Introduction: The Most Amazing Lemon Cake Ever!

Picture of The Most Amazing Lemon Cake Ever!

Making a delicious pound cake is an art, and this Instructable will show you how to make the most moist, tender, decadent lemon pound cake ever. This cake has been a hit no matter where I have served it. I found the recipe on the Internet several years ago, and I have been modifying it over the years. If anyone decides to try this recipe and has some ideas to make it even more yummy, feel free to share!

Step 1: Step One: Assemble Ingredients for Cake

Picture of Step One: Assemble Ingredients for Cake

For this recipe you will need the following:

1 cup butter (the real thing, not margarine), softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour (I like King Arthur flour-it bakes the best)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract (be careful not to get this on your hands-it burns)
2 or 3 lemons for juicing, depending on how lemony you want the glaze to be
powdered sugar, which I just keep adding to the lemon juice until it is sweet enough

Step 2: Creaming the Butter, Oil, and Sugar

Picture of Creaming the Butter, Oil, and Sugar

Put the softened butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until really creamy. Gradually add the oil, and mix until very smooth. Next comes the sugar, added slowly, mixed until it looks fluffy. You can't really overmix during this step. Remember to turn off the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl every so often, so that the ingredients all get incorporated into the batter. When in doubt, mix a little longer.

Step 3: Add the Eggs

Picture of Add the Eggs

Crack the eggs, one at a time into a separate container before adding to the batter, so that you can pick out any shell fragments. The eggs should be added to the batter one at a time, and mixed well after each egg. This step is where the light and tender texture is made, so the batter should be really well beaten. It should appear very light and fluffy when you are done mixing.

Step 4: Adding the Flour, Milk, and Lemon Extract

Picture of Adding the Flour, Milk, and Lemon Extract

This is the step where you want to mix the batter as little as possible. With the mixer set on a slow speed, add 1 cup of the flour, and mix just until blended. Add 1/2 cup of milk, mix just until blended, then repeat with 1 more cup of flour, 1/2 cup of milk, and the final cup of flour. Add the lemon extract at the end, and mix it in gently.

Step 5: Bake the Cake

Picture of Bake the Cake

Use a 10 inch bundt pan. I use a pampered chef stoneware pan, as it cooks more evenly than other types of bakeware. Whatever you use, make sure it is well greased. This cake bakes in a cooler oven, so bake it at 300 degrees for 90 minutes, or longer if needed.

Step 6: Cool the Cake

Picture of Cool the Cake

Okay, this may seem like an obvious step, but it took me several tries to get it right. The cake is done when a cake tester or knife blade inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool the cake in the pan on the rack for 15 minutes, then remove from pan directly onto wire rack. Cool completely.

Step 7: The Lemon Glaze

Picture of The Lemon Glaze

This glaze is so easy and makes the cake even more yummy. Simply juice the lemons into a container (I use a gravy shaker, but a bowl and whisk works just as well), and add powdered sugar to taste. I like a tart glaze, but you may want it more sweet. Mix until smooth, then just pour the glaze over the cake, and enjoy!


silm (author)2017-04-24

Very interesting recipe.

mmbrennan279 (author)2014-01-09

very good very delisioso!!! made it for a coworker's birthday...everybody loved it.
Only thing I was unhappy is that the cake stuck to the pan. I wasn't able to have the ridges around the cake. I used a metal 10" bundt pan and greased it alot...:-( any ideas, tips to make it come out shaped like the pan? Either way, It was very tasty and refreshing! THANK YOU for sharing!!!

BettyE15 (author)mmbrennan2792016-10-29

Hi mmbrennan279

I posted a comment that might help you to prevent the sticking. I posted so that all could see and try. I hope they help.

JanikaA (author)mmbrennan2792015-05-13

I used a silicone bundt cake mould, doesn't leave a single crumb stuck in it :)

MaryW2 (author)mmbrennan2792015-02-26

Use a flour spray instead of greasing and flouring the pan.. Mine never stick :)

I use a generous amount of Crisco shortening and flour the pan. Also, i was having the same problem because I was leaving the cake in too long try removing the cake immediately it comes out easier

mihi1975 (author)mmbrennan2792014-11-08

Try greasing your pan with shortening, covering all inside surfaces then dust lightly with flour, making sure all the insides are covered. After removing from oven let cake sit in pan on cooling rack about 10-15 min. Then loosen edges gently with butter knife, then turn entire pan over onto rack to finish cooling. It should come easily with a smooth golden surface.

