Who doesn't love a moist and delicious pound cake? This Meyer lemon pound cake is a twist on the traditional lemon pound cake recipe. Combining two classic flavors – sweet buttery pound cake and tangy Meyer lemons plus the addition of ground cardamom– this dessert is the perfect treat for lemon lovers.
- Ingredients You’ll Need for This Pound Cake
- How to Make Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
- How to Make the Lemon Soaking Syrup
- How to Make the Lemon Glaze
- How to Serve This Delicious Bundt Cake
- How to Store This Cake
- Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
- If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
- Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
The first time I made this cake I was blown away by how good the combination of lemon and cardamom tasted. The cardamom adds a slight floral aroma and taste to the cake which tastes great with the tartness of the lemon.
Ingredients You’ll Need for This Pound Cake
Here is what you’ll need for the best Meyer lemon pound cake you'll ever taste
- Meyer Lemons: The Meyer lemon juice and zest are the main flavor of the cake. Zest the lemon directly into the sugar and rub the zest into the sugar to maximize the flavor of the lemon zest.
- Cake Flour: The flour adds structure and the cake flour helps create a beautiful tender texture in this cake. Cake flour tends to clump to follow the recipe instructions to sift the cake flour twice to remove the lumps and aerate the flour. If you want to use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour use an equal amount by weight, not cup measurements.
- Granulated Sugar: Sugar not only adds sweetness, but it also adds moisture and structure to the pound cake.
- Unsalted Butter: Butter gives richness, tenderness, and structure to this recipe. Start with room temperature butter (65-68 degrees F) so that it emulsifies with the other ingredients. I recommend unsalted butter because you can control the amount of salt in the recipe. Salted butter can contain up to 7 grams of salt for every 4 ounces of butter.
- Large Eggs: The eggs combine with the sugar and butter to add flavor, richness, moisture, and tenderness to the cake. Combined with the flour they add structure to the cake.
- Ground Cardamom: Cardamom has a lovely floral aroma that pairs really well with the citrusy flavor of the cake.
- Kosher Salt: The salt helps elevate all the other flavors in the cake.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder is a chemical leavener and reacts with the air bubbles in the cake batter to help the cake rise.
- Sour Cream: Sour cream adds moisture and tenderness to the cake.
Full ingredients, measurements, and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
For this recipe I used the Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan. It’s the perfect size for this cake. If using a different bundt pan make sure it is at least 10 cups in size.
Prep the bundt pan. Stir together the flour and melted butter. Use a pastry brush to evenly cover the inside of the pan. Be careful to get into every crevice. I find it easier to brush from the base up.
Step 1: Zest the lemons directly into the sugar. Zesting directly into the sugar will ensure that you capture the lemon oils and moisture in the lemon zest and will add more flavor to the cake.
Step 2: With your fingers rub the lemon zest into the sugar until the sugar starts to clumps (from the moisture in the lemon zest) and turns yellow.
Step 3: Sift the cake flour twice into a large bowl. Add the baking powder, kosher salt, and cardamom and whisk together until well combined.
Crack the eggs open into a medium-sized bowl or a two cup measuring cup. The eggs will be added to the cake batter one at a time.
Step 4: Combine the lemon-sugar mixture and the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment until the mixture is creamy and lighter in color.
Step 5: Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed until each egg is incorporated. The eggs are added one at a time to ensure that they emulsify into the batter. After the lemon juice is added the batter will be curdled which is okay.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Make sure to scrape the batter off of the paddle attachment also.
Step 6: Alternate the addition of the dry ingredients and the sour cream, mixing on slow after each addition. You want to mix on slow speed to avoid developing the gluten in the flour which can result in a tough cake.
Step 7: After mixing in the last third of flour mixture, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl because unmixed batter tends to settle on the bottom of the mixing bowl. Mix the batter for another 20 seconds.
Step 8: Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth and even out the batter. Tap the bundt pan against the counter 5 times to remove the air bubbles from the batter.
Step 9: Bake the cake until the temperature in the center registers 203 degrees F. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature. The center of the cake is the space halfway between the center and outer edge of the pan.
Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. When the cake first comes out of the oven it is too delicate to turn out of the pan. But don’t let the cake cool longer than 15 minutes. If the cake is left in the pan too long, condensation will form, causing the cake to steam and then stick to the pan.
When ready to invert the cake, place a piece of parchment paper over the top of the pan so it covers the cake. Place a large wire rack over the parchment paper and flip the cake over. Immediately start brushing the cake with the lemon soaking syrup until it is all used up. It will seem like a lot, but the cake will soak up all the syrup.
Let the cake completely cool before adding the lemon glaze.
How to Make the Lemon Soaking Syrup
The soaking syrup is a delicious combination of Meyer lemon juice, sugar, and butter.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small sauce pan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, just until the sugar is dissolved. Add the pat of butter and whisk it in. Turn off the heat and leave the pan on the burner.
How to Make the Lemon Glaze
Combine the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Stir until the glaze is smooth. At this point the glaze will be very thick. Add the remaining lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Replace the Meyer lemon zest and juice with regular lemons, also known as Eureka lemons. Depending on where you live, Meyer lemons are typically available from November - March
- You can leave out the cardamom if you don’t have it or can’t find it. It is expensive, so if you’ve never tried it before, buy it from a place where you can buy it in bulk. If buying it in a bottle Simply Organic is my favorite brand.
