The Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound Cake – the only from scratch Lemon Pound Cake recipe you will ever need! It tastes amazing! This recipe never lets me down. Great dessert for a crowd. Serve with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit.
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This recipe is from the Ritz Carlton Cooking School I went to back in August. I’ve been working my way through some of my favorite dishes at home, and this lemon pound cake was the first recipe I attempted. I loved the cake when we had it at cooking school, and I wanted to share it with Chicken Legs.
The cake turned out fantastic! It tasted just like it did at cooking school. It had a great lemon flavor without being overwhelming. This is going to be my “go-to” pound cake from now on. We served it with a big scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. Perfection!
The Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup shortening, room temperature
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 lemon, zested
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray or butter and flour a 15-cup Bundt pan.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each one.
- Add dry ingredients in three additions to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and zest.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.
- DO NOT fill your pans to the very top or the cake will overflow!
- I use a 15-cup Bundt pan. It also works in a Tube Pan.
- If you are using a 12-cup or 10-cup Bundt pan, make sure to leave at least 1-inch to 1½ inches unfilled. You may have leftover batter.
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I have made this twice. The first time as written, the second time I slightly altered it and it turned out perfect. First, I didnt have bundt pan so I used 2 loaf pans. I oiled and lined them with wax paper. Next, I added 2T of zest instead of 1; Increased lemon juice by 2T and decreased milk by 2T (so that the liquid mixture was correct). First time I baked for 10 minutes over and it was a little dry. So the next time I baked for 55 minutes and it was perfect.
Another thing I tried was after it cooled, I wrapped in foil and put it in the freezer over night. It tasted almost exactly like a sarah lee pound cake, except lemony. Very good, especially frozen.
Thank you for the recipe, its a keeper. My son even wants it for his birthday.
I made this iemon cake for Easter, my family loved it. I would like to know,can I use the same recipe to make a orange cake?
So good. Sweet needs no glaze, moist, and has a wonderful crust. Followed exactly except I added vanilla extract and had to bake 10 more minutes then 5 more with oven turned off. One problem. I’ve made it twice and it stuck to pan both times. I usually don’t use spray so next time I will use crisco to grease the pan.
It is definitely important to spray or grease and flour the pan.
Instead of lemon juice can vanilla extract be used? If so how much
That would be up to you.
This cake was absolutely delicious and company loved it!!! However after leaving in the pan for 15 minutes it didn’t come out so I left it for another 1/2 hour and when it came out some of it stuck to the pan! I sprayed liberally with cooking spray, should I have used baking spray? TIA
Probably. I use a bunt for 90% of my cakes. I always use baking spray and have had only one failure, twenty years ago.
I always spray my bunt pans and dust them with flour.
Made this cake today and my family loved it. The only thing I would change for next time is a little less sugar as I found the cake a bit sweet.
I would like to make this for Easter – an I bake in square cake pans? This looks delicious….
I’ve only made the cake as written, so I can not give guidance on how this works in other pans.
Can you use cake flour instead of all purpose flour?
I’ve only made the cake as written, so I can not say how that substitution will turn out.
Can you use lime juice and lime zest instead of lemon juice and lemon zest??
It may or may not be 1 or 2 lemons. It could be more. It depends on the size of the lemon and how much juice is squeezed out of the lemon. Go by the number of Tbls needed not the number of lemons. I used the zest of two lemons and it just added to the lemon flavor.
Shortening is not oil. Shortening is solid as in lard or Crisco.
Despite your clear and direct instructions to NOT overfill the bundt pan, I ignored them anyway and just like you said it would, my cake overflowed. I’m 40. Where did my parents fall short?
Knowing full well I had too much in the Bundt pan, I put a cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch my failure.
Recipe is great. My daughter loves Starbucks lemon pound cake and this hit the spot. I’ll look into going back to therapy.
Hey, at least you had the cookie sheet to save the oven! Glad you enjoyed it!
