lemon pound cake

I have this theory, or shall we call it a personality disposition, that nothing is ever really perfect. While I would argue this pickiness is unfortunate outside the kitchen — “This date would have been even more perfect if I’d ordered the eggplant and not the chicken.” “I love my haircut except this completely unnoticeable thing going on in the back.” — within the confines of the galley walls, I think nit-picking, when done quietly, helps us become better cooks.

ready to juice

Though a big fan of the small nuances that remind you that home cooked food is precisely that — tart crusts with the inevitable corner pieced together from a scrap, a dark spot on loaf of bread that wasn’t rotated in the oven in time — I find it nearly impossible to eat something I’ve made without making a mental note of how I’d do it differently next time. More hot pepper. Less baking time. Ease up on the olive oil. Blanche the peppers for thirty seconds less.

zest before juicinglemon juicecake battercake batter
spooned into panbaked

Which kind of brings us to the lemon pound cake (made here in bundt form) from Ina Garten, a name I’m almost embarrassed to mention I am using as a source once again, as I know I said just a couple weeks ago that we should spend some time apart. I can’t resist this cake though, I think it’s one of the ten great cakes every cook should have tucked into their repertoire. It’s buttery yet bright, and nearly every granule of sugar has been countered by fresh lemon in some form so it never lands cloying or saccharine on your tongue. It keeps well, travels wells and if you make it in pound cake form, you even have an extra that you should feel in no way obliged to share.

brush and pour syrup on

So Debbie Downer, what went wrong this time? Well, the lemon syrup that in basting the warm cake with, raises it to that higher plane of moisture-packed crumb, it wouldn’t absorb! When the large spoonfuls rolled down the sides and pooled at the bottom, I made them smaller and smaller until I could find an amount the cake would agree to absorb – but one or two droplets at time. I suspect this is something like feeding a child, where you beg and plead for the thing to just take in two bites and we’ll call it a day. But, as no child’s well-being rested on the absorption of syrup, when fatigue called twenty minutes into this expedition, I simply dumped the remaining liquid over the cake, absorption be damned as it flooded the plate underneath, gumming it nearly permanently to rack underneath, which is by the way the second thing I would do differently next time: not let the cake cement itself to its base, so that when it needs to be transferred to a cake carrier, it loses small chunks and the otherwise flawless white glaze becomes cracked.

lemon glaze

I remember having this problem the last time I made the cake, but it was less significant in the pound cake form, with its more level top surface. Yet this time, I could taste the lack of extra moisture. Without that basting, this cake is wonderful, but a lot more like the simple pound cake it’s based on. Not sure how I’ll do it differently next time — would a lemon syrup-filled syringe be considered a step too far? — but without a doubt, I will be musing over this for a while. Let me know if you’ve tried this, and found anything that worked better. My unrelenting inner persnicketer is dying to know.

lemon cake

Lemon Pound Cake

  • Servings: Makes 2 loaves or 1 bundt cake
  • Source: Adapted from 'Barefoot Contessa Parties!'
  • Print

New 2019 notes: I have been making this cake for well over a decade and still consider it the height of lemon pound cake achievement; it’s perfect for host gifts, brunches, summer picnics, and more. But I’m a bit lazier these days and try to one-bowl the recipe, while enhancing the flavor along the way. I don’t want to change the recipe below for those who are loyal to the original, but should be you be interested in saving a little time or dirty dishes, six Smitten Kitchen-ified tips have been added at the end.

  • 1 cup (225 grams or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (500 grams) sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
  • 3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) plus 3 1/2 tablespoons (50 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy

    Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 1/2- by 4 1/4-inch loaf pan, and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Alternatively, you can generously butter and flour a bundt pan. [Shown here is a 12-cup bundt. I haven’t tested it in a 10-cup bundt but it does look like there is room to spare in the 12-cup.]

    Cream butter and 2 cups (400 grams) of the sugar (leave the last 1/2 cup for the syrup) in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Mixing at medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, and lemon zest.

    Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to butter and sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Divide batter evenly between loaf pans or pour into prepared bundt, smooth top(s), and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. The bundt version tends to be done in 45 to 50 minutes.

    Make soaking syrup: Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.

    When cakes are done, let them cool 10 minutes. Invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon lemon syrup over cakes. Let cakes cool completely.

    Make the glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar and remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cakes, and allow glaze to drizzle down the sides.

    Six additional tips and shortcuts, added in 2019:

  1. I have absolutely no patience to measure lemon zest in 1/3 cups. Is it packed? Loose? Who knows. It takes me 5 to 6 lemons to get the 1 cup of lemon juice I need for this recipe with an electric juicer (pictured is this one) (you might need 6 to 7 by hand, and of course, depending on the size and juiciness of your lemons). Before I juice them, I use a microplane to remove the zest. You might come up a little short of 1/3 cup zest but you’ll still have an abundance of lemon flavor in you cake, especially if you…
  2. Zest the lemons right into the 2 cups sugar used for the cake. Use your fingertips to rub the lemon zest into the sugar, which helps release the most oils and flavor, and break the zest down. Use the sugar as directed in the recipe.
  3. I do not use extra-large eggs because I never buy extra-large eggs. The way I see is it that there are 4 to 5 extra-large eggs or 5 large ones in 1 cup of eggs, so unless a recipe calls for more than 5 or more extra-large eggs, I don’t bother adding an additional large egg to compensate for the change in volume. In short: I use 4 large eggs here.
  4. I add the salt with the butter because I think the sooner you amp up the butter flavor, the better.
  5. I skip the vanilla extract. To me, this is a pure and wonderful lemon cake and vanilla is either barely noticeable or when it is, it gets in the way.
  6. I somewhat one-bowl this recipe: I don’t pre-mix the wet ingredients and instead of pre-mixing the dry ingredients, I do it my own way. Where the recipe says “Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately…” for the first dry addition, I add the first cup flour, all of the baking powder, and all of the baking soda (the salt, as I mentioned, went in with the butter) and mix it well, a bit more thoroughly you would normally mix flour in. Scrape the bowl down. For the first liquid addition, I add 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup buttermilk. Mix it and scrape down the bowl. For the second dry addition, I add the second cup of flour, and mix it gently. For the second wet addition, I add the remaining (1/2 cup) buttermilk, and mix it gently. The third and final dry addition is the last cup of flour. I mix it gently and scrape down the bowl. Voila! You’re done and you’ve dirtied a lot fewer bowls.
  7. [Note: This recipe got fresh photos in 2019.]

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436 comments on lemon pound cake

    1. Whitney

      I like to make one loaf and a bunch of muffins. I put the batter in the loaf pan first and then add poppy seeds to the batter for the muffins. Then I only make a half batch of the glaze and syrup, and only use them for the loaf. It’s like two baking projects in one! And the muffins freeze great.

  1. Gretchen

    One option might be to use a skewer or a toothpick (or hey, even a fork) to poke holes into the cake before spooning the glaze over it. It will help the syrup get into the cake more easily.

    1. Carrie

      This is how I make my grandma’s lemon drizzle cake arren I make it in a Bundt pan. I also add the drizzle while still in the pan from the bottom. That way any that doesn’t absorb there heads to the bottom of the pan (top of cake) and soaks in there.

  2. bawdy penguin

    what if you slipped some foil over the bundt so the top is doughier (sp?) instead of that crisper top? that might make the surface more absorbent. i love this cake too! the first time i made it i ran out of lemons to juice and used the refrigerated lemon juice. GAH. i called it napalm cake until it redeemed itself the next time. now it’s the best cake i’ve ever had. :)

  3. deb

    Brilynn – Thanks, I’ll have to check her out.

    Gretchen – I tried that, but maybe not enough? It seemed like a lot of holes. Coincidentally, I saw this similar suggestion on Chowhound today, convincing me that I should do more next time. Since you coat the top with the liquid icing sugar, you never see the holes anyway.

    Bawdy – I’ve been tempted many times, hand squeezing all those lemons and straining the juice, to use bottled but I agree there is no comparison. Next time, I’d like to make this with meyer lemons, if I can find them without breaking the bank.

    1. jamie

      do you think i could sub blood orange for lemon, sand proportions? (clearly a more subtle flavor and slightly different color, but anything else i should worry about?)

  4. Marce

    As you know, I didn´t have much luck with the syrup either. In my case, it was because the syrup was too thick, so if that´s the case with you, I´d try making it more liquid.

    Another tip I´ve heard for this type of cake is to have two different temperatures: that is, if the syrup is hot, the cake must be at room temperature, if the syrup is cold, the cake must be hot. Apparently, if both things are hot or cold, the cake won´t absorb the syrup properly.

    I´m gonna try this recipe myself again and see how it goes, since it had great potential and was yummy even with this problem.

  5. Cupcakes

    Ive made it a dozen (or so) times and havnt had an issue. {hears deb say .. Well la de freakin dah good for you}

    When i removed the cakes from the oven I immed ladel the syrup (hot as well) over the cakes… I let them sit a few mins then flip them over so the syrup absorbs more evenly.

    I’m going to introduce it as a cupcake around Christmas.. My customers love all things lemon.

  6. Christine

    My two cents…
    If I am reading the recipe correctly, one is to wait about 10 or so minutes before drizzling the lemony goodness? What if you didn’t wait and did the drizzle immediatly out of the oven? I have a carrot cake recipe that does not have the traditional cream cheese frosting, but rather a glaze. If the glaze does not go on immediatly after pulling the cake out of the oven, it just pools right up. For what it’s worth…

  7. Ailidh

    I’ve never followed this recipe, and this approach might be riddled with problems for other reasons (like making it hard to turn out of the pan), but you might try putting the syrup on right out of the oven while the cake is still in the pan, and then turning it out – that way the syrup has no escape. It’s worked well for me in the past….

  8. Marce

    I made the white batter bread today with hummus for some friends, and all I have to say is THANK YOU! It was awesome, totally moist and delicious. It turned out great even though it was my first attempt at bread (i´ve made pizza before, but not bread). Of course, it helps that I´ve seen my mom make bread tons of times and I know how the dough is supposed to feel, but still, I think virtually anyone could pull it off.

    So thank you for the recipe and all the tips. Unfortunately, this means I´ll have to keep trying your recipes… and keep on adding meat to my latin bum hahaha

  9. Jezzie


  10. I don’t think the syringe filled with syrup is in any way over the top. In fact I think its the perfect idea esp if hte syrup and cake are both hot.
    I love this site…the recipes…the ideas. Its going to make me so fat.

  11. That looks so good! I am one who loves all things lemon. I highly recommend eating the lemon cake while drinking pinepaple white tea. Actually, it’s probably better that you don’t. Once you start, there is no stopping.

  12. deb

    Now here’s a quandary of mine that likely just sounds like semantics. The recipe says: “Invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon lemon syrup over cakes. Let cakes cool completely.”

    I interpreted “invert them onto” as “flip them out onto”, because the first time I made cake, I did the former and ended up with a really messed-up top where the lovely curve top of the cake gummed itself to the rack as it cooled. That said, when I did it the first way, I definitely had the best absorption, as when you peel back the parchment paper, you have a nice porous surface. (Needless to say, the bundt cake pan wasn’t lined with parchment paper!) Since then, I have assumed she meant the more-traditional “flip them out onto” so the cakes cool right-side up, as they do in most recipes.

    Which leads me to believe Cupcakes has the right idea, and also bragging rights (heh) because she’s never had this problem: a couple minutes upside down and then cooling it the rest of the way right-side up.

    I’m definitely thinking hot syrup + hot cake will lend to the best absorption next time, as many of you have suggested. (I’m too scared to ladle the syrup over while it’s in the pan, as even a dry-ish cake is better than one that never came out of the tin! Wimpy me.)

    But, this doesn’t really solve the same problem for Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake, which is intended for a bundt pan. (I forgot to mention that they are really the exact same recipe, with, you know, the orange replaced for lemon and added chocolate.) I had the same problem when I made that a couple weeks before, but I was more patient, not quitting until every last drop was painstakingly dribbled on. In both cases, I ended up using a pastry brush, but it didn’t make it absorb much, just gave them both a shiny-ish and not-very-pretty exterior.

    See how the syringe idea gets more and more tempting?

    343 words on syrup-basting techniques! I think this must be a record.

    Marce – Glad you loved the white batter bread.

    Jen – I totally want to make that cake, too, but you see, I have these people (SantaDad, husband and most of the Russians) who don’t understand the purpose of non-chocolate desserts and occasionally even heckle them. What pests, right?

    SantaDad – See above.

  13. oooh, pretty pretty! i bet that looks awesome on a nice cake stand! i need to make cake for a dinner party this weekend, this looks so good! thanks for the recipe :)

  14. Jill

    Why are you trying to make me fat? Seriously, can’t you write a diet or exercise blog? I’d even accept one about personal growth (although I would complain bitterly about it each time I see you). This only makes me salivate all day and then return home to an empty kitchen full of take out menus and bad ideas. I blame you for my weight gain and Jocelyn for my drinking problem. I’m so glad there are blogs so I don’t have to take personal responsibility for anything.

  15. deb

    Aria – And you can even make it a day in advance, maybe two. I think it keeps pretty well. You can put the white glaze the day you want to serve it.

    Jill – I mean, I could be. I did bring like 150 miniature cupcakes to your apartment a couple weeks ago, way more than you’d ever need. But, my cruelty seems fair in exchange for the new liver Alex will have to buy me before I’m 35 due to the excess I’m incapable of saying no to in your presense.

    That said, my diet blog would be heinously boring. “This morning, I had Stoneyfield Farms Strawberry Yogurt with 1/8 cup Bear Naked Granola and an iced skim no-foam sugar-free latte. For lunch I had steamed vegetable dumplings and a green salad…” See, I did. But you’re already sleeping. Shoot, I’m already sleeping.

    Anyway, you should make these or these for you and Joc. Healthy and tasty! Zzzzzzz….

  16. Cupcakes

    What you can do is take a tea towel/hand towel and that pretty new pot alex bought you (blah i want 1) and make a lil bed for the crown of the bundt to rest on so it doesnt smush.. pour on the syrup, let it sit and take it off the tea towel and let it rest so the syrup absorbs more evenly. The problem with trying to use any syrup on the top part of the cake is the cakes surface.. it has a “crust” so to speak.. the heat from the oven basically seals the top of the exposed surface.

    The analogy you used about the parchment paper is great, i was trying to think of a way to describe my point..

    Thats why you’re the writer and Im just Tims crazy stalker.

  17. Tim

    Personally I think that your cake looks fab. I recently used a Stephanie Alexander recipe for a glazed lemon cake – not using a bundt, and using granular sugar and a hot syrup over a hot cake gets great absorption. Also the cake is glazed while still in the pan – leaving the glaze to simply sink in. Personally I like it when glaze dribbles down the side of cakes. It says something about abundance and that is what cakes are all about!

  18. Jezzie

    Deb. I just realized…in over a year of reading and posting on blogs…you are the nicest blogger I have ever met. You always make an effort to respond to multiple peoples posts, and, so far, you are the only one I have ever been to that really does that consistantly, if at all! I just had to say that, because you are the first blog I ever read consistantly, and you are like, still the best one. Funny, in a neat kinda way.

  19. Stacy

    Hi all–
    On the topic of lemon syrup/glaze…if you use a long skewer, the wood kind, you can poke a lot of holes with no damage to the cake. I do this the minute I pull the cake out of the pan, then drizzle the hot syrup over. You could definitely do it both ways–on the bottom while still in the pan, then again once you invert it onto a cooling rack. THEN just because gilding the lily is always a way of life for me, add your lovely glaze to drizzle down the sides. That way you get that extra blast of lemony-sweet when you get an outside bite. Also I’ve found that using non-stick bundt pans create less “crust” on the outside. Love this site, you all rock! I’ve been on a lemon tart binge this past year, apparently I need to get back to cakes once in a while…I’m lucky, my in-laws can’t eat chocolate, so I get to use them for lemony dessert guinea pigs :)

  20. I poked holes in the BOTTOM of the cake[s] with a long metal skewer (didn’t want holes in the top and I, like you, read the directions to say to turn cakes out) and poured the syrup in from the bottom and let the cakes settle/soak on wire racks.

    However, I made several individual pound cakes with the recipe, rather than one bundt cake.

    You know, I followed the recipe to a tee and I found it overly lemony and soursweet. I didn’t love it and I was so disappointed because Ina loves the many steps when it comes to cakery baking.

