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Dozen Flours

Sincere Acts of Sweetness

April 1, 2009

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake

Several weeks ago, I had a bit of a baking dry spell and really felt the need to bake. Since my friend Scott just sits over the wall from me, I asked him for a baking assignment. He thought for a moment and then explained how he's really been into Starbucks Lemon loaf and suggested that I try to recreate it.
I steered clear of any copy-cat recipes that were already on the web because I was committed to making a lemon pound cake that didn't use any extracts. I realize that Starbuck's recipe wasn't likely to be as sincere, but I was really curious to see if I could achieve a super lemony cake using only fresh lemons.

In my research, I uncovered two potential winning recipes and after much debate about which one I would use, I decided to wing it and use elements from both. The first recipe was created by Bill Yosses who is the Executive Pastry Chef at the White House. I loved that Mr. Yosses's recipe not only avoided the use of any extracts, but it used almost every part of the lemon. Bill explains that he likes to use small segments of lemon in the batter because as the cake bakes, the juice evaporates and leaves behind little powerful pockets of lemon goodness. I was all for that! The second recipe was one I found on Epicurious that had several good reviews. It was a bit more simple that Bill Yosses's and I loved that it too didn't rely on extracts either. I figured between the two of them and a few little tricks of my own, I'd have a solid contender.
After all was said and done, this cake was almost what I wanted. It scored big points in the flavor department as many testers loved it's bright, yet not over the top, lemon flavor. The only place where I think I missed the mark, was the crumb. While it was a beautiful cake, I felt it just wasn't the dense, super tight-crumbed pound cake I had hoped for. No one noticed this but me, though. As a matter of fact, the one comment I kept hearing from everyone was that this cake was way better than Starbucks! I think I might try this challenge again to get the tight crumb that I wanted, but for now I'm pretty satisfied. :)

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake
Yield: Many, many slices! This fed about 24 people, and then some who only wanted a "small slice" Adapted from Bill Yosses and Epicurious 
 
Cake
4 small lemons, organic if you can find them (Note: Avoid the giant lemons! Smaller lemons tend to pack more flavor, contain less water, and are cheaper too!)
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, that is completely softened*
3 cups superfine, Baker's or caster sugar*
6 eggs, warmed for 10 minutes in hot tap water before using
1 cup full-fat sour cream,  all natural (check the ingredients!) at room temperature

Glaze
2 lemons
2 cups fresh powdered-sugar*, sifted


Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 16-cup tube pan and dust with cake flour; tap out any excess. Be sure to grease and flour the center column too. You can also use Pam with Flour (I do).

Scrub the lemons with hot soapy water. Rinse really well and dry completely. Carefully zest four of the lemons, being careful to avoid the pith (the white part that live right below the yellow part of the lemon).  I highly recommend the Microplane Premium zester because you don't have to push down very hard on the lemon to get the zest off easily. Note: Take your time on this step. The zest is the king of lemon flavor and it's where the majority of the lemon flavor comes. Always err on the side of more zest than you need and do your best to avoid the pith as that will add bitterness. It doesn't take many swipes to get to the pith (white stuff) so go slow.

With a very sharp paring knife, cut the tops and bottoms off of each lemon. Put the cut-side down on the cutting board, trim the pith off the lemon, working vertically, going all the way around, exposing the pulp of the lemon. (About.com has a great little tutorial how to do this. They illustrate the technique with an orange but it translates to any citrus fruit).

Over a bowl, cut segments from membranes (see photo above), letting fruit and any juice fall into the bowl, being sure to discard the seeds and the remaining membranes.  With a fork, break segments into 1-inch pieces.  Here's a juicy tip: Try to get as much of the lemon-meat as possible as you're segmenting the lemon. The goal is to collect as much of the lemon segment clusters as you can, it's not about getting lemon juice. Sure, you'll get some lemon juice as it's part of the process of segmenting the lemons but it's not goal. Don't think you've done something wrong if your bowl isn't running over with juice. Actually, if you find that you have more juice than lemon-segments, then something didn't go right. At that point, save the juice for the glaze and start over.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the lemon zest. Work the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic. (Sooo yummy!) Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Beat the butter for 2 minutes at medium speed in the electric mixer. Add half the sugar and mix for 2 more minutes, then add the rest of the sugar and mix again for 4 minutes, stopping once to scrape down the bowl and the beater blade.

Remove the eggs from the warm water and dry them. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition (about 30 seconds). On the lowest setting, mix in the dry ingredients, then the sour cream. Lastly, gently fold in the lemon juice and segments. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about an hour and a half. Note: Your bake time may vary! Every oven is different! Set your timer for 60 min and check to see how far it has to go. Adjust the bake time accordingly. Keep checking every 5-15 minutes or so until the top is browned and a toothpick put into the center section (between the edge of the pan and the tube center) has no batter on it.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Cut around the cake in the pan, turn out the cake. Carefully turn cake right side up on rack.

While the cake is cooling, juice the remaining 2 lemons. In a small bowl, slowly add the powdered sugar to the and stir until smooth. It should look thick, opaque, and should be thin enough to it should be pourable. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more lemon juice. Poke small holes all over the top of the cake using a fork or toothpick. Carefully pour about 1/2 the glaze over the tops and the sizes of the cake. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours or overnight. Cover the remaining glaze and keep at room temperature. About a half hour before you're ready to serve, pour the remaining glaze over the cake.

Store in a covered container, either in the fridge or at room temperature.
Ingredient Notes - Read Me!

* Butter - A butter knife dropped on a stick of butter should slide completely through the butter to its center. This means the butter needs to be at 70-72F.

