This Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake is a dense yet incredibly moist, lemon-flavored, buttery pound cake that will melt in your mouth! Made in either a 12-cup bundt cake pan or an IKEA Vardagen cake pan, it's an easy-to-make dessert that goes wonderfully with either a sprinkling of powdered sugar or with a simple lemon glaze!
What Makes This the Best Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake?
- A perfect combo of tart and tangy. Tart from the fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Tangy from the cream cheese.
- Can be made in either an IKEA Vadagen cake pan or a 12-cup bundt cake pan.
- A dense cake so moist and tender it will melt in your mouth!
- It pairs wonderfully with either a dusting of powdered sugar or a simple lemon glaze.
- An excellent dessert to make for any occasion and any season!
- An easy-to-make recipe that can be stored at room temp or frozen.
- Your kitchen will smell amazing as this bakes!
What Size Bundt Cake Pan Do I Need?
The best size bundt cake pan to use for this lemon cream cheese pound cake recipe is a 12-cup size bundt pan. I used my Nordic Ware Original ProCast Bundt Pan, but any 12-cup bundt cake pan will be fine.
You can also use like I did, this IKEA Vardagen cake pan.
With either pan, make sure to heavily butter and flour your cake pan or use a flour-based baking spray such as Baker's Joy.
Need to figure out what size bundt cake pan you have? Check out a few tips in my marble bundt cake recipe post!
What Ingredients Are Needed?
- Cake Flour. 3 cups are needed for this lemon pound cake recipe. If you don't have cake flour, check out my single layer red velvet cake recipe on how to make your own homemade cake flour substitute.
- Salt. 1 teaspoon is needed for this recipe.
- Eggs. You'll need 6 total. 4 large eggs and 2 large egg yolks and make sure they're at room temperature. Keep the egg whites refrigerated to use with your breakfast the next day or to make either my lemon bar macarons or dark chocolate macarons!
- Milk. Only ¼ cup is needed. You can use either 1%, 2%, or whole.
- Lemons. You'll need roughly 3-4 medium-size lemons. ⅓ cup of fresh lemon juice plus 2 teaspoons of lemon zest for the cake and 4 tablespoons, if you plan to make the lemon glaze.
- Vanilla Extract. 2 teaspoons are needed. Pure vanilla extract is best.
- Unsalted Butter. You'll need 1 ½ cups or 3 sticks (for those in the U.S. that do not have a food scale) This is best at room temperature.
- Cream Cheese. Make sure this is softened to room temperature. It will blend with the unsalted butter and other ingredients a lot easier. 6 ounces is needed.
- Granulated Sugar. You'll need 3 cups total. Or you can use organic pure cane sugar as a 1:1 substitute.
- Powdered Sugar. Used to make the simple lemon glaze or you can use it as a standalone garnish.
The Best Baking Tools
Below are the recommended baking tools needed to make this recipe.
Helpful Tips for Making the Best Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Get yourself an oven thermometer. This will ensure your oven is heated to the correct temperature. Oven thermometers are inexpensive and a lifesaver in the kitchen!
Pre-heat a jelly roll pan or baking sheet. Place a jelly roll pan or baking sheet directly underneath the bundt pan as it bakes. Because we're rotating the cake halfway through baking, this just makes it easier to handle.
Mix the batter slowly. When you cream your butter, cream cheese, and sugar it's best to do this at no higher than medium speed. For the egg mixture and the whisked dry ingredients, they should be mixed in gradually at a slow speed.
Aluminum foil layer. If you want to avoid your lemon cream cheese pound cake turning overly dark, you can add a sheet of aluminum foil over the top for the last 15-20 minutes of baking.
Let it cool. Allow your lemon cream cheese pound cake to cool for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a wire cooling rack. You can, if you would like, run a small paring knife between the cake edges and the bundt cake pan beforehand to help loosen it. I usually like to run mine gently around the center tub edge.
The pound cake should cool completely on the wire cooling rack before serving. This can take about 2-3 hours.