  21. doughnutrobot

    A year Later! I am just seeing this recipe now yet am feeling compelled (by the glaze ghost?) to respond.
    The instructions say to cool the cake completely before pouring the glaze over it. This is why you were having the glaze absorption problem. The cake has to be warm when pouring the glaze onto it. The cooler the glaze is, the warmer the cake has to be for it to absorb the glaze.
    I see that #5 Marce responded with the same type of solution.

    I’ve been looking for the perfect lemon pound cake recipe-thanks!
    can’t wait to try this one…

    1. Geee

      Can I make a suggestion here? I think you need to separate the lemon juice in the recipe to 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup and then the tsps as it is suggests to the reader that the juice is used 3 times in 3 separate steps. Otherwise it’s confusing. Especially when you do the east step version below .

  22. Alex

    I’ve made this recipe about 5 times now over the last year. I’ve completely eliminated the powdered sugar+lemon juice glaze, it doesn’t need it, in my opinion. It tastes like lemon glue to me. By the 3rd time, I went the bundt cake vs pound cake route. I allow it to cool about 15 minutes, flip it right side up onto an open grid rack. Then I used a pastry brush & painted the lemon juice+sugar syrup all over it, allowing it to drip off & through the rack, therefore no soaking of the bottom. I didn’t even use all of the syrup. I’d rather have it less moist vs gummy…blechhhhh. This recipe also works really well as a cupcake without ANYTHING else on it. I recognize that this may be wayyyy too minimal for some folks but, I’m telling you, it works, it’s yummy. So there you have it!

  23. Do you think this cake would be way too heavy to make as a layer cake/birthday cake type thing? I’m looking for a good lemon birthday cake recipe…

  24. Jeannine

    I am curious about the need to both grease and flour AND line with parchment paper. I just started using parchment paper for cookies and such, but thought that the whole idea of parchment paper meant you don’t need to grease and flour everything first (this is usually a messy affair, and I don’t like the little clumps of flour and layer of flour on my cakes).

    By the way, this cake looks wonderful! I was looking for a recipe to use up some buttermilk that’s in the fridge. I’m off to buy some fresh lemons!

  25. hi
    – i too am interested in knowing if this would be too heavy as a layer cake.
    – also does anyone know how many cups of batter this recipe makes?
    – in previous posts (#6/#15)there was mention of a chocolate version. where can i find the recipe?

  26. deb

    Pound cakes are generally too heavy for layer cakes, but it is not that it can’t be done. Personally, I’d use more of a traditional, lighter layer cake. Bundts hold about 12 cups of batter if filled to the top, this is probably less (maybe 10 cups). There is an orange chocolate chunk cake also in the archives, very similar to this.

  27. Cathy

    I made the lemon pound cake yesterday and I had a problem I’ve never experienced before. They fell just before they were due to come out of the oven. Have any of you experienced this with this recipe? The cakes look funky but taste wonderful!

  28. Mary Jo

    Hi guys! This looks like a really great recipe…I’m trying it out as a cupcake. Any recommendations about baking times? Also, I’m freezing them for future use, would that compromise the texture? Thanks, and thanks for the great recipe!

  29. miss_maggie

    I am about to confess something semi-shameful: my dad requests the old Bacardi Rum Cake every Christmas, which requires a lot of soaking in rum glaze. So I bake the thing, turn it out of the pan and brush glaze on it. Then I pour some glaze into the Bundt pan, drop the cake back in there, and pour over the rest of the glaze. The cake sits in its little bath of rum and liquid sugar, and turns out gorgeously with only the slightest bit of syrupy rivulets.

    The idea of putting the cake back in the pan is scary the first time, but now I hardly have to think about it. *g* I am SO looking forward to trying out this fantastic-looking lemon cake in the same way!

  30. Eva

    I just wanted to jump in and say hi to all the wonderful people on this blog. I just discovered this site through Alexis Stewart’s blog and love all the fabulous recipes and helpful comments. Deb, you are truly a gift to us.

  31. Wherever I went wrong it was a good place.. well I know, I made one cake not two and started out halving the ingredients but then forgot and added the doubles, roughly as is my want – so 250g butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and three eggs, 4 lemons but they were good ones, 2 cups flour and everything else sort of approximately as suggested, poured the syrup and the glaze over soon out of the oven and tried the flipping it over things, and all in all – wow, pretty good cake. Served warm and fresh. Could only be made wowier with lemon curd icecream..

  32. Jon

    I made this cake for Christmas Eve. I like lemon cake, but I have to say this was totally amazing! Such an amazing cake. It was a brilliant non-chocolate addition to an otherwise chocolate-soaked holiday season. Not that I mind the chocolate! But this was sooooo good…
    I used a bundt pan–the two-cake recipe works nicely for one bundt pan. I tried drizzling the syrup on partly with the cake upside-down and the rest right-side-up, that seemed to work nicely. When I was putting on the glaze I wasn’t sure if I needed an entire recipe, but when we ate the cake, everyone wanted extra glaze, so I definitely wouldn’t skimp on it in the future. Anyway–everyone loved this cake. Thanks for a great recipe!

  33. Dianna

    I just made this over the weekend for my mother-in-law’s birthday. It was a BIG hit! You’re right, definitely a top 10, especially in a bundt pan. I actually tried the syringe method after reading the comments and it went pretty well. Still a little tedious, but definitely worth the extra time. This recipe is definitely a keeper. THANKS!

  34. misswendy

    ok, the two piece tube pan did not work. my cake fell apart. so my family got to eat some of the ugly cake. and, it tastes yummy! second try in loaf pans was great. they look pretty, just a tad small. zesting 12 lemons was SOOOO worth it.

  35. Louise

    I have just found this website, and absolutely love it. Cooking is fun for me, and I’m always looking for new ways to do stuff. All you people who comment on the recipes are probably very much younger than I am (you all talk like my grown daughters), but the love of fixing food is a great equalizer. Anyway, this recipe is similar to an orange cake that I have made, and the trick is to first use a skewer to punch holes in the top of the cake and then pour the hot syrup over the cake when it comes out of the oven and still in the bundt pan, then leave it to cool off before taking it out of the pan. Put the glaze on when the cake is cold, and you could put wax paper under the cake in three or four small pieces which you can pull out when the glaze is cool. Thereby leaving no messy plate. I am making this cake for my husband’s 86th birthday.

    1. Jan

      Louise, this is the method I’ve used for similar cakes. Happy birthday to your hubby, who has stayed with a good and sure cake and sweetie!

  36. MissionBakingGal

    I do the lemon pound cake from Everyday Food all the time and if you poke holes in the top with a skewer (lots of holes) while they are warm and the syrup is warm it does get in there and then the holes get covered with the icing glaze at the end. They will never get a moist as my grandma made (she died with that secret – well I never thought to ask!) but they are a close second. And a really yummy tip for this – skip the icing glaze, make a summer berry sauce (we have TONS of blueberry farms here in Mission), cut off thickish slices, grill them and pour the warm sauce over them. YUMMM!!! And don’t forget that glass of bubbly!

  37. I made this with Meyer lemons that are in season. It was very good. I couldn’t wait till the cake to cool and had a slice slightly warm.. mmm…

    the syrup thing does not work for me, i poured it while the cake is still hot in the bundt pan. i didn’t want to poke too many holes in the cake so the syrup only soaked on the top and sides of the cake. Delicious nonetheless! Maybe next time i’ll try to use a thin long prong or needle instead of the fat skewer i had..

    you’ve motivate me to get a bundt pan last night. thanks!! so pretty…

  38. Hilary


    I found your site about two months ago. Your recipes are absolutely fantastic. I know this is an adaptation…but I love this recipe any way.

    This may be excessive, but this is what I did with the lemon syrup. I think I poked about 100 holes in my cake with a metal testing stick. Then I took a skinny baster and dribbled the syrup on the cake very slowly over the holes. There was still a lot of syrup run off, but it absorbed a lot of it.

    I modified the glaze and made a raspberry glaze. The pink glaze contrasted nicely with the cake, and it was a nice balance of tart and sweet. I garnished with fresh mint and fresh raspberries.

  39. Dancer who eats

    So, I FINALLY made this. It was great, very lemony pound cake….. Ate way too much and no regrets!

  40. Julie

    Looks delicious, but I don’t have a bundt pan and would still like it to look nicer than a loaf; can I make this in a spring-form pan?

  41. Alisa

    I make a key lime version of this cake, and what I do is cool the cake for 15 minutes, while still in the pan, then jiggle the pan to ensure the cake is loose, then skewer holes into it, and pour the syrup over the top of the cake. I leave it soaking in the pan for 10 minutes, then pour off the syrup that has pooled to the bottom of the pan into a measuring cup, and then pour it back over the cake. This sits for another 10 minutes before I turn it out onto a wire rack.

  42. Cat

    For anyone else going to try this, I had great success using a basting brush to get the syrup on. It really was too difficult using the spoon, lol.

  43. gentlekath

    This is IT! The perfect lemon cake. Tastes just like the one I buy at Starbucks. Its a little labor intensive and I had problems with the lemon syrup soaking in too. I do think next time I will make the syrup with a tad less sugar and a bit more lemon juice, then poke holes in it. That lemon syrup really makes the flavor POP! I also noticed it dries out super quick. So wrap it up tightly with plastic wrap. THANK YOU for your recipe find!

  44. dw

    Made this as a bundt cake last week and I also had trouble with the syrup which I tried pouring while both cake and syrup were still warm. The cake itself had great flavor but I thought it was a little drier than I would have preferred. However, the texture improved over a few days and my coworkers loved it when I took the leftover half to work.

  45. Heather

    I also brush the syrup on when the cake is straight out of the oven. Works great for me! I also poke a few holes in the cake with a toothpick for better absorption..

    Thanks for this recipe – I made it once at home, then a few weeks later for a party, because it was so, so good. I overheard someone who didn’t know me saying, “Oh my god, did you have that lemon cake?” It was a hit all around!

  46. Megh

    Hi, I halved the recipe but it turned out just as amazing as promised! two people already asked me for the recipe and I’ve directed them to your site. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Rose

    I’ve been making recipes from your website for some time now but this is the first time I have reviewed a recipe. Like you, I love the art of cooking. I just wanted to say thanks for all the wonderful stories and recipes.

    As for my review of this lemon cake well…it was wonderful. My family especially loved the fantastic texture of the cake. I am going to make it again soon using orange instead of lemon. My husband even requested it in grapefruit! I might just give that a try. He does have good ideas from time to time.

  48. Liz

    I’ve been wanting to make something that I can bring into work for a treat and finally settled on this. Not quite enough lemons, so I usaed half lemon juice, 1/4 lime juice and 1/4 run and just mixed them together so some of it went into the cake, some was the syrup and the rest was used to make the glaze. Sooooo good. I had to immediately freeze 2/3 of the cake I was keeping for myself so I wouldn’t eat it all.

    Now I want to experiment with using combos of citrus & herbs in the future. I am thinking lemon & basil, pineapple & rosemary or orange and tarragon!!

  49. Steph

    Hello –
    I have discovered your website and I think I’m going to love it! I love all the ideas and the discussion. Looking forward to learning from all of you out there!
    PS Liz – I would have never thought to put lemon and basil together! Mmmmm sounds delicious!

  50. MaryM

    Deb – made this and it smells SO good! Was that supposed to be a 10 cup or a 12 cup bundt? Seemed a little … short for my 12 c. bundt pans (yeah, that’ll make me not eat it – hah)

    Thanks for your site, and congrats on your wee bairn!

  51. Colleen Easterbrook

    Hi! Commenting from Canada. How much are ‘2 sticks of butter’? Thanks! I have really had a craving for lemon cake lately.

  52. Emma

    Hi! I somehow stumbled onto your site and it is great! The photos look amazing too. I had a look at the cake pan conversion page you mentioned but I don’t really get it, so thought I’d ask. I don’t have a bundt or loaf tin, could I make this in one 8in round deep cake tin? Or would I need two of those? Might have to buy a bundt tin cos it looks so pretty! I can’t wait to make this cake! Thanks!

    Also, slightly off topic – do you have a recipe for a Key Lime Pie – I am from England, so after some Google searches, am still a bit confused as to a traditional recipe (and I’ll have to just use regular limes)!

  53. Debra

    A very good cake that I will definitely make again. I made 2 loaf cakes to give to 2 neighbors as thank you gifts. I had a 1/2 pint of raspberries on hand so I added them. First, however, I tossed the raspberries with 1 TBS of flour.

  54. meg

    i am planning to make this cake this weekend for my sister’s birthday. she is a huge fan of lemon. the party is on saturday, but we will be travelling on friday. can i make this and freeze it? or if i make it on thursday, will it still be good on saturday? any suggestions?

  55. Jen

    Excellent!! I didn’t have any ‘absorption’ problems. I think hot cake, hot glaze and a brush instead of spooning is the trick. It really was phenomenal and I took it to work where there was moans from the entire floor!

  56. Hey Deb,

    I was planning on making gingerbread cookies today (have some molasses I need to get rid of), using Martha Stewart’s recipe, but I wanted to add a citrus-y zing to them, kind of like lebkuchen. Do you think that this glaze would work well on cookies? Would I need to make adjustments in amounts, etc.? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Sara — This is not a glaze that hardens. For cookies, you probably want a glaze based on a Royal Icing. Martha Stewart has many recipes/approaches to it on her site (such as linked from those snowflakes, which I made in December and were the spicy-best!).

  57. Angela

    I poke the cake with a toothpick as soon as it comes out of the oven and pour the syrup on before turning the cake out of the bundt pan.

  58. I haven’t read through everyone’s posts, so it’s possible someone has already suggested this. But when I make my lemon cakes (not this recipe, but my own concoction), I spoon the hot syrup over the hot cake while it’s still in the pan… just pour it over. Let it cool about 10 mins, then unmold. Any longer cooling time and the syrup will cause the cake to stick to the pan. I believe this is actually how some of those famous lemon cake bakers do theirs, too – pouring hot syrup over hot cake. Both have to be piping hot in order for it to absorb into the cake.

    It looks lovely, however, and I’m actually going to try this recipe out. I haven’t made mine in quite some time and never really wrote it down completely, so I’m hoping this one will turn out even better than I remember mine being!

  59. Okay so I realize this recipe/posting is years old but I was wondering if you solved your icing dilemma? A trick I learned when working at a bakery was to take your reserved lemon juice and slowy, over a couple hours, work in some regular sugar to make a simple lemon syrup. Making sure not to stir for at least 30 minutes before you apply to your cake to let the undissolved sugar sink to the bottom. Then dab on the cake with a pastry brush taking care not to hit the sugar at the bottom of your bowl, and coat the cake two or three times. Perhaps you already use this trick/syrup and want a nice white frosting-glaze on the cake, but the syrup certainly makes a nice moist cake. Which, after reading this recipe, I will be making this weekend.. Thank you!

  60. Debra

    This cake was a big hit our get together last night. I handled the lemon syrup absorption the way another poster recommended. I took the cake out of the bundt pan, poured lemon syrup into the bundt pan and returned cake to pan and let it sit in the syrup for awhile for it to absorb. I did this while the cake was still hot, right out of the oven. When returning the cake to the pan it cracked a little — but not so you’d hardly notice. I also froze this cake (glazed) about a month before serving it. I think the glaze would have looked a better had I put it on the cake after thawing. Bright lemony flavor and so moist. Perfect lemon cake in my opinion. Thanks for another great recipe.

  61. Sarah

    Honestly, if I had read through the whole recipe before starting I might not have made this. But I’m glad I did! I used a bundt pan and dealt with the syrup issue by pouring half of the hot syrup onto the cake immediately out of the oven while still in the pan. I let it soak in (with the help of a brush) for 10 minutes. Then I dumped the cake upside down onto the plate, poked some holes with a toothpick and brushed the rest of the syrup onto the top of cake and around the sides. It all soaked in no problem!

    This is a very lemony cake and soooo good, especially with the glaze in addition to the syrup. The consistency is perfect. Lighter than as a true pound cake but more dense than a regular layer-type cake. Yum!

  62. tifara

    I was craving lemon cake .. don’t ask. I used disposable loaf pans and poured the hot syrup over the cakes as soon as they came out. But being disposable I was able to bend out the sides of the pans and let it drip down the cake. Easy as pie! I turned them over a couple of minutes later. its still hot … but i know its gonna be awesome, your recipes always are!!