So funny!!!! I would have done the same but wouldn’t have been genius enough to add the sheet pan!!!!
Very delicious cake! Made as follows! I have to laugh at some of the questions!!! Sounds like a few of you need to be on worst cooks in America! Lol is shortening vegetable oil!! Bahaha
Great recipe, a tender and moist mildly lemon cake.
I mean made this pound cake last night. I used 2 loaf pans and, yes, there was a bit( about a cup) left over. Took 1 of them next door and 1/2 of it was gone before I left….lol. I usually pour a glaze over the top. There’s no need with this recipe. It’s sweet enough on it’s own. Absolutely the nest I’ve made yet! Next, going to try the Orange one. Again, thank you so much. Well done!
This is my all time favorite pound cake recipe… Thank you so much.
Amazing Bundt cake. I topped it with a bit of lemon frosting. Best lemon cake ever!!
I wanted to make this cake today but my cup measures 8 oz , so you told in a comment that your cup weighs 4.25 oz , so i have to use half cup i mean total almost 12 oz flour
No. Your cup measures 8-oz of liquid. Dry ingredients do not all weigh the same. You need the amount of flour listed in the ingredients. The weight is listed in case you want to properly measure the ingredients with a kitchen scale.
I made this today and it fell, before it was even done in the center. Any ideas why?
Best guess? Your baking powder could be bad. You probably need to cook it longer. If the middle of the cake is raw and the edges are brown, the pound cake might sink in the middle and crack. You can avoid this by covering the edges of the cake with foil to avoid it from browning and allowing the middle of the cake to bake.
My 1st attempt failed…the center failed to rise but the outer cake was perfect..what did i do wrong?…btw…we still ate the cake and will try again this weekend.
Best guess? Your baking powder could be bad. You probably need to cook it longer. If the middle of the cake is raw and the edges are brown, the pound cake might sink in the middle and crack. You can avoid this by covering the edges of the cake with foil to avoid it from blackening and allowing the middle of the cake to bake.
Tried this lemon pound cake last night. It was extremely moist. My son had like 3 slices…Delicious!! This will be my go- to pound cake moving forward. One thing I did was to substitute the shortening with cream cheese. The cake came out perfectly. 👍👍
The shortening helps to keep the cake moist. Do not omit the shortening.
I think I will try this recipe and use the cake for strawberry shortcake. Only I will use fresh strawberry juice instead of lemon juice. Do you think I should make strawberry zest for the lemon or skip that ingredient?
That would be entirely up to you.
Has anyone made this lemon pound cake gluten free using gluten free all-purpose flour?
I’m planning on making this tomorrow. Can this be made in loaf pans?
I’m sure it can. I have not made this in loaf pans, so I do not know the cooking time.
The last ingredient is 1 lemon, 1/2 zested. I’m a little unclear about what is meant there. Does that mean you zest half of the peel? (and that’s it)
zest half of the lemon and use all of the juice
6 TBsp lemon juice + the juice of 1 lemon? Is this correct?
Still hoping for the answer to clarify this question 🙂 Is it 6 T lemon juice PLUS the juice of one lemon?? Thanks!
It is 6 Tbsp lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon
6 TBSP = 2 lemons My lemons yielded 7 TBSP
I zested one lemon before cutting it open to juice.
If you roll them on the counter with pressure before cutting them, they soften and you makes it much easier to get all the juice.
It is a total of 6 tablespoons…it equals a large lemon
I don’t see that it is 1 lemon, 1/2 zested or the zest of half of a lemon. I see 6 tbsp. of lemon juice and the zest of one lemon. Which is it supposed to be?
I’m not sure what you are seeing. It is 6 tablespoons of lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon.
Made this yesterday for my mom’s 86th birthday. She loves lemon and everyone loved this pound cake.
