Deep South Southern Pound Cake

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A soft, dense simple pound cake recipe from the deep south with the perfect lemon flavor.

Friends you will just love this unique lemon pound cake. This is one of the best lemon pound cake recipes I’ve tasted. I found it in my Washington St. United Methodist Church (Columbia, SC) Bicentennial Cookbook.

My mom and I were making a cake for her neighbors and this turned out to be just the perfect cake. As good as grandma’s lemon pound cake recipe.

Southern Lemon Pound Cake

The Best Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Let me say, I’m not a huge lemon cake fan. They have sugar, butter and flour, so of course I’ll eat them, but they’re just not my favorite. Most of the time they just have to much lemon for my liking.

However, this easy lemon pound cake recipe was different. This southern lemon pound cake calls for just the zest and juice of one lemon, causing it to have a more subtle lemon flavor. I found this amount of lemon to be just deliciously perfect. Oh, it’s definitely lemon, just not super lemony lemon.

Pound Cake With Oil And Butter

Another unique characteristic of this of this old fashioned pound cake recipe was just how soft it was. Now, I love a dense pound cake weighed down by tons of butta and this lemon pound cake was dense, but it was also soft.

This softness comes from the 1/2 cup of cooking oil that’s added to this lemon pound cake. Oh friends there’s still butta, 1 cup, but it’s balanced with this 1/2 cup of oil. The oil and butter are just a perfect pair in this cake creating a lovely dense, yet super soft texture.

Easy Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

As well as being amazingly yummy and densely soft, this cake was also a breeze to make. The most taxing part was zesting the lemon. Seriously, cream your butter and sugar, add your eggs then your flour and your milk, pop it in the oven, bake and bam. It’s ready to be devoured.

It’s also a great cake to freeze. So, bake it ahead of time or save those leftovers. It’ll save up to 3 or 4 months in the freezer.

Old Fashioned Southern Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe From Scratch Ingredients

  • Butter – Makes sure it’s real butter at room temperature. A major part of pound cake is the butter, so use real butter.
  • Sugar
  • Cooking Oil – This gives the cake that soft texture. I used vegetable oil, but canola oil or corn oil will also work.
  • Eggs – Room temperature
  • 1 Lemon – Both its lemon zest and it’s fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Sweet Milk – I used whole milk at room temperature
  • Cake Flour – I sifted mine to make sure there weren’t the slightest of lumps.
Southern Lemon Pound Cake

Tools Used In Baking This Easy Lemon Pound Cake

  • Bundt Pan, Tube Pan or 2 Loaf Pans
  • Sifter
  • Grater or Zester for lemon
  • A liquid measuring cup
  • Dry ingredient measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Hand or Stand Mixer
  • Spatula

Can I Use Oil Instead Of Butter In Pound Cake

I never thought of using oil in a pound cake instead of butter or with butter. Pound cake without butter that’s down right sinful. But, after trying this recipe, I realized it’s not sinful, it’s heavenly.

According to this question and answer in AskingLot.com, the general rule of thumb is to substitute about three-quarters of the amount of butter, that is called for in the recipe, with oil. So, if the recipe calls for 1 cup butter, you’d use 3/4 cup of oil.

Remember when substituting oil for butter or butter for oil that the texture and taste of your baked treat will be different. Butter adds a lot of flavor, while oil is neutral in flavor. On the other hand, oil will make your baked treat moister compared to butter.

Your best bet, instead of completely substituting oil for butter, is to use a combo of both, like this cake does. That way you get the rich taste of butter and the moist texture of oil wrapped up in one cake.

Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Lemon Rind vs Zest

Lemon rind and lemon zest it’s all the same, Ca Sera. That’s kinda what I used to think when it came to the difference in lemon rind and lemon zest.

However, that’s not exactly right and I’ve had to go back an change several of my lemon dessert posts from lemon rind to lemon zest.

According to my very wise Sister In Law and this post from My Recipes there is a difference. The lemon rind or peel refers to the entire skin. The lemon zest is the colorful outer portion of the rind or peel.

The rind or peel contains both the zest and the white pith. The pith is the bitter portion of the lemon that lies right under the zesty colorful outer portion.