  63. tzsnotes

    As someone else said try putting toothpick holes around the cake top before taking out of pan; put glaze on and stick back into the hot oven for about 10 minutes – it helps the glaze melt into the cake…

  64. The Lemon cake that I always make is “The Best Damn Lemon Cake” from Maida Heatter’s New Book of Great Desserts pg. 113. I has ground almonds in it…the secret to getting the lemon glaze to absorb entirely is to make the glaze the last 2 – 3 minutes that the cake bakes…then remove the cakes from the oven and let them sit for 2 – 3 minutes…Then apply the hot glaze with a brush over the Hot it slowly – it should take about 5 minutes to finish this part. Let the cake stabd until tepid, not completely cool and then invert it onto a cake rack (gently turn the cake over) and cool completely. My late husband loved this cake…and it is still my mother-in-law’s favorite which I need to send to her for her birthday. If you apply the glaze this way you will NEVER have any problems with it plus the hot cake absorbs the entire amount of lemon syrup…remember to apply it slowly…the first time I made this I wasn’t patient and just poured the syrup on the cake in one motion…result soggy cake…that never absorbed the syrup. I also set wax paper until the cake rack to catch the extra syrup and use wax paper when I wrap it up. I always refrigerate the cake before serving it is best the next day and slices like a dream when cold…this cake also freezes well. That is if no one eats it before it cools, etc. Take your time with the syrup and you will certainly be rewarded. My customers love this cake.

  65. Christyna

    Just made this tonight! It was awesome. I made mine with Nova Tangerines (zest and juice) instead of lemons though. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration as always. I’ve been working my way through your stuff, and nothing has failed me yet! Thanks!!!!!!

  66. Holly

    Made this around the holidays & it was a big hit — vague recollection of painstakingly apply syrup to the hot cake. I now want to d the bundt version for my sons first communion (he asked for a lemon cake!) So, apply the syrup, let it completely cool wrap it really well? Glaze once it’s defrosted? I am a great cook, clueless baker and never a freezer – help!

  67. Rebecca

    I made this cake for a mid-week party, and it was a complete hit! I also had syrup issues, but I think I just need to use a brush instead of a spoon and just be more patient. I’m making it again in a couple of weeks :-)

    Holly: I am no expert, but just to share, I used pretty much the same freezer procedure you outlined, and it worked great. I baked the cake on Sunday for a party on Tuesday. I applied the syrup, let cool completely, wrapped first in wax paper then in plastic wrap (the wax paper really helped since the syrup made part of the cake dreamy-sticky-good), froze for a couple days, then let it defrost and poured on the amazing drippy glaze. It was still moist and delicious and, as I said, a hit :-) I love how this cake freezes, definitely a good mid-week party cake for that reason.

  68. Great recipe. I made this last night, and opted for the two loaf pan cakes. The syrup went on fine and almost all of it absorbed, but I can see how the round edges of the bundt cake would make it tricky. I put one in the freezer as soon as it cooled and will bring to NH this weekend for my brother and sister-in-law. Perfect!

  69. Ivy

    Hi. I’m looking to make a homemade lemon cake for a friend this weekend. I noticed that this receipe is more of a pound cake. Is there anything i can do to this pound cake to make it like a birthday cake? More fluffy and soft. Do you think a buttercream icing would taste ok with this? Thanks for any advice or comments!

  70. Dalnapen1


    Just wanted to tell you that our church had their 34th anniversary picnic on last Saturday (5th). They always run a pound cake and pie contest each year. I’ve entered the last four years–but never won. Yup, you guessed it. I made your lemon pound cake and won that division (I made the chocolate pudding pie, but it didn’t win…however, the crust on that pie was perfection! My friend rebuked me and said that it wasn’t very Christian of me to be ambitious enough to want both wins…smile.)! BTW, my cake stuck to the cookie rack after frosting etc. too, and slightly ripped before I was able to get it on it’s little cardboard round and in the box. I think a work around to fix this issue is to (before you start recipe) invert the empty bundt pan over a square of waxed paper and draw the outline of the pan onto the paper—then cut this out (including the cutout in the bundt center). Then, when you have cooked the cake and are ready to de-pan it, place the waxed paper trace on top of the cake before you invert the bundt pan onto the rack. That way, the cake should come off easily when it is frosted. Thanks again, the prize was bragging rights and a $25 gas card, which by all rights should have been yours…

  71. I think I may have solved the syrup absorption problem. I baked my cake in a 9in Spring Form lined with parchment paper. The cake had a nice dome, which I cut to be even with the pan, after it had cooled for 10mins. I drizzled some syrup on the top before flipping it onto a plate, removing the parchment and pouring the rest of the syrup. It soaked in brilliantly, and looked much nicer than a loaf pan. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezey. :) The cake was delicious. Thanks for another great recipe!

  72. Kartik

    Hey Deb,
    Just made a lemon cake for a friend’s birthday today and it was beautiful. People really enjoyed it. You have done it again.
    Keep posting great cake recipes.

  73. Kathryn

    Craving a fresh-tasting dessert, I made this cake today. I couldn’t even wait for the glaze, I cut a piece off after putting on the syrup. Great flavor! The cake was a little more labor intensive than I prefer (can’t do better than a one-bowl recipe), but this is well worth the effort (and dishes). I halved the recipe, using just one loaf pan, and baked it 40 minutes at 325 in my convection oven. Yummy!

  74. Eliza

    we didnt make the syrup and we halved the recipe, but our major change was adding in a packet of raspberry jello mix to half the batter and then swirling the two batters in the pan… to approximate the raspberry swirl pound cake from Starbucks that my 6 year old fell in love with on vacation. And as she said, it takes a little like a pop tart :-) It’s a great cake, even with the jello mix in it… and I cant wait to make it again in a more grown up way!

  75. terry

    i’ve made this cake and it’s SO good. i love the recipes you post. i’ve tried out a few deserts so far and all of them have turned out amazing!

  76. MAMOM

    So maybe it has been way to long for you to still want a tip on this matter, but just in case…. My tip: dip a wadded up paper towel into the basting liquid and while gently squeezing press it into the cake. It will force the fluid in and allow more time for this to happen with less loss of your basting yumminess. I hope this helps you as it has for me when making my mother’s Rum Cake at the holidays. I learned it in a pinch one evening when I realized my children had used my only basting bush to “clean” the fence in the back yard and it was left resting in a pile of wet leaves and who knows what. It makes so much less of a mess that I now prefer to do it this way. I will be trying this cake soon. Thanks for the recommendation.

  77. I read most of the 98 comments trying to figure out how to line my bundt pan with parchment paper. Is this a necessary step? Nothing worse than a cake that is stuck in the pan–I don’t want to mess this one up. The cake sounds delicious. My husband loves lemon cakes so I’m anxious to try this one and share it with our guests this weekend. Reading the rave reviews makes me anxious to try this one!

    1. deb

      Judy — It would be impossible. But, if you butter it really well and flour it really well, you should be okay. (Personally, I’m a huge fan of those don’t-look-at-the-ingredient-list butter/flour sprays for coating but use what you’ve got.)

      1. jenny lindsley

        My bundt cake looked so beautiful and I waited a few minutes before turning the pan over to remove the cake. I buttered/floured the pan but did not use parchment paper. When I turned it over the cake partially broke apart and the rest stuck to the pan – I was so bummed. What did I do wrong? Supposedly it is a nonstick bundt pan.

  78. Di

    I have made this cake several times and what has worked best for me is to “shave” the top crust off. You couldn’t do this with a bundt very easily but it works well with a loaf cake. Get a serrated knife and just carefully trim the hard crust off the top. Be very careful when you get to the edges or they will break away. You only want to just break the surface.Then the syrup absorbs perfectly. Of course your cake doesn’t look quite as nice but you can hardly tell once you put the white glaze over it.

  79. Thanks, Deb! I made this cake for a co-worker to celebrate her 5 year anniversary with the company. It was a hit. I didn’t have the patience to respoon the syrup over and over so I only did it once and whatever didn’t absorb was too bad. It was a little dry, but not bad. I didn’t make the glaze thick enough either… always living and learning :)

  80. Jen

    I’ve made this cake several times in the loaf pans. To get the syrup to absorb, I let the cakes cool in the pans for about 5-10 minutes. I then use pot holders to coax the cakes out onto a cooling rack. I pour half of the glaze into one pan and half in the other. I ease the cakes back into the loaf pans and wait until they cool but are still warm (about 20 more minutes). By this time, all of the syrup has been absorbed and I am ready for the glaze. It really works. Thank you for the bundt cake idea!

  81. Tiffany

    Deb, have you tried the “Lemon Lemon Loaf” from the Baked cookbook yet? I made it yesterday with meyer lemons and I had to freeze the second loaf for fear we might finish off both loaves in a matter of days. A real problem once you see the amount of butter in the recipe.
    I was actually on here to reprint your hot fudge sauce. Because that’s what we need after a buttery lemon cake. So much for New Years resolutions. :)

  82. Jo

    I made this over the weekend with sour cream instead of buttermilk (coz my local supermarket was out of the latter) and it was amazing – even better than the buttermilk version I’ve made previously. The texture is a little denser, and with a finer crumb. I thought it kept better as well. Just polished off the last slice on day 3 and it was still as moist and delicious as on day 1 :-) Thanks for a fantastic recipe!!

  83. Brian0523

    I just came across this – so maybe you have your lemon syrup issue resolved by now, but when I make a cake like this I use a basting brush to brush on the syrup. I never have a problem with the liquid not absorbing. I think you could use a pastry bush too, but the one I use is specifically for brushing on bbq sauce and the like.

    Hope this helps you!!!

  84. Kelly


    I’ve got to say that this cake – and the chocolate/orange version on this site – are the best go-to cakes ever. I’ve been making this one for a few years (sometimes sans icing and just powdered sugar) and the chocolate/orange for the last few months and they are both so well received. Easy, quick, and such delightful flavors.

    Thanks for the recipes, as always. Kelly

  85. Sue

    What works for me, I found this on Americas Test Kitchen, cool the cake for ten minutes, pour half the glaze on, wait another hour and pour on the rest of the glaze.

  86. Emily

    Hi Deb! I figured out a solution that works fabulously. After the cake comes out of the oven, put saran wrap over it so that the top stays moist as it cools. I put the syrup on after this and the cake absorbed it so quickly that I had to pour carefully, so it wouldn’t all absorb into one spot! Hope that helps! Thanks for the great recipe! -Emily

  87. Bobanda

    Baked this yesterday. It was delicious and loved by all. Just a note, I have this fabulous glaze which is basically lemon juice + honey, brough to a boil and then drizzled. I tried this instead of a sugar glaze. The cake swallowed it up and all was bliss.

  88. This cake was a hit at our Easter celebration this weekend! Once again my sister, who doesn’t really like lemon cakes, was in love! It’s the perfect combo of lemon and sugar. So moist and delicious! I will definitely make this again!

  89. Maria

    Best lemon cake I’ve ever tasted! Thank you! Put the syrup on when the cake came out of the oven: some on the bottom before inverting it and then the rest over the warm top as soon as I took it out of the pan. Soaked right in and then the glaze on the cooled cake really took it to another level.

  90. SuperGrover

    Fantastic recipe! Zingy with lemony-ness but not overly sweet or tart with an excellent fine and soft crumb. I’m in Australia, so used 5 extra-large eggs (about 280g), making my batter a little more eggy than the recipe as written. I will definitely be making this again, but may leave the syrup off one cake next time just to see what it’s like and think an orange version would be good to try too.

  91. I made this cake recently, and it was lemon perfection. And I don’t even care for lemon desserts. My one problem was that it wouldn’t come out of the bundt pan. Like, at all. Despite my family’s best efforts, the cake wouldn’t budge, regardless of having sufficiently greased the pan beforehand (or so I thought!) But even the pesky detail about it being stuck to a pan did not stop us from cutting pieces out of the bundt pan as desired. And, oh boy, were they desired. Delicious!

  92. vanTalerie

    A question!

    “I can’t resist this cake though, I think it’s one of the ten great cakes every cook should have tucked into their repertoire.”

    Please, what are the other nine?

  93. How long did you bake the bundt for? The directions, save for the small note about using a bundt pan, are all for the two loaves. I assumed it would take longer, and took it out when I thought it looked ready, I think about an hour and 10 minutes. When I turned it out though… BROWN. I haven’t cut into it yet but I think I went 5 or 10 too long. Wah. This took far too long to make, just for me to burn it!!

    Although the good news would be that my sugar/lemon mixture absorbed and soaked in wonderfully!

  94. Emily

    Hello! So, in my family, we have a super secret, top-notch cake recipe called a Lemon-Almond Cake. It’s not really super secret because it’s pretty similar to this one, although in our recipe we have relied on Jell-O packets and box cake mixes as a base (I know, cake mix….yuck. But it’s quick and delicious, despite all those chemically type things mixed in…) In any case! On letting the liquids soak in: Our Lemon-Almond cake generally shows up in the form of a Bundt, and I normally just plop it out, poke some holes in the top with a toothpick, and spoon the glaze over the top-making sure that some of it trickles in the little holes I made. In the case of this cake, where you use a lemon syrup and then a glaze, I’d suggest letting the Bundt cool in the pan the same 10 minutes, but in that time, poke holes in the bottom of the cake with a toothpick and baste cake from the bottom. Then flip it out (onto a cake plate/carrier/ NOT a cooling rack so the syrup doesn’t leak out (I find that any steam from the cake that clouds up the cake plate actually soaks back into the cake and helps keep it moist)) and do the same to the top. Then pour the glaze over. Et viola? I hope this is a bit helpful!

  95. Wendy

    Hi Deb, I have a question about subbing an entire lemon for the juice and zest used in this cake. Have you ever tried baking a cake with this entire lemon technique, as seen in your lemon tart recipe?

    1. deb

      Wendy — I generally only do that in specific recipes that adjust for it. The white part of the lemon is very bitter, and requires a lot of extra sugar as compensation.

  96. Wendy

    Hi Deb, thanks for your comment. I tried the cake with a whole lemon. A tiny bit more bitter than the recipe as written, but in an extra lemony delicious kind of way. I have lemons ripe on my tree now (Argentina) that are not that juicy but have a great organic peel.

    I replaced the lemon zest and lemon juice in the cake with one whole lemon, seeds removed. I blended the whole lemon with some milk until smooth, and used 1 and 1/4 cup milk and lemon mixture for my liquid. Everything else I kept the same, including the glaze and the frosting. It was muy rico.

  97. I was google-ing lemon cakes and came upon this one on your blog. I’ve been following your blog for several years and was delighted to find you had a recipe for a lemon bundt cake. This sounds very much like a lemon cake my mom used to make. She (and I, after her) would turn the cake out of the pan very soon after removing from the oven, poke holes in the top with a small skewer and brush/dribble the warm glaze over. (hot on hot, as some mention here) It was always moist and absolutely delicious. I wonder if you ever tried doing that as you re-tried the recipe, and how that worked for you. Also, how would Meyer Lemons work in this recipe, do you think?n I am anxious to try your version!

  98. Nadia Murray

    I love lemon poundcake and the syrup really makes it moist and lovely. My solution to this is to pour the warm glaze over the hot cake, before removing it from the pan and after poking it with a cooking fork all over. Then when it is cooled it can be turned out and glazed with the icing. It is a similar idea to the Kentucky Butter Cake which I have made for years and has a hot sauce poured over while still in the pan. Let the cake cool in the pan and invert before icing, or glaze the top(which is my favorite part of a poundcake!).

  99. Redneck

    If a flat, cylindrical cake is OK, use a springform pan. If cake hasn’t already loosened from the outside, use a knife to do so, then remove the rim. Spray the rim with pan spray and return it to the cake. NOW pour on the syrup, which will be trapped. Once absorbed, remove the form again.

  100. Mary Jane Wolfram

    I have cooked for years but am new to baking. The lemon cake (fabulous!) was my first real cake and I’ve made it several times. Question: When the recipe calls for 3 cups flour and the directions state “sift together flour, baking soda, etc…”, does one measure the flour before or after sifting?

    Thanks. My lemon cake fell apart today so I’m not baking another thing until I get this question sorted out.

    Love your website and look forward to your cookbook!

    Best, Mary Jane

    1. deb

      Mary Jane — If it says “3 cups, sifted” you sift after measuring. If it says “3 sifted cups” you sift first. I always lean towards the former, as measuring from a sifted pile is annoying.

  101. karen

    This is one of my all time favorite cakes. I love that the recipe makes 2 loaves – one to eat and one to give. I’ve made it many many times – truly one of the best recipes ever.