My god I just made it , it’s so rich fluffy, so moist and light I just want to say thank you so much, it reminds me of my mother who is overseas, tried my mom recipe btw and it wasn’t successful lol, thank you !! This is my go to Bundt cake from now on and I’ll pass the recipes to my young daughter too…
Where it says 1/2 cup shortening is that the solid crisco or the liquid vegetable oil?
shortening is a solid
I have tried other lemon pound cake recepies and this is the last one. It took longer in my oven but kept a close eye on it.
This will be my go to recipe
Thank you 😊
Can i make it using butter flavored shortening?
I would think that would be fine.
Can I use butter milk.Or half and please respond.
I have only made the recipe as written, so I can not say. Any changes and modifications are up to you.
The cake is delicious, but the lemon juice is not enough to give a distinctive lemon flavor. If I make it again, will use lemon extract to accentuate the favor.
Made this cake 2x in one day. Both of them overflowed in the oven. Why would this happen? Tasted great, made into a trifle with vanilla pudding, strawberries and whipped cream. Just wondering if anyone had a similar experience.
sounds like you overfilled your cake pan.
I made this for my Daughter’s Birthday and it was the best cake ever.
I grease my bundt pan with Crisco rather than butter. Never had a problem with it sticking, but you have to grease it really well.
I’ve only made this recipe as written. Without further recipe testing, I can not say how the recipe would turn out if altered.
SO glad it was a success!
Tried and true. Love this pound cake. Have been trying to find one close to my childhood memory of my Aunt’s. I give it 5 stars ⭐️ .
I live in The Netherlands; can you please tell me how you measure your flour – do you scoop and level or pour and level?
Apparently they both give different amounts of flour.
I love American recipes but authors rarely mention which method is used re the cups of flour and sadly I’ve had a few disasters – how do American cooks know which method is used in recipes – any advice on the above would help.
One cup of flour weighs 4.25-ounces. To properly measure flour, give the flour a stir to loosen it up in the container. Use a spoon and lightly spoon the flour into your measuring cup. Use a flat straight edge (like the straight back of a knife) to level off the top of the flour in the measuring cup. Do NOT compact the flour in the measuring cup.
Thanks so much for your quick reply.
I’ve saved and tried quite a few of your savoury recipes over the last couple of years and they’ve been gorgeous – I’ve no doubt this will be another now I know how to measure the flour.
Thanks once again for your help
Always spoon flour into dry measuring cup then level it off. There is difference between liquid measuring cup & dry. Check it out u will see. Enjoy. Been to ur country. Loved it. Come visit America.
Hello! This is so good!! Made this in a bundt pan. I wanna make this again for my husband’s birthday. Can I use 8 or 9 inch round pan for this? If yes, same time baking? Can I add a buttercream?
I’ve only made this in a Bundt pan, so I can not say with certainty cooking times on different pans. You will just have to experiment with it.
Neighbor gave me some lemons, so I’m going to try baking this today. I bought some poppy seeds and going to add them (2 tablespoons). This recipe sounds fantastic!
They said on recipe to leave room or it would over flow
Followed the recipe and it was a delicious lemon cake. The lemon flavor was perfect:) perfect cake to pair with tea or coffee. Thank you for an easy to follow recipe. I might try and substitute monk sugar for my diabetic mother to enjoy:)
Is one tablespoon baking powder correct? Seems a lot. Thx.
How about using loaf pans?
you can bake it in any pan you would like. I have only made it in a Bundt Pan. I don’t know the baking time for other pans.
It’s obvious that SOME people are not reading the comments, bcuz y’all are STILL asking the same questions. There’s a saying, “There’s no such thing as a dumb question!”…..well, SOME of you in these comments PROVE that saying to be false. How many times does Plain Chicken have to explain that, if you stick to the recipe that she posted, and use proper measurements, in the stated pan size, that your cake will come out correctly……she does NOT know anything about using ANY other pan, adding ANY OTHER INGREDIENT, substituting any other ingredient OR leaving ANY of the ingredients she said to put in, out……so stop asking!
