This Italian Lemon Pound Cake recipe is super easy to make, and the flavor is incredible. Wouldn't this be nice to have for the weekend?
I’ve been trying to add Italian recipes from my trip to Sicily and Rome last year, and Italian desserts are just so delicious. Even the food on the Italian Costa Smeralda ship was spectacular.
I’m working on Limoncello, but it takes a while to infuse. I'll have some great recipes coming once it’s ready! We also love this Baked Lemon Donut recipe and these Blueberry Sweet Buns with a lemon glaze. They are both heavenly!
Make this flavorful cake to celebrate the beginning of Spring. Better yet, place it on your Easter table for friends and family to enjoy.
Why This Recipe Works
This Italian lemon cake has a tender texture and a rich lemon flavor, perfect for a Spring brunch or a refreshing dessert.
This simple recipe is made with fresh lemons and real unsalted butter to make a light yet decadent Italian treat. Your family will enjoy this moist lemon cake on special occasions for years to come.
One of my favorite ways to use fresh produce is to bake delicious cakes. Nothing beats a homemade dessert with in-season citrus.
Not only does this cake taste amazing, but it’s super easy, too! Using simple ingredients, you can have this homemade dessert in the oven in ten minutes.
What Goes Into This Recipe?
1. Lemon - we’re adding lemon zest and juice for the ultimate lemon flavor.
2. Sour cream - results in a richer cake as it adds moisture.
3. Heavy whipping cream - adds a glaze that’s just a little thicker and creamier.
See the recipe card for quantities and complete directions.
How To Make This Recipe
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, flour and grease a 10-inch bundt pan.
Step 2: Add the flour and baking powder to a large mixing bowl. Give it a quick whisk and set aside.
Step 3: In another large bowl, cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest with a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
Make sure the ingredients are combined well.
Step 4: In a separate small bowl, add the sour cream and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Whisk together.
Step 4: With the electric mixer on low speed, add ¼ of the dry ingredients, followed by ½ of the sour cream mixture and butter mixture. Continue alternating until the remaining flour mixture is incorporated and all components are added to the bowl.
Step 5: Pour batter into your bundt pan and smooth the top so it’s even. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Step 6: While the cake cools, make your icing.
Step 7: In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the powdered sugar (or confectioners’ sugar), heavy whipping cream, and two tablespoons lemon juice. Keep adding small amounts of heavy cream until you get the right consistency. It should be slightly thick but runny enough that it slides down the sides of the cake.
Step 8: Transfer the cooled caked to a wire rack or a cake platter. Pour the icing around the top of the cake and let it fall down the sides. Lay down parchment paper or paper towels if using a cooling rack. You can serve it as a slightly warm cake or completely cool.
If you’re using a hand mixer, add ½ the dry ingredients and ½ the sour cream mixture, mixing well. Follow with the other half of those ingredients, and mix well again until combined.
When making the icing, it may be helpful to lay paper towels down under your cake if using a wire rack because the icing will drip onto the table.
Quality ingredients are essential to making any recipe, and Italian pound cake is no exception. I recommend using pure cane sugar because it has a finer grain. Also, use real butter, and preferably, organic eggs.
All the ingredients should be at room temperature before beginning.
Pro tip: working with room temperature butter and eggs ensures that air can be adequately incorporated, which leads to a soft, airy pound cake.
Store this pound cake in plastic wrap or an airtight container, preferably in the fridge.
Although this recipe is technically a lemon bundt cake, you can use a loaf pan instead. Keep an eye on the cake and adjust bake time as needed.
Add a little bit of lemon zest and lemon extract to the icing to make a lemon glaze. You could also make a lemon cream cheese frosting to spread on the outside of the cake.
If you don’t have sour cream, try using buttermilk. Make quick homemade buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to every 1 cup of milk.
Substitute the lemon for orange if you don’t like lemon dessert. Just replace the lemon zest with orange zest, and squeeze fresh orange juice. Add a little fresh ginger to the cake batter for something different.
Feeling like chocolate? Try this easy S'mores Cake recipe!
Frequently Asked Questions
Adding an ingredient like sour cream will make your pound cake moist. The acid from the sour cream produces a more delicate crumb as it tenderizes the gluten in the flour. It also adds richness to the cake while keeping it moist. You can achieve the same thing by substituting buttermilk or cream cheese.
I use unbleached all-purpose flour in this particular recipe because it’s more widely available, but you can use cake flour instead. Cake flour contains less gluten, resulting in a higher rise and a more tender cake.
The most common reasons for a pound cake to fall are not measuring ingredients correctly or setting the wrong oven temperature. Make sure to use the exact measurements and level them with a knife. Also, follow the recipe steps exactly and don’t skip a step. Don't replace the baking powder with baking soda, as this is a standard error and can lead to a failed cake.
More Italian Recipes
Italian Lemon Pound Cake
- 1 bundt pan
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp. Baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 6 tbsp. Fresh squeezed lemon juice divided
- 1 ¼ cups sour cream room temperature
- 2 tbsp. Heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
- To a large mixing bowl, add flour and baking powder and whisk together. Set Aside.
- To the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix at medium speed on your stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, until all of the ingredients are combined.
- To a small bowl, add sour cream and 4 tbsp. Lemon juice. Whisk together.
- Turn the stand mixer to low, and add about ¼ of the dry mixture, followed by ½ of the sour cream mixture, ¼ of the dry mixture, and so on, letting the ingredients get incorporated between each addition, until everything has been added to the bowl. Alternatively, use your hand mixer and add ½ the dry ingredients and ½ the sour cream mixture, mixing well. Follow with the other half of those ingredients, and mix well again until combined.
- Pour the batter into your bundt pan, and smooth out the top to make it spread evenly.
- Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes, until a long toothpick inserted into the middle of the pound cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely, and make your icing.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar, heavy whipping cream, and 2 tbsp. of lemon juice. If needed, you can add more heavy whipping cream to get your desired consistency. It needs to be fluid but if it is slightly thicker you’ll get that nice white glaze on top of your cake.
- Pour the icing around the top of your cake, letting it fall to the sides. It may be helpful to lay paper towels down under your cake if using a wire rack, because the icing will drip into the table.
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