  102. Heatherly

    I know this is an old post, but wanted to update you on a variation. I live in SE Asia and lemons are preciously difficult to find and pricey, but limes (green and yellow) are readily available so we often convert recipes from lemon to lime. Making this cake today with lime instead of lemon – it is lovely, fresh and bright.

  103. amy

    Absolutely FANTASTIC! The strong tangy lemon flavor was exceptional. This will definitely go into the book of recipes to make again and again.

    Btw Deb, how many times do you test a recipe before it makes the cut for the public? Are you baking/cooking every minute of your life and what do you do with all that food?

  104. Sheryl Fletcher

    I find that with my orange cake with a orange juice and sugar icing it is vital that you put it on the cake immediately out of the oven…it has to be hot for the juice icing to be absorbed by the cake.

  105. Lisa

    LOVE this recipe. Thanks so much for posting it. It is delicious! I made it twice last week for Christmas parties. :) So glad I came across it!

  106. Helen

    I made this the other night using meyer lemons and it came out really well. For baking pans I used tossable paper loaf pans and tossable paper mini-panaforte pans. Perfect for gifts. Happened to run across Ina Garten at a book signing and asked her about the sugar syrup. She said to add it when the cakes were still hot. I poked holes in the cakes using a round-tipped chopstick and poured in the syrup using a skinny mini-baster (borrowed from my Zoku pop maker tool kit). For the glaze, spooned it on, but kept spreading it and moving it around so it did not drip done the sides.

  107. Claire

    I made this cake today in a pound cake pan. I greased the pan but did not flour, sides and bottom cooked browner and faster than the top. Still put on the syrup and glaze with no problem, am giving it to a friend. Next time will flour pan and put parchment paper in bottom. I hope it is also not the new pan, it is a heavy cast aluminum nordicware pan, I wonder if this type of pan requires temperature adjustment, did not say on package of pan when I bought it recently. Next time I also think I will use a different pan. Any experience with the bottom and sides browning much faster than the top with the 45 minute bake time? Also using a new oven. Happy Holidays from a baking perfectionada!!

    1. deb

      I have problems with the bottom and sides of cakes baked in cast iron cooking too quickly. I haven’t tried this one in cast iron, but presume it is the culprit.

  108. Farah

    Made this piece of heaven last night, in a bundt pan. The outside did brown faster than the top. I flipped it out of the pan in under 10 min bc I wanted it to be warm to absorb the lemon syrup & it did- but I did have to “spoon feed” my lemon baby as you suggested. The cake was over the top fab. Had another slice this morning for breakfast & the texture was more of a pound cake than last night. Last night it was more of a lemon cake. Either way, it didn’t stand a chance!

  109. Mandy

    Hi Deb! I make a similar cake from Joy of Cooking, and I will quote directly: “As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a rack, poke the cake all over with a wooden skewer, and brush it with half of the syrup. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Slide a slim knife around the cake to detach it from the pan, or tap the sides of the fluted tube or Bundt pan against the counter to loosen the cake. Invert it onto a greased rack and peel off the paper liner if using. Poke the bottom of the cake with the skewer and brush with some of the syrup. Invert onto another greased rack and brush the remaining syrup over the sides of the cake. Let cool, right side up or inverted on the rack” (p. 940).

    I am making your/Ina’s lemon cake today to mix things up, but these directions above go along with their Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake. It’s quite similar, and the above has worked well for me. Today I wanted one with a powdered sugar and lemon glaze over the top of the syrup, so yours is perfect for today! Thanks!

  110. Laura

    Love all things lemon, so could not resist the idea that this would be oh so fabulous…even though I’d call myself a cook, not a baker. I made it with Meyer Lemons (on sale!!). It was good – not great, but I’m hashing that up to my extremely limited baking abilities. I made the 2 loaf pans version. Outsides browned more than I’d have liked, even though cake tester was still coming out gummy. I had the same issue with the lemon syrup absorbing, even though I did poke holes (alot of holes!). I didn’t think the texture was all that wonderful the 1st day, but will admit that it was better the next day. I’ll definitely make again, next time in the bundt pan.

    All in all – I’d recommend, but don’t serve to company on the day of baking, you’ll be happier with results making a day ahead.

  111. Tracy

    My Mom made this cake for my son’s 7th birthday. It’s his favorite! She made it in a 9×13 pan, and did not remove it after baking. She cut the glaze recipe in half and poured it directly on the cake right out of the oven still in the pan. It was heaven! She served it with raspberry sorbet. I’m going to try it right now.

  112. I’m making this cake for a second time. This time I’m making it according to the recipe with two loaf pans. Instructions are to invert them while cooling, then pour the syrup on. I wonder if pouring it on the bottom is a little easier. I also noted that the cooler they got the slower the absorption. I spooned the syrup on slowly since I didn’t want to miss a drop! I hope you’ve figured out the problem because a bundt cake is much prettier than loaf pans. Please update this post with your findings. Thanks! I can’t wait to have a bite.

  113. rupi d

    I made this cake using Meyer Lemons and it was a big hit- and it was very pretty in the bundt cake shape. I poked holes in the cake as soon as it came out of the oven and poured the syrup by spoon while it was still in the bundt pan. It absorbed all of it and I flipped it out of the bundt pan 10 mins later, poked a few holes on the top of the cake and poured an extra 1/4 cup of lemon syrup through the holes. Glazed it with the frosting 2 hours later when it was completely cooled. It cooked evenly in the oven and was done in 45 mins. I will def make it again.

  114. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already Cheers!

  115. Noele

    I just made this cake and it’s cooling as I type this. I made mine in a bundt pan (I also added some thyme that I had on hand) and I brushed the simple syrup on with my silicone baster brush. Worked like a charm.

  116. Gail

    I made the orange chocolate chunk cake last week for a party – amazing! super orange flavor, very moist and dense. So I assumed that this one would be just as good – but it wasn’t, at all! I made the recipe exactly as written, but the texture of this one was not dense (more fluffy), and the lemon flavor weak. I was able to get all the syrup in there, so I don’t think it was that. This was just an ordinary lemon pound cake, ho-hum. What’s the difference, do you think? (btw: made both in a bundt pan, baked 45 min…)

  117. Gail

    I made the orange chocolate chunk cake last week for a party – amazing! super orange flavor, very moist and dense. So I assumed that this one would be just as good – but it wasn’t, at all! I made the recipe exactly as written, but the texture of this one was not dense (more fluffy), and the lemon flavor weak. I was able to get all the syrup in there, so I don’t think it was that. This was just an ordinary lemon pound cake, ho-hum. What’s the difference, do you think?

  118. Leslie

    Hi, I just made this tonight and figured out how to get the cake to absorb all the syrup. I waited 10 minutes after pulling the cake out of the oven and then poured the syrup onto the cake while it was still in the bundt pan. Where it looked like it pooled I took a butter knife and slightly pulled the cake from the sides. I waited another 20 minutes or so and then inverted it onto the cake plate. It came out of the pan without sticking and tomorrow I will glaze it.

  119. I didn’t make it through all of the comments, so I apologize if I’m repeating a suggestion that someone else might have made. Before turning out the cake, pour the syrup on top and let it soak in. This should give you maximum absorption into the cake. I have a rum cake recipe that suggests this and it absorbs the syrup beautifully.

  120. Kim

    My favorite method for “syruping” pound cakes (I do this with rum cakes frequently) is to make the hot syrup while the cake cools in the pan for a few minutes. Then, flip the cake out of the pan and pour half of the hot glaze into it. Then put the cake back in the pan and pour the rest over the cake’s underside. Let it soak up the syrup as it cools. When the syrup has absorbed, flip the cake out and pour on the glaze! YUM!!!

  121. SamSam

    I’ve seen lots of recipes that use sour cream or yogurt to make the cake moister. With all the talk above about how to get the syrup to absorb and make the cake moist, would there be any call to add sour cream to the recipe?

    I’m not much of a baker, though, so that may well be totally off the mark for some reason that I’m not aware of.

  122. Hello! I know this is qn old post but i am making this at
    My shop today. I think th glazing issue some are having is because of the butter flour “finish” that results from prepping the pan. I use a nonstick spray for everything and the i brush my warm cakes with warm glaze a few times. All good.

  123. Danica

    I made this today to serve with strawberries and whipped cream. Delightful. :) I didn’t have time to make and add the glaze, so it was less sweet than it would have been. I’ll have to try it glazed next time…or maybe on the remaining half.

  124. Jess Jo

    Hi Deb

    I’ve always wondered, could I use a normal tube tin instead of a bundt? I’m thinking it should work fine, but the icing drizzle would not have the same patterned effect.

  125. angela

    Hi Deb,
    I have a quick question with this and other cakes – when measuring lemon zest (zested using a microplane), do you pack down the zest into the measuring cup, or just kind of spoon it in? It’s so fluffy coming off the microplane; I’m not sure how to handle it. Thanks!

  126. Kelsey

    Hi Deb! In this post you mention that this cake is one of the top ten cakes every cook should know. I would love a post that includes the other nine, fun list! Can’t wait for the book tour!

  127. misspippi

    Wow! I’ve baked two lemon cakes (mother-in-law’s recipe) and my glaze was not like granny’s — way too runny. My 11 year old daughters found this blog today and I can’t wait to try your recipe. 3rd time’s a charm, right?

  128. Abra

    #1 I love this blog! I cook from it constantly!

    #2 There is a lemon cake I make from another blog that you push a fork into the top of the cake and then pour a primary glaze of just lemon and sugar before the secondary glaze that is thicker. It gives it something to stick too and helps the cake not be dry.

  129. Eliza

    I skipped the zest this time and it just wasnt lemony enough. I did use half whole wheat flour and the cake was still light and fluffy. Must zest next time!

  130. Courtney

    Wow!! I made this last night for a dinner party. I ended up doing 2 cakes in a loaf pan and they were completely fabulous!! They were so moist and delicious. The lemon flavor is just right. Not too sweet either. The cakes were ready after 45 minutes in the oven.

  131. Rowena

    Have now made this twice, both times in loaf pans. One time with Eureka lemons, the other with Meyer lemons. I made no other change. The one with the Meyer lemons sunk, so the loaves were denser. Flavor was great both times, and I’ll definitely make this again. But, what could have caused the loaves to sink?

  132. Eloise

    I made cake in bundt pan and cake fell. however, what i salvaged was delicious so i am eager to try again, I am a novice so any suggestions as to how to avoid the cake falling will be appreciated!

  133. Rebecca

    It’s amazing to me how long these comment threads can go. I was reading about this very cake that I made on Saturday, and am delighted to find others out there puzzling on the same topics. How to make it soak up the glaze… I think a key thing is resting the cake on a rack. I used a Bundt pan. Turned out beautifully and I ate almost the entire cake myself, but musing on how to make it more moist.

    Next time I plan to remove the cake from the pan and rest it upside down in a pasta bowl or some bowl that fits the crown of the Bundt. Then I will drizzling the warm glaze (thinner perhaps) all over, turning the cake to access the other sides. I might poke a few holes, but I think I’d rather inject some kind of lemony filling.

    Re lemony filling, lemon curd is a favorite. I bought some Dickenson’s (sp?) lemon curd and enjoyed spoonfuls of it on slices of my cake. YUM it’s a gas! Lemon Sweetness. There’s nothing like it. Better than chocolate.

    Also I was considering using a different flour. Perhaps coconut flour, which is notorious for soaking up liquid. Would need to use more egg yolks though…

    Thanks for your wonderful site! For inspiring us all the comment!


  134. Amanda

    I made this lemon pound cake in a 7 quart crockpot (because my oven is broke and I love to bake) and it took 2-3 hours to bake all the way through. Iinstead of an icing syrup I made a homemade fresh lemon buttercream frosting with fresh lemon juice and peels and iced it barely warm and sprinkled with my own colored RAW sugar (homemade sprinkles) oh so heavenly delicious! Next time I may try cake pops on the top of the woodstove because my barbecued cherry pie tasted like charcoal lol.

  135. Martina

    When I made this cake, I cooled it on a rack until it was just a little warm, returned it to the Bundt pan and poured the syrup all along the side of the cake, so it ran down the space between the cake and the inside of the pan. I left it for a couple hours, then inverted the pan onto my cake platter and let it rest a little longer before serving. I didn’t use any glaze, just decorated with fresh flowers (it was May). While the syrup still didn’t really soak the cake, per se, it did penetrate somewhat into the body of the cake, beyond the crust.

  136. newborthwick

    Made this cake yesterday, it is wonderful! Poured the hot syrup into the bundt pan a couple of minutes after it came out of the oven, let cool 10 mins (think I could’ve gone longer), and turned it out, no probs. Cake is drenched from the bottom about 2/3 up, crazy good – will definitely try the chocolate one, thanks!

  137. Tula

    Just made this cake–again! It’s one of the best cakes ever! I do also poke with toothpick before I pour the syrup with spoon carefully. I cannot believe I suggest YOU something, but making tiny holes with toothpick and pouring the syrup with spoon work for me while cake is still in the pan. This is the first time I used buttermilk, curious about the results. I used to use either yogurt, kefir, or yogurt/vinegar mixture for my own buttermilk.

  138. Chris

    I poured the hot syrup over the hot cake directly from the oven (still in the bundt pan), and used a knife to gently pull the cake away from the sides so that the syrup would slide down the sides to the top of the cake as well as the bottom, and let sit for 10 minutes or so. The syrup absorbed nicely. Topped the cake with a sheet of parchment and turned upside down onto my hand (cool enough then), to then slide onto a cooling rack. Worked like a charm. Served the glazed cake with a side of whipped cream blended with lemon curd. Wonderful!

  139. I have the original recipe when she made it on her show. The trick is when it comes out of the oven you poke holes all over it with a skewer or something about the size of a small straw, I use coffee stirrers. Then you spoon the icing over and it soaks way down in the cake. Lushness to say the least. Good Luck.

  140. Killian

    Deb – I will apologize ahead of time for not reading through the 173 previous comments, but I’m pressed for time. But if you haven’t found a solution to your soaking problem, I have. And really, you pretty much had it yourself anyhow!

    Flip the cakes. Soak from the BOTTOM (and the sides!!), NOT from the top. It works perfectly.


  141. Juliet

    I just made this cake for the first time for my hubby’s birthday, and it is really the most delicious cake ever. I made it in a 10-inch tube pan, which was perfect, and let half the syrup soak in from the bottom, then flipped it and soaked the rest from the top. The top of the tube pan baked cake had lots of nice cracks for the syrup to soak into. Then I glazed it, all while still warm. It is moist and fabulous, and hubby has had 3 pieces already.

  142. betsyohs

    This cake is so tasty! I’ve made it twice now. The most recent version, I made in 5″ round layers and frosted it with lemon buttercream. People raved. And I have another very strong vote for making sure that your syrup is hot when you go to put it onto the cakes. I had to bake the layers in batches because I only have two pans (I got 4 layers, fyi). The first two came out of the oven just as the syrup was finishing up on the stove. I let the layers cool for ~10 minutes, then put on syrup with a spoon and it soaked right in, no problem. Then the syrup sat on the stove cooling off until the second batch of layers came out of the oven, and it was thick and cool when I went to put it on the 3rd and 4th layers. It wouldn’t soak in at all. So I popped it back on the stove, heated it up, and it soaked right in without a problem.

  143. Ingrid

    I took the cake out of the bund cake form, poured the sauce in there, lined up the cake with the form and plopped it back in there. Absorbtion issue solved

  144. Deb Ebner

    I have made something similar, but in a bread pan. For that recipe, you use a wooden skewer to poke holes in the bread and then pour the syrup onto it. Let it soak in the pan before removing it and adding the glaze. I’m going to try this method because I’ve been wanting to make the lemon bread as a bundt cake and I think this recipe will work.

  145. I made this cake quite a while ago, and never commented for some reason, as I’d meant to. This cake was DELICIOUS. I read some of the comments before making it and poured on the lemon syrup right after bringing it out of the oven, so I didn’t have any of the sogginess issues some others seemed to have had. Like I said, it turned out perfect! I made mine in two loaf pans and gave one to a friend, who loved it too. Here’s the link to my blog post featuring this recipe:

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  146. Jackie

    I used a pastry brush to blot the syrup onto the cake. This is my first time making the cake and I haven’t tried it yet, but I can say that cake absorbed the syrup very well. No poking of holes in the cake is necessary with this method.

