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Ultimate Lemon Pound Cake

I wish I could claim I finally found the secret to the ultimate lemon pound cake but she did, and I wish I could thank her for the best slice of cake I have had with my afternoon tea in a long time.
If someone describes a cake as "perfect-moist, finely texture, sweet (but not too sweet), and refreshingly tart", wouldn’t you be tempted to make it for yourself? Taste is subjective and with such a strong title I was tempted to make it just to prove her wrong…Well, ok, let’s be honest: because a cake drenched with 1/2 cup of lemon syrup sounds irresistible to me!

Everything about this cake is hands down good. It is easy to make, is full of fresh and simple to find ingredients, bakes well, smells out of this world and tastes better and better as the days go by…although there were not that many days between the first and the last slice. I loved it so much I made 2 for a cookout tonight because I can bet the host is going to want one just for herself.

Whenever I make a lemon dessert, I have a tendency to double up on the zest or amount of juice called for in the recipe because I need and love tart. I need my tongue to burn and my gums to hurt…well, maybe not exactly that bad but you get the idea. Looking at Lori Longbotham’s recipe, it seemed that I probably did not need to change much and decided to make it "almost" the way it was written. Hers calls for cake flour and I did not have any left, so I made do with all-purpose, decreasing the amount a bit. I also left out the vanilla extract (1 tsp) to make sure nothing would get in the way of my lemons!

Ultimate Pound Cake, adapted from Lori Longbotham:

Serves 12 (in theory)

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 TB lemon zest
1 tsp. pure lemon extract
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 300F. Butter and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.
Sift the flour, baking owder and salt together twice.
Cream the butter and 1 3/4 cups sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flou. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon extract.
Pour the batter into the prepared apn and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Poke holes all over the cake with a wooden skewer
Meanwhile, bring the lemon juice and remaininf sugar to a boil over medium high heat in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Invert the cake onto a rack, position over a baking sheet and slowly pour the syrup over the cake, it will seap through the holes and into the cake. Let cool to room temp.

Verdict: the best I have had so far. Fresh, wholesome, light (if possible for a pound cake) and so lemony…It is perfect for an Easter cookout, reunion, brunch or gathering. I even had a slice topped off with Donna Hay’s white chocolate mousse…delicious!

This one is going to make an appearance at Julia's event Easter Cake Bake. Check her site in a few days for a tasty sweet roundup!

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Warda April 7, 2007 um 4:16 am

Bonsoir Helene, ce Lemon Pound Cake a l’air bien raffraichissant. J’ai moi aussi tendance a doubler la mesure du zest de citron dans une recette. J’aime vraiment sentir le citron. Ta recette me tente assez.

Ilva April 7, 2007 um 6:46 am

It looks absolutely irresistible, especially as I too am a lemon lover! Maybe we have to start up a DB subsection, you and I, DB:LL!

Anonymous April 7, 2007 um 1:01 pm

Je découvre votre blog via "food porn watch". Un vrai bonheur … que de belles recettes et de superbes photos. Bravo !
Bien à vous

Anonymous April 7, 2007 um 2:33 pm

Hi Helene! Wow – sometimes I think you can read my mind – I was JUST thinking yesterday how I’d love to find a really good lemon pound cake recipe! Looks like I’ve got one to try now!

MyKitchenInHalfCups April 7, 2007 um 2:52 pm

All things lemon, bring it on…this looks just so delicately delectable. And lemon seems to be just the thing this weekend. I’ll be the first to join you and Ilva!

Brilynn April 7, 2007 um 4:12 pm

When I have cakes like these I always love them, but oftentimes chocolate wins out in the battle of what kind of dessert I’m making.

Anonymous April 7, 2007 um 8:36 pm

this sounds like my kind of tart! i’ve never made a lemon cake and i think that will change soon. maybe with a side of fresh raspberries

Alpineberry Mary April 7, 2007 um 8:50 pm

I can just imagine how good that cake must taste! Refreshing, tart and moist. But you know I love anything lemon.

Mercedes April 8, 2007 um 1:42 am

My mom used to make pound cake (in a loaf pan) and then toast it and serve it with a fruit compote. It was one of the simplest, an wonderful desserts, of my childhood.

Lis April 8, 2007 um 3:01 am

Looks fantastic! Sounds even better! I heart lemon as well – thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I’ve wanted this book for a long time and just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I need to get on that!

Happy Easter my sweet!

Anonymous April 8, 2007 um 12:58 pm

Sorry to bother …but how much each stick of butter weights?
Thanks! Looks great as every recipe here!