Add a lemon glaze or sprinkle of powdered sugar. I tested this recipe a few times using both the lemon glaze and the powdered sugar. Both are good, but the lemon glaze does add a little extra bit of sweetness. If that's not your thing, then I suggest either the dusting of powdered sugar or simply enjoying it as-is!
I used both the IKEA Vardagen cake pan and this 12-cup bundt cake pan from Nordic Ware.
Yes, absolutely. With either pan, for a successful cake release, you should either butter and flour the cake pan or generously spray it with a flour-based baking spray like Baker's Joy. I swear by this brand because it has never given me any issues with releasing a cake from a bundt cake pan—or any pan for that matter!
No, I do not recommend making this in a 10-cup bundt cake pan. There is simply too much batter. You can, however, split the batter between 2, 6-inch bundt cake pans.
You can, but fresh lemon juice really is best here. Don't skip the lemon zest either. That's where the flavor really is!
Believe it or not, but the streaks you're seeing are fully baked. The reason this is happening, according to King Arthur Flour, is caused by over creaming the butter and sugars together at too fast of a speed with your mixer. It should be done, at most, medium speed. For your egg mixture and whisked dry ingredients, they should be mixed in at the lowest speed on your mixer.
The pound cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can also be stored in the freezer, double wrapped in plastic wrap with an aluminum foil cover for up to 1 month. Let it come to room temperature before serving.
More Lemon Dessert Receips to Try!
Lemon Cream Cheese Pound CakeAuthor:
Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- 3 cups Cake Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Large Eggs (room temperature)
- 2 Large Egg Yolks (room temperature)
- ¼ cup Milk (1%, 2%, or whole)
- ⅓ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 ½ cups Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- 6 oz Cream Cheese (softened)
- 3 cups Granulated Sugar (or organic pure cane sugar)
- 2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 2-4 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- Adjust your oven rack to the middle or center position, place a jelly roll pan or baking sheet on top, and preheat the oven to 300ºF. Generously spray the IKEA Vardagen cake pan or 12-cup bundt pan with a flour-based baking spray (like Baker’s Joy). Set to the side. Alternatively, you can butter and flour the inside of the pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour and salt. Set to the side.3 cups Cake Flour, 1 teaspoon Salt
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.4 Large Eggs, 2 Large Egg Yolks, ¼ cup Milk, ⅓ cup Fresh Lemon Juice, 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the unsalted butter, softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, and lemon zest at no higher than medium speed until light in color and fluffy in texture.1 ½ cups Unsalted Butter, 6 oz Cream Cheese, 3 cups Granulated Sugar, 2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add in the egg mixture until it is fully incorporated with the rest of the batter. The batter at this stage may appear a bit curdled—this is okay.
- Keeping the mixer speed on low, gradually add in the cake flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Alternatively, you can fold in the flour mixture with a spatula. The batter should be on the thicker side, smooth, and light in color.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared IKEA cake pan or 12-cup bundt pan, then gently tap on the counter 2-3 times to release any air bubbles.
- Place on top of the preheated jelly roll pan or baking sheet. If using a 12-cup bundt pan, bake for 85 - 95 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. If using the IKEA Vardagen cake pan, bake for 75-85 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The outside of the lemon cream cheese pound cake will be a medium golden brown with slightly darker edges that have pulled away from the edge. When pressed lightly with your finger, the cake should spring back. The best test is to insert a cake tester into the cake. If there is any batter left on the tester, continue to bake. To avoid a very dark outside, you can choose to place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top with 15-20 minutes remaining.
- Let the cake cool on a wire cooling rack for 15-20 minutes, then carefully invert onto the cooling rack, removing the pan, then letting it cool completely (about 2-3 hours).
- This lemon cream cheese pound cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can also be stored in the freezer, double wrapped in plastic wrap with an aluminum foil cover for up to 1 month.