BettyE15 (author)2016-10-29

I saw a post about cake sticking to pan. Here is a little something that you can do to prevent that from ever happening again.

When I bake a pound cake and any other type of cake, I use shortening to grease the pan, then flour about 1-3 tbls. according to what type of pan you are using! I am sure that everyone knows to tap it and dump out any flour that is left over once pan is coated. Then on top of that put 1-3 tbls. of cane sugar, do it the same way as the flour, once it has covered all of the inside of the pan, dump out excess. I have been doing this since mid '70's and I have never had one stic,. you can also tell if the shortening did not cover all of serface. If you have spots that need to be covered, once the flour is in there. I just put a little shortening on my finger and smear it over the spot, the cover with flour and then sugar.

Another tip that I learned back then is if you want your cake, say layer cakes, to come out level. Then you take an old terry towel and cut it into 1" strips that will fit around your cake pans. Get you a safety pin or two, according to how many layers that you are baking. You wet these strips and squeeze the excess water out, then wrap them around you pans, under the rim, and pin them tight enough that they don't fall off. Fill your pans then bake them. This way you won't have to cut off a raised top.

I hope that these tips are of help. If not let me know what happened. Happy baking!

ChrisW212 (author)2016-01-13

I love your lemon cake that does not use any chemical leavening. I made the cake as you instructed, but it was not as fluffy and tall as yours. Could you please mention how long and at what speed level to cream and butter, oil, sugar, and eggs using your kitchenaid stand mixer. I have the same unit, but I could not make it as voluminous as yours (using real butter, about 38% fat). I also encounter curdling when I added eggs in, the batter shrunk and deflated about 20% ( I warmed the eggs in a warm water bath to ensure there is not temperature change.) My final batter seems a lot less than yours. The cake still tasted good, but was not as fluffy and a lot shorter, only about 2" height, unlike yours that is about 4" tall. Please help! Thanks!

baker878 (author)2013-09-29

I evidently did something wrong any I'm wondering if anybody can make some suggestions. I followed all the instructions and it looked great at 15m or so to be done baking. But when the timer went off it had fallen in on itself, pretty burnt on top and the inside was all gel :/ thoughts??? I just have your standard non stick bundt pan, but I don't think that should impact it like this.

mihi1975 (author)baker8782014-11-08

Is your oven cycling heat properly, or did you open your oven door at any point during baking? This has happened to me too, and I've read its likely because the oven lost proper temperature at some point during baking.

7491FLORA (author)mihi19752015-06-22

I'm agreeing mihi1975 for the longest I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I openly talked about my cakes ALWAYS falling my boyfriend told me to stop opening the oven. Voila! Problem solved ☺

make sure that after you don't mix your dry ingredients with wet ingredients and that you don't overmix because overmixing will also cause the cake to fall.

caminatale (author)2015-05-22

This really is the best lemon cake ever! I've already made it several times and everyone always love it.

I just wanted to ask you,is there a way to turn this cake into a chocolate cake, whit this exact moisture and texture? I'd like to try it.

Thank you from Argentina!

JanikaA (author)2015-05-13

This cake is amazing! Made it for hubbys birthday and since he's a serious lemon fan I replaced 1/4 cup of the Milk with 1/4 cup of lemon juice and also added 2 Tblsp of lemon curd - one fully incorporated into the batter, the other rippled through the cake. Was so lovely and lemony and moist :)

Beth-JoG (author)2014-08-31

Do you think this would work in a regular cake pan? Instead of a bundt pan?

MaryW2 (author)Beth-JoG2015-02-26

It's a bundt cake... use a bundt pan!

Susann34608 (author)2015-01-25

I will say one thing, the batter tastes delicious! I love cake batter and I know I'm not alone out there. We all know if the batter is good the cake will be good. This batter is worth making the cake!

