Simple Sourdough Lemon Pound Cake From Scratch (half pound)

If you’re looking for a simple cake bursting with lemon flavor, this sourdough lemon pound cake is for you. No lack of flavor or overcomplicated steps, finally! This recipe is cherished in our home and I hope it will be in yours as well. Whether you need a dessert for the church potluck or want to brighten a friend’s day, this pound cake is just what you’re looking for.

lemon cake on a plate with slices of lemons  on top and lemons beside
Source: Plum Branch Home

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You know those times when you’ve got a gathering or potluck coming up and you’re not sure what to take. Well that’s where this sourdough lemon pound cake comes in. It’s got a flavor everyone will love and travels super well.

Sourdough Lemon Pound Cake Recipe Inspiration

As the spring season starts to show itself here in Tennessee, I’ve been craving bright, fresh flavors. As I was creating this month’s blog content calendar I began looking for different ways to use citrus and fruits. Around this time I was facetiming my mom and she mentioned how she made a sourdough lemon pound cake but it didn’t taste like lemon.

I knew I could develop a better recipe full of lemon flavor. So I began developing this recipe. It’s so delicious it caught my husband off guard. He’s not a huge lemon guy so naturally before he took a bite he wasn’t too sure. But with that first bite his eyes lit up and he asked for another slice. We ate the entire cake in 2 days and ever since he’s been asking for more!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It actually tastes like lemon
  • Simple and easy recipe to follow
  • No complicated steps that are unnecessary
  • Super moist crumb
  • Perfect for any occasion
  • Travels well to potlucks or gatherings
slice of cake beside the lemon loaf
Source: Plum Branch Home

How My Recipe Is Different From Others

  • This recipe is simplified making the steps easy to follow unlike other recipes
  • I don’t use baking soda or baking powder making this a more traditional pound cake.
  • The addition of sour cream adds the perfect texture.
  • Each ingredient is wholesome, no fake additives or colorings.
  • My recipe makes a half-pound cake. If you want the perfect sized cake, this is the recipe for you!
  • Many people overcomplicate making a half pound cake but I’ve made it simple and easy.

Ingredients

Pound Cake

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (fed or discard)
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Butter (room temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup Cane Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup Flour

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup Powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice

Kitchen Tools You May Need (affiliate links)

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare & Preheat

preparing a loaf pan with flour
Source: Plum Branch Home

Prepare a loaf pan with a light greasing of butter then dust with flour and tap the pan upside down to remove excess. Or place parchment paper inside instead.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Make Batter

creaming together sugar and butter
Source: Plum Branch Home

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and cane sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy (1 minute)

adding in eggs to creamed mixture
Source: Plum Branch Home

Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed until evenly combined.

creaming together ingredients
Source: Plum Branch Home

Add in sourdough starter, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until smoothly combined on medium-low speed.

Then on medium speed, add flour. Mix just to combine, don’t over mix.

adding in lemon zest to batter
Source: Plum Branch Home

With a spatula or spoon, stir in lemon zest gently just until combined.

Step 3: Bake

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-65 mins (toothpick comes out clean in center) (don’t open the door during baking).

Step 4: Cool & Glaze

cake cooling on a rack
Source: Plum Branch Home

Once baked, let cool in loaf pan for 10 mins on a wire rack (do not remove from pan before this).

making glaze in a bowl
Source: Plum Branch Home

While the cake is cooling, stir or whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze until combined in a small bowl.

pouring glaze over a cake
Source: Plum Branch Home

Once cake is cooled, gently transfer out pan and onto a plate. Drizzle glaze over top and enjoy!

Molly’s Tips for the Best Sourdough Pound Cake

  • Don’t use baking powder or baking soda, you really don’t need it (at least for my recipe).
  • Sourdough adds the perfect tang and pairs perfectly with the lemon.
  • Don’t rush the creaming step of butter and sugar, do it for the entire 1 minute.
  • Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  • Add a Tablespoon or two of sour cream for a moist, light crumb.
  • Don’t open the oven door while pound cake is baking, it can cause the rising cake to fall.
  • Let the pound cake cool for exactly 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, don’t remove it too early or too late.

Make Ahead, Long Fermenting Option

If you’d like to make this cake batter ahead of time and bake it the next day, do a long ferment. Instead of baking the cake, cover the batter and place it in the fridge overnight up to 24 hours. This will allow the batter to long ferment, giving it more sourdough flavor. This step is optional.

How to Storing Pound Cake

After baking, store your pound cake glazed or unglazed at room temperature for up to 3 days. I like to store mine in a cake or pie storage container. You can also place it in an air-tight container. Just don’t refrigerate it. This will dry the cake out.