* Superfine/Castor Sugar - You can make this by putting granulated sugar into the food processor and whizzing it around several times for a minute or two.

* Powdered Sugar - If you have an old, half-opened bag of powdered sugar sitting in your pantry, I'd strongly encourage you to throw it away! It's been my experience that powdered sugar that's been opened and not properly resealed starts to oxidize very quickly. It can give the sugar a metallic taste that will impart an "off" flavor into your dessert, especially when combined with lemon juice.




171 comments:

  1. ıt ıs looks so delicious l love it, your pictures are beatifull too,

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  2. I don't think you will ever understand how much I want, nay need, this cake in my life!!!

    It looks utterly fantastic!!

    Katie xox

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  3. I can't wait to make this! I am a lemon cake, tart, you name it, nut!

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  4. This is lemon heaven! I have to try this , I am absolutely CRAZY about lemon! I think that your cake is a sucess!

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  5. This recipe is delightful. A perfect welcoming for Spring!

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  6. Yum, yum! Terrific photos and the cake truly looks fabulous. Joe loves Starbucks cake.

    I like how you "wrote" on the photos.
    ~ingrid

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  7. Oh! this looks incredible. I've seen the lemon cake at Starbucks and it is so pricy and I'm sure not as good as your wonderful cake!!!

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  8. Wow! I love that this cake uses only natural lemon flavor. That's so great!! Looks like you had a total successful recreation. The cake is just gorgeous!

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  9. I hate lemon pound cake that taste like artificial lemons. Whole Foods use to carry a really good one but I haven't seen it it their stores. I'm going to try this one soon! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. This looks fantastic. Its so pretty and I just know it was so delicious!!

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  11. This looks sooo good. What if you replace some of the cake flour with all-purpose flour? Might help give you a denser crumb.

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  12. Ahh! This looks amazing!
    I love love love lemon anything..
    Must try this soon as summer is just around the corner...

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  13. mmmmmm. i love lemon pound cake. this sounds a lot better than starbucks!

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  14. I made this cake this morning. I halved the recipe and didn't make any syrup or glaze. The end result was very good! Way better than SBUX too.. its a nice taste of real lemon in every bite.

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  15. FYI,
    I posted a picture of this cake on my site with a summary of my experience with it this morning. I didn't post the recipe but instead referred back to your site for the recipe. Thanks again.. I'm still enjoying this cake this morning!
    Alice
    http://savorysweetlife.com/?p=113

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  16. Hi, I found your blog through StumbleUpon... it must know I love anything lemon-y! This cake looks delicious, I'm adding it to my to-do list :)

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  17. i absolutely adore your website:) The whale cupcakes are way to cute for words. Thanks for dropping by my blog

    cheers,

    madalina
    duhlicious.com

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  18. you struck a chord with me . . .I am in a "lemony" place in my life!!

    Beautiful and I am going to try the recipe!

    Patty
    http://homeatlastwithpatty.blogspot.com
    http://www.HomeAtLast.net

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  19. Looks great! StumbledUpon your blog :)

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  20. Wow! This looks totally incredible. I've never had it from Starbucks, but now I don't have any desire to--I'll just whip up some of this instead! I love your blog, by the way :)

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  21. This looks so good. I have lots of extra lemons, and love lemon desserts. Thanks.

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  22. The cake looks fantastic! I love the idea of the lemon segments in it.

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  23. I LOVE the idea of using the whole lemon. I thought I had a lemon bundt (pound) cake that was my go-to recipe but now I need to try this as well. Just one question: why the avoidance of the extract? My extract is all natural, i.e., alcohol, water and lemon oil. I have no problem with not using it, I just am unfamiliar with avoiding it and wondered why.

    Great site!

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  24. Thanks everyone for your comments!! I hope you like this cake as much as I did!

    Laura -- Thank you for your comment and your question!

    My aversion to using extract was just a personal challenge; it wasn't anything personal against lemon extract. I like extracts and oils, really I do. I was just curious to see if I could make a lemon cake that only used lemons to flavor it. What I found is that it is possible AND the flavor you get is different. It's more subtle, softer, yet still very lemon. It's sort of like eating a piece of fresh mint verses an Andes Candy. Both are mint flavored, but just on opposite ends of the spectrum.

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  25. This cake is incredible! I cut the recipe in half, and it made a perfect loaf (and a little mini-loaf for snacking). It is such a wonderful pound cake - rich but fresh and springy. I loved the lemon sugar as well - I plan on making that for sprinkling on various things in the future. Thanks, Julia - another fabulous recipe!

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  26. Hi Julia, I am new to the scene. Wanted you to know how excited I was about your lemon cake and I had to try it. I posted my pic from it on my blog and wanted to thank you for such a yummy new cake that i will definitely make again!

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  27. I made this today. BEST. CAKE. EVER.

    Thanks for the recipe!

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  28. This is a great cake! I did something a little different that I want to share because it was a big hit with my friends. I only made half the cake recipe but what I did could be doubled for the whole recipe. I greased and floured a glass loaf pan and put 1 pint of blueberries in the bottom. Next I sprinkled 2 tbls of flour mixed with about the same amount of sugar over the blueberries and poured the cake on top and baked it for about 70 minutes at 350. There was just enough juice to spike into the cake a bit which beautifully marbled it. After it cooled a bit in the pan
    I drizzled some of the lemon glaze over the top. It was to die for especially if you are a lemon/blueberry fan.

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  29. Do you think this could be made in a loaf pan? If so, how long would you bake it? :O)

    kim
    trying4two at gmail dot com

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  30. Karen, Charlotte NCJuly 04, 2009

    Thank you for your wonderful recipe.The lemon cake was fun to make and everyone loved it.