  147. Victoria Solomon

    Just made this cake for Easter dinner. I cooked it in two bread loaf pans — one was a bit smaller than the other, and when I took the cakes out, the bigger one fell a tiny bit in the middle! Oops. A bundt pan would have been better, so I’ll be purchasing one of those soon. I poured the warm syrup (not hot) directly onto the cakes in the pan when they came out of the oven. I let it sit for five minutes and the cakes absorbed up all of the syrup. Then I flipped them out onto a big tray and the syrup stayed inside the cake. Thanks for the great recipe!

  148. Mike

    Just finished baking this cake. Used a bundt pan and just poured the syrup right onto the cake while it was still in the pan. Let it sit a while and plopped it out. All the syrup was absorbed :)

  149. Mary

    I made this tonight…wow…it is DELICIOUS!! This recipe is a keeper…I also made your oatmeal cookies and they are a keeper too. :) Thank you!!

  150. Kim Lawrence

    While working on your cooking and blog site, know when to write “it’s” and “its” and know which is which…just saying

    1. deb

      Hi Kim — Are you saying there was a typo? There are over 800 recipe posts with an average of 1200 words each in them on this site. It happens. I appreciate your letting me know, however, as I like to fix these things as soon as I see them.

  151. Michael

    I made this cake about 2 hours ago. Simply D E L I C I O U S !!, I must say. I opted not to make the glaze and syrup. This cake has just the right amount of sweetness and lemon-y taste (to me) w/out the addition of the glaze and syrup mixture. The crumb is perfect! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!!

  152. Jamie O

    Hum, I have a Duncan Hinds Tiara Pan from way back when. I wonder if this cake would work well in that. I think I’ll try it tomorrow.

  153. Lucy

    Thought i’d share the lemon cake my Mum’s been baking since i was a girl – it’s Mary Berry, who is the queen of traditional cakes, and the best thing is, there isn’t the the-syrup’s-not-absorbing-madness because it’s made with granulated sugar, not icing sugar, so the syrup doesn’t ‘solidify’ – instead, as it cools, the lemon juice sinks in and moistens the cake, and the sugar forms this incredible crunchy sweet topping on top that i defy you not to save until last, because it’s so gooood! Enjoy!

  154. Lia

    Just made this cake but tweaked the syrup with a recipe from It uses thyme and ginger, though I subbed in lemon juice for the water it called for. It turned out wonderful! I used the loaf pans and it seemed to allow the syrup to absorb pretty well.

  155. Kristen

    I worked in a tea room that served a chocolate bundt that was infused with something. The chef left the cake in the bundt pan and poked holes, poured the syrup on and let it sit for a while before inverting it onto the cake stand and glazing. This cake looks great and I’m going to try it soon! Thanks for all the great recipes and ideas.

  156. Elizabeth

    Oh my goodness, I just have to tell you that I made this about two months ago and baked them in loaf pans. I ate one of the loaves within a few days, and froze the other. It is the perfect solution for a dessert for me, because my partner is wheat-free and I still want my wheaty-goodness! It slices easily even frozen, and so I can eat one piece at a time and return the rest to the freezer. I just ate a piece from the ones I made two months ago and then remembered to comment here. :-)

    Also. I have made the accidental discovery that you can actually wait until the cake is baked to add the lemon juice. All of the lemon juice. Just pour it over the top while the cakes are still in the pan. Still delicious. :-)

  157. julie

    Hi there! May have been too long but i made this YUM-azing cake last night for a party today. It was outstanding. I’m not sure how long you baked yours? I baked this about thirty three minutes..until a cake tester *juuuuust* came out clean, then let it cool in the pan about three minutès. I put parchmeñt on a cooling rack and tipped the cake out then used a turkey baster to distribute the syrup over a baking sheet. ALOT of it was left but alot went in also. Im thinking maybe cook time had something to do with it? Anyway…was moist and delicious. Thank you.

  158. Steph

    You’ve probably long since solved your absorption problem by now. . . it’s funny, though, because I’ve struggled with the opposite! I used to make a great lemon pound cake that included lemon yogurt. The glaze was something crazy like 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice; I was always frustrated that it all just disappeared inside the cake. So you might try upping the amount of liquid for better absorption. Just a thought!

  159. Carol

    I made this in loaf form for a friend’s birthday this weekend and it was wonderful! A bit of summery flavor to distract from all of this michigan snow.

    My 5 year old daughter made the sweetest comment. She thinks I should work for Smitten Kitchen, because I have lots of good recipes to share. I think that means she likes your recipes AND my cooking – a compliment for us both. :)

  160. Cassie Beckett

    This recipe is delicious! I just harvested 23 Meyer lemons off my Northern Nevada winter indoor tree and made it in loaf pans so I could ship one to DC and one to Hawaii for birthday surprises. I’ve made it with regular lemons and found I needed to zest more Meyer lemons (I stopped at 10!) as the skin is softer and thinner, so used about 1/4 cup zest but it was still tart and yummy! This ships well, chilled it outside(36 degrees), wrapped it saran wrap, then foil, then sealed bag, and shipped them coast to islands, and 3 days later reported to be moist, and ever so tasty!
    Thanks to my daughter for sharing this recipe and giving me the cookbook for Christmas!

  161. Tiffany

    For the lemon glaze…my family always uses 1 can minute maid frozen lemonade, juice of 1 lemon squeezed in and a touch of lemon zest – 1 1/2 boxes (1.5 1bs) powdered sugar- whisk it on the stove until warm/smooth texture- not long – then glaze the cake right from the oven – while both are warm- never fails!! You will have enough glaze for 2 cakes!

  162. Tiffany

    For the lemon glaze…my family always uses 1 can frozen lemonade, juice of 1 lemon squeezed in and a touch of lemon zest – 1 1/2 boxes (1.5 1bs) powdered sugar- whisk it on the stove until warm/smooth texture- not long – then glaze the cake right from the oven – while both are warm- never fails!! You will have enough glaze for 2 cakes!

  163. Anna Claassen

    My daughter was at a conference in New York City last year (I believe it was connected with Women’s Health) and you were in attendance. She is a professional Rock Climber and has long been a fan of yours (check out her new website She returns to Colorado tomorrow after her international tour ( to support women and children across the globe. I have made your lemon cake for her homecoming and added blueberries. It looks fabulous! I think she will be excited that you are a part of her homecoming! I made adjustments for altitude and it looks perfect! Thank you for inspiring not only Paige, but her mom, too!
    Anna Claassen

  164. Seekrit

    I make this cake for my children’s birthdays but I don’t add the glaze, I bake it in 2 round cake pans and frost it with cream cheese frosting. Everyone loves it.

    1. Do you, by chance, remember at what temperature & for how long you baked this recipe, using round pans? I’d like to replicate this for my friend’s birthday this weekend. Been scouring the comment section and web for more information, but haven’t had any luck! :)

      1. deb

        I’d bake it at the same temperature. For the cake pans, it’s hard to guess but it never hurts to check in at 20 minutes and then every 5 minutes after if it’s not set yet. Most cake layers range from 20 to 35 minutes, longer for a deeper one.

      2. Lillie Kline

        I want to make this as a layer cake! Did you try it? I want to frost it with cream cheese icing but I’m worried it won’t adhere well because of the syrup.

  165. Vanessa

    Deb, I made this recipe last week and it got rave reviews from all who tasted it! Great lemony flavor. I’m even bringing dessert to a dinner and my suggested that I make this.

  166. Teresa

    I was reading some of the responses about how to get the lemon syrup in the cake after baking. I bought a hair pick to make tiny little holes, pour the syrup on the cake when it comes out of the oven and it gets the result I want, moist cake!

  167. scott

    Try adding the syrup while the cake just out of the oven is hot and the lemon syrup is hot pour the syrup into the pan over the cake and let it soak in then remove from pan when cooled

  168. Pam

    When you’re pouring or spooning a glaze over a cake, my sister came up with using an uncooked strand of spaghetti. It pokes smaller holes thereby you can make more holes and more syrup gets inside the cake, the holes go all the way to the bottom of the cake which makes the entire cake moist and the holes made by a knife are just too big. I must confess, one time my spaghetti strand broke in half, I wasn’t being very careful, but no one ever found the broken uncooked spaghetti strand. It must have been absorbed! Hope this is helpful.

  169. amy

    Try 3 cups of sugar, using 2 1/2 cups in the batter. I did this by accident the fist time I made this cake by Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten, and went back to this after making the cake correctly the second time. I always get rave reviews when I take this cake places. I do like the idea of a bundt cake rather than two loaf pans!

  170. Tareq

    Try inverting the cake, poking holes in the bottom with a skewer and then pouring on the syrup. Long time baker’s approach to moistening a cake with sugar syrup.

  171. samee

    it is just a cake and we get so stressed out how it should be glazed the right way… WHY?!?!? life is so short and here we are discussing how to do it right… DUHHHH

  172. Michele

    I’m not sure if anyone suggested this because of the many comments listed, but you could slice a layer below the top of the cake and spoon the syrup onto the cake part. Then, replace the layer and drizzle the glaze over that…Just a thought. Poking holes would work, too!

  173. Renna

    Pour the glaze in the pan, bundt or otherwise, then return the warm partly cooked cake. Let rest 1-2 hours then turn out!!!!
    Luscious….I do this all the time with mine!

  174. Josh

    Hi Deb,

    I’ve done this recipe a number of times and it has become my go-to cake recipe. I always do it as a bundt. I didn’t have much of a problem getting the syrup into the cake the first time. I let it cool, popped it out of the pan, and poked holes in the top. I put the syrup in the bottom of the bundt pan and re-inserted the cake into the pan and allowed it to absorb that way.
    The second time, I misaligned the cake and broke it in half trying to get it back in the pan, which led to much frustration, some cursing, and giving up on the syrup.
    Moving forward, I think I will release the cake from the pan and immediately put it back in. Poke the holes in the bottom of the cake and ladel the syrup from the bottom.
    Best of luck! Love this cake!

  175. Maria

    My five-year old daughter and I just won second place in our town’s annual baking contest with this cake! It’s a big favorite with the seven-year old for tea parties, too. Thanks for a great family staple and some happy summer memories!

    And if anyone’s keeping track, we use a chopstick to poke holes in the bottom of the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven and then spoon the hot syrup all over the bottom; wait 5 minutes and turn it out onto a rack to finish cooling. Fast and easy!

  176. Sandra

    Did the same as Amy and used 2.5 cups of sugar in the batter. It was sweet but still delicious. Used Meyer lemons for zest and juice. Took to an end-of-the-summer party and was asked for the recipe 3 times. Next time I will try poking holes in the bottom for spooning the juice, too!
    Awesome recipe!

  177. Lee Haas Norris

    Forget the lemon glaze entirely. Use Mark Bittman’s buttercream frosting, substituting lemon juice for the cream or milk. Just as lemony as the glaze, easier to apply, and looks enormously festive–perfect for the tart lemon lover with a birthday.

  178. Darlene

    Has anyone converted this recipe into grams or ounces. Just a weight measurement for the flour would help. I would like to have consistant results EVERY time, and weighing my ingredients is so much more accurate. Thanks for any help – this is to be a gift for a special friend and I would like it as perfect as possible.

  179. eva

    We have a lemon blueberry cake-bread recipe that’s been handed down for generations. After baking but while warm (not crazy hot), you poke holes in the top of the cake and the pour warm lemon-sugar mixture over it very slowly so it sinks in. Maybe if it was a two-part process – the holes+warm lemon-sugar mixture, then when cool, ice just for icing’s sake, not for moisture. That’s what I’d try, and my family has produced some amazing genius cooks through the years.

  180. Susan

    I made this last night in bundt form. After reading many of the reviews I poured half the syrup on fresh out of the oven then let it cool for 10 minutes then flipped it over. I should have known there would be trouble when all that wonderful syrup pooled on the edges and around the center thingy. Yep, it stuck and tore off chunks when I flipped it over. I poured the rest of the syrup over the torn bits, pieced it together and let it cool. Since I had committed to taking it to work today I found a pretty bowl to flip it back in and then glazed it as it was. I presented it with humor today and it was devoured in no time! It really is delicious. I will make again but I’ll be safe and not go the bundt route this time.

  181. Laura M

    I made this in bundt form and did the bottom-of-hot-cake-hole-syrup trick that some commenters recommended, and it worked beautifully! Also used a basting brush to apply some of the syrup to the top crust (in small amounts) to soak in before glazing it. Nice sweet crispy crust and moist interior! In my convection oven on 350F it only took about 45 minutes.

  182. Laura M

    Oh, P.S. to the note above: I used a wooden kabob stick to poke the holes (nice and long, reaches down to the other side of the cake easily!) and I subbed some orange zest and juice because I didn’t have enough lemons on hand.

  183. Jennifer

    I don’t know if this would work on your cake here, but I make a prune cake with a very similar glaze step, but it is poured over the hot cakes right in the cake pans. It bubbles and spurts but the heat helps distribute it throughout the cake.
    I might just try this and see.

  184. MaryMcC

    Ooohhh. This is not your fault, not at all. Hurrying thru the recipe, I was, and failed to notice some of the divided ingredients. Grrr. So I thought I’d ask, very humbly, if you’d consider putting “, divided” after these, in future, to help out twits like me?
    It’s a lovely recipe, and I sm sure mine will turn out fine…

  185. frog

    I made these (and the everyday chocolate cake, and the dreamy cream scones, amongst other things) for my sister’s bridal shower this past Saturday. And the whole time I was making them, late Friday night, after a long, intense day in the kitchen, I was thinking, “there are a lot of steps to these… this is kind of a pain in the neck… they had better be frickin’ worth all of this.”

    And lo and behold, they were! I should know better than to doubt you by now :)
    Well received at the shower, and my coworkers are loving the leftover loaf at work this morning. The syrup I just applied with a spoon? Very slowly drizzled. A lot ran off, but enough absorbed to help keep the second loaf moist and delicious, even two days later. Will definitely be making these again – well worth the effort.

    The chocolate cake was also well worth the three stores I had to go to before I found the dutch cocoa – so intensely chocolatey! Freezes perfectly! And the cream scones even impressed my mother, who is an excellent baker herself, so thanks for that sense of accomplishment! Couldn’t have pulled it off without your excellent recipes.

  186. CJ

    Could this be converted into a layer cake for birthday purposes? I ask because I haven’t found a lemon/lime layer cake on this site. Deb, the cake that you have posted in response to this question in the past is not itself a lemon flavored cake, but a yellow cake with lemon glaze, and that won’t work for the lime-loving machine that is my husband. If I did try to make this into a layer cake without any modifications, what would happen? Also, what frosting would you recommend?

  187. deb

    CJ — I don’t see why not, although as a pound cake-style cake, it might be a little sturdier than your standard yellow layer cake. I’m not sure I completely followed your second part, about the yellow cake with lemon glaze (this is of course a cake with a lemon glaze too, though no reason not to use lime in place of lemon in most cases). A cream cheese frosting might be nice, or a vanilla buttercream.

  188. CJ

    Thanks for the quick response Deb! Sorry for the confusing comment – I meant that I need a cake recipe that has lemon (or in my case, lime) in both the cake AND the curd (which I’ve decided to add as a layer for this birthday cake). I think I’ll try this with a whipped cream frosting and I’ll cut the cake into several layers to balance out its weightiness. I’m excited to try it! Thanks for posting such great recipes!

  189. Sarah

    Has this been said already? I doubt this is original, with over 200 comments before mine, but I always put syrup on with a pastry brush. It takes a little more time than pouring but all the syrup is always absorbed that way. And I poke holes for good measure. This cake is awesome. If I serve it for Easter I even candy some lemon slices for the top, just to gild the lily.

  190. Mark Boxshus

    Hi Deb…….LONG LONG time no chat, share or collaborate. I’ve made this cake in bundt form, and applied the glaze to the still quite warm cake with a small paint brush. Slowly painting over the surface, patiently and repeatedly until most of the lemony syrup was absorbed. Then 3-4 hours later, I applied the majestic lemon cape and voila……….a lemony moment in Nirvana. Hope this helps! Let me know……

    Mark……..Formerly online as Boscoe the Cookie Doctor. “someone stole my domain when I wasn’t looking!

  191. emma

    how to make do in central america when you don’t want to spend $50 on a full-size bundt pan and the shop has a half-size for only $10… half the batter in mini-bundt, half in a 9-inch round…. i’ll stack them in the cake carrying plate for traveling to the birthday party. and then i didn’t read carefully enough during early morning baking and added the full 2.5 cups of sugar to the batter. whoops. so i bumped up the rest of the stuff a tiny scootch as well and hoped for the best. very full upon baking but damn those tiny stuck bits that i scraped out tasted delicious.

    my version of the notorious syrup infusion for any it might help (i know i read all the comments before starting!) – i poked holes with my cake tester all over and then used a silicone pastry brush (with the rectangular bristles on the inside that have holes in them to hold more liquid) and brushed the syrup over the tops of the cakes until it was all gone. worked pretty well. then the waiting ten minutes and inverting onto a cooling rack. i’ll put them on the cake plate before glazing but so far they look great!