How to Freeze Lemon Pound Cake

When you’re ready to freeze pound cake make sure it’s completely cooled and unglazed. Wrap it in plastic wrap or parchment paper and place in a freezer safe bag or container. It’ll last 2 months in the freezer.

How to Thaw Frozen Pound Cake

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen pound cake, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then bring it to room temperature on the counter before serving. Cover with glaze after it is thawed.

lemon cake and a slice on a plate
Source: Plum Branch Home

Recipe FAQ

Does lemon pound cake freeze well?

Yes it freezes really well for up to 2 months just make sure you leave the glaze off. It’s much better freshly glazed after thawing.

My cake has a weird texture, what happened?

You probably overmixed the batter. This causes any air bubbles in the batter to be lost, creating a weird texture in your baked cake.

Should I use sourdough discard or fed starter for this recipe?

You can use either for this recipe. However, I do recommend using a fed starter just to help give the pound cake a little lift.

What can I substitute the sour cream for?

You can substitute yogurt for sour cream in this pound cake recipe. Do the same measurement and use Greek yogurt or unsweetened, plain yogurt.

Can I leave the sour cream out?

You can leave the sour cream out but it will affect the texture of the cake. The sour cream helps the crumb stay moist and light. If desired you can substitute yogurt instead.

Why does this recipe not call for baking soda or baking powder?

A traditional pound cake does not call for baking soda or baking powder. This is what sets the pound cake apart from a regular cake. For my recipe, I wanted it to have a more traditional ingredient list so I left them out.

Try These Other Sourdough Dessert Recipes

I love hearing how much you love my recipes, be sure to leave a review below! 😊

lemon cake on a plate with slices of lemons on top and lemons beside

Simple Sourdough Lemon Pound Cake From Scratch

Molly LaFontaine of Plum Branch Home
If you're looking for a simple cake bursting with lemon flavor, this sourdough lemon pound cake is for you. No lack of flavor or overcomplicated steps, finally! This recipe is cherished in our home and I hope it will be in yours as well. Whether you need a dessert for the church potluck or want to brighten a friend's day, this pound cake is just what you're looking for.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Sourdough
Servings 1 (1/2 pound) cake

Ingredients
  

Pound Cake

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (fed or discard)
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Butter (room temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup Cane Sugar
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup Powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice

Instructions
 

Step 1: Prepare & Preheat

  • Prepare a loaf pan with a light greasing of butter then dust with flour and tap the pan upside down to remove excess. Or place parchment paper inside instead.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Make Batter

  • In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and cane sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy (1 minute)
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed until evenly combined.
  • Add in sourdough starter, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until smoothly combined on medium-low speed.
  • Then on medium speed, add flour. Mix just to combine, don’t over mix.
  • With a spatula or spoon, stir in lemon zest gently just until combined.

Step 3: Bake

  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-65 mins (toothpick comes out clean in center) (don’t open the door during baking).

Step 4: Cool & Glaze

  • Once baked, let cool in loaf pan for 10 mins on a wire rack (do not remove from pan before this).
  • While the cake is cooling, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze until combined in a small bowl.
  • Once cake is cooled, gently transfer out pan and onto a plate. Drizzle glaze over top and enjoy!

Notes

How to Storing Pound Cake

After baking, store your pound cake glazed or unglazed at room temperature for up to 3 days. I like to store mine in a cake or pie storage container. You can also place it in an air-tight container. Just don’t refrigerate it. This will dry the cake out.

How to Freeze Lemon Pound Cake

When you’re ready to freeze pound cake make sure it’s completely cooled and unglazed. Wrap it in plastic wrap or parchment paper and place in a freezer safe bag or container. It’ll last 2 months in the freezer.

How to Thaw Frozen Pound Cake

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen pound cake, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then bring it to room temperature on the counter before serving. Cover with glaze after it is thawed.
Keyword lemon pound cake, plum branch home sourdough lemon pound cake, sourdough lemon cake, sourdough lemon pound cake

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love the lemon flavor in this easy recipe!!
    If I could rate this a 10 star I would.
    Very delicious and the lemon flavor is fantastic!!
    I’ll be making this again and again.

    Thank you Molly for creating this recipe,
    awesome job❣️
    I finally found a recipe that has the lemon flavor I was looking for. And it’s an easy recipe.

    1. Aww, thank you so much for this comment!! I am so happy to hear it’s the recipe you’ve been looking for! I really wanted the lemon to shine through, I’m so glad it’s the perfect balance!