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  31. Mmmm beautiful! Can't wait to try it!
    Is there a wee error in the recipe, where it says beat the butter, add half the sugar then the rest of the butter - should that say the rest of the sugar?
    Thanks for this recipe!
    Mary

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  32. I am wondering I plan on making this cake for Labor Day ,however, not sure if this a mistake or not The part says Remove the eggs from the water dry Add 1 egg @ a time beating after each addition(about 30 minutes on low speed. Is this correct?

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    1. No she said 30 seconds I see...<><

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  33. Hi Jean and Mary! Thank you for pointing out the errors in my post. I fixed both of them. That's what I get for posting after midnight! :)

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  34. i try it and i love it! I ate this cake steadily :)

    your cakes looks delicious!

    thanks! :)

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  35. I've been looking for a recipe like this for a long time. I can't wait to try it. Thanks! great pix too.

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  36. the step where you mix the lemon zest and caster sugar is so unforgettable, the aroma is so strong! i made this cake today, i found out that my glaze is too sour, big lemons i guess. and my cake is not as fluffy as shown i your pic, but im satisfied, it is so tasty

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  37. My husband made this as we are both gigantic fans of Starbucks' pound cakes. It was extraordinary. Thank you so much for the recipe (we found it on the Lifehacker blog) as it is going in our small, but growing, repertoire!

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  38. This recipe looks wonderful! I am making it today, and so excited about it. I will let you know how it turns out.

    Laura

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  39. This recipe looks wonderful! I am making it today, and so excited about it. I will let you know how it turns out.

    Laura

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  40. Just moved into a house in Houston (Texas) with a huge lemon tree in the back yard. Loaded with lemons, and the cool nights (1 or 2 in the 50's) have made the lemons start to ripen. I have hundreds on the tree. I will bake this and take it to work, I work at a church and we are having a Jamaican lunch catered for a Staff meeting and Quarterly Birthday party next Tuesday. I am sure the lemon cake will be a cooling, and refreshing treat after the jerk chicken and spicy Jamaican food. Um-um will make one tonight, to try it out. I am like you ove to use several recipes or create my own.

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  41. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I've made this recipe twice. Once in a tube pan and the other time I made 3 8 inch cakes (made a layer cake in the shape of a bumble bee) for my daughters birthday party. I can not tell you what a hit it was with everyone. I actually made two cakes since I have twin daughters. The other cake was a chocolate cake. I was worried, even though I already knew your lemon cake was divine, that most of the guests would gravitate to the chocolate. I couldn't have been more wrong. Even the kids requested the lemon cake!! I was nervous I wasn't going to have enough. It was the hit of the party!! Thanks again so much as I will put this recipe in my permanent recipe book.

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  42. I made this cake twice now; it is the best lemon cake I have ever had. I am going to a family gathering today and I am not allowed in the door unless I have this cake in hand... LOL Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful cake.

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  43. Wow, what a stunning cake, I can't wait to make it! I was actully looking for a candy recipe using "whole lemoms" and found your site...I'm catching up now! Thank you for posting this recipe.

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  44. I absolutely loved your "Butternut Miss It Cake" but I cannot find the recipe anywhere on your site. Could you please publish the recipe?

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  45. Can I use half all purpose and half cake flour to help make it denser?
    Havn't made the cake yet. Going to give it a go this weekend, but I noticed your comment about a denser crumb.
    If not the all purpose flour, perhaps an additional egg?

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  46. Hi Este!

    The answer to the question is yes, but the substitution is not one-to-one. The general rule of substitution is 1 cup of all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons (1c - 2tbsp) is equivalent to 1 cup of cake flour.

    I have not tried this recipe using all purpose flour though. My guess is it will still be awesome and the texture should be closer to a pound cake. It's possible that it might take longer to bake, so keep that in mind. Please let me know how it turns out. :)

    - Julia

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  47. I tried your recipe... the cake was out of this world... your directions were perfectly detailed, the lemon bursts were delightful, and everyone has asked for the recipe! Separating the lemons was rather time consuming but well worth it!

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  48. My 6-year-old son asked me to make the Starbuck's lemon cake. This was the only recipe I could find with fresh lemon -- and I have a bag of them right here! So I'm going to make it. I'll report back, but from the looks of the photo, it's going to be such a hit I'll have to fall off my carb wagon. Thanks for this!

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  49. Just tried this cake yesterday and it is really good. I halved the recipe though cause I didn't want to end up with too much for just 4 people. Thanks for the recipe!

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  50. I made this in 2 loaf pans. I did substitute all-purpose flour in proper amounts ( 1 c - 2 tbs per cup cake flour). It is delicious, but next time I will make a small change. I believe the extra juice with the cut up lemons was a little too much in the batter and will reduce some of it next time. Perhaps my lemons were bigger/had more juice. There were some spots where the juice collected a little too intensely. I also reduced the cooking time by about 25 minutes because of the 2 pans. Overall, a very good, very lemony treat.

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  51. I have made this cake twice now and both times have gotten a million compliments. This time around I added poppy seeds, and it was very yummy, and next time I'm going to try adding a layer of raspberry compote through the middle. I'll let you know how it goes :).

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  52. I tried this but there are patches of lemon that just wouldn't dry up and my cake was burnt. Maybe I had too much lemon juice? BUT the taste (I can't help eating the scrapes tht survived) is divine! I'm definitely going to try making this again!!! I'm wondering if I can make them as cupcakes?

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  53. I just loved your cake recipe and wanted to try it. It was the best lemon cake recipe I made. I had to make in tow bundt pans. My kids finised half of one cake before I could even ice it.
    Fantastic! Thank you so much for great cake!

