Tart, zesty lemon combines with rich tangy buttermilk to create the ultimate Southern Lemon Pound Cake. The perfect cake to celebrate the end summer!!
We have reached the precipice. That weird time where summer is winding down and the cozy fall vibes are slowly starting to take over. This is always my favorite time of year. Lazy afternoons evolving to balmy summer nights filled with BBQs, family get togethers, and water gun fights. The hot Texas sun relentless, showing no mercy barreling down on you until you give up in defeat. Hot, sweaty, but oh so happy defeat.
In my family, these bright, sunny days are always filled with love, laughter, and most importantly, cake. And not just any cake, lemon pound cake. For me, this cake always marks the end of summer. A final farewell and thank you for all of the happiness and fervor that summer brings. A subtle nod that gently says its ok to let go and let the comfort of fall take over. Summer is not summer without this cake.
What makes this Lemon Pound Cake Special
First of all, lemon is a special ingredient all on its on. Its diversity in the kitchen can wield it to be either sweet or savory. But oh does a sweet pound cake do it justice. The tart, moist crumb will transport any lemon lover into a state of bliss. An ample amount of not only lemon juice but also lemon zest, takes this cake to another level and ensures that you get that lemony goodness in every bite. Now I must say that this recipe does get a little fussy when it comes down to the mixing. But worry not!! I am here to break down the process to ensure that you get a perfect lemon cake every time.
How to make the perfect Southern Lemon Pound Cake
First, lets take take a look at our ingredients.
- Butter – Provides the fat we need for a rich and moist cake.
- Granulated sugar – Sugar not only provides sweetness and moisture for our cake, but will also create bubbles of air in the butter when mixed for the proper length of time. These air bubbles help to leaven the cake batter.
- Eggs – So this is where our recipe gets a little fussy. The eggs are separated prior to adding them into the cake. The egg yolks are blended with the butter and sugar mixture while the egg whites are beaten to a stiff peak and folded into the batter prior to being added to the cake pan. The eggs whites are whipped until they form an egg white foam. Because the foam contains a lot of air, it helps to lighten and leaven our pound cake.
- Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest – The star of the show!! I like to use both lemon juice and lemon zest to make sure the flavor of the lemon really shines. The addition of lemon zest adds a stronger citrus flavor than just the lemon juice on its own. When zesting your lemons, be sure to avoid the white flesh. If not, you will end up with bitter rinds in your cake.
- Buttermilk – Ok if you know me, then you know that this should not come as a surprise. I use buttermilk in most of my pound cake recipes. The addition of buttermilk will help ensure a moist crumb. Also, the tanginess of the buttermilk and tartness of the lemon make it a match made in heaven. As always, I recommend whole buttermilk for this recipe.
- Flour – To equally distribute all of your ingredients, sift your dry ingredients together to prevent any clumps.
- Baking Soda – Due to the addition of the eggs whites to help leaven our cake, only baking soda is needed ensure a chemical reaction with the buttermilk
For more tips on how to create the perfect pound cake, be sure to check out my Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cake post!!
Just like the lemon pound cake, this lemon glaze is just as zesty and tart. Not to mention such an ease to make. All you need is powdered sugar, lemon juice, butter, and some light cream. Light cream is a lighter version of heavy whipping cream. It contains about 20 percent of fat and ensures a rich and creamy glaze. If you cannot find light cream, you can always substitute milk. After whisking all of your ingredients together, the only thing left to do is pour that creamy goodness on top of your cooled cake and try not to eat it while doing it!!
How to serve Southern Lemon Pound Cake
Since this cake is already rocking that tart tangy glaze, you are covered. But if you are feeling extra fancy, you can always add some sliced strawberries to your slice to really make this cake even more delicious. Pound cakes are always better the next day after they are baked and the flavors have had time to really set in. Feel free to make this cake in advanced and glaze right before serving.
There’s no better way to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall than with this cake. Enjoy that last late night BBQ and then sit back and savor the last bit of sunshine with the perfect end of summer dessert. We made it friends!!
Southern Lemon Pound Cake
- Tube Pan
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 eggs separated
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2 tbsp softened butter
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3-5 tbsp light cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray a 10-inch tube pan with baking spray with flour.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream softened butter and granulated sugar at medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy, stopping to scape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well between each addition
- Add lemon extract and lemon zest, mix to combine
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
- Add flour mixture alternatively with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into batter. Pour batter into prepared greased 10-inch tube pan.
- Bake for 1 hour to an 1 hour and 10 minutes. Or until cake tester comes out clean and cake bounces back when lightly pressed. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert and remove from pan. Let cake cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar. Add softened butter, lemon juice, light cream and whisk to combine. Depending how thick you want your glaze, you can add anywhere from 3 to 5 tablespoons of light cream. I used 5 tbsp of light cream in this glaze. The more cream you add, the thicker your glaze will be. Pour glaze over cool cake.