This Small Lemon Pound Cake is incredibly moist, lemon tangy, and everything you want a slice of pound cake to be.
I have a bright little dessert for you today, one that will serve you all through the dreary days of winter and into the spring: Lemon Pound Cake!
Small-batch Pound Cake
This is a small-batch recipe that will make two mini-loaves (these are the mini loaf pans I own) or one very short and squat loaf in a regular-size loaf pan.
The cakes come out incredibly moist and lemon tangy and exactly everything you want a slice of pound cake to be.
Fair warning though, if you don’t want to eat two cakes today, you might want to pre-promise one of them to a friend or hide it away in your freezer. These are almost impossible not to nibble at when they are sitting on your counter (ask me how I know).
Your Choice of Pound Cake Glaze
You can leave the cakes plain if that’s how you prefer your pound cake, but you really won’t regret adding a finishing glaze. And I’m giving you two options, a sweet-tart lemon glaze or decadent cream cheese glaze.
I love both (which is why I’m including both–I couldn’t choose between them!).
The sweet-tart lemon glaze is made with two ingredients, powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. It’s incredibly tangy and good and sets much firmer than cream cheese glaze does.
The cream cheese glaze is the same glaze I use on my Cream Cheese Glazed Pumpkin Donuts. It makes a thick and silky glaze that’s really a cross between a glaze and a frosting.
It will set, but not hard, so if you plan on wrapping the cakes for gifting, you’ll need to be careful. Cakes using this glaze should also be stored in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese.
More Small-batch Cakes
Small Lemon Pound Cake Recipe Notes
- This recipe calls for shortening, but you can replace it with 1/4 cup of butter (for 1/2 cup of butter total) if you don’t keep shortening on hand. I slightly prefer the texture of the cake made with some shortening, but the all-butter pound cake is still completely delicious.
Small Lemon Pound Cake
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (56g) salted butter softened
- 1/4 cup (48g) shortening room temperature*
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs preferably room temperature
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest this is the zest from about 1/3 of a lemon
- 1/4 cup milk preferably whole
- 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice plus more as needed
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons (28g) salted butter softened
- 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar sifted
- 1 to 2 teaspoons milk any percentage
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease two mini loaf pans and line with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine softened butter, shortening, and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by lemon juice and zest.
- Add half of the flour mixture, mixing until just combined, repeating with all of the milk and then the rest of the flour mixture.
- Divide batter between baking pans and bake for 28 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Cool before adding the glaze.
- In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. If necessary, add more lemon juice by the 1/4 teaspoon until you get a glaze that is just thin enough to drizzle over the cake (if you make it too thin, it won’t set).
- Drizzle glaze over the cakes and allow 10 to 15 minutes for it to set.
Cream Cheese Glaze
- In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese and butter. Beat until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of milk. Beat until smooth.
- Whisk in milk by the 1/4 teaspoon until mixture resembles a thin frosting, thin enough to easily spread over the top of the cakes but not completely pourable. (I usually use exactly 1 1/2 teaspoons milk TOTAL.) Do not add too much or your glaze will not set.
- Spread glaze over the cakes. Allow about 20 to 30 minutes for glaze to set.
- Slice cakes, serve, and enjoy!
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Not sure who loves these tangy little delights more – my husband or I! They have a lovely soft texture that is sooo hard to resist, and the glaze (I made lemon) was the perfect sweet topping. These will be in rotation here!
So thrilled to hear it, Sandy! Thanks for taking the time to let me know!!
Hi. I love a moist lemon pound cake!
I don’t keep shortening on hand. But for holiday cookies (snickerdoodle types), I replace shortening with coconut oil. Do you have any thoughts on what the would do for this cake’s texture? (The refined oil; which has almost no coconut taste).
I would be up for using all butter like your note (so awesomely) recommends. But thought I would ask your feedback first.
Thanks. Stay safe.
As you said, generally you can swap solid coconut oil and shortening 1:1, so I imagine it would work just fine here and give the cakes a really nice moist and soft texture similar to shortening. BUT I haven’t ever done it, so I don’t want to say for sure how it would come out.
If you’re worried about wasting ingredients right now (I know a lot of people are still having trouble finding the basics), I’d just use all butter, but if you’re up for experimenting, I say go for it. Either way, please let me know how it comes out! 🙂
This is the third time I’m making this recipe. I use a standard glass loaf pan – I don’t have minis and it’s wonderful. Thanks for the great recipe.
Thanks, Laura! So glad to hear it!!
How long did you bake ? I’m using a metal loaf pan
Dena Taylor says
How do you think this would be if you replaced the lemon with orange .. in both the cake and the glaze?
It should work just fine. It will be a more subtle flavor since orange juice is less powerful than lemon, so I might add 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest to the glaze just to help boost it. If you try it, please let me know how they turn out!
Absolutely supurb cake! Thank you, Tracy!
Thanks, Jeannie!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I’m looking forward to making these. What are the dimensions of your loaf pans?
I look forward to hearing from you on Sunday mornings. Thanks.
Thanks, Linda! The pans are 5.5 x 3 x 2.25-inches. Hope you enjoy the cakes!
Beth ST Germain says
I’m looking forward to make this! I only use unsalted butter. How much salt would I need to add for the adjustment?
Hi, Beth. Add an addition 1/8 teaspoon salt for 1/4 teaspoon total.
It sounds great and I love lemon. When you call for shortening do you use Crisco or margarine?
I use Crisco in these. Hope you enjoy them!!
I absolutely love these. I’m going to make a bunch tomorrow but am I able to freeze them with the cream cheese frosting?
So glad you enjoyed them! Yes, you can freeze them with the cream cheese frosting.