If you love lemons, you are in for a special treat today! This moist, delicious gluten free lemon pound cake is about to become one of your favorite desserts! The fluffy cake is full of lemon flavor and it is then topped with creamy lemonade icing.
If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know we have a small, very prolific lemon tree in our backyard. It produces lemons almost year-round, thanks to the beautiful California weather! Our lemons are not normal-sized lemons, they often look like small grapefruits!
We make a lot of recipes with lemons from sweet to savory...or should I say savory to sweet? We love our desserts here in the Fearless Dining household. Check out all of my gluten free lemon recipes or these Gluten Free Lemon Donuts!!
Why This Cake Is So Good:
When you need a gluten free cake to serve, look no further than this gluten free lemon pound cake recipe. It is a crowd-pleasing cake, and nobody will know it is gluten free!
- This lemon cake has lemon flavors mixed with that buttery-sweet goodness! You won't believe how good a cake with few ingredients can taste!
- This recipe makes two big loaves so you can freeze one for later!
- You can use fresh or bottled lemon juice and enjoy this decadent loaf cake all year long!
- This cake is freezable and can be made ahead!
This cake is amazing, you wouldn't even know its GF! Haven't tried it a day old, but I plan to freeze the leftovers. I also used baking block, not butter. 10/10 😋"Kirsty S., Pinterest user
This is one of my favorite gluten-free flour blends for cookies, cakes, pie crust, biscuits, and muffins! (Do not use this flour blend for yeast recipes.)
- Gluten Free Flour bBend - I tested this recipe using Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur's Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours and I can not guarantee the recipe will work if you use other mixes.
- Xanthan Gum - If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- Butter - Use unsalted butter in this gluten free lemon pound cake recipe.
- Eggs - Use size large eggs.
- Milk - I used milk, but plant-based non-dairy milk also works well in this recipe.
- Lemon Juice - Use freshly squeezed lemon juice or bottled lemon juice.
- Powdered Sugar - If your powdered sugar is lumpy, be sure to strain it for best results.
Check out my best gluten free lemon dessert recipes for more inspiration and recipe ideas!
Tips For Sucess:
- If you think your gluten free flour blend has a gritty texture, I highly recommend letting the cake batter sit for 15-20 minutes. This allows the ground rice flour to soften.
- If you are gum-free and can't have xanthan or guar gum, try my DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend.
- Do not overmix the batter. I do not recommend using a stand mixer. They tend to overmix the batter, making your cake turn out denser.
I share all of my easy to follow Gluten Free Baking Tips so that you can bake gluten free like a pro! I also share tips on what my go-to gluten free flour blends are and what recipes are best for different gluten free flour blends.
If you are an avid cake baker, check out this Gluten Free Cake Troubleshooting Guide.
Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:
Step 1: Add your dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk to blend.
To measure your gluten free flour, I recommend using the spoon method or leveling method. In a perfect world, people weigh their flour, but most do not own a kitchen scale.
Put the measuring scoop into the flour and fill. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour.
Use a spoon to fill the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour.
Step 2: Grab a lemon and a zester. Zest the whole lemon because you need 2 tablespoons of lemon zest for this recipe!
Step 3: In a smaller bowl, add your wet ingredients and whisk to blend.
Step 4: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until the ingredients are just barely mixed. Be careful not to over-mix your batter or your cake will be denser.
Step 5: Spray oil in two loaf pans. Add the batter to a bread loaf pan and spread the pound cake batter around the pan. Bake the cakes at 350º F for 45 minutes.
Step 6: Remove the cake from the oven and insert a toothpick in the middle. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is fully baked. If you see crumbs or batter, you will need to bake it a little longer.
Every bite is full of fresh lemon flavor. Top with this homemade lemonade icing for even more flavor. Nobody will know this lemon pound cake is gluten free!! Need more lemon desserts in your life?
Step 7: Now it is time for the homemade lemonade icing. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. You can easily control how thin or thick your icing is by the quantities you use. Drizzle the icing over the cake.
You can easily use bottled lemon juice, but a fresh lemon is better so you can also use lemon zest.
If your lemon cake turned out heavy it is due to a couple of reasons. Using a starchy gluten free flour blend or over-mixing the cake batter can make your cake heavy and dense. You can read more about troubleshooting in my Gluten Free Cake Troubleshooting Guide.