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  54. Fantastic! I have been seeking a simple, lemony cake like this for over a year - thank you so much. And the title is most appropriate (comes from a big fan of Starbucks' cake!).

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  55. This cake is in the oven as we speak. If the cake tastes as good as the batter I will be one happy lady!!

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  56. AnonymousMay 15, 2010

    I absolutely love this cake! since I moved back home, if have never had any lemon loaf cake again and now I stumbled across your recipe and it is just delicious! Thank you so much! Judith

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  57. Absolutely the best ever lemon pound cake! For a little shout out, see my blog.
    http://novemberrose.net/blog/

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  58. Thanks for your recipe, it is fabulous!

    http://sparkleskitchen.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/ultimate-lemon-pound-cake/

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  59. AnonymousMay 31, 2010

    Hi Julia, Do you think this cake could be made into cupcakes? It sounds wonderful!

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  60. javajunkyJune 17, 2010

    Hands down, the best lemon pound cake ever! I've made this several times and have used this recipe to make 2 loaves and 8 small loaves. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  61. mimi's KitchenJuly 01, 2010

    dear Julia, today I was searching for a Lemon Pound cake recipe and came across yours on the net. At first I was interested because of the title and the photos. Then when the list of ingredients scrolled by I WAS HOOKED. Since I needed a cake to a family reunion, I made this one. WOW !!!! I licked the batter bowl til I was almost sick, Had enough batter to make a few mini cupcakes and they are DELISH. Hope the cake is as good so I can make it again, and again, and again. The Only thing I would like to know is how do you decide how many lemons to use for the sections and juice? I had med. sized lemons and had to just keep tasting the batter until I thought it was right. I would like to have had a measurement for that, like 1/2 cup. THanks so much. from Mimi's Kitchen

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  62. AnonymousJuly 14, 2010

    I've baked this twice now and last night it rose right over the pan and dripped into oven oblivion! I was so disappointed I almost cried! The first time I made the mistake of having the oven too hot - conversion maths challenged u know?! But what I did wrong last night has me stumped. Any ideas as to why it rose and rose and over she goes?? Will try again and refuse to be beat!! Carey

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  63. Did you use large? If you used x-tra large eggs this will cause the cake to rise high. when baking always use large eggs.

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  64. I made this cake today and did everything exactly as stated...the cake exploded in oven and the first part of cake ended on bottom of oven after hitting oven ceiling. Did you use reg oven or convection? The part of the cake left in bottom was so bitter with such strong uric acid taste, I ended up throwing it out. The only ingredient I used in cake that was questionable was soda that was not fresh as the other ingredients were. Could somebody please fill me in on what could have possibly gone wrong. I will make it again on Thursday since I am so determined.....it looks so good!

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    1. you might check proportion of baking soda used...it has a tendency to react like a volcano in sometimes

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    2. This is perhaps the strangest post I've ever seen in my entire life, and completely incompatible with reality. Uric acid is what's produced in joints in conjunction with gout. It's not a "flavor" that someone would have tasted, unless you're sucking on someone's gout-infected toe. Also...your cake "exploded"? Do you even know what "exploded" means? It's very difficult to take this post seriously on SO many levels. I mean, I could see if the batter overflowed out of the pan, but "exploded"? Have you actually ever seen an explosion? Perhaps you should order out and put the rest of us out of our misery of having to read and entertain this ridiculous bullshit.

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  65. Exploded in your oven?! Wow, I have no idea why that would happen. How did the batter taste? I remember it tasting really good. Did it have any off taste? Is it possible that maybe you used salt in place of something else?

    I use a normal electric oven when I bake.

    I'm sorry that you had such terrible results! I wish I could tell you what went wrong.

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  66. I just made this cake. It's sitting on the counter cooling as I write this. I stole a quick taste and it's really good!

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  67. WOW! What a great recipe. I made this for my husbands birthday and took it to share with his friends. Everyone loved it and went on and on about how great it was. At least 8 people wanted the recipe! I can't wait to make it again and use oranges! Thank you.

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  68. YUMMY!

    I used all purpose flour and it turned out more dense than cake flour. And used two loaf pans. I liked it a lot!

    My husband who doesn't like lemon cakes very much ate about three slices in one sitting while oohing and aweing over it!

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  69. hi, i really want to try this recipe, but im from the uk and i just wondered if you could convert the sticks and cups to oz or grams. thankyou!

    email- rachelaywong@hotmail.com

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  70. I made this cake last months using your wonderful/delicious recipe. However, I agreed with your own comments about the the cake not being as dense/"super tight". I made it last nite with a few changes...1 extra egg, 1 1/2 cup cake flours and 1 1/2 cup all purpose. 1/4 more of sugar. It turned out heavier, denser. Thought you'd like to know. Thanks again.

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  71. This cake was delicious, everyone loved it. It's moist and very lemony, which I love.

    Needless to say, I will be making this again very soon.

    Thanks for the great recipe!!!!

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  72. first, i want to say thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. i just made it yesterday (in two bread pans) and its awesome. lemon pieces in the cake...ohhh (much better than Starbucks).
    also,i added baking powder instead of baking soda and i will put a little less sugar next time.
    sandra

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  73. Hi everyone!!! I want to do this recipe, but i need some help because I'm from Argentina and there are some measures that I dont understand.

    When you say > 3 cups cake flour > is the regular flour?

    When you say > 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, that is completely softened* > Could you tell me what is the weight of each stick of butter?

    When you say > 3 cups superfine, Baker's or caster sugar* > Is the regular sugar?