Made this for a get-together. The batter was so smooth & silky. The cake is awesome. My favorite flavor of lemon but I would imagine you could substitute flavor—-right? Will definitely be a ‘keeper’. Thanks………
I halved this recipe and I made a 9 in square pan of lemon pound cake! We are a family of 3 and a whole poundcake is too much for us. Btw, My hubby and 6 year old loved it! I had no shortening so I used coconut oil instead. It came out delicious and light and fluffy! I’m gonna chop up strawberries and add some cool whip to top this delicious dessert! Thank you so much! Gonna make this again!
wonderful recipe! so easy to make and absolutely delicious. i made it for father's day and it was a hit. i was using it for strawberry shortcake, so i left out the lemon and added some vanilla. my only problem was i think my baking powder is too old and the cakes sunk in the middle. still tasted great though, so nobody cared.
I've been looking at lemon recipes a lot lately. I had some lemon bread and it kicked the craving up even more. This recipe looks awesome and I can't wait to try it. I lived in Texas for quite a number of years, but returned to my home in PA. Thanks for reminding me about Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream-My absolute favorite! I had forgotten about it. Now I want some, especially with this cake!
I made this cake yesterday and it turned out well. Very moist and the lemon flavor is outstanding. I used a 10 cup Bundt pan and added 10 minutes of cooking time. This cake is so good, I can see using it for special occasions .
I have made this cake many times and it's a big favourite amongst my family and friends . I thank you so much for sharing it .
I don't use regular milk. Would almond milk work also?
I've never cooked or baked with almond milk. If you've used it in other recipes with success, I'm sure it would be fine.
Loved your recipe.it turned out super yum.thank you.
the best thing about this cake is that it needs no embellishments, cut your slice, pick it up and eat it, no dish, no fork needed.
Fantastic cake. Very moist and flavorful. Thanks for sharing.
I’m going to make this . It sounds so good. I think I want to make one with orange juice as well .
I love this recipe but I like to change the flavor……like almond amaretto by substituting almond flavoring and a couple of teaspoons of amaretto liqueur. It is so good
that sounds amazing!
I live in Colorado..high altitude. What do I need to add to make sure the cake comes out moist?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience cooking at high altitudes.
I live in CO too! I always wonder how to alter for high altitude. I made this according to the recipe and it was moist! My issue was I didn’t grease the pan well enough and it got stuck. I’ll try it again
OMG, this recipe is SO good! Thank you for the tip about baking powder…I had no idea it expired! I used a 12' bundt pan and there were no issues except I had to cook it about 10 minutes longer than recipe calls for. There wasn't one person who didn't love this cake, including my husband who hates lemon! Thanks again for sharing! I will be making this often. 🙂
Made this today and followed the recipe exactly. Halved the quantities and used a loaf pan. Absolutely perfect result and delicious!! Thank you.
I have this in the oven but im nervous its going to overflow, its in a bundt pan but its pretty close to the top
You should leave about an inch at the top of the bundt pan so the cake has space to rise. There could be some leftover batter.
So, I panicked bc being a new-ish baker I had never made a recipe that didn't fit into the pan perfectly as its supposed to. I stuck it in the oven then immediately came on this site to read reviews (should've done that first!) and I ran back into my kitchen pulled the cake out and scooped some of the batter out( used my 2/3 cup to scoop about 4 times) put that batter into a loaf pan and baked them both, turned out amazing! so so yummy I am excited to eat this up and make it again and again! thank you so much for this recipe
I love this recipe! I made it several times for my small group, and it's always a big hit! Thanks for sharing such a gem!
This cake recipe is delicious! My husband loves it and he's not a 'sweets' kind of person. Will be making this again.
Took me two tries to make this cake…
The first time, I used all the batter in my 12-cup bundt pan and it overflowed like crazy. Caught fire in my oven and made a horrible mess. It was a disaster! But the batter tasted so good, I had to try it again.
I made it again tonight and left about 2 inches of room in the bundt pan. Otherwise, I followed the directions exactly and wow – it's delicious! I made the lemon glaze that was suggested in the comments and it makes the cake even better. I also think the cake would be great toasted and with a side of ice cream!
