Light and airy, sweet and moist this glazed German Lemon Pound Cake (Zitronenkuchen) is bursting with flavor. And is irresistible. With only seven ingredients, it's easy to make.
This recipe is perfect to finish any meal or to treat your family to an irresistible afternoon dessert. It's a delicious addition to any dessert buffet. Serve it with a side of homemade mint whipped cream to make this treat extra special.
Glazed Lemon Pound Cake is another classic among German baked goods. You'll find glazed pound cake in virtually every German bakery. It was also a staple that my Oma baked often.
The German pound cake recipe is similar to the popular Bee Sting Cake. Both recipes have similar ingredients, are easy to make, popular, and incredibly delicious.
One of the really nice things about this lemon sheet cake is that it's easy to wrap and pack. Perfect if you want to delight your guests with some yummy take-home leftovers.
BUTTER - Use unsweetened butter for this recipe and allow the butter to warm to room temperature.
SUGAR - Use 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar for the batter and 2 cups of powdered sugar (also referred to as confectioner's sugar) for the glaze.
LEMON - Use the zest of three lemons and the juice of one lemon for the batter. Use the juice of one and a half lemons to make the glaze.
Use the remaining half of a lemon as decoration. (optional)
EGGS - Use 6 large eggs (both yolks and egg white).
FLOUR/RISING AGENT - Use 2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of baking powder, plus ½ a teaspoon of salt.
How To Make A German Lemon Cake with a Lemon Glaze
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Cover a 12" x 18" inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside
Making The Batter
- Cream softened unsweetened butter and sugar with a hand or stand mixer for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture turns very creamy in a large bowl.
- Add the zest of 3 lemons and the juice of 1 lemon to the batter. Slowly add the eggs one at a time to the batter. Continue to mix on medium-high speed.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Continue on medium speed until the dry ingredients are well incorporated into the batter.
- Transfer the batter onto the parchment-paper covered baking sheet and use a large knife or cake spreader to evenly distribute the batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the baked cake from the oven. Use a wooden toothpick and insert it into the center to check for doneness.
- Use the toothpick to randomly poke multiple small holes into the cake. This allows some of the glaze to penetrate the cake, and make it moist and extra lemony.
Glazing The Lemon Sponge Cake
- Use a medium-large mixing bowl and combine powdered sugar and the juice of one lemon. Use a whisk and mix. The goal is to have a thick creamy and easily spreadable mixture. If the glaze is too liquid, add a little bit of powdered sugar.
- Spoon the mixture onto the cake.
- Use a knife or an icing spatula to spread the glaze evenly across the entire sheet cake. Allow the icing to harden before serving.
PRO TIP: If you don't have powdered sugar on hand you can easily make it yourself. Combine 1 cup of granulated sugar and add one teaspoon of cornstarch in a small food processor and blend until the sugar turns to a powder consistency.
Tips for Success
- Always use fresh lemons - always. Avoid substituting the fresh lemons with lemon extract or bottled lemon juice. It's just not the same.
- For a fun twist, try using Meyer lemons.
- Be sure to use unsalted butter. Different brands use different amounts of salt in their salted butter. Therefore using salted butter makes it more difficult to control the salt content. Instead, use unsweetened butter - this way you'll know exactly how much salt has been added.
- Poking holes into the baked cake allows the glaze to seep through the cake. This makes the cake extra moist and lemony.
- Storing the cake in the fridge tends to make it stiff and lose some of its flavors. Instead, cover the baked cake and store for 2-3 days at room temperature.
Tips for Keeping and Storing The Lemon Pound Sheet Cake?
- If you're making Lemon Pound Cake without the glaze, it will easily keep fresh for 3-4 days.
- Adding the lemon glaze seals the top of the cake and will keep it moist and fresh for about one week
- Lemon Pound Cake freezes very well. So long as you don't glaze the cake beforehand.
Re-heating the Cake
Preheat your oven to 200° Fahrenheit. Remove the Lemon Pound Cake from the freezer and place it on a baking sheet. Allow the oven to warm the cake for 10 minutes.
Turn the oven off and allow the cake to sit in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
More Easy German Recipes
Lemon Pound Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Cover a 13x18 inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
Making The Batter
- Use a stand mixer (fitted with the whisk attachment) or hand mixer and beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes. Intermittently use a rubbber spatula to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Add the zest of 3 lemons and the juice of 1 lemon to the batter.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium speed and one-by-one add the eggs to the batter. Once the eggs have been fully incorporated, add the flour, baking powder, and the dash of salt to the batter. Continue to beat on medium speed until the batter is thick and creamy.
- Spoon the batter onto the prepared baking sheet spread it evenly. and bake the cake for 20 minutes. Once the cake has been baked, insert a wooden toothpick to check for doneness.
- Allow the cake to cool completely. While the cake is cooling, use the toothpick to poke several small holes into the cake (this will allow the glaze to seep through and make the cake extra moist).
Glazing The Cake
- To make the glaze, use a medium mixing bowl and combine the juice of one lemon (about 3 tablespoons) and two cups of powdered sugar. Use a whisk and mix until the glaze has a creamy consisteny. If the glaze is too thin, simply increase the amount of powdered sugar.
- Spoon the glaze onto the sheet cake and use a knife or icing spatula to spread the glaze evenly across the cake. Allow the glaze to harden before serving.