Julia April 8, 2007 um 6:49 pm

Oh I adore lemon and that looks delicious. Thank you so much for entering!

Peabody April 8, 2007 um 9:17 pm

I almost always add extra zest too. I will have to try this…I do love me some pound cake.

Helene April 8, 2007 um 10:58 pm

Rose: si tu l’as fait dis moi ce que tu en pense. Il n’y a jamais assez de citron a mon avis!

Ilva: I am with you! Let’s do! i think we won’t be the only ones!

Vero: Merci de ta visite! J’espere que tu pourras trouver ton bonheur, et si tu as besoin de traduction, n’hesite pas a m’envoyer un mail.

Gilly: I hope you try it out and let me know what you think.

Tanna: it is a nice Easter dessert. It went well with everybody and it was not too stuffy.

Brilynn: I am with you on the chocolate cakes, but this was a nice change.

Esther: raspberries and creme fraiche with this cake would be great!

Mary: I am always on your site for lemon inspiration!

Mercedes: what a great memory. This is awesome toasted too. With a drizzle of honey it was great for breakfast this morning.

Lisa: that book is great, get it! Happy Easter to you too!

Silbsas: a stick of butter weighs about 113-115 gr. Hope you can try it out sometimes.

Julia: you are welcome. Can’t wait to see the rest of the entries!

Peabody: I just saw your lime cookies…divine!

Valentina April 8, 2007 um 11:21 pm

My good friend Patricia from Technicolor Kitchen will love this recipe as she is in love with anything lemon. Your description makes it nearly impossible to resit. I shall take notes of this recipe.

Anonymous April 9, 2007 um 6:29 am

that book is on my wish list! i’m glad to see that you give her a good mark for her book. such a yummy looking pound cake…

Cheryl April 9, 2007 um 2:57 pm

The moistness (is that a word) in this cake comes across so clearly in the picture. I can almost smell the lemons.

Simple and gorgeous.

Cookie baker Lynn April 9, 2007 um 3:37 pm

Gorgeous photography and irresistible description. I just blogged about lemons for a week and was ready to be done with lemons for a bit, but now I just might have to bake just one more…

Anonymous April 9, 2007 um 5:13 pm

Looks lovely! I’m with you on adding more zest and this looks wonderful. There’s something so satisfying about lemon pound cake with fresh fruit.

Anonymous April 9, 2007 um 8:43 pm

looks like I found the perfect recipe to try my mini bundt pans on! Beautiful texture and lovely color on that cake Helene!

Elle April 10, 2007 um 4:14 am

Looks like spring in a cake. I love lemon, so must make this. Your photos, as often, are beautiful.

Patricia Scarpin April 10, 2007 um 12:45 pm

I was trying to comment yesterday but my Internet connexion was so bad and slow. 🙁

I couldn’t believe this recipe, Helene! I’m crazy about lemon and citrus flavors (will prefer them to chocolate any time) so this is pure temptation to me!

And that book… Now I want it so bad. 🙂

Anonymous April 10, 2007 um 3:06 pm

Another "oh my" from me. That is one fanastic looking cake! I love Lemon Pound Cake!

Thistlemoon April 10, 2007 um 10:20 pm

Wow, I just made a coconut poundcake and it was havenly. Lemon sounds superb as well – very refreshing for spring!

Aimée April 11, 2007 um 8:21 pm

Lemon cake seems to be the perfect spring dessert. Thanks for the reminder that she is finally on her way!(Still have snow up here in Montreal)
Stunning photos BTW, I am enjoying the read!

Anonymous April 26, 2007 um 4:49 am

Je découvre également ton blog et je tombe sur ce cake qui semble être fait pour moi. J’adore la texture!

Anonymous May 14, 2007 um 1:55 pm

I found your blog by accident and I’m so glad that I did. I hadn’t made a cake from scratch before but the photo and description of this one made my mouth water. I thought I would give it a try Mother’s Day. The only thing I did differently was to add about a cup and half of fresh blueberries to the mix. The cake turned out lovely, it had such a wonderful lemony aroma and you could see the blueberries dotted throughout the cake. The tartness of the lemon and the sweetness of the blueberries accented each other well. Such a bright and fresh cake- it was a huge hit! Thank you for sharing your recipes and for including such mouthwatering photos.

Dirty Fingernails June 20, 2007 um 1:08 am

I made this today, after doing a google search.. I too am a lemon love and this is DIVINE>>..

Leisa♠ July 21, 2007 um 2:08 pm

Fantastic! It truly lives up to its name. Thank you for posting this recipe. I made it a couple of days ago. Everyone loved it.