Thanks for the recipe, it's a keeper!
Saw this recipe and it looked so good that I made the batter and put it in the oven before I read all the comments. I got worried since so many people had problems with the cake not baking properly. I used a 12 cup bundt pan, buttered & floured. Baked it for 50 minutes, then checked it. The cake tester came out wet but the outside looked done si I reduced the oven to 325 and let it bake for 10 more minutes then turned the oven off and let it sit for another 5. Cake tester came out clean this time. Let it cool on a rack for about 15 minutes, ran a knife around the pan edges and the cake slid right out, no problem! I made this for a March of Dimes bake sale…I think it's going to be a hit!
Made this last night, and oh my goodness!!! I'm not crazy about lemon, and didn't have unsalted butter, so used regular butter, butter flavored shortening, 2% milk, the juice of 2 Navel oranges, and the grated rind from both. I greased the pan with shortening, then floured. Baked it for the allotted time and it slid right out of the pan. After it cooled, I mixed more orange juice with confectioner's sugar, and drizzled it over the top. It was one of the moistest made from scratch cakes I have ever made. I will definitely make this again….soon!
I made this and it was wonderful! I just didn't use all the batter for the bundt cake version. It also didn't take as long to cook. So don't fill it up, and keep an eye on it. It will be worth it! It disappeared in my house, with picky eaters.
Mine is in the oven now and smells so good. We are having it tomorrow night for dessert at my mom's house!
Elizabeth – I think that would work fine
My boyfriend really wants Poppyseed lemon Pound Cake. Think I could get away with just adding a couple Tablespoons to the recipe as is?
I'm making this for dessert tonight. It's in the oven right now & smells delicious!
Thanks very much for the yummy recipe. x
I have made this recipe twice now. Once using loaf pans and second with a bundt pan. It was delicious! I also used the icing recipe that was posted in the comments. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Just took my cake out of the oven. Perfect!!
this looks so good I want to eat the picture! can't want to try.
Angie – the cooking time worked for me in my oven. Feel free to play around with the baking time. My loaf pans needed close to an hour to bake.
I baked the cake this morning for my Canasta card group.
Mine needed an extra 10 minutes in the oven, and an extra 5 after I turned the oven off.
Made a glaze with 11/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 Tbl lemon juice, 1 Tbl lemon zest, cooked. Poked holes in the cake while warm. Poured the glaze over the cake.
Thank you so much :/)
Carol – 2% will work
Does the milk need to be whole or will reduced fat 2% work?
Thanks for the recipe! My first time making a pound cake. The batter was so…soft, I thought I might not have measured in enough flour! But the cake came out just like the picture and it was DELICIOUS! Moist and yet sort of dense in that poundcake way! I topped it with a lemon glaze (2 cups of powdered sugar with a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice). Loved it! It's a keeper. Thanks again!
I used almond and vanilla flavoring instead (my sister doesn't like lemon flavored things)and it turned out great. My only complaint is that the top browned too fast and I had to gently cut the top off so it wouldn't taste burned. Be the texture is very light and moist. This is a great all around regular cake recipe
Pound cake and Blue Bell, there isn't anything else better in this world. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
I tried this and also had an epic fail. The cake looked and tested done. I took it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Then I started making a lemon glaze that is delicious… 1 stick of butter, 1 1/2 c powdered sugar, 2T lemon juice warmed in a pan on the stove. When I dumped the cake onto the cooling rack it just felt funny. Half came out, half stayed in…the bottom half was gooey. I found a good-sized bowl and put it in, added the glaze, mixed it all up together and took it and some whipped cream to a potluck where everyone raved about it! I called it Lemon Casserole. Hope I can do it again!
I have a similar recipe but I top with one cup of powdered sugar mixed with the juice and zest of one lemon.