  192. I make a similar cake in a 9 x 13 pan. When it comes out of the oven I poke holes with a chopstick and spoon syrup over. I serve it with lemon yogurt and lemon curd mixed. Delicious.

  193. Jenny

    Like another poster, I had issues with this cake burning on the sides before it got done in the middle or browned on top. My oven temperature (I have a thermometer) is accurate, and I followed all the other instructions to a T. A bit frustrating since I used a decorative pan and now I’ll have to scrape all the pretty parts off to get the singe off. What can I do to prevent this in the future?

    1. deb

      Jenny — I’m surprised this is happened, as 350 is pretty standard for cakes and bundts, however, this matters less than how to avoid it: bake it at 325 next time. It will take a little longer, but lower temperatures are always the solution when a cake gets too dark on the outside before it’s baked in the middle.

  194. Alison from Texas

    I bake this cake every year with the Meyer Lemons I grow from my own tree. I bought the tree from Loews…put it in a large pot next to a sunny location and what a crop of lemons I grow! Each lemon is huge and so fresh. I recommend buying a lemon tree to anyone who loves to cook. A $25 tree produces about 30-40 lemons each year.

  195. kat

    I made this for a birthday this weekend. It was delicious and especially bright and lovely on a rainy night. I put about 1/2 of the hot syrup on hot cake while still in the bundt pan, and then flipped the cake out and brushed/poured the rest on. It absorbed just fine and was totally delicious. I may have measured poorly, but ended up with a lot more powdered sugar glaze than I needed. Boo hoo, not a bad problem to have…. Another keeper!

  196. CAbaker59

    @Jenny: Several possibilities as to cause of overbaked exterior:
    1. Dark or anodized pan absorbs and retains more heat. Cakes bake from outside inward. Too hot a pan will cause the exterior to set and bake too fast. Reduce temperature by 25 degrees and start checking for doneness 10 minutes before recipe indicates.
    2. Too much fat was used to grease the pan. After liberally greasing the pan, brush over the interior with a pastry brush to remove excess and ensure there is no build up of fat in the nooks and crannies.
    3. Flour protein is too high (“strong” flour). Higher protein flours will have more Maillard reaction than lower protein flour. Maillard reaction is the caramelization that happens when heat is applied to sugar, proteins, amino acids, or peptides. Flours for cakes should have a protein content at 10% or lower. All purpose flour proteins vary by brand. For instance, King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour has a protein content of 11.7%–much to high for a cake. Gold Medal and Pillsbury are 10.5%. Cake flours are between 8-9%. Low protein flour also makes a more tender cake.
    4. Too much sugar in the recipe–the higher the sugar content, the more intense the maillard reaction.

  197. Marie

    I used this cake recipe as a base for a blueberry poke cake. Instead of the lemon glaze to absorb into the cake, I made a blueberry syrup then poked the cake with a chopstick and injected the syrup into the holes with a turkey baster. It looks pretty, tastes delish, and completely avoids any absorption issues :D

    I assume you could do the same with the lemon glaze – the sugar glaze covers the holes nicely.

  198. Fran Silverman

    Baking recipes usually call for large eggs. This recipe calls for extra large eggs. When I made this, I used four large eggs and it came out fine. But, should I have added an additional large egg or the yolk or white of an additional large egg.

    1. deb

      I don’t usually bother but you can. Technically speaking, 4 to 5 extra-large = 5 large eggs, so it’s on the fence whether you need another. Btw, the extra-large egg is an Ina Garten thing. She uses them exclusively in her recipes and it drives the rest of us bakers crazy. ;)

  199. Molly

    Good morning Deb,
    Have you tried this again and have you had any more luck with the icing? I’m going to make it this weekend for a Christmas Tea and thought I’d check!
    Absolutely love your blog and recipes. My husband can’t get enough of your whole grain potatoes I made him last month!


  200. Shelly

    Made these as loaf cakes today, other than over baking them a few minutes and letting them get too dark they turned out great. I poured the syrup over them while they still sat in the tins, let them sit a few minutes then took them out of the pans … no excess syrup, it had all absorbed and the cakes did not fall apart. I will be glazing these only to try to take away from the darkness as they are for a bake sale tomorrow otherwise I would leave the glaze off.

  201. Jen

    Hi Deb,
    I have a trick for getting this bundt cake to absorb the lemon syrup. I poked holes all over the cake surface with a toothpick while letting it cool for 20 minutes in the pan. I then inverted it on a plate to make sure it would come out. I covered the cake with the bundt cake pan and flipped it back in. Then I slowly spooned all of the lemon syrup onto the still warm cake. The harder baked edge around the cake formed a natural border that prevented the syrup from slipping off the sides of the cake. It all soaked in and not a drop was lost. Hope this trick will help you next time you make the lemon cake. :-)

    1. Michelle

      I’m in the middle of making this cake tonight. I followed your technique and used a pasty brush for the syrup. It soaked right in. Thanks!

  202. Lamia AbiSamra

    Holey moley. As I was making this, all I could think was how beautiful of a batter it was. This is my first pound cake, but good god. So luscious.
    I streamlined dishes by: pre-cracking the eggs into one of the level measuring cups already used; mixing the buttermilk & lemon right into a graduated glass measuring cup; using the bowl of ingredients to whisk together the final glaze/icing. With these steps, plus the freezer stash of zest and lemon juice from our backyard harvest, the cake came together quite easily.
    I did not have buttermilk, so I used plain whole-fat yogurt, thinned out with a bit of milk. I followed others’ recommendations to poke holes in the bottom to soak up syrup, which worked well.
    One hiccup is that my cakes did stick quite a bit to the plate as they cooled. I was able to mostly save one by using a thin spatula to scrape up the detached hunks and replace them. Next time, I’ll try slipping a piece of parchment underneath during the syrup-ing phase and see if that helps maintain a clean top. I can’t wait to dig into this for dessert today!

  203. Karen Thorne

    Ridiculously good. Worth the effort. It’s amazing on it’s own, but Inwould still use less drizzle. Drowned a bit in it. Another keeper.

  204. Jill

    I just made a cake very similar to this one but with blueberries in it. I did poke the cake all over with a toothpick and brushed the lemon syrup. I did not try to brush it on all at once but let things soak in for five minutes then brushed again and kept that up until I ran out of syrup. I had very little puddled at the bottom. And I just spoke to my brother who received the leftover cake and he commented how lemony the outer “crust” of the cake was. I did not make a thicker glaze but dusted the cake with powdered sugar. I thought the whole thing was pretty yummy!

  205. Yet another Anna

    Have you tried Lisa Yockelson’s Ultra Lemon cake? It has a lemon soaking glaze that’s thin and watery (but very lemony) and a lemony pouring glaze that’s more of an icing. It’s my go-to super moist lemon cake, but I don’t make it often because we eat it entirely too fast.

    The recipe sounds complex,(make your own lemon sugar, really?) but the end result is totally worth it.

  206. Christine H

    I have the same kind of love affair with Ina’s other version of this—the Lemon Yogurt Cake in her At Home cookbook. It also calls for spooning syrup over the turned out loaf. However, I decided it absorbed better and faster if I, 1) left the loaf in the pan, 2) poked holes in the top with a wooden skewer, then, 3) spooned the warm syrup over the top. It still takes some time & patience, but the moister cake is worth it. Now I’m seriously considering something like a meat injection syringe! Haha!
    Thanks for your cooking inspiration!

  207. nonnawynne

    I need to weigh in. We make a very similar cake in our family. 3 cubes butter, 3 cups sugar, 5 eggs, zest from 3-4 lemons, 3 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt and bp., 1 cup whole milk, 1 T. vanilla. We bake in a bundt pan. 325 for 70-80 minutes. While it bakes we juice lemons – 3/4 cup and mix with 1 lb. powdered sugar. When the cake is done we let it sit on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, invert and then put back in pan. We poke a million holes deep into the cake with a wooden skewer and pour all but 1/2 cup of lemon/sugar mixture over the cake. It soaks for a minimum of 6 hours. We then invert onto a serving plate and slowly spoon remaining lemon/sugar mixture over top. I’ll have to try the buttermilk/lemon juice version to see if it is as good as ours.

  208. shirtshop21

    Look at KAF lemon bliss cake recipe. It has a glaze & icing. Ive made it & had no issues with the glaze & icing. It is a keeper.

  209. cicatricella

    I’ve been making variations of this cake for my whole baking life (it’s always my birthday cake, was my non-vegan, gluten-full wedding cake [I had 3] {long story})

    I find the two things that help to get the lemon glaze to absorb into the cake as well as glaze it are to make sure to pour it on when the cake is still *hot* and also to stab the cake judiciously with a skewer to create glaze-penetration portals.

  210. Donna Easter

    I placed my cake on a cooling rack with waxed paper underneath and drizzled the glaze over it and then transferred it to a plate. No cementing to anything ..

  211. Katie

    I watched a video on Martha’s website where she makes a lemon bundt cake.

    I checked her recipe, and I copied her instructions below. She has the step of poking holes, and notes that it is a COOLED cake, not a hot out of the oven cake. Ina’s lemon cake is in the oven now- I’m going to try Martha’s technique on Ina’s cake.

    “Poke holes all over the cooled cake, and brush with lemon syrup. If the cake does not absorb all the syrup at once, allow to sit about 20 minutes before continuing to brush with any remaining syrup.”

  212. Sandra

    Recipe says “5. When cakes are done, let them cool 10 minutes. Invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon lemon syrup over cakes. Let cakes cool completely.”

    So, I think the cake should be upside down when you’re pouring lemon syrup over it. I did it like this and the syrup absorbed perfectly into the bottom of the cake. Now I’m still waiting for the cake to cool completely so I can turn it back up the right way round and drizzle it with lemon icing. So things could still go wrong….

  213. Sherley Keith

    Deb, I agree that Ina’s lemon cake is one of the best cakes in the world, and I’m excited to try it in Bundt form. I’ve never made it in any form other than the humble and less interesting loaf form, but that iteration does seem to absorb the lemon syrup quite well. Perhaps it’s the steeper curve of the cake and the inevitability of gravity that make it pool at the bottom rather than soaking in. Just a thought.

  214. Kristi L

    Made this cake for a family gathering and everyone loved it. The cake is intensely lemon, and I found myself wondering about a cream cheese frosting instead of the icing. The flavor reminded me of my grandmother’s lemon bars.

    1. Kristi L

      Also, made as a bundt and at 45 minutes I covered thecake with foil and baked for a further 15 minutes. The cake rose proud of the pan and, thankfully, didn’t run out of the pan.

  215. Judy

    Hi, Deb – I’m very late to comment on this, but I too made Ina’s lemon cake and had lots of syrup running down onto the plate. I just looked at my grandmother’s recipe for lemon cake (from the 30’s!) which I used to make lots of times and never had a problem with syrup not absorbing. Her technique is similar to what others have suggested here: Put the syrup on 5 minutes BEFORE you take the cake out of the oven. As soon as you take it out, baste with any (small) amount that collects around the edges. Her recipe was for the loaf pan – it might be harder with the Bundt but still might work at least for the bottom half, and then you could baste the top immediately after you take it out of the pan; and use the poke holes method too.

  216. Susan

    My mother has made a cake like this for years-and to get the glaze to absorb she pokes the cake all over with a very fine cake tester-it’s metal and is smaller around Than a toothpick and is probably 7 inches long so it will go all the way down into the cake-but you won’t be able to see the holes later
    Love your recipes and your writing-and I was a journalism major… Thank you!

  217. I have made Ina Garte’s lemon pound cake more times than I care to think about. Every time in loaf pans, so that ,yes, I get one for just my family. When the cake comes out of the pan, I leave it upside-don on a rack and stab it many times with a skewer. Do not have problems with absorption of lemon syrup. Hope this is not too simple an answer. BTW, one time I forgot and totally burned the lemon syrup to a crust. When I peeled it of the pan. Said pan was cleaner and shinier than ever before!

  218. Wendy

    I think this cake might soak up the syrup better if you poked it with the handle end of a wooden spoon. I’ve only seen this done in Texas and Oklahoma, but it sure does help the syrup soaking. Have you tried that?

  219. Lily

    This cake a little time consuming but following all the steps is SO. WORTH. IT! I have made this cake several times (in a bundt pan) and it’s always delicious.

    My trick for the glaze is to brush it on, rather than spoon it on. It works great. I’ll usually go around the cake a couple times, wait a while and come back for another couple rounds. I tried spooning on the glaze a few times and even with pricking the cake with a fork, it didn’t work for me either.

    Again, love this cake! And it looks so charming in a cake stand, too.

  220. Bella Ben-Shach

    I made this cake yesterday. I used 5 large eggs (instead of 4 xl) and poked holes with a toothpick before putting on the syrup (per other people’s suggestions). WOW this cake is SOOO good! Thank you so much for the recipe!!

  221. Valerie Batey

    Not sure how this important step got lost in the recipe! I’ve been making this since I was a little kid, and one of the most fun parts of making this cake is using a thin bamboo skewer to poke holes in the cake right before you put the glaze over and then watching as the glaze disappears into the cake!

  222. Sandra Kramer

    Do you have something like this lemon cake for Passover? My family love it and I would like to give it a try. I do not keep kosher, but wouldn’t serve a regular cake for a Seder.

  223. Kathe

    This cake is definitely one every baker should have. It does travel well and if need be change it up by adding poppy seeds or blue berries. I hadn’t made it for a long time and made it 2 weeks ago. Absolutely wonderful. Helps chase the winter blues away! Thank you for reminding us of this one

  224. Gail

    Just put the Lemon Cake in the oven. What an I to do with the extra 1/2 cup of lemon juice? The recipe calls for 3/4 in the ingredients and 1/4 in the directions.

  225. Lori

    Hello! I make this cake, in loaf pan form, regularly – it’s a family favorite! I cook down the lemon syrup until it’s thick and then brush it on with a silicone pastry brush. The cake absorbs the syrup perfectly every time!

  226. Liz Meier

    I also prefer to make this cake in a bundt pan, it just seems more attractive to me. I use a silicone basting brush to get the syrup to soak in. Although, I must admit that it is time consuming as heck. The last few tablespoons always get dumped on as my lack of patience gets the best of me. The process does seem to go faster once the top has been moistened a bit. I agree with you, this cake is definitely top 10. I would like to find out what you think are the 9 others are…just hoping to find something amazing and new. Love you website and blog. Keep up the fantastic work!!

  227. Sheri

    Hey pal, I used the pointy end of a chopstick to punch wee holes in the cake and it drank the lemon syrup up faster than a thirsty drunk.

    1. deb

      It should be fine but the flavor might get strong. I might use some olive and some of a neutral oil (vegetable, canola, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, etc.)

  228. Nancy W

    Hello- if I am making two bundt cakes, should I make them one at a time? Or is it okay to double the recipe and bake them together? 50th birthday dessert for 20 people!

    1. deb

      Depends on your oven but it should be fine, just move them around (top to bottom, rotating) a couple times to make sure they’re baking evenly.

  229. Allie

    Made this yesterday to enjoy today for Father’s Day. Served to adults and kids, all with varying tastes. It was loved by all. This cake is OUTRAGEOUS. Dare I say my favorite cake I’ve ever made? Cakes are one thing that I find typically taste better when someone else makes them for you. Not the case here. It was objectively delicious. The family has all gone home and I’m dreaming of the slice I’m absolutely going to eat for breakfast.

  230. Lena

    The Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake is one of my favorites and for the past year I have tried various recipes to make my own. Most of them were not lemony enough, or the lemon juice tasted odd after baking (too sweet). This recipe is the most similar; not as dense, but overall a lot better since it is fresh. All the zesting is so worth it! The first time I made it lemons were over $1 each, and even then it was worth it. Like others suggested, I use a basting brush for step 5 and dab it on. It’s usually enough to cover the cake twice. The hot cake (inverted on a cooling rack) has absorbed the hot syrup every time I’ve made it without having to poke it. Several times, I have served it after that step with powdered sugar and skipped the glaze, but to get the nice thick Starbucks-like glaze, I use powdered sugar, water and lemon oil (not lemon juice!).