Yes, you can make this cake dairy-free, and in fact, one of my readers already tested this out and had great success! She used soy milk (but you can also use almond milk) and she used vegan butter by a brand called Smart Balance.
Store this cake in an airtight container. You can also freeze this cake easily in your freezer. This cake will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.
You can use leftover lemon cake in my Gluten Free Cakesicles recipe too!
Check out this lemon pound cake web story!
More Gluten Free Lemon Dessert Recipes:
- If you love ice cream, you must try this No-Churn Lemon Ice Cream recipe!
- Need a special cake? This Gluten Free Lemon Bundt Cake with lemonade icing is your cake!
- Grab some lemon curd and learn how to make this Easy Gluten Free Lemon Filled Cupcake recipe.
- This easy Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf is perfect for breakfast or dessert.
Reader Successful Substitutions:
One reader loved this recipe using King Arthur Measure for Measure, Earth Balance vegan butter, and oat milk.
Another reader turned this into a bundt cake and she said nobody knew it was gluten free.
Excellent. I topped it with powdered sugar dusting instead of the icing. I tasted the icing and did not like it. I barely stirred it and it was a great texture. I also sifted the dry ingredients together which worked well. I definitely will make this many more times! Can't stop eating it!!"Kirsty S., Pinterest user
Gluten Free Lemon Pound Cake
- 3 cups gluten free flour blend * see note
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ⅓ cups milk or non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice depending on how thick you want your icing
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
- In a smaller bowl, add the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until it is barely mixed. Over mixing can cause the cake to become denser.
- Spoon the batter into two greased bread loaf tins. Optional: sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
- Bake for 45 minutes until done. Check doneness with the toothpick test (see Notes).
- Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and allow cooling.
- Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice to make the icing. Add the lemon juice slowly until you get the consistency you want. Drizzle the icing over the cake.
- I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
- If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter an duse plant-based milk.
- Other dairy-free kinds of milk will work but I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
- Check the cake's doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is ready. If there is batter or crumbs on the cake, it needs to be baked a little longer.
- This cake will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
If you love the recipes you find on my blog, I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter (and get my free gluten free lemon dessert e-cookbook!)
This post was updated from an older January 2020 post with more detailed information.
Under the FAQ you commented on why the cake might be too dense. You said by increasing the lemon juice but not increasing the baking powder. The recipe says baking soda not powder. Should the recipe say baking powder? My cake didn't rise very much and I'm wondering if I should have used baking powder instead of baking soda.
Hi Sharon, Baking soda is correct. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. If your cake didn't rise much, it is usually due to overmixing, or using a really starchy gluten free flour blend. Which blend did you use? I also recommend not using an electric or stand mixer when making gluten free cake. Here is a new troubleshooting guide I wrote about cakes. https://www.fearlessdining.com/gluten-free-cake-troubleshooting-guide/
I made this tonight, and it was delicious…. Basically fool proof too, I realized after I mixed the wet and dry ingredients I forgot to add the butter…. So I tried to mix it in…. Nope…. Had to put in my kitchenaid mixer, after a few minutes it had combined, I was so worried was going to turn out bad…. I added blueberries and it’s delicious! It’s pound cake texture but still
Light.. it’s not as sweet as I thought (but that’s ok I don’t like overly sweet) but once you add the glaze it’s perfect!
LOL, I love when one of my recipes is fool proof. Thank you so much for coming back to let me know that you loved the cake!
Hi. To make it more rich, can I use 1 1/3 cups sour cream instead of 1 1/3 milk?
I haven't tested that so I am unable to say if it would work.
One of my favorite GF desserts! I make mine dairy free with almond milk and vegan butter. So delicious!
It is one of my favorite desserts as well. I am so glad you love it, thank you for coming back to let me know!
My batter is much less thick than yours, is that ok?
Not sure I went by the recipe. Also its much more yellow than yours.
Hi Debbie, What gluten free flour blend did you use? When you said you are not sure you went by the recipe, I really am unable to troubleshoot. I test my recipes with two flour blends and if you change my recipe a lot, I probably will not know what happened if it doesn't work.