PhDer – all purpose flour is regular flour (not self-rising). You can use butter if you can't find a substitute for shortening. The brand name here is Crisco. You might look for a solid vegetable fat product.
It's in the oven–can't wait! I didn't have enough lemon juice so I put in some lemon curd… will see.
I followed your recipe and this cake was awsome. Took it to work and it was a big hit! Just about to make it again, so delicious. Thanks for the recipe1
Thank you! Sounds great!
OMG my Grandma Ella made a lemon pound cake to die for! I am definately going to try this recipe.
Hi. What size is your bunt pan? I made this and it ran over all in my oven. It was a disaster. The batter was amazing so I know the cake was going t be great! My pan is a ten cup I think. Thanks!
I make it in a 12 or 10 cup bundt pan. I have some leftover batter if I use the 10 cup.
A friend and I just had a great lemon cake when we were out to lunch last week and I decided I had to find a good recipe to try. This is definately going to the top of my list! Thanks for sharing.
Elizabeth – solid vegetable shortening aka Crisco. Many prefer pie crusts that are a combo of butter and shortening. I was wondering myself if I could go all butter but will try it first as written.
what's the difference between shortening and butter?
Just increase the milk by 6 Tbsp and omit all the lemon
This looks delicious! Is it possible to tweak the recipe to just be a vanilla pound cake? Or will leaving out the lemon juice mess up the dry/wet ingredient ratio? I need a plain pound cake! Thanks for any suggestions…
wow, the texture looks like everything i would want in a pound cake. i imagine this would taste fabulous.
BJ – I'm so glad you've enjoyed the recipes!
This pound cake is really good – I hope you enjoy it as well!
This looks amazing and I will be making it this weekend.
I am so glad to have found you. I've been cooking my head off ever since I made your Cheddar bread…sooo good…and then, tonight, I made the 7up biscuits..they were so light and fluffy, they nearly flew off my plate.
I made the Coke cake and it was delicious.
Sooo, thanks a bunch for sharing your talent of cooking and your good recipes with us.
Just took this cake from the oven. Looked beautiful and tasted great. This is a fantastic recipe. Thank you for sharing it.
Gameday Style – I have that same pan – it is so much fun for gameday!
Can you freeze this cake and if so how would you recommend freezing it ?
Yes, you can freeze it. Bake the cake and cool completely. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and freeze. You can freeze the whole cake or slice it up before freezing. If freezing slices, place the wrapped cake in a freezer bag.
Thank you 😊
Lemon Pound Cake is my fave in all the pound cake world and this one looks beyond uber moist 😉
You are going to make me break down and have to cook one.
Yum, yum, yum…I keep hearing about Blue Bell icecream but we can't get it in Canada. That cake looks brilliant.
It is a gift from the milk gods. ..lol. Born and raised TX girl here! No self respecting baker this side of the Rio Grande would be caught without it.
Check with some of your local restaurants. We had to do that when we moved to Virginia for 5 years. One of the burger franchises used Blue Bell and they said we could buy it through them. Limits your flavor selection, but Homemade Vanilla is my favorite anyways. I could be a little bias, but I think its the best ice cream that I've ever had.
I used this recipe and added a pint of fresh blueberries. I tossed them in flour first and shook off the excess…folded them in with a rubber spatula. I baked the cake in an old 2-piece angel food cake and it took about 1 hour and 15 minutes in a 350F oven. Looks great and a little sample from the small amount that stuck to the pan was delicious. I hope it's all good when I cut into it for my wife's birthday Friday.(I find that pound cake is better a couple days later…I'm keeping it wrapped in the fridge.) I also made a drizzle from a cup of powdered sugar, a cup of blueberries, and a chunk of cream cheese…maybe 3 tablespoons. Blended with a handheld blender. That will go on at the last minute. Thanks for the recipe! The lemon flavor is really bright, too.
That looks like simple elegance! I can't wait to try the recipe. Thanks Steph!
Your cake looks perfect! Looks so moist and delicious! I love lemon pound cakes! Have a nice day!