Lemon Glaze (optional)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice then evenly pour over the top of the cooled pound cake. The lemon glaze can also be added after you have sliced the cake too. For a thinner glaze, add more lemon juice. For a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar.In place of the lemon glaze, you can easily dust the cake with a little powdered sugar or enjoy it plain!2 cups Powdered Sugar, 2-4 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
Nutritonal information provided above is an estimate only and will vary based on specific ingredients used.
THIS HAS GREAT FLAVOR, BUT I'M CONFUSED BY THE TEMP. 300 DOESN'T SEEM HOT ENOUGH? I'VE HAD IT IN THE OVEN FOR 1.75 HOURS AND STILL NOT DONE.
The cake was tested at different temps, but the 300ºf gave it a nicer golden brown outside and moist and tender inside. Every oven is different so it may take a little longer in your oven. If you're making this in a 12-cup bundt cake pan, it will take a little longer which is noted in the recipe.
Alexis Williams says
Just tried the recipe. And I was EXTREMELY disappointed. I followed all directions throughly. Even with temperature at 300.. It took FOREVER to cook. And when it finally cooled. The cake was BEYOND DENSE. I am glad it worked for others but I won’t be doing this one again.
I'm sorry it wasn't a winner for you, Alexis. Thank you for trying the recipe though and for your feedback.
Hello, I’d like to try this recipe but what is ‘cake flour’ we do t have this in the UK. I notice there is no raising agent in the recipe so I’m wondering if our equivalent is self raising flout? Any advice would be appreciated.
Hi Karen! Cake flour is used in cake recipes when you want softer, tender crumbs. Under the ingredients section of the recipe post, I have a link to a homemade cake flour substitute you can use which uses all-purpose flour and cornstarch. And that is correct, there is no leavening agent used in this recipe.
Really delicious and rich! Super moist and extra lemoney.
Buy an oven thermometer if you don’t have one. Most ovens are 25-50 degrees off.
I would let the cake cool longer than 20 minutes if needed. Mine left cake stuck in the pan. Next time will try cooling until I can easily handle the pan.
This one might just might be worth buying the vardagen!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Alison! And 100% agree about the oven thermometer!
Hi can it be made in 8 inch or 9 inch cake pans? Thank you!
Hi! I would assume so, but I only tested this recipe in the IKEA Vardagen cake pan and a 12-cup bundt cake pan.
Please explain the eggs and egg yolks? Used all 6 eggs 4 eggs and eggs whites and then 2 egg yolks only?
Sure, I'm happy to explain. It's 4 large eggs (the whole egg = yolks + whites), plus 2 egg large egg yolks (just the yolks, no egg whites). Hope this helps!
So far, so good! Just brought it out of the oven. I followed the recipe but added a little sour cream (1/8c) as well. I cooked it at the recommended time, at 300 degrees, lower temps are always better, even if baked for a few mins longer. It was golden and ready. Made it for a friend's birthday. Smells wonderful, looks beautiful! Can’t wait to taste it. Will glaze it later. I know this will be delicious. The ingredients say so! I’ll send a picture and comments made.
I would like to make this cake. I have a similar pan like the VARDAGEN pan. This pan as well as the VARDAGEN pan are 2 pieces. Do you have any cake leakage from the VARDAGEN pan? Do you spray the VARDAGEN pan with the baking spray on both pieces of the VARDAGEN pan on the bottom of that insert piece? Do you have to put aluminum foil around the VARDAGEN pan so it does not leak? Thank-you the cake looks delicious can't wait to make it.
Hi! Yes, I generously spray the VARDAGEN pan (both pieces), but I've never wrapped foil around the bottom because I haven't dealt with any leakage with this pan.
Make this cake! I made this recipe recently and it was unbelievably delicious! But I am thinking of using the same recipe for a plain pound cake and I am wondering if you think it could be made without the lemon juice and zest? Do you think that would alter the liquid/flour ratio enough to make a difference?
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, thanks! I didn't test this pound cake recipe without the lemon juice and zest, but you could certainly try it out!