    Thanks for your help!!! I hope I can do it!

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  74. I see there has not been a post since November 2010 but I hope I get a response. I'm new to baking and my husband LOVES lemon pound cake. I've been searching for a recipe that calls for real lemon juice and came across yours. It's in the oven as I type. My question is why use baking soda as opposed to baking powder? I've compared many recipes to this one, even my mother-in-laws, and they all call for baking powder. I'm very curious because I'm not use to baking.
    Thank you for the recipe and your pics are lovely.

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  75. i made this cake last week. this cake was a huge hit.but instead of the glaze u had. i took a can of vanilla frosting and squeezed a whole lemon and used the zest and whipped it till it was fluffy. loved it. today im going to try the cake with oranges.

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  76. Yummy recipe! I halved the recipe and baked it in a loaf pan for about 70 mins. I ended up using all-purpose flour and granulated sugar and it came out great..very dense. I just made it again with oranges ...hoping for the same result. Love your blog. Thanks!

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  77. YUMMY!!! That is what my 6 yr old said. She has allergies to artificial flavors and colorings. We have been challanged to find a lemon pound cake we all like. And this is it. One of the best parts it that it is child helper friendly. She loved making the lemon sugar.
    Thank You.
    Rebecca

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  78. We ate it as soon as it was done baking but weren't thrilled with it. Then we had it the next day and OMG!!! This really IS better than Sbuck's one! Thanks for the great recipe!!!

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  79. I made this today (w/ just the flour and sugar modifications suggested by Victor) and tasted the batter before I put the cakes in the oven; it was SO good I did my happy dance around the kitchen...delicious doesn't even begin to cover it. I've never eaten so much batter in my life. And the cake was AWESOME too! Who needs strbux??!

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  80. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe! I made this 2 days ago and taste really good except that I used too much lemon juice. Would you be able to let us know how much of the lemon juice and segments do we need for this recipe? 1/2 cup? In the past, I'm a big fan of the Starbuck's lemon loaf cake and bought it at least once every week. Now, I will just have to bake one! Thanks again!

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  81. LOVED this cake... I prepared it for a get together at my house and everyone loved it. It was gone before the night was over. Delicious. The lemon flavor was wonderful.

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  82. Just made it and I can't wait to try it. Smells and looks amazing!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

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  83. This was amazing! The icing was a little too sweet for me, so I think next time I'm going to tweak it for a cream cheese glaze. But the cake itself was perfect--moist, fresh and not too sweet. Can't wait to make this for cook-outs this summer!

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  84. I love love love Starbucks lemon pound cake so I will be trying this recipe...like TONIGHT:) Thanks for sharing

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  85. Hi, a supervisor at worked asked me to try and duplicate the famed treat at ST. I'd never had it.

    It's baking right now. I also used two loaf pans, standard size and two small silicone loaf pans for the rest of the batter.

    The reason I am doing "this recipe" is because it looks wonderful and after tasting Starbucks lemon loaf yesterday for the first time, I knew it had to have a lot of butter. As you know, other recipes call for 2 T of butter and much more oil. The oil isn't what I tasted, the butter was. I was hoping to try out some tricks of my own like maybe buttermilk or sour cream, see, you did that for me = sour cream. :)

    I will report when the night is over and we've had a chance to taste the wonderful smelling loaf.

    The glaze or icing is all ready to go.

    I hope I love this because it will be the answer for my friend at work and tomorrow I'll take her a piece. Fingers crossed \X!^!X/

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  86. I am baking cupcakes of this recipe right now! The batter is beautiful and delicious. I'm going to top my cupcakes with homemade whipped cream & fresh raspberries. Thank you so much for the excellent recipe! I am not a baker, but your details and links walked me through!

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  87. fyi on cupcakes - baking time was approx. 20 mins. This recipe is amazing! A little airier than a typical pound cake, but absolutely delicious.

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  88. hi julia and fellow bakers! i am new to this baking thing, and got myself outfitted so i could keep up. i am the proud owner of a kitchen aid turbo, spaceage, supersonic mixer!! a big flashy red one! its the the kind the guy in williams sonoma told me was the mixer "of preference" among chefs and bakers. really?? why? i know it has a good, strong motor. but it is so incredibly awkward to use! you can't get ingredients in with the mixer down, and its still difficult not to make a mess with it up, because then the paddle is in the way. and what is the purpose of that bump in the bottom of the bowl? just seems like a place where unmixed ingredients can gather. am i the only one who finds this machine poorly designed? it must be me! what am i doing wrong?? so far i am NOT a fan of this expensive gadget! ric

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  89. by the way, this lemon pound cake is superb. really really good. i've made it a few times (once with oranges) and its a big hit. thanks for it julia.

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  90. This isn't bad but more cake like than pound cake like. The Starbucks version is much heavier and buttery. Why don't you use cake flour?

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  91. Awesome! One, I can't believe this post is over a year old. And two, thanks for sharing this.

    My mom has been pestering me to make the lemon pound cake so much, every time she walks into my room she starts singing, "I want some Starbucks lemonpoundcakenow!"

    I'm glad that you didn't use extracts, because that is something I don't want to do either.

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  92. AnonymousMay 05, 2011

    Love your blog, really gorgeous photos and amazing recipes.

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  93. The only thing...make sure your bundt pan is big enough. I thought mine was, because the batter fit. I didn't realize how much it would rise, and it spilled over.

    But good. :D

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  94. AnonymousMay 21, 2011

    I am so excited to try your recipe! I love lemon anything and also have been looking for a lemon cake recipe without extract! Have been trying to cut down on my sugar in baking and have been successful in most recipes. Would cutting the sugar by 1/2 (using 1 1/2 cups of sugar instead of 3) change the taste of the cake by very much?