Susann34608 (author)2015-01-25

and if you using a 9 x 12 pan how long do we bake... ty

cyndi.welblitz (author)2014-09-19

I am going to try to make this cake this weekend, BUT I noticed that there was no use of baking powder or baking soda on this recipe, is this still a workable recipe or does using King Arthur unbleached flour works better without those two items in it? I use Swans, but am willing to try King Arthur or any other brand that you think is a good fit, just concerned about the lack of those two ingredients....

mihi1975 (author)cyndi.welblitz2014-11-08

Pound cakes don't usually require leavening agents like baking soda and powder. This is that type of recipe, so you should be ok using any type of AP flour as long as its not clumpy and settled.

lwasey (author)2014-10-05

Looks very good, however recipe is missing the powdered sugar for the glaze. Its a no brainer for me, but for others, can be a disaster!!

actionslacks (author)2014-09-09

Looks nice but not sure about the 3 cups of sugar. Can this be made with less as I'm cutting down the sugar in all my baking (also like that it doesn't have icing as I skip that as well).

carmekino (author)2014-03-23

My husband loves lemon cake. Unfortunately, he has a nephew who has a wheat/gluten allergy. I would love to make this for their birthdays. What type of replacement flour would you suggest?

hvickers (author)carmekino2014-04-12

I used Betty Crocker All Purpose Rice Flour Blend, and it came out beautifully. It is a very fine flour though, so weigh it (360g is how much I used today) instead of using a measuring cup.

Pangemange (author)2013-11-29

Deeelicious! Just finished off the last slice and will be making it again, a definite hit. Wasn't quite lemony enough for me so I did add a little more extract to the sponge and one more lemon to the drizzle. Thanks jengehrke.

kahoa (author)2013-07-31

i love baking and lemon cakes are one of my favorite to daughter is a pilot and she is up from Christchurch for work. I got up at 7am to bake for her before she leaves to
Christchurch. I used fresh coconut milk instead of milk and i grated fresh coconut and spread it on top of the lemon cake. my grand daughter Ruby is helping me while her mum is working as a flight attendant on Air NZ. Hope you enjoy any lemon cakes you make. Ofa atu

kahoa (author)2013-07-31

Mangere Bridge is where I live on the water front and if you want to find where the best lemon trees are. They are all over at Mangere Bridge and they fruit all year. So, I make use of my lemon trees making all sort of cakes, drinks etc from them.
Is an area where citrus trees are growing really well because the soil is so beautiful and very fertile.

anshuma21 (author)2013-03-03

Hi thanks a lot for this recipe, I made it and it turned out like a dream!
Made a few changes though: added baking powder, used lemon zest and juice instead of essence and my glaze was a lot more diluted so it seeped right through

loganluke114 (author)2013-01-06

I really like lemon cake recipe , and I'm going to have to try this system soon, soon, soon! Thanks so much for talking about.

hagstrom (author)2012-12-06

den maa vi proeve

longlegslady (author)2012-04-06

I have two pretty silicone bundt (pans?) that I really want to use, but every time I've tried them, the cake sticks in the pan and I end up with an ugly mess. I always test to make sure the cake is done and then let it cool. I grease and flour the silicone before pouring in the batter. I just can't get the desired results. What am I doing wrong?

firefly68 (author)2011-06-05

Sounds yummy! I'd use lemon zest rather than extract, but I've never used extract, not sure whether it has a true lemon flavor or not. (You know, like ReaLemon tastes skunky..) Sorry I missed the rose cake. Gorfram, Nordic Ware makes a rose bundt pan and rose mini bundt cupcake pan. Amazon has them and you can buy directly from NW. They have an astonishing selection of shapes! Karosii, if you live in the US and don't use KA flours, you're missing out. What on earth is the point of criticizing someone for mentioning the flour she uses!?

linny (author)2009-12-28

Can you substitute lime for lemon? This sounds like such a great cake and I like the fact that I don't have to obtain evaporated milk (live in a country where I never see it, Denmark) The reason I'm asking about the lime is that I just read that the ph in lime is much less than in lemon, which is good for we who want to cut down on acidic foods.