The pith is bitter and you wouldn’t want to grate this into your cherished grandma’s lemon pound cake recipe. When it comes to lemon desserts, the lemon zest, the colorful outer layer, is what you want to grate into your lemon desserts and not the rind or peel (these contain the dreaded pith.)

Southern Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Final Thoughts On This Southern Lemon Pound Cake

This easy to make lemon pound cake has the perfect amount of lemon flavor. It also has an amazing texture that is both dense and soft. You can serve this cake year round at almost any affair. Why not make this your next baking adventure?

In case you have any queries regarding the recipe feel free to reach out via the comment section or the contact page. Also, if you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear about your experiences.

I have linked to our related recipes below and I’m sure you will love them.

More Lemon Cake Recipes

Deep South Southern Pound Cake
Print Jump to Recipe Pin Recipe

Deep South Southern Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Old fashioned southern pound cake with a delicious subtle lemon flavor.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword southern pound cake, old fashioned pound cake, pound cake, lemon pound cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 18 slices
Calories 400kcal
Cost $3

Equipment

  • Stand or Hand Mixer
  • Long Spatula
  • Bundt or Tube Pan or 2 Loaf Pans

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • 5 eggs room temperature
  • 1 lemon juice and grated zest
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sweet milk I used whole milk
  • 3⅔ cups cake flour

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • Grease and flour pan
  • Cream butter and sugar really well.
  • Add oil 2 tablespoons at a time.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating slightly after each addition.
  • Add lemon juice, zest and salt.
  • Add milk and flour alternately, ending with flour.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 to 1 hour and 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Notes

If you use a bundt pan or 2 loaf pans there might be a little extra batter.  I use this to make 2 cupcakes.
Fill the pans 2/3’s full.  Any more batter is for cupcakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 400kcal

16 Comments

  1. When u say lemon juice how much of that and am I using lemon juice from a fresh lemon or in the container

    1. Thanks for your question. I used the zest and the juice from a medium to large lemon. I used all the zest and squeezed and used all the juice from the lemon. The cake tasted splendid.

    2. Does no vanilla or any kind of extract get used ?

      1. There is no extract in the recipe. The juice and rind from 1 lemon provides wonderful flavor. I’m sure using a teaspoon of vanilla would be fine also. Great question. Thanks and please let me know how it turns out. It’s a great cake.

  2. Thank you I used all the zest and lemon from the inside and all the juice! It taste so delicious!!! And so moist too!!!

    1. Thanks you for the sweet comment. It is a moist, lemony delicious cake. I’m so glad it came out well for you.

  3. What if I don’t have cake flour? Can I substitute regular flour?

    1. Oh yes, it will work well. I’ve recently made 2 cakes that call for cake flour with regular flour and they came out magnificent. Please let me know how it turns out. Great question.

  4. Janice Lanier says:

    5 stars
    Hi. This sounds like a great recipe and I can’t wait to try it. I do have a question. What is sweet milk? My first time seeing that in a recipe. Thanks!

    1. Hi, thanks for the sweet comment and question. Sweet milk is very fresh whole milk that is unprocessed. For this recipe I used regular whole milk from Kroger. I think 2% would also be fine. This is really a delicious pound cake. Please let me know how it turns out. Hope this helps.

    1. I think that will be ok. Milk and buttermilk both make the cake moist, but the texture and taste will be a little different with each. Please let me know how it comes out. This is a really good cake. Thanks for your great question.

  5. Can I use lemon juice instead of the zest juice from a lemon?

    1. Hi, I’m sorry I’m seeing this 3 days after you asked your question. From what I have read yes you can. There will probably be a slight difference in taste. Here is a post that goes over how to substitute bottled lemon juice for zest juice from a lemon. I can’t figure how to link it here, so I’m just putting the address for you to copy and paste in the search bar. I hope this helps. I think this cake will be amazing with bottled lemon juice also. https://www.thedonutwhole.com/can-i-substitute-bottled-lemon-juice-for-fresh-lemon-juice/?expand_article=1

  6. Ulysses Taylor says:

    Hi Liz, This Ulysses and The I’m writing to you is “How many loaf pans do I need to and what sizes?

    1. Hi, great question. I would use two 9×5 loaf pans. These are standard size. I would fill each pan about 2/3’s full, but no more. You might have a little extra batter. In that case, make a couple of cupcakes with the extra batter. Thanks for your question.

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