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  95. Now when I want to make a Sour Cream Pound Cake, I make only yours. Thanks so much for a great and easy recipe! Since I don't like sweet cakes, I found that 1 1/4 cups of sugar was perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  96. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    I would like to make this in a traditional loaf pan. Any suggestions as to the time that I should bake it for?

    ReplyDelete
  97. AnonymousJune 11, 2011

    Hi,
    I was looking for a lemon pound cake recipe and this one looks amazing.now my son's birthday is coming soon so i wondered if i could do the same recipe same ingri same steps but with orange?
    thank you

    ReplyDelete
  98. This cake turned out awesome!!
    I had 3 lemons, but that seemed to be plenty. I only had cane sugar which I cut down to 2 cups, and put in the food processor to make it finer.
    I couldn't find my bundt pan, so I made 24 cupcakes and a 9x5 loaf pan. Perfect!
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  99. CrazyforCakesAugust 17, 2011

    I made this cake for a co-workers birthday celebration today and it went ok, I didn't get the overwhelming response I was looking for. I must be too hard on myself, because I've had the Starbucks pound cake before and this just didn't compare to me. Although it was full of lemon flavor, it lost the pound cake, the texture and missed the most important thing, the WOW factor. The glaze to me was better than the cake.

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  100. I followed the recipe to a "T", but my cake developed large pockets of bitter "lemon pudding", which caused the cake to fall apart. Are the lemon sections really supposed to be cut into 1-inch pieces? Or are they supposed to be broken up more? The cake - minus the lemony goo - is delicious! Can anyone tell me what could have gone wrong. Thanks

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  101. I've made this 5 or 6 times now...I feel like a cake rock star every time. I did cut back on the sour cream and add cream cheese after the first time - cream cheese does something lovely to the texture of pound cake. I love this cake!

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  102. Since lemon sizes vary, how much lemon juice do you think was actually in the cake? Looks awesome.

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  103. I made this cake today for my husband's birthday. It took a lot of preparation, but it is the best pound cake we have ever had. It was wonderful!

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  104. I made this last night and its amazing! This recipe is a little more complicated then what I am use to, but it was easy to follow and I was able to segment the lemons off your instructions. I am making this again for my sister's welcome home with her baby which is coming this week...and I can't wait to try more recipes! I love your website! Thanks for making your recipes user friendly and making me a more talented baker!!!!!

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  105. I notice that several people have complained that the cake overflowed. A Bundt pan is 10 to 12 cups; a tube pan (the removable bottom kind that you make angel food cake in) is 16 cups. Do not substitute one for the other and expect to get the same results.

    The half-all-purpose and half-cake-flour substitution works and I recommend it. I prefer a denser pound cake also!

    Meyer lemons are great in this. You can use a couple Meyers and a couple Eurekas and the lemon flavor will be a bit milder but more flowery, in that Meyer way. Don't substitute all Meyers; it will lack the crucial tang and seem oversweet.

    A great recipe. Thank you for posting this.

    --E

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  106. Made your lemon pound cake for a
    party. It look beautiful and according to my guest, it was delicious! This lemon cake is the real deal. Thanks for the recipe

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  107. Your cake was a hit everyone loved it. Made enough batter for a loaf pan and a Budnt pan they both baked perfectly and quickly.

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  108. It's in the oven as we speak....everyone at work is expecting me to bring in samples as I usually post my cooking/baking experiments on my FB page. This already looks like a winner!

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  109. I made the cake last Sunday. It is so great.I am a starbucks lemon cake lover. Since I moved to a new house with a meyer lemon tree but no starbucks closer anymore. I forced myself to find a cake recipe. Then I found your blog last year. But my English was not good enough to understand every step u wrote. Then I frizzed. Then my meyer lemon seem will be lasting not longer on the tree. I decided to give them a try. Then it turns out very good. Even I don't have sour cream but instead of my son's yobaby. It is still perfect. Thanks for the sharing! Your recipe and review promote my reading a lot. Hahaha.

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  110. Thanks for sharing your recipe! I tried making this cake last night and for the most part it turned out great. The cake tasted unbelievable: not too sweet and with just the right amount of natural lemon flavor. However, my cake did not rise high like in your picture. Do you have any idea as to why? I halved all the ingredients and used a loaf pan instead. I also used granulated sugar and I took the cake out of the oven as soon as a toothpick I inserted in the cake came out clean.

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  111. I made this recipe using 2 loaf pans, all purpose flour, and regular white sugar. It turned out great - my husband and 3 boys love it, but wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a lower sugar version? We did try it with strawberries on top, so perhaps no icing, strawberries and whipped would be a start... All in all, this is very good. It was a lot of work, but worth it.

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  112. AnonymousMay 07, 2012

    I was wondering if I prepared the cake correctly. I broke the lemons into small pieces...perhaps somewhat shorter than 1 inch in length...and I got pockets of gooey lemon. The cake is cooling right now so I don't know how it tastes but the random pockets of lemon created craters on the surface of the cake that caramelized and almost burned. Is this to be expected?

    Other than that, I'm very excited for the cake to cool! I love the lemon loaf at Starschmucks and would absolutely die if I am able to make it at home! Thanks for the recipe!

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  113. Hi Julia,

    Hi guys...

    Thanks a lot for ur recipe. I have baked it 3 times and the 1st one turned out so beautiful. The 2nd and 3 rd time were pretty good but Were a little eggy. I don't know what I have done wrong. The only changes I made is changing the pan from bundt to loaf pan. Could any body help me please please....

