Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Thursday, July 9, 2009


It was a dark and stormy night. A dense blanket of clouds lined the sky, obscuring every star. The rain fell in thick sheets, punctuated by bright, blinding flashes of lightening and deafening claps of thunder. The weather outside was not fit for man or beast!

I sat at my computer, (probably not a smart thing to do during a thunderstorm), and commiserated with several of my Twitter friends who were experiencing the same conditions. The funny thing was that most of us were exercising our frustrations in the exact same way – by baking – and tweeting about it!

In the midst of all that tumultuousness, I wanted to bake something to brighten things up a bit, figuratively speaking, of course. I searched through my stash of saved recipes and came across one for a Cream Cheese Pound Cake that I had bookmarked a while back from Smitten Kitchen. Now, you’re probably wondering how a dense, rich pound cake could possibly impact the weather. It can’t. But, when you add lots of bright, sunny lemon flavor to it, you can almost forget how miserable it is outside!


This recipe deviates from traditional pound cake recipes in that it calls for a quarter pound of cream cheese to be added in place of the same amount of butter. I didn’t notice any significant difference in the texture of the cake. It was still very dense, moist and rich. But, there was a gentle tang to it that married really beautifully with the lemon. And, the top of the cake developed a wonderful crunchy, crackly crust. I don’t know if the cream cheese had anything to do with this, but it was lovely.


This has become my hands down favorite pound cake, no matter what the weather! It is absolutely scrumptious! I certainly hope that you’ll give it a try. If you don’t, you’ll be missing out on something very special.

Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Adapted from Staff Meals from Chanterelle via Smitten Kitchen
(Printable Recipe)

Makes two 5 x 9 loaf cakes or one 12-cup bundt cake


1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
Zest from 2 lemons
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter and flour two 5 x 9 loaf pans. Alternately, you can use a 12-cup bundt pan.

Mix the sugar and the lemon zest in a small bowl and rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers. The warmth from your fingers will release the oils from the zest and flavor the sugar. Set aside.

Place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, increase the speed to high, and beat until light and airy, about five minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts. Then, add the flour and salt all at once. Mix just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours.

Cool the cake(s) on a rack for 20 minutes. Remove the cake(s) from the pan(s) and let cool completely.

Serve at room temperature.


From the Archives

Clementine Cake

Lemon Yogurt Cakelets

Lemon Tart Brulee

Lemon Meringue Pie

28 responses to Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake

  1. On July 09, 2009 at 11:19am, CookiePie said...

    Beautiful cake!!! Pound cake is my hubby's favorite, so I will have to try it. Mmmmm – maybe with blueberries on top?

  2. On July 09, 2009 at 12:33pm, Bellini Valli said...

    I do believe that the cream cheese would add it's own tang to the cake. Perfect with fresh fruit:D

  3. On July 09, 2009 at 12:41pm, Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

    I've never made cake with cream cheese! This sounds and looks really good!



  4. On July 09, 2009 at 1:01pm, Frieda said...

    You hit the trifecta…lemon, cream cheese, pound cake! Now, I'm gonna have to make it!

  5. On July 09, 2009 at 1:35pm, Tracey said...

    That's one gorgeous pound cake! I have got to try it!

  6. On July 09, 2009 at 1:50pm, City Girl said...

    Love the idea of the tang of the cream cheese with lemon. Yum. Great pictures too :)

  7. On July 09, 2009 at 2:10pm, The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

    I love lemon cake so much. I love pound cake too, as does my hubby. As long as he didn't know there was cream cheese in it, this would be a huge winner at my house!

  8. On July 09, 2009 at 4:08pm, Dani said...

    i bet the lemon and cream cheese combo is just perfect in poundcake form!!! yummmy :)

  9. On July 09, 2009 at 5:42pm, Helene said...

    There's nothing like baking when the weather is not the best. That pound cake looks perfect.

  10. On July 09, 2009 at 7:05pm, Steph said...

    I love the nice crunchy crust of cream cheese pound cake too!

  11. On July 09, 2009 at 7:16pm, LyB said...

    That is one nice looking pound cake! I always have problems with pound cakes, they turn out greasy, I should try this recipe, it looks fairly simple, and delicious. :)

  12. On July 09, 2009 at 7:53pm, MaryBeth said...

    WOW…a very light and refreshing summer night dessert.

  13. On July 09, 2009 at 8:16pm, Manggy said...

    Nothing quite as enjoyable as a cake so good it can stand out without frosting. I think the crust is a by-product of whipping the eggs into the butter and sugar a minute or so more :)

  14. On July 09, 2009 at 11:02pm, Nina Timm said...

    Copied and printed to buy the ingredients later today…I am craving something lemony!!!!!Thx Susan!

  15. On July 09, 2009 at 11:40pm, J.Danger said...

    oh how I love pound cake!

  16. On July 10, 2009 at 8:26am, Grace said...

    that looks like the most perfectly-dense pound cake, and just thinking about the tinge of lemon excites me. thank you, stormy weather, for leading to this!

  17. On July 11, 2009 at 9:41pm, Erin said...

    This looks delicious! I love your new site.

    • On July 12, 2009 at 5:16pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Erin! Glad you like both the cake and the site! 😉

  18. On July 12, 2009 at 10:25am, Tangled Noodle said...

    Your new site is beautiful, especially the banner!!

    Pound cake is one of my most favorite desserts but it’s original premise of ‘pound of this, pound of that’ made it only a very occasional treat. This looks beyond fantastic!

    • On July 12, 2009 at 5:10pm, Susan said...

      You must try this one. It really is fantastic!

  19. On July 12, 2009 at 12:27pm, Karen@Mignardise said...

    I’ve made this cake several times, usually with lime zest and a key lime glaze.
    It’s wonderful and so delicious. The crust is the best!

    • On July 12