Lemon Poundcake

The addition of lemon zest to the batter of this traditional cake and a liberally applied lemon-sugar glaze make for a nice dessert that is perfect in spring and summer. It also packs well for outings. Pairs well with fresh berries.
Based on a recipe by Molly O'Neill, The New York Times Magazine.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Cooling Time30 mins
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra to grease pan
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons gated lemon zest from 2-3 lemons
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached flour plus additional to dust pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream


  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice from 2 - 3 large lemons


  • Place oven rack in center and preheat to 350° F. Butter and flour a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
  • Used stand mixer to beat together butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest. Mix in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Mix in vanilla.
  • In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add dry ingredients 1/2 at a time, alternating with sour cream. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour into prepared pan and spread out evenly. Bake about 1 hour, until a tested inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven to a rack, do not turn out of pan.


  • In small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and lemon juice, until sugar is dissolved.
  • Liberally apply glaze to top of cake. Let stand 10 minutes. Turn cake out of pan onto rack, keep cake upright. Liberally apply glaze to top and sides. Apply to bottom, by tilting cake to side as you work. Apply glaze to all sides again after 10 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.