    I really love this recipe...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sue why this recipe would get eggy on you unless you were using jumbo sized eggs?

      Delete
  114. I just made this cake and it is really good! The lemon segments in the batter is pure genius! I made a few small changes to suit my family's tastes: reduced sugar to 2.5 cups, used all-purpose flour but substracted 6 Tbsp from the amount, cut segments into 1/2 inch pieces, and dusted with powdered sugar instead of glazing. I'm a novice baker and this cake worked for me. Just be sure to follow the instructions and beat the butter, sugar and eggs really well. That way, your cake will rise well.

    ReplyDelete
  115. AnonymousMay 26, 2012

    Did I miss something in regards to the length of timeto bake. My cake is in the oven now so I'll check it in an hour. I hope it turns out great but think I'll skip the icing.

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  116. Oh, my WOW! Thank you for sharing this YUMMY looking lemon pound cake :) I love the fact that you used the lemon wedges inside the batter! Can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks your my shero!

    ReplyDelete
  117. This lemon cake is the best cake ever. Everyone thinks I am a cake guru because of this recipe.
    Thanks a bunch for sharing.

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  118. My niece gave me this recipe to make for her college send off party. I didn't have the right size pan so I made miniature bundts. The icing barely made it to all 12 cakes, so I also served with slightly sweetened berries and whipped cream. When I arrived at the party, the mini-cakes were descended upon so quickly that within 2 minutes, all that was left were crumbs--and happy faces. From what I heard, the cakes were wonderful; the chunks of lemon divine. I plan to make one for myself soon.

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  119. Any idea how to alter this recipe for a loaf pan?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since this recipe is made for a 16-cup tube pan, 1 would yield 2 large loaf pans. This is based on this:

      Loaf Pan Shapes
      ------------------------------------------------------
      8 x 4 x 2 1/2 in. 4 cups 20 x 10 x 6 cm 948 ml
      8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 6 cups 21 x 11 x 6 cm 1.4 liters
      9 x 5 x 3 inches 8 cups 23 x 13 x 8 cm 1.9 liters

      Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/PanSizes.html#ixzz24D6Gr4yI

      Delete
  120. Just made this cake today for a family gathering. Of course, having made it for the first time I HAD to cut a slice to "taste test." Oh. my. word! This cake is delicious! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. It is now on my favorites list!!

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  121. Looks are deceiving. This was a very fussy recipe to make and certainly not worth the work. If someone thinks this is better than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake, you haven't have had Starbucks Lemon pound cake.

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  122. I made this cake last weekend as a part of my Lemon Cake Exploration. Starbucks Lemon Loaf is the only dessert my son will eat! This was cake #4 and by far the best! Today I will make it again for a birthday party. I used small organic lemons and made my own cake flour and the result was superb. It is definitely worth the time it takes to make a cake of this caliber.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time for writing this wonderful review Heidi! Sounds like your son has a smart palette. :) You'll have to share with me how you make your own cake flour!

      Delete
  123. Good morning Julia!!
    I baked this cake and it is incredibly awwwesome!!!!!!!!!
    My co-workers went absolutely crazy for the lemon flavor, wonderfully balanced sweet and tart , I absolutly will serve it again.!!!
    Thank-you for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great news! :) thanks for letting me know.

      Delete
  124. Hi Julia! Thanks for this incredibly good recipe!!! It is really the best lemon pound cake I've ever had, I'm not just saying it! Here's how mine turned out:
    http://petitedecadence.com/2013/01/01/things-ive-kept-best-ever-lemon-pound-cake/
    It's definitely a keeper recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I loved the photos on your site. Great post overall.

      Delete
  125. i used this recipe for my wedding cake but instead of lemons, i used oranges and tangerines and made a citrus cream cheese frosting. needless to say, the top layer of cake we were saving was eaten less than 2 days after the wedding. i now have to make it every year for our anniversary and im totally ok with that. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This made my week! What a great idea using oranges - I'm going to have to try that. I've wondered if that would work because the flavor isn't quiet as concentrated... sounds divine though. I'm going to have to try it! I wonder if grapefruit would work too? Congratulations on your big day!

      Delete
  126. That sound great and I can taste it just by reading:} I will try it as well! Not so sure I would like the grapefruit taste when some one try the grapefruit please post! Jean

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  127. Hi Julia, I made this cake last night, my daughter and grandaughter was
    over and had a sample and loved it. I must say this is the best lemon
    cake I have ever made.I will make it again and again!

    ReplyDelete
  128. This is my favorite Starbucks treat. I am going to have to try this soon.

    ReplyDelete
  129. I have a question whe it comes to actually getting juice from lemons. After you cut the lemons are you suspose to squeeze all the juice out using the fork and them remove as much as the membrane as you can? I am needing a little better directions on this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. Resist the urge to squeeze Sweetiepie! After you zest the lemons, you're to cut the remaining pith off the lemons and then segment each lemon just like the photo shows. Juice will drip out of the lemons while you're segmenting them but the goal is not to get cupfuls of lemon juice; the goal is get meaty segments. Any juice collected in the process of getting those segments will be used in the recipe. When you're segmenting you should be trying to cut out as much as you can so that when you're done the membrane will be just a shell and no lemon-meat (or juice) will be left. Make sense? Don't fret though! You get a chance to juice later when it's time to make the glaze. I hope that helps!

