California Lemon Pound Cake Recipe
California Lemon Pound Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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California Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

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Citrus trees grow abundantly in California, and I'm always looking for new recipes which use the fruit from the orange and lemon trees in my yard. This is one of my favorites! My mother passed this recipe down to me. —Richard Killeaney, Spring Valley, California
Featured In: Top 10 Cake Recipes
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 70 min. + cooling
MAKES:12-16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 70 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12-16 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 500 calories, 23g fat (11g saturated fat), 107mg cholesterol, 333mg sodium, 70g carbohydrate (50g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in lemon peel and extract. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Beat just until combined.
  2. Pour into a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the frosting ingredients; beat until smooth. Spread over top of cake. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • For extra nonstick insurance, grease with shortening, then give the greased pan a quick spritz of cooking spray.
  • A flexible plastic knife works wonders to remove a cake from a fluted tube pan without damage. Slide the knife along the sides and center of the pan to loosen the cake before inverting it.
  • Originally published as California Lemon Pound Cake in Country April/May 1991, p47

    Sweet White Wine

    Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

    Reviews for California Lemon Pound Cake

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    Christine User ID: 9144498 267385
    Reviewed May. 27, 2017

    "I would suggest using a touch of lemon oil in the batter to ramp up the lemon flavor!"

    CakenGifts User ID: 9166983 266189
    Reviewed May. 22, 2017

    "Wow!!! its watching very nice. What a wonderful cake!!! It Very nice and simple recipe that can provide me very amazing cake.

    Last time i saw such amazing cakes on :"

    Queenlalisa User ID: 15400 261796
    Reviewed Feb. 25, 2017

    "This is a delicious cake. Has a good texture. I did add a little fresh lemon juice to the batter."

    honey25 User ID: 5819292 252260
    Reviewed Aug. 5, 2016

    "Love the texture of this cake. Made it in my sister-in-law's kitchen where there is no bundt pan :( So used a 9x12 and doubled the icing.... Nice results. And was better the 2nd or third day."

    cliftonhanger User ID: 742252 248512
    Reviewed May. 22, 2016

    "This is as good a lemon pound cake as I’ve had, great lemon flavor and very moist. Frosting fans might want to double the recipe. Don’t skip the lemon extract in the cake. Trader Joe’s sells a very good one as does Olive Nation on line. DON’T buy the artificially flavored ones that the supermarkets sell. The difference between artificial and real flavor is night and day. Those who had it burn or be very dry, try using an oven thermometer. Cooper Atkins is a good brand."

    Halee2003 User ID: 7213920 247877
    Reviewed May. 4, 2016

    "Made cake today. Flavor was good,, but when u slice it cake falls apart. Also very dry. I followed recipe not sure what went wrong."

    neeniep User ID: 8536615 247662
    Reviewed Apr. 30, 2016

    "Great basic recipe. However,most people complain not enough lemon flavor if you have lemons, why use extract. I used half lemon juice and half milk to get a real...lemon flavor. Then still use lemon juice for icing. I grow meyer lemons and they are wonderful. Waste not want not. Thanks"

    Debglass11 User ID: 6300479 246924
    Reviewed Apr. 11, 2016

    "Made this yesterday and everyone loved it! It's a perfect summer dessert with a delicate lemon flavor. Instead of icing it as indicated in the recipe, I served it with whipped cream and fresh strawberries macerated in sugar. I'm sure it would be great with the icing too! I'll definitely make this again!"

    sewsal User ID: 2105914 244477
    Reviewed Feb. 25, 2016

    "I baked this cake in individual bundt cake pans. It was ok but not great in my opinion. I even used buttermilk. It stuck in the pans even though I sprayed it .I probably

    won't make it again"

    RedRain User ID: 702637 244255
    Reviewed Feb. 21, 2016

    "mickiej43, shortening is a solid whereas cooking oil is a liquid. In most pound cake recipes (not all, just most) the recipe calls for a combination of butter and shortening, as it makes for a lighter cake. Both butter and shortening should be room temperature, as should all the other ingredients, including the milk. You will find this keeps the cake from falling. This is a great pound cake and you can interchange orange zest and orange juice or lime zest and lime juice to change it up. A terrific cake for Spring Summer!"

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