Lemon Zest Cake

Refreshing and flavorful, this lemon pound cake is made in a Bundt cake pan and drizzled with a simple lemon glaze. Top it with fresh sliced strawberries for a delicious twist.

By Amy Traverso

Sep 19 2017

Lemon Zest Cake

Lemon Zest Cake

Photo Credit : Jessica Robinson

Jessica Robinson grew up on a small farm in Connecticut, where her family grew crops, raised livestock, and operated a maple sugar house. Long before “Eat Local” became a slogan, she was living it. “Not only did I learn from these experiences about gardening and growing one’s own food,” she writes in her book, New England Farmgirl (Gibbs Smith; $30), “but I also learned the value of family and hard work.”

Jessica also learned to cook on the farm. Her mother, a talented baker, made fresh bread each week to sell to a network of friends and community members. “She also created custom cakes and taught me at an early age how to can, cook, and bake a variety of goods from scratch,” she writes. “I helped tap maple trees during sugaring season…[and] my parents taught me the art of making pure maple candies, unique confections, and sauces; in their commercial kitchen, I helped develop jam recipes along with cookie mixes to sell.”

Though life ultimately took Jessica to North Carolina to raise her family, she still spends as much time in New England as possible and her love for her home region radiates from her book. It’s filled with her lovely photographs of farm and table and stocked with information on her favorite farms and purveyors, as well as recipes for dishes like Farmhouse Pumpkin Pound Cake, Maple Peach Barbecue Sauce, and the Lemon Zest Cake recipe we’ve excerpted below.  To learn more about Jessica, visit her blog, Carolina Farmhouse Kitchen.

Jessica writes: Since one of my favorite flavors is lemon, when I was a young girl, my mom would make a lemon pound cake in a Bundt cake pan and drizzle it with a simple lemon glaze. It’s refreshing and flavorful. Top the cake with fresh sliced strawberries for a delicious twist.


6 to 8 servings

For the Cake


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 1/2 teaspoons pure lemon oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup full-fat sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a bundt pan by coating with cooking spray and a dusting of flour; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer on medium to high speed to cream together the shortening, butter, lemon juice, lemon oil, vanilla, sugar, and eggs. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.

To the lemon mixture, add half of the flour mixture, 1⁄ 2 cup milk, and 1⁄ 2 cup sour cream. Mix on low to combine, then add the remaining flour mixture, 1⁄ 2 cup milk, and 1⁄ 2 cup sour cream. Again, mix on low to thoroughly combine.

Pour the cake batter into the pan, and make sure cake batter is level. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack. Flip the cake onto the cooling rack and remove the pan. Allow to cool completely.

For the Glaze


1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1–2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons shortening


To make the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and shortening in a medium bowl; whisk thoroughly. Pour the glaze over the cake and serve.