    This and the double chocolate banana cake from this site are now my favorite bundt/loaf cakes that I make frequently.

  231. Hanna

    I have been making this cake for children´s birthdays for quite some while, but last time, I miscalculated and used only half the recommended amount of sugar. Surprisingly it did not affect the consistency, baking time or taste recognicable to anyone who knew it and had a piece.
    I also feel it is entirely unnecessary to stab the poor cake, the sirup is absorbed very well by the still hot, turned cake as is.
    Thanks for all your awesome recipies! Love and use your site frequently.

  232. Karen

    I slowly poured the warm syrup over the cake-I made a bundt cake-after it had cooled 10 minutes in the pan. It came out of the pan perfectly. It is deliciously moist!

  233. Cheryl

    Actually got a cookbook from a thrift store whereby someone left a recipe card and letter inside the book for a Golden Bacardi Rum Cake which uses a standard “yellow cake” mix that requires spooning Bacardi Rum and sugar syrup down side of cake after it is baked, (also uses a Bundt pan) but the woman wrote on the card that she removed the cake from the pan, than pour the syrup in the Bundt pan, than put the cake back into the pan. This worked well and the syrup is pushed up the sides of the pan when cake is re-inserted gentle back into pan, thus left to absorb for a couple of minutes.

    Since pan was already greased and floured, it shouldn’t stick.

  234. Susan

    best lemon drizzle cake recipe ever, moist and fragrant. tried Mary Berry’s and one from bbcgoodfood (which has over 1600 positive reviews), and this wins hands down. i used meyer lemons, which probably brought this up to another level. i skipped the glaze as it was already very sweet with the syrup.

  235. Hey Deb, I know this is an “old” recipe for you, but you did ask if anyone had a a trick for the basting! I love this cake, but I too, was frustrated at the way the syrup just ran off the cake.

    My solution? Flip it upside down. The bottom of the cake is not as “crusty” or as smooth, and as long as you take a little time, it will absorb the syrup without a hitch.

    Thanks for 12 years of a kickass blog. =)

  236. Iris

    I made this last night. It was delicious! I read the tips about pouring the syrup and had no issues. As soon as I took the Bundt cake out of the oven, I put it on a rack (right-side up) over a baking sheet and started making the syrup. When the syrup was done, I poked holes in the top of the cake using a metal skewer (about half-way through). The syrup was absorbed completely. The cake was a huge hit at dinner. The orange chocolate chunk cake sounds fantastic too and may be next on the list of cakes to try.

  237. Amy H

    Made this cake yesterday as my mom requested a lemon pound cake for her 80th birthday :) It was DELICIOUS… but I failed to note that I was to add only 2C of sugar to the batter, and reserve another 1/2C for the syrup! I did catch myself after I creamed butter and sugar and went ahead anyway, and then I was more careful with the lemon juice. I know, I’m supposed to read through the whole recipe and then remember what I’ve read, fully appreciating all the details. BUT… would you please just add “(divided)” in a little teensy note in parentheses after ingredients that go in at different places or times? It would be so helpful!

    1. I did the same thing! I’ve made this cake a few times, and more than once I’ve either added too much sugar, or used all of the rest of my lemon juice for the syrup without any left to make a glaze. All of my wayward variations have turned out beautifully, but I would love to see an ingredient list split up into three parts with quantities for the batter, syrup and the glaze. I do really appreciate you revisiting this recipe and giving your tips! Loved your feature in the NYT the other week :-)

      1. catherine

        I just took this cake out of the oven and realized I used all the lemon juice in the cake batter. Oh well I guess this one is not going to have syrup or lemon flavored icing. :(

  238. Erika

    This cake was fantastic. I poked a bunch of holes with my cake tester and slowly drizzled the syrup by the spoonful with the cake on a rack over tinfoil covered sheet pan, then just poured the syrup back in the cup and drizzled again. After about four times I had less than a teaspoon of syrup unused. Everyone loved it. Subbed margarine for butter as my family does not tolerate dairy well. This might be a perfect gift cake – travels well, not temp sensitive, and still tastes good a week later.

  239. Lee Rosenthal

    My solution? two 8 X 8 pans. Or a loaf pan. Line them with parchment paper, with extensions on the sides to lift out. Then poke holes in the top and glaze while warm. After a time, when cool, really cool, lift from pans using parchment paper handles, carefully. Add more glaze as a kind of icing.

    The advantage of the 8 X 8 is that it is not as deep as a loaf so the glaze penetrates more.

    LOL (lots of lemon), L

  240. I’ve made this cake as a “Margarita” cake. Use lemon and lime zest in the cake, add tequila to the syrup, and tequila to the glaze. I’ve even topped it with flake salt! Delicious!

  241. Kathie

    Unfortunately this doesn’t work as a bundt, I was weary when she told us to patch,Emy the cake sheets, but tried anyway. I used A LOT of non stick spray and flour, but 1/2 the cake stuck. I’ve never had a cake stick to this pan bf. super bummer. It’s delicious but skip the bundt

    1. jdany3

      Kathie, I’ve had similar results with a chocolate bundt I made once, and haven’t made one since. So I’m definitely hesitant to make this one as a bundt. I’m curious what the solution is, as it doesn’t seem like other people have had that problem? Would love some tips!

  242. Tamara

    It is my go to recipe for the lemon season. Made it on many family gathering and everyone loves it. It is moist and not overly sweet. Definitely my only recipe for a lemon bunt cake!

  243. Grace

    Does anyone know how much these forms hold? Either loafs or bundt? Firstly I use metric system, and secondly not all bundt forms are the same size. Thanks!

  244. Robyn

    Is there some easier way to zest that I don’t know of? Zesting 6-8 lemons sounds horrible to me- maybe I just have a really bad seater?

  245. jen

    thank you for posting! i am always looking for a new lemon cake recipe.

    have you made it with meyer lemons?

    i always add the soaking syrup while the cake is still in the baking pan, so it is required to soak into the cake, and first i use a skewer to punch a lot of tiny holes in the top to help it absorb.

  246. Lisa

    Have you considered, after taking the cake out of the bundt pan, pouring the syrup in and then replacing the cake to soak it up? With rum cake I do that with some of the syrup and brush the rest over the bottom. Then turn it out onto the platter.

  247. Velvet

    psst…there IS a flat surface on the *underside* of the bundt cake. Flip that sucker over and drizzle the lemon wonderfulness there, wait for it to absorb, and flip it back over again for the icing. Parchment paper underneath will keep it from sticking to the plate.

  248. Jan

    We may be confusing ourselves by using GLAZE and SYRUP interchangeably. First the syrup soaks into the cake by whatever method. Then the glaze lives up to its name by coating/glazing the top and running down the sides to look like snow on a mountain.

    Also, syrup tends to be at least translucent, whereas glaze is opaque.

  249. Laurie

    Gorgeous cake, and I’ve had success with all three of the lemon pound cakes I’ve made … maybe because I poke lots and lots of holes? … but my glaze never is nice and opaque like this unless it’s chocolate or Nutella or peanut butter. If it’s Irish cream, lemon or vanilla, it always dries more clear. What do I keep doing wrong … or are these pictures of the glaze just poured?

  250. Lisa W

    OMG Deb, I use the “shortcut 1 bowl” method you described all the time! Now I know what to call it!! That’s so funny!

  251. This is exactly what you want in a lemon cake. I added the syrup when the cake was hot in in the pan (I did two loaves), and it worked perfectly (just like you might a rum cake, really). I also made this gluten-free, and didn’t have a hitch! Thanks, Deb!

  252. Vivian

    Love the look of this cake and want to use it to make a four layer 9 inch cake for a friends birthday party. I want to layer it with lemon curd and a mixture of mascarpone and cream. Is this cake a good choice and should I double the mixture for my four layers? It needs to feed fifty so it needs to be substantial.

  253. Dalnapen1

    Thanks Deb, for continuously perfecting these recipes. Like the others, this is my go too–so much that when I didn’t see the recognizable photo, I skipped it. Can I say that I miss the old photo–the close up of the bundt glazed in the clearish lemon sauce? But I’m all about moving on. So thanks!

  254. Ila

    To get more syrup into cake, how about cooling, inverting cake, pouring some syrup into bundt cake pan, gently putting cake back, spooning remaining syrup on surface. . . and hoping for the best?

  255. If you add the salt in with the butter, then what do you think about salted butter? I tend not to have unsalted butter around, but unsure of how much salt would be in a stick of salted butter. Do you have an opinion? Love to hear it.

    1. deb

      Salted butter is fine; a lot of bakers prefer unsalted because there isn’t a consistent salt level between butter brands and thus it’s hard to give a salt measurement in a recipe, if any more salt is needed.

  256. Elizabeth

    Made this for the first time today and it is perfection. I was able to split the full recipe across 12 mini-loaves and because I had to try one for myself, this recipe has all the right lemon flavors in all the right places. My icing does not come through as opaquely white, but after a couple layers it got close enough. A must make anytime you can get your hands on fresh lemons!

  257. I substituted buttermilk with yoghurt + water (1:1 ratio), cut down the amount of sugar in the dough by 20% and accidentally put in twice as much liquid as the recipe says – this turned out to be perfect for the meyer lemon cupcakes I was making. They were super moist and not too dense, the soaking syrup wouldn’t have been necessary at all – but it was completely absorbed by the hot cupcakes. I skipped the glaze and instead topped the cupcakes with whipped cream cheese infused with a bit of lime zest and added candied meyer lemons and berries on top. Adding a few tablespoons of ground poppyseeds to the batter is a great variation.

  258. Sabbian

    I’ve made this cake before and had the same problem with the syrup running off before it soaked in so this time I poured it on right out of the oven. It still ran down the down the sides but by the 10 wait was up and I turned it out of the pans it had all soaked in. I also poked several small holes in the loaves with a thin metal chopstick.

  259. Joelle

    Just made this cake for probably the sixth or seventh time. It’s a favorite around here! I don’t use the lemon syrup or the glaze anymore; I simply sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and call it a day. My family agrees that simple is best with this beauty. The cake is rich and lemony right out of the pan.

  260. Des

    You turn the cake upside down and drizzle. It absorbs much easier, as the bottom isn’t as glossy, it’s more of a spongy crust because it hasnt been directly exposed to heat. It absorbs much easier although it slightly soaks the underside. By the second day though, you don’t even notice!

  261. Lucia Bay

    This came out so well! I made this with my daughter and we followed the recipe exactly. We used a ten inch Bundt pan and it JUST fit. We used a brush to apply the lemon glaze to the warm cake and it worked really well. Thank you for this beautiful cake project on day 15 of quarantine!

  262. RG

    Love the flavour of your citrus bakes. I have followed your recipes for years and am always inspired to try new flavours!

    My only suggestion is to separate the measurements for sugar and lemon juice for the glaze and the cake into different lists. I realized for the second time (once before when using the recipe for the lemon blueberry loaf with the same combined type of ingredient list) that I put the whole amount of lemon and sugar straight into the cake batter :( unfortunately it just never cooked in the middle despite increasing the baking time quite a bit.

  263. This was delicious but I must say, cloyingly sweet. Sugar in cake sugar in soak and sugar in glaze. Just too much for me. Next time I will reduce the sugar in the cake.

  264. Annette Milnes

    A little thing. When I make a lemon drizzle cake, I pour over the lemon syrup while it is cooling in the tin. Some recipes I have seen say to pour half over while the cake is in the tin and when it has cooled, turn the cake upside down and pour the rest of the syrup over!

    I love your recipes. The chocolate cakelets are a real favourite. Indeed my four year old granddaughter loves them so much I give her half at a time. They are soooo rich.

  265. David van Hoogenhuize

    Delicious! I made this pretty much as written but with 5 large eggs. I glazed the warm cake while in the bundt pan (I removed it and put it back in) with a pastry brush and it soaked in easily. I didn’t frost the cake since I don’t like icing that much, and because of that, I think I will double the glaze next time and paint both the bottom and top with it since it added so much lemony goodness.

  266. Rachel

    Tastes pretty good but disappointed with the drizzle situation – tried both bottom and top, poked holes, did one side while hot and other side while cool. Ended up with 1/2 inch of soggy cake on top and bottom with more dry cake in between. Still very tasty and was quickly devoured but not sure I’ll make again.

  267. ayse yavuz

    terrific cake. I reduced the amount of sugar significantly. it was still sweet enough. after reading your comments, I first applied syrup then took the cake out of the bundt, it was successful. I will make it again without the glaze. It is lighter that way. thank you.

  268. Sharon

    Have you tried omitting the zest?
    I have no fresh lemons and I’m not sure I want a super strong lemon flavor. I also only have lemon juice from concentrate…I guess what I’m asking is if it will be pretty much flavorless if I omit the zest or if it will be like a plain pound cake?

  269. Cathy Reeves

    Mom loved this cake especially in summer when the only thing cloying was the unrelenting humidity of summer in Ohio. She poked holes in her cake with a chopstick usually then used a small can of frozen pink lemonade (not sure it is available now) mixed, mostly, to taste if not consistency with powdered sugar. Drizzled over the warm cake she didn’t care so much about presentation as she did wether or not there was some vanilla ice cream to plop on top of her generous slice.

  270. Jesse

    Didn’t GBBO teach us that you need a warm cake and a cold drizzle or vice versa for good drizzle absorption? I’ll try this week and report back. Looking forward to lemon ecstasy!


  271. Patricia

    What if you prick the cake all over then wrap it in cheesecloth and drizzle the syrup over throughout the day?

  272. Colleen

    I made this with what I had in the kitchen and pantry. I halved the recipe and made one loaf with one lemon, two small cara cara oranges and subbed plain Greek yogurt for the buttermilk. It took about 45mins in the loaf pan and as soon as it was done, I poured the heated glaze over the top of the loaf whole it was still in the loaf pan. It pooled in the corners a bit, but I left it in the pan for 20mins. All the sauce had soaked in by the time I took it out of the pan to slice it up and try some. Delicious.

  273. Aja

    Really easy, though a little time consuming with the lemon prep. I made mine in a bundt pan. It came out fine. This is down to two things: I sprayed it with spray-with-flour-in baking spray, and I unfortunately only had access to a silicone bundt pan. I bought it before I knew this was a no-no for baking. It worked ok, but the cake around the centre flute is a light blonde, and it took about 20 minutes longer for this to bake than directed. Bonus with the silicone, however, is that I was able to pour the glaze on when it came out of the oven, cake still in form, and pull the edge of the pan away all around to get it to sink down. I reserved some to reglaze (maybe 4 tablespoons) and did that when the cake was cooled a little bit. Waiting to either put the icing on, or might just dust with sugar because I have already committed too much time to this wonderful cake. :) A quick work on lemons, however: I only ended up needing 4 because they were the “so giant, I’m not convinced they aren’t from Italy” kind, and had a lot of juice in them. Jumbo lemons? The zest of 4 was enough, too. Staring at it from across the room, awaiting it being cool so I can *finally* have my lemon cake fix I’ve been obsessing over for a week! Thanks for the great recipe, Deb. :)

  274. Melanie

    Deb I made the cake today and instead of using a Bundt pan I used a tube pan! I used a tablespoon to pour the lemon sauce over the flat top and hardly lost any! It’s not as pretty as yours but all that lemon sauce made it into the cake! So yummy!

  275. Dini

    Excellent cake. I skipped the syrup and sauce because I Just wanted a good tea cake. This was it! Lemony and fluffy.

    Modifications- I didn’t manage enough lemon zest. Probably just 1/5 cup unlike the 1/3 cup prescribed. I also managed only around 4 ounces of lemon juice for the cake. And no vanilla just like Deb said.

    Turned out perfect! Thank you Deb!

  276. Arielle Eve Smith

    Hi! Is there a way to make this dairy free? I think I can use margarine instead of butter but what about the buttermilk?

  277. Lauren W

    I figured out that just putting all of the lemon juice and all of the sugar that the recipe calls for makes the most lemony moist cake imaginable. (Spoiler alert: didn’t read the recipe correctly.)

    I’m sorry to Ina and Deb for my transgressions, but I didn’t need to add syrup to the warm cake or glaze. I did cook it 15 minutes longer after turning the oven down to 325F. Eh, it’s delicious!

