolates for something indulgent. 

If you’ve invested in a new cake tin and want some more recipes to bake in it, consider lemon cake with poppy seeds. The ring shape looks gorgeous and will make the speckled inside look even more impressive. For more lemon-flavoured cakes you might like our lemon cake with olive oil, it’s very moist and keeps well for up to a week. Our lemon curd cake is a little more indulgent but it’s perfect for special occasions and makes a great alternative to classic birthday cake. 

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.