How to Serve This Delicious Bundt Cake
This incredible cake is perfect for family dinner, a dinner party, or picnic. For a beautiful presentation serve it will whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
How to Store This Cake
- The cake is good at room temperature in a cake container for up to 2 days.
- The best way to store it in the refrigerator is to cut the cake into pieces (about 2-3 servings in size) and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Wrapping the cake pieces will help it stay moist. When ready to serve let it come to room temperature or warm it in the microwave for about 15 seconds
- To freeze the cake wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer storage bag. To freeze a whole cake, wrap it in two layers of plastic and then one layer of aluminum foil. Freeze the cake for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator 24 hours before serving.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Use a kitchen scale to weigh the flour, butter, and eggs. Weighing the eggs is especially important if you’re using organic cage-free eggs. I typically use conventional large grade AA eggs, which have a consistent weight of 50 grams. I recommend this food scale.
- Use room temperature ingredients (eggs, butter, and sour cream) to ensure the ingredients mix well together.
- Cream the butter and sugar and don’t skip this step. Air bubbles are created by creaming the butter and sugar. When the cake is baked, the baking powder reacts with these air bubbles and causes them to grown and expand.
- Add the eggs one at time to ensure they emulsify with the butter and sugar. A large portion of the egg is water and since the sugar and butter mixture you’re trying to emulsify fat and water. Add too many eggs at one time will make it harder for this emulsification to take place.
- Follow the cooling time for the bundt cake. Once the cake comes out of the oven it needs to time start to release from the pan. If you invert it too soon the cake will stick. If you wait too long, the cake will start to restick to the pan.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
If your pound cake is dry you either overbaked it or added too much flour?
If you overmix a pound cake the gluten is activated, which can make the cake tough and rubbery.
If the cake is rubbery it is either because it was overmixed after the flour was added or the eggs were cold. Make sure to use room temperature butter, eggs, and sour cream.
If you make this recipe please leave a rating and a comment below.
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If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Meyer Lemon Cardamom Cake
- 2 1/4 cups (256 grams) cake flour sifted twice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter room temperature (65-68 degrees F)
- 5 (250 grams) large eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 3/4 cup (172 grams) full-fat sour cream room temperature
Meyer Lemon Soaking Syrup
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
Meyer Lemon Glaze
- 1 1/2 cups (173 grams) powdered sugar sifted
- 2-3 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice
- For this cake I used the Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt pan. This cake recipe was developed specifically for this size pan, which is 10 cups.
- Stir together the melted butter and flour in a small bowl until a paste forms. Using a pastry brush, coat all interior surfaces of a 10 cup Bundt pan. (If mixture becomes too thick to brush on, microwave it for about 10 seconds, or until warm and softened.)
For the Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Crack the eggs into a separate bowl. Put the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cardamom together in another bowl and whisk for 30 seconds to combine. This time is given to ensure the baking powder is well distributed in the flour.
- Place the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and zest the lemons directly into the bowl, on top of the sugar. With your fingers rub the zest into the sugar. Add the butter to the bowl. Mix on low for 30 seconds and then increase the speed of the mixer to medium. Beat on medium until the butter and sugar appear creamy and lighter in color, about 7 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time and mix on medium speed until each egg is well incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl after the first 3 eggs to ensure the ingredients are well mixed. Add the remaining 2 eggs one a t time and scrape the down the after adding the last egg. Add the lemon juice and mix on medium speed until combined.
- Add one- third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until well combined, but do not over mix. Add half of the sour cream and mix on medium speed until well combined. Alternate the addition of the remaining flour and sour cream, ending with the flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on low speed for about 20 seconds to ensure the cake batter is well mixed.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan. If you use the Heritage Bundt Pan, bang the pan against the counter 5 times to settle the batter into the grooves on this pan and remove air bubbles. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean or the temperature in the center of the cake registers 203 degrees F. The cake will also begin to pull away from the sides of the pan as soon as you remove it from the oven.
For the Meyer Lemon Soaking Syrup
- Once the cake comes out of the oven combine 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice and 1/4 cup the sugar in a saucepan, and heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.. Lower the heat and add the butter. Whisk until butter is thoroughly melted and combined into the glaze.
- Remove the pan from the oven and cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Do not let the cake cool too long in the pan or it will stick. Place a piece of parchment paper over a cooling rack and invert the parchment lined rack over the cake pan. Invert the cake pan onto the rack. Immediately start brushing the cake with the soaking syrup until it is all gone.
- Cool the cake until completely cooled, about 90 minutes.
For the Meyer Lemon Glaze
- Combine the powdered sugar and the lemon juice. Stir until the glaze is smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake.
- The cake is good at room temperature for 2 days in a cake container. The best way to store it in the refrigerator is to cut the cake into pieces (about 2-3 servings in size) and wrap each piece in plastic wrap.
- If you want to store the whole uncut cake in the refrigerator then wrap it in two layers of plastic wrap. Unwrapped cake can dry out in the refrigerator.