  278. Sunday Stevens

    Tried this cake cuz I love you Deb and I love Ina so this was obviously a win win. It turned out fab. My mom used to make a version from a mix with lemon jello but I wanted to try a from scratch version. I was a little chicken not to use multi bowls but now that I’ve tried it I can certainly handle one bowl (woman from my own heart who hates to mess up a kitchen for no reason). I used many people’s advice and added 1/2 warm syrup to hot cake in the pan while it was cooling for 10 minutes – then inverted and added the rest of the syrup on top (did it in a Bundt pan that belonged to my mom – the pan is as old as I am!) Just a note to all those who complained of the chalkiness that happened with the glaze/icing……and I’m a little surprised Ina doesn’t do this but……you can make the icing with 2 cups confectioners sugar 3 1/2 tbsps of lemon juice and 2 tbsps of melted butter. The butter softens it all makes the powdered sugar lose its chalkiness. Also adding a little extra sugar can thicken it up a bit so it doesn’t pool too badly at the bottom. Either way the cake was a massive hit and I will be making again and again. Thank you and stay safe!!

  279. Elizabeth

    I just made this for my husband’s birthday – the first *successful* lemon cake with lemon glaze, and it turned out perfectly! It reminded him of the cakes his grandmother used to make him, and he hadn’t had anything like it for 20 years! Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  280. KMac

    After much debate over making Nigellas polenta lemon cake or Ina’s Lemon cake, I decided to go with this one. I love a dense, moist cake, and the reviews on this were insane. I followed the instructions exactly (even weighed the flour), and my cake was gorgeous. My guests really liked it. BUT…I didn’t love it. It was good, just not the OMG-I’m-dying-because-its-so-delicious standard of good, which is always my goal when making a dessert. (For reference: the Gramercy Tavern gingerbread cake fits this standard, and so does the Chez Panis almond cake). Don’t get me wrong – this is a really nice cake, but with all that zesting and squeezing of lemons, the work required to flavor ratio did not add up. Plus, as I said, my personal preference is a more dense cake, which requires oil rather than butter. (See Food52olive oil cake).

    1. Bree

      I’m with KMAC. The cake looked gorgeous but I wasn’t super excited about the taste/texture. Maybe my hopes were too high given the rave reviews. It was very lemony–almost too tart. I thought it would be super moist with all the time spent brushing on lemon syrup but it wasn’t particularly. Everyone finished their piece but no one went back for seconds.

  281. Michelle

    A small edit request! Is there any chance you could add “divided” to the sugar in the ingredients list, or give some other indication that it doesn’t all go in the batter? I’ve made this cake twice, and both times I (1) read through the entire recipe and then (2) promptly put all 500g of sugar in the batter, like a fool. >.<

    It turns out fine, so it's hardly the end of the world, but it might help other people with very short attention spans (such as future me).

      1. Sandra

        And this is why we love you.
        The only gift my bf has asked if me is a lemon cake w lemon glaze. Thank you for this recipe. Hope you & your loved ones are well <3

    1. I’ve done the same thing, twice. This time I caught the lemon juice, but I put 2 1/2 cups of sugar in the batter. Maybe separate the recipes for syrup and icing for those of us That have “issues” : )
      I love this cake, it’s a hit with my art group.

  282. Lisa

    I have made this wonderful cake a few times and also shared the recipe with friends. I use a pastry brush to put the glaze on, it seems to work well.

  283. Elizabeth

    I was curious, so I made this cake again today…and I can very happily inform you (and everyone!) that this cake is equally delicious if you substitute the lemons for LIMES! Really amazing!

  284. Alicia Grefenson

    I have had the ‘pool of syrup’ problem with a family rum cake recipe and am thrilled to say I solved the problem: Poke holes in the bundt cake while it’s still in the pan and slowly pour the syrup over the cake. Let it cool in the pan (which was abundantly sprayed with flour PAM) and unmold. No pool of syrup, moist cake.

  285. Michal

    Does the powdered sugar glaze firm up enough to withstand wrapping the cake in plastic wrap? Or will the glaze stick and come off with the plastic wrap? I’d like to ship this cake. Normally, I’d wrap the cake in a few layers of plastic and then foil. I can always put the glaze in a separate container for the recipient but I’d rather send it “finished” if possible.. thanks!!

  286. Dania Lee

    This cake is amazing. I think I have found a solution to the syrup rolling off the top problem. It just needs to be slightly wet before it will absorb. I bought a spray bottle from cvs just for this to see if spraying the lemon syrup would be better than spooning. It worked! Although I had to mop my floor afterward, I am happy to report that there was very little syrup pooled under my cooling rack! I sprayed initially in mist mode, but then the stream was also fun for exerting my authority!
    Your recipes are amazing and when I saw your unanswered question, I had to come up with a solution as a token of my gratitude for your recipes!

  287. Mimi

    I made this a long time ago and liked it, and so I and wanted to print the recipe to use again. Now on your website I have to add an extension to do so. It makes me have to search all over again in its own browser for your recipe. But when I put in “lemon pound cake” or “lemon pound cake smitten kitchen,” your recipe doesn’t come up on the first page. I tried searching through seven pages of its lemon pound cake recipes and finally gave up after not finding your recipe to print. I’ve tried on two different computers, and now I’m totally annoyed. This is making me abandon your recipe.

    1. deb

      Hi Mimi — I’m sorry for the inconvenience. There is a recent printing bug with the Safari browser (I’m guessing this is what you’re using) that they’re actively working to fix. Hopefully very soon.

  288. Kathryn Quickert

    Not the same cake, but when I make my chocolate chip-rum bundt cake, which calls for a large quantity of butter-sugar-rum glaze, I tried something by accident that worked amazingly well:
    Upon removing the cake from the oven – or within 10 minutes of doing so – pour the glaze over the hot cake. That hot cake absorbs the liquid *very* well! Then, while cake is still pretty warm, and when the pan is cool enough to touch, invert the cake onto the plate or rack. As long as the pan was well covered with flour-added spray, it comes out clean as a whistle!

  289. Anisha

    One possible idea for the drizzle liquid…. I just rewatched all the seasons of GBBO and noticed that a baker in S2 when making a rum baba he recommended, once thanks cake is cooled on a rack, poor most of the syrup in the tin the cake just came out of. Put the cake back into the tin as it will soak up the liquid that’s in the tin. With the remaining liquid, poke holes in the bottom of the cake and poor on the bottom.

    I think after a few min if you wrapped the bottom in shrink wrap and turned the cake right side up and just let it sit there for a bit, you might get a more even distribution of the syrup.

    When I make this I’ll try it and let ya know how it went. :)

  290. Susan Gilbert

    I cannot wait to try this cake! I am obsessed with lemon!
    I have been following you for years. You are my go-to for recipes. EVERY recipe has been amazing. ( I was thrilled to see that you found cooks post for granola in 2012 which I have been using for years). More than that, you give cooks permission to improvise with suggestions- awesome.
    Lovely people, you and your family.

  291. LitProf

    Made this for my friend’s 50th birthday and used Cara Cara oranges in the cake and tangerines for the glaze because I didn’t have enough lemons. Otherwise, I followed Deb’s instructions to the letter and it was perfect. One of the most beautiful and scrumptious cakes I’ve ever made from this site! Deb, thank you as always for making someone’s special day even more special!

  292. Carol E Gearhart

    I have a somewhat similar recipe that I make. It calls for making holes in the cake while it’s still the the pan. I use a bamboo skewer. Poke holes down through the cake all over and loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Pour the syrup over it while in the pan. Let it cool and then remove the pan and add the glaze. Hope this helps!

  293. Dianne Bloch

    Please update the recipe ingredients to say (divided) so bakers don’t dump and mix 2 1/2 cups of sugar in with the butter before realizing that only 2 cups are used in the batter. Or better yet, have it listed twice. 2 cups of sugar and then 1/2 cup sugar. Same with the lemon juice. Ugh! Very irritating to prep ingredients only to have to redo them or as I did ruin the batter.

  294. Jessica Luchetti

    I have a vintage lamb cake mold. I’m going to make this cake. I estimate each lamb side is 2 cups. How much batter would you use?

  295. Jackie

    I made and soaking syruped this last evening and OMG it is wonderful-MAKE IT NOW !!! I made it in loaf form and due to my impatience in turning it out a portion stuck therefore, after adding the syrup, I was FORCED to taste test and it is all the Deb claims. Thank you commenters for input on brushing the syrup on – genius. Was going to glaze this morning but after tasting it as is I think not. YUM!!!!

  296. Ellen C

    I have made a version of this for years. After the cake has cooled for 10 minutes, I use a long wooden skewer to punch holes all the way through the cake. I pour the syrup over the cake while it is still in the pan. After the cake has cooled completely, I invert it and drizzle it with the glaze. It hides any evidence of the skewer having been used.

    1. deb

      I do! There is a print icon that leads to a print template at the bottom of each recipe, where it says “DO MORE:” You can also click CTRL or ⌘ + P from any recipe post and it will take you to a streamlined print template. We will definitely make it easier to find when we next redesign.

  297. Hayley

    I made this! My Bundt tin was narrower and higher than yours so definitely took an hour to cook in Fan Forced Oven.
    Easy recipe (had to try my new electric citrus juicer out after all!) and my only two mistakes were turning the cake out before 10 minutes and it falling apart in one section and making my icing too runny that it ended up looking like an additional see through glaze rather than an icing.
    Trying the Chocolate Orange one next. Did I mention I have an electronic citrus juicer! Hello citrus recipes!

  298. Monica

    I’ve made this cake three times and each time everyone is amazed at how incredibly delicious it is. I’ve done it without poking holes for the lemon syrup and with poking holes – I’m now in the “it’s better to poke holes” camp. Also, I skip putting a sugar glaze on it (the cake is already plenty lemony and sweet) and rather serve it with fresh fruit, like strawberries and blackberries. A true delight! I always get asked for the recipe and send them your way. Thank you!

  299. jessica

    hey there! can i use yogurt instead of buttermilk? & if so, do i need to thin out the yogurt a bit? & if so, should i use milk or lemon juice? also, do you prefer this cake to the lemon yogurt cake? & if so, why? thx v much!

  300. Alicia

    I’m not sure if I posted on this thread or another “damn, the syrup won’t soak in” thread, but the secret for the Bundt version is to poke holes in the bottom while it’s still hot in the pan and pour your syrup on then. Works perfectly for my rum cake. I’ll try it with this recipe and let you know. Hi

  301. Jennifer

    If you were going to stack these would you put the syrup on out of the oven like you have it written or would you do it as you stack them? Thanks.

  302. Kari Strasser

    Our standby birthday cake is a banana cake with cream cheese frosting. My daughter requested her own loaf of banana bread, so the usual banana cake seemed like banana overload.

    I’m in Wisconsin and I’m proud to say that I used my own home-grown Meyer lemons to make my daughter’s lemon pound cake birthday cake.

    I wanted a 9×13 that I could frost with cream cheese frosting, so I doubled the recipe. It was a bold move considering I had never made this cake before. I filled the cake pan mostly full and the small remaining amount went into a loaf pan.

    I started with the recommended bake time and added time until the toothpick came out clean. It did NOT get too dark and it definitely was not dry.

    We like a dense cake rather than a spongy one. This cake was a lovely dense cake with a lot of delightful lemon flavor. The flavor from the lemon syrup seeped into the cream cheese frosting, so the frosting had a nice lemony flavor while it was “just” flavored with vanilla extract.

  303. Trish C.

    I was so excited to make this – all of your recipes are so lovely, thanks Deb!

    Did anyone *yikes* not read the instructions carefully enough and add the full 1 cup of lemon juice to the batter?

    *Raises hand* I did and just realized now that it’s in the oven. Any possible remedies out there from this crew of bakers? Is this a lost cause?

    I thought I might just cook it longer but am worried the texture and lift won’t happen, or the cake will be way too lemony.

    Thanks in advance :)

  304. Amanda

    Best lemon cake I’ve ever had. I omitted the vanilla and I’m so glad I did! I poked holes in the bottoms of the cakes and used a basting brush to apply the syrup, put the cakes back in the pan, put more syrup on top letting it fall down the sides as well. And the put the icing on top allowing it to drip down the sides. Absolutely amazing!! I made the loafs and they were both gone within 24 hours. Making this recipe again today because everyone loved it so much. Thank you so much!!!

  305. Kathryn

    I have a recipe for a sheet pan lemon cake and when it comes time to pour on the lemon syrup I poke little holes in it with a skewer for the syrup to be absorbed.

  306. Eileen Forster

    Try poking lots of tiny deep holes in with a thin metal skewer first, on the sides as well as the top.

    Thin the syrup with a bit of vodka or even gin; it will be less viscous that way.

    Start brushing the syrup on while the cake is still warm, and make several applications.

  307. Craig R.

    I have recipe similar to this in my favorites (although I confess it uses a box cake mix) handed down by my beloved great aunt. It is simply known as “Aunt Helen’s cake”. She always advised pouring the glaze SLOWLY over the top of the bundt cake while its STILL IN THE PAN. all of the liquid eventually gets absorbed and gives it a super moist taste. Maybe this would work with this recipe too?

  308. Miranda

    I made this recipe the day before Mother’s Day to surprise my mom (who LOVES lemon) and was a littler nervous about how it would turn out. I did manage to get the eggs, butter, and buttermilk to room temp with no issues. I did omit the vanilla and felt like it wasn’t really needed anyway. I basted the soaking liquid on with a pastry brush after using a skewer stick to poke holes in the majority of the top of the cake. The only disappointment for me was that my glaze did not turn out nearly as white – either the cake was still too warm or my lemon juice to powdered sugar ratio was off. But, she loved the cake!

  309. DeLynn

    Has anyone made this a day ahead? I’d love to make it today, wrap well, and put the glaze on tomorrow before serving. Any thoughts? Thank you!

  310. Somebody reading over my shoulder needs gluten free, lactose free too, and has reminded me, wistfully, that i no longer bake lemon cake. No choice. Experiment.
    He deserves it, even if I don’t.
    As for eggs.. The recipe that goes with my very old hasenbackform doesn’t work with 21st C huge eggs. Solution ? Pullet eggs, from a local free range farm.

  311. Shelly Gauvreau

    I cheated with the lemon syrup, I drizzled it on the bottom of my cakes (made 2 loaves) and it soaked it right up, then when I flipped them I did spoon a bit more over the top. I flipped them onto parchment and they didn’t stick as I thought they might.

  312. Julie

    Delicious! I skipped the glaze at the end and served it with whipped cream and fresh blackberries. I used a bundt pan, baked 45 minutes. A huge hit!

  313. Adrienne

    In the recipe you say “3/4 cup (175 ml) plus 3 1/2 tablespoons (50 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice then in the istructions you have “n another bowl, combine 1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. and the glaze uses the remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice . In ypur notes it only says 1/4 c of lemon juice, which is what I used. I think you nee to make a correction Thank you

    1. Adrienne

      I finally saw my mistake. The remaining lemon juice is in the soaking syrup. I am sorry, I knew I must be reading it wrong. It wasa bit confusing though for me. Getting too old.

  314. Louise

    This is the best lemon cake ever! I’ve made it twice – the first time exactly as directed but the second time I wasn’t paying attention and put 3/4 c of lemon juice into the cake with the buttermilk! I then skipped the syrup and it turned out amazingly lemony!! Phew. Happiest oops ever.
    Note: I’ve also made the cream cheese pound cake. Served with fresh berries and sweetened whipped cream. So yummy. It was slightly bigger than my 10c Bundt pan so I made 2 ramekin sized cupcakes on the side.

  315. Jean

    Help- I’m confused! The ingredient list says 2 c (240g) powdered sugar and the instructions say to cream 400g with the butter and reserve a half cup for syrup. Thanks!

    1. Louise

      Reserve 1/2c of the granulated sugar for the syrup and cream the rest with the butter. Use the powdered sugar for the glaze. Hope this helps!

  316. Leigh Sparacino

    I’ve made her lemon pound cake successfully, many times, and I just use a pastry brush and I make sure to do it when the cake is still really hot. I’ve never had a problem with it not being able to absorb any of the glaze when it’s hot, and when using a pastry brush. I do agree that it elevates this cake, and I would consider it a pretty essential part of it.

  317. Jessica Selca

    Reporting back that this recipe works well gluten free! I used bobs 1:1 gf ap flour and went by weight for swap out as I have found this works better.

  318. Hanah Swan

    Hello! Looks great, and am also wondering about adding poppy seeds. Have you tried? Recommendations? I see someone asked previously but I did not see an answer yet. Thanks so much! Your recipes always turn out for me, so I have so much confidence in the outcome from your genius that I am likely to try adding poppyseeds even if I don’t hear back in time, since I am already sure the recipe itself will be fantastic.