      Delete
  130. Julia, thanks for posting this recipe. I purchased a heritage bundt pan a few months back and this was the right time to use the right recipe, yours. I baked cake this morning, gave it to my client, hoping he would take it home for his family. Instead he shared it with his co-workers his work family :-). The cake looked grand in that heritage shape and was well received and taste great, tender, moist and lemondly. In fact the client commented on the taste " This is not just a cake its a work of art". Thanks again, and may God continue to bless you. A. Little

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes me so happy to hear that! Sometimes I am just amazed at how one little recipe that I made on a whim could make so many people so happy. Thanks for taking the time to tell me about your experience making this. *hugs!*

      Delete
  131. This recipe is absolutely amazing. I added poppyseeds to the batter and it turned out to be a big hit with my family. Thank you Julia! You're recipes are top notch and I always refer to this site when I bake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poppyseeds are a great idea! I'll have to give that a try. How much did you add to the batter?

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. :)

      Delete
    2. can use use 2cups of sugar instead of 3

      Delete
    3. I suppose you could but it would impact not only the sweetness of the cake but also the texture as less sugar will create a crumb that's a bit more on the dry side. If you try it, let me know.

      Delete
  132. I was wondering if you can help me adapt this recipe for high altitude? I have tried other cake recipes online but they always turn out like a rock because I am living at 7200+ ft. I know there is an easy way to adapt recipes but can't ever remember how to do it and I am looking forward to making this recipe. Thank you! =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since I have no experience with high altitude baking, I really have no advice on how to adapt the recipe. However, I would encourage ou to read the article published by King Arthur Flour on High Altitude Baking. It's very comprehensive and would be a fantastic resource to you, not just with this recipe, but all of your baking.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for this resource! It will be very helpful with my baking! I will try to use some of this information to modify this recipe and when I find the right adjustments I will post them for others =) Thank You!

      Delete
  133. This cake is delicious!
    I have been buying the lemon bread at starbucks for years.
    Just made it yesterday only cooked it for for 1 hour and 12 minutes.
    Going to make it for easter in egg shaped molds (each hold about a cup of batter) and will give as Easter treats at brunch to family and friends...Love it!
    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  134. Thanks for sharing the most amazing lemon cake recipe.. I have made this time and time again, and it's always a huge hit. Over time I have increased the amount of lemon segments I use ( I love it super lemony and lemon custardy) so now I use 8 lemons instead of 4...delicious!! I even made cupcakes with this recipe and filled the centre with a dollop of lemon curd. This blog is some serious food porn.....

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  135. This looks delicious, I love starbuck lemon cake so can't wait to give this a try.

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  136. Oh my goodness. I wanted to make this as soon as I read the recipe, and after reading the comments I wish blinking my eyes would have it appear. Off to zest those lemons. Tysvm.

    ReplyDelete
  137. medolarkMay 27, 2013

    Mine is in the oven. It's in a tube pan and it's not rising over the rim like yours appeared. I did level the top. Do you? It also does not have the large cracks. I'll let you know when it's cool. Ü

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it came out for you. Did it eventually rise?

      Delete
  138. medolarkMay 27, 2013

    Well, that was a diaster. The batter leaked out of the tube pan and created a big mess and the entire middle of the cake sunk about 2". This recipe is almost exactly like my German Pound Cake recipe that I've been making about 40 yrs. The only difference being reg. flour, reg sugar, vanilla, only 1/4 tsp baking powder, the mixing times are shorter and it's baked in a bundt pan. I think I will try my GPC recipe with the added zest and segments and perhaps cut the sour cream to 3/4 c.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The batter leaked out? Oh no! Was there a hole in your pan? I am sorry you had a hard time with this. I've never had any trouble.

      Delete
  139. I was looking for something to make since my friend brought over a bag of lemons, I saw this post, and gave it a try, I ( and my family and friends ) liked it very much,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great news Michael! :) Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

      Delete
  140. I.have.been.searching.the.web.for.the.perfect.Starbucks.lemon.pound.cake.forever!!

    Thank You!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My gift to you :) Glad you like it!

      Delete
  141. AnonymousJune 02, 2013

    Found your blog 2 years ago! I check it out every now and then, and I am always delighted to see new posts! So happy for all the recipes you've posted!

    When I was on an exchange 2 years ago I had a lot of free time on my hands and a wonderfull kitchen! Found your blog while looking for a starbucks lemon cake recipe and got hooked on all the other wonderful recipes!
    Always cooked when we had meetings on campus (also hoped to impress a certain boy who was there) 2 years later and we're dating! He still remember the cakes (your cakes!) quite well haha! Thank you so much for all the wonderful posts! Still enjoy reading them! Thanks you! Xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's comments like this that keep me posting! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. It really warms my heart to know my recipes are out in the world making folks happy. I especially love that my recipes have helped you find love too, that's even better.

      Delete
  142. AnonymousJune 16, 2013

    You should get her (below) to reference you, because if it was the other way round she'd be the first blogger to nag you too

    http://www.thelondoner.me/2013/06/lemon-drizzle-cake-sorry-starbucks.html

    ReplyDelete
  143. I tried the recipe yesterday, it turned out perfect! Definetely the best lemon cake ever, though I never tasted Starbuck's lemon cake, but I think it's better :-)
    But I used only 1 cup of sugar, and must say it was more than enough.

    ReplyDelete
  144. yes indeed it's a great cake!! the only thing that I used 3 cups of icing sugar instead of two for the icing! many thanx from greece!! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ευχαριστώ!

      So glad to hear that you loved the recipe and oh how I loved Greece. I lived in Athens for a year back in the late 90s. No one in the states can make a decent gyro! :)

      Delete
  145. I stopped by seeing the recipe....mouthwatering....awesome recipe

    ReplyDelete
  146. I made this recipe and it didn't turn out too well. The flavor just wasn't there. I think this recipe is too complicated for such a bland pound cake. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete

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