This would be wonderful, too, with fresh in season berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries) with perhaps some whipped cream or lemon curd/whipped cream. Or, just glaze berries with some cassis/marmelade and spoon over the cake (hmmm…perhaps with some ice cream!).

Anonymous August 23, 2007 um 7:52 am

yum. looks good. and not too sugary..

Muse February 6, 2008 um 4:59 pm

Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. My 12-year old son and I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday yesterday. It was his first time baking a homemade cake and it turned out fabulously!

He suggested topping it with fresh whipped cream, so we made up a batch…exquisite.

Anonymous March 1, 2008 um 1:01 am

I’ve been looking for a lemon cake recipe since Tony Carinos discontinued their lemon desert (evil people). This one looks awesome!

The Caraways March 4, 2008 um 2:30 am

Made this desert tonight. It was yummy! I used a toothpick to poke holes which I wouldn’t do again. I think you need the bigger holes of a skewer. My husband will make sure I make this again.

Anonymous April 6, 2008 um 5:50 am

Ah ben, c’est la recette de mes reves! Il faut que je l’essaye celle ci! Mucho merci! 🙂

Nabeela April 16, 2008 um 7:54 am

Just wanted to say you convinced me enough to not only bake this but buy the book too….even though I’m allergic to dairy and egss and can’t eat them!…well, at least my family can enjoy the fruits of my labor 🙂
Thanks for the recipe and the pointer(on the awesome baking book!)

Anonymous April 29, 2008 um 8:12 am

I should have known to come here first. I did a search for lemon pound cake (because I got a sudden craving) and this was the first hit! I’m not even going to look elsewhere!
Thanks 😀

Anonymous May 2, 2008 um 12:50 am

I made this recipe and it’s absolutely wonderful. I love making it and the results are great. Really tasty and moist and just amazing.

Anonymous May 22, 2008 um 10:25 pm

I just made 10 little loaves and one big loaf with your recipe – delicious! (FYI – if you’re going to try that, you won’t need to cook it for as long)

That’s a lot of lemon cake.


Anonymous July 19, 2008 um 2:38 am

I tried your recipe and it didn’t turn out so well. Your recipe for the glaze was excessive. It ruined the cake.

Helene July 19, 2008 um 3:56 am

Anonymous: it’s not my recipe, it’s Lori Longbotham.

Anonymous August 12, 2008 um 2:44 am

Hate to break up the love-fest here, but I had to add my experience with this recipe. I’m a fairly accomplished cook, and can easily handle a pound cake. I was at the store and felt like making one, so I jumped on my phone to find a recipe on the internet and found this one.

The batter was exquisite, but that’s about it. What ruined this recipe for me was the EXTREME tartness of the lemon juice syrup. Maybe I had bad lemons, I don’t know, but the lemon/sugar syrup simply overwhelmed my senses.

This is not the lemon pound cake I’m used to, and for some, I’m sure it’s fine. Just be cautious that this is a VERY tart and sour syrup, and I might even suggest not using it at all.

Helene August 12, 2008 um 3:05 am

I would not mind calling you something else than anonymous though: I don’t blog to receive a love fest but because I like to hear feedback if someone tries a recipe. In her book the cake is described as the Ultimate lemon cake because of the soaking syrup being so chockful of lemons. I agree it is tart but I did not find it sour, which makes me think that the resulting like/dislike is a matter of tastebuds. If someone made this without the syrup, the recipe would need another name. Some loved it as is, some did not. I would never say something ruins a recipe when food is concern because something that may be atrocious to me may taste wonderful to somebody else.

Mel November 27, 2008 um 11:37 pm

I just made this cake. It is very pretty, inside and out and especially as you have it pictured here. I didn’t like the syrup though. I love lemons, and it’s not so much the flavor that I don’t care for. I don’t like the stickiness / moistness of the cake that has soaked up the syrup. It reminded me too much of pineapple upside down cake, which I don’t like at all. I’m sure this is just a matter of preference. My two children wouldn’t eat it, my husband didn’t like it (the three of them are very picky eaters), and sadly I think I’ll be throwing it out.

Helene November 28, 2008 um 4:25 am

Melanie; as you said it is just a matter of taste. I sure I am glad it is not one of my recipes!

Andrea October 17, 2013 um 9:30 am

can you write the ingredients in "grams"?
I'm italian, i can't use "cups"!


Helene October 17, 2013 um 1:54 pm

Andrea: for a conversion ingrams, please refer to They have all sorts of conversion charts.

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