This Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake is a recipe that you'll make over and over again! It's a moist lemon pound cake that's easy to make. Learn how to use sour cream to make the best pound cake loaf.
This lemon sour cream pound cake is perfectly moist with a bright lemony flavor.
If you love lemon, then this moist lemon pound cake recipe is for you.
Made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, it has a bright, slightly tart flavor that your family and friends will adore.
You'll love this easy recipe to make a homemade lemon pound cake that’s velvety soft and filled with flavor.
Why add sour cream to a cake?
Made with sour cream, this easy lemon pound cake recipe has an irresitable richness, making it hard to stop at just one slice.
So what does sour cream do to a cake?
Adding sour cream to pound cake is a game-changer, as it provides:
And all three of these combined adds a richness to this recipe, making each bite just melt in your mouth.
Additionally, the acid found in sour cream helps tenderize the gluten (ie. inhibit gluten formation) in the flour to make the cake wonderfully soft and tender.
Moist lemon pound cake is a vibrant twist on traditional pound cake
This sour cream pound cake recipe is based on my easy homemade pound cake.
And just like that original recipe, this texture of this lemon-infused version can be described as:
But what I love most about both of these pound cakes is the fine, moist crumb that holds together perfectly when sliced.
Ingredient-wise, the two recipes are very similar. Both are made with a base of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.
However, this lemon sour cream pound cake recipe differs in that it’s flavored with lemon juice and uses sour cream rather than evaporated milk.
The best lemon pound cake is made with good quality eggs
Pound cakes are meant to be simple yet indulgent. And to make the best lemon pound cake that you’ve ever had, it’s important to use quality ingredients. Especially eggs.
TIP: For a very yellow cake, make sure to use good quality eggs with yolks that have a deep yellow color.
I didn’t take my own advice and used basic supermarket eggs with pale yellow yolks here. As a result, this loaf of lemon sour cream pound cake didn’t have the color that I was looking for.
Also, when making this recipe to photo, I made the mistake of taking my sour cream pound cake out about 5 minutes too early. As a result, it sunk a bit while cooling. While still delicious, this time, my sour cream pound cake loaf didn’t come out exactly how I wanted it to for the photos. I was a bit pressed for time!
But this is a recipe that I've made several times, so I know it turns out better than what these photos show.
To see what this recipe can look like with regards to color and height, I recommend looking at the pictures from my easy homemade pound cake recipe.
Tips for making this lemon sour cream pound cake recipe
For all my tips and tricks for making a cafe-worthy lemon pound cake loaf, be sure to read through my easy homemade pound cake post.
But here are 3 of my top recommendations for making homemade lemon pound cake.
Make a parchment sling
This lemon sour cream pound cake loaf is beautiful wrapped as a gift or served on a decorative plate.
So it’s important that you can easily remove the whole loaf from the pan after baking. To do this, I make a parchment sling.
What this means is that rather than just covering the bottom of the pan, you want to cut the parchment paper so that it also goes up and over the two far sides of the pan as well.
This will create two tabs that you can easily grab to lift the baked lemon pound cake loaf up and out of the pan.
TIP: Be careful to keep the parchment paper from folding into the batter. To make this easier, you can even clip the parchment paper to the loaf pan while pouring, and then remove the clips before baking.
You can see step-by-step photos for how to make the sling.
Pay attention to the temperature of your ingredients
As you’ll see in the recipe, I call for the eggs, butter, and sour cream to be slightly cooler than room temperature.
This is important as the temperature of these ingredients will affect how much air that can be incorporated into the batter when mixing. It also affects the final texture of what you’re making.
If too cold or too warm, the ingredients won’t be able to hold air while being whipped and may not combine as smoothly. And as a result, your pound cake likely won't rise as well, and the texture may not be quite a smooth and tender.
To do this, I just set my butter, eggs, and sour cream out about 30-45 minutes before I plan on using them.
Don’t under-bake this lemon sour cream pound cake
This is a moist lemon pound cake recipe. However, it’s important not to underbake it, as your loaf will sink a bit as it cools. You can see it happening in these pictures.
If you notice that the top is starting to get too brown, rather than removing it from the oven, simply move it to a lower rack in the oven or lightly over it with foil until it’s fully baked.
Dress up your lemon pound cake with a simple glaze
Personally, I love the simplicity of this lemon sour cream pound cake. However, to make it a bit fancier, you can make a simple glaze to drizzle over the top.
All you have to do is combine 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar with 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix, then pour the glaze over the slightly cooled pound cake. The glaze will harden as the cake continues to cool.
More ideas of how to serve this easy pound cake
As I mentioned above, I prefer to enjoy the delicate lemony, buttery flavor of pound cake on its own or with a cup of tea.
But, if you want to make it slightly more impressive when guests are over, you can top your sour cream pound cake with a homemade strawberry or blueberry chia seed jam.
I also think this pound cake would be delicious cubed and layered my whipped yogurt and spiced berry compote recipe.
Homemade lemon pound cake tastes even better the next day
Personally, I think this is the best lemon pound cake recipe as it has just the right balance of classic buttery, vanilla pound cake flavors with a punch of acidity from the lemon.
And as hard as it may be to resist, I find this sour cream pound cake tastes even better the next day. Once the cake has cooled, simply store in an airtight container at room temp.
This easy lemon sour cream pound cake is sure to brighten up your morning.
Whether you keep it for yourself or give as a gift to a friend, I really hope you try this lemon sour cream pound cake recipe soon.
It’s definitely a recipe we like to make when we’re craving something lemony and decadent. Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below.
Lemon Sour Cream Pound CakePrint Recipe Save RecipeSaved!
- 1 cup unsalted butter - slightly cooler than room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs - slightly cooler than room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup sour cream - slightly cooler than room temperature
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons quality vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line a 10-in x 5-in loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a small cup, mix together the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Set aside.
- Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and cream together on medium speed until very pale and fluffy. Stop and scrap down the bowl as necessary. It should take about 5 minutes.
- Slowly add in the eggs, one at a time. Beat each egg into the butter mixture before adding the next one.
- Alternate and mix in the dry and wet ingredients, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients. In other words: - Add in ⅓ of the flour mixture and beat until just combined. - Pour in ½ of the sour cream mixture and beat until just combined. - Add in ½ of the remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined. - Pour in the remaining sour cream mixture and beat until just combined.- Add in the remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top with a spatula so the batter is even. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Remove from oven and allow the lemon pound cake to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes. You can allow the pound cake to finish cooling in the loaf pan completely. Or to speed it up, transfer the lemon pound cake to the cooling rack to completely cool.
- You can enjoy this easy homemade pound cake the day it is baked, but for the best flavor, allow it to sit overnight.
What do you suggest i use when i don’t have lemon zest
I really like cake etc very lemony with a bite that i believe comes from the zest.
This recipe too was flagged as vegan, but just noting that it's not!
Tina Jui says
Hi Valerie - Thanks for the note. I checked the site, but I don't see anywhere that this recipe is listed as vegan. It definitely is not! Can you please point me to where you saw it flagged as vegan?
Can you substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream?
Tina Jui says
Hi - I haven't tried that specifically with this recipe, but it should generally be ok. Happy baking!
100% going to make this this weekend!!! I'm obsessed with everything lemon & blueberry right now, so might have to eat this with some blueberries in some form.
Your recipe tips are so so so helpful. Thank you!!!
Tina Jui says
Thanks for the kind comment! Glad the tips are helpful. Happy baking!