Anybody: Why don't we ever hear about LIME cake-- Ialready know about Key lime pie  -   but I mean using lime, for baking into a cake.
Also the fragrance is a nice change.

Googling, I found  lime in water as a cure for tonsilitis on the internet, so methinks maybe I ought to substitute lime wherever I can right now..

Gorfram (author)2009-04-07

I must be missing something here - How do you get that totally nifty-looking rose-shaped cake in the first picture out of the standard-issue sort of Bundt pan shown? There's be nothing wrong with a Bundt-shaped lemon cake like this - it'd be pretty nice, in fact - but I wanna know how to make the super-pretty rose-shaped cake?

jengehrke (author)Gorfram2009-04-07

Sorry about that. I don't actually own a nifty rose-shaped pan, but wish that I did. Truthfully, I needed to make an instructable for a class that I was taking, I waited until the last minute, and this was the most lemony-looking bundt cake that I could pull off the internet in such a short period of time. It really is a very good recipe, though, and you're right-I should have used a bundt-shaped cake for the photo. I just didn't have it in me to bake a cake and take a picture of it at 11pm while finishing this assignment. Thanks for the comment, though. I received some very scathing remarks regarding the flour I used, the lemon extract, and the pampered chef thing. I was just trying to get my homework done. Jen

Gorfram (author)jengehrke2009-05-18

Hey, I love the update!!! Nice photos of the whole process (...and I think you expanded the text some as well?). Serious kudos to you! And I like your new first photo. It's not as fancy as the original first photo with the rose-shaped cake, but it does look a lot more real and like something I could actually make - which makes it seem even more appetizing to me. (I did see one of those nifty rose-shaped pans in a kitchen store the other day - for a rather unappetizing $40.00. I think I'll just stick with old Mr. Bundt. :)

CopperScaleDragon (author)2009-04-16

I am curious. I see no baking powder or soda. This seems unusual to me, but I can't wait to try the cake! I love a good lemon cake.

I thought this was odd at first as well, but it rises really well. The trick is to really beat the eggs well with the mixer. Jen

N1CK4ND0 (author)2009-04-14

i had lemon cake today!!?! coincidence? or obesity..? (really not fat :])

greetingarts (author)2009-04-14

I love lemons, and I'm going to have to try this recipe soon, soon, soon! Thanks so much for sharing.

gmjhowe (author)2009-04-06

I came here looking for the best lemon cake. However, I am somewhat dissapointed, may i ask where your pictures are from? Most of them look to have come off the internet, for a better Instructable, I suggest going through the process, taking some pictures as you go along. Any questions, feel free to ask!

jengehrke (author)gmjhowe2009-04-11

I've actually made the cake and downloaded photos of me doing so. I should have done this in the first place. Jen

gmjhowe (author)jengehrke2009-04-12

Im glad you have, its much better for doing so. And i love Lemon cake!

karossii (author)2009-04-07

I have several thoughts on the Instructable, but the biggest in my mind right now is the pseudo advertising. I have no idea if King Arthur has good flour or not, but I do know that pampered chef is far from the best. And stoneware in general (regardless of brand name) only bakes better and more evenly if it is preheated for a while, so that the stoneware is an even temperature throughout. Unfortunately, with a lot of baking this can't or shouldn't be done, because the hot pan will affect the batter as it is poured in, and cause a skin of sorts to form. And you must always lower the temperature slightly and increase the baking times slightly to compensate for the cookware. Which is a pain for some, and hard to remember for others. Aside from that, I can't believe any cake using lemon extract instead of real juice and zest could approach being the 'best'... but since I haven't (and probably won't) tried this instructable, I won't dispute anything . . . I've been surprised in the past.

jengehrke (author)karossii2009-04-12

Hello! Just a quick response: I'm not trying to advertise anything, I've just used King Arthur flour for years, and baked goods just seem to come out better. It is unbleached, and seems to produce cakes with a lighter texture. As far as stoneware goes, I've never preheated it, and my baked goods always cook evenly. Thanks for your comments! Jen

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