A lemon & buttermilk pound cake with the first slice cut

Lemon & buttermilk pound cake

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(31 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 45 mins


Serves 12

This buttermilk pound cake has a dense, moist crumb and bags of lemon flavour to cut through the richness. Make it for afternoon tea or for a summer picnic

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal291
  • fat10g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs47g
  • sugars34g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.4g
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  • 125g butter, plus extra for the tin



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • ¼ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 4 lemons, finely zested (save a little for the top if you like)



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 100ml buttermilk, at room temperature
    Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



    There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…

  • ½ lemon, juiced



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

For the syrup

  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 2 large lemons, juiced (use the lemons you’ve zested)



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

For the icing

  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter and flour a loaf tin measuring 22 x 11 x 7cm. Sift the flour with a pinch of salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the lemon zest. Gradually add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix the buttermilk with the lemon juice. Fold the flour mixture into the batter, alternating with the buttermilk and lemon mixture.

  2. Scrape the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 40-45 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to sit for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack with a tray underneath it. Set the cake the right way up.

  3. To make the syrup, put the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pierce the cake all over with a skewer then, while the cake is still warm, pour the syrup over slowly. Leave to cool.

  4. Gradually add the lemon juice to the icing sugar and mix until just smooth. If runny, put in the fridge for about 10 mins – you don’t want it to set, you just want it become a little firmer. Pour or spread the icing over the cake (the bits that drizzle down the side will be caught by the tray under the cooling rack). This icing won’t set hard, but do leave it to set a little before serving.

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Comments, questions and tips

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11th Jun, 2020
This is one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever eaten. The buttermilk makes it the most beautifully light texture and it’s the perfect level of lemon flavour (not too much like some lemon drizzle cakes). We had to cook it for 50 mins rather than the 40-45 but it came out really nicely.
4th Aug, 2019
Delicious cake.....best lemon 'drizzle' type cake I have ever baked. Took 10 minutes longer in the oven. The cake is quite soft when it comes out of the oven, so care is needed when transferring it. Great lemon flavour and big hit with all of the family
helen3673's picture
13th Jun, 2019
Absolutely fantastic recipe. Gorgeous cake.
6th Feb, 2019
This was an easy recipe to follow and resulted in a lovely, moist cake with a dense crumb. I only used the zest of 2 lemons and found that gave enough lemony taste. The cake took longer to bake than stated, it was close to an hour, so definitely test it and expect it to take longer than 40 mins.
5th Feb, 2018
Yum! I made this according to the recipe and it turned out great, really tasty, zingy and moist, and it made the kitchen smell wonderful!
VetBakes's picture
2nd Sep, 2017
Lovely, moist and delicious! Made a few changes, only used the zest of 3 lemons and reduced the sugar down to 175g. Also used yoghurt instead of buttermilk as thats what I had, and made a drizzle for the top instead of the syrup and the icing. It's gone down very well with the family! Only issue is that mine took over an hour to cook so definitely test with a skewer and don't necessarily trust the baking times, although my time difference may be due to the changes I made to the recipe. Will definitely be making again!:)
Doctor Carol
19th Aug, 2019
Hi, Can you freeze this cake - perhaps before the icing goes on? Thanks for your advice
goodfoodteam's picture
20th Aug, 2019
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can freeze before icing.
6th Jun, 2018
Is this a 1lb or 2lb loaf tin please?
goodfoodteam's picture
13th Jun, 2018
Thanks for your question. We'd recommend using the tin suggested above. But if you have a 1lb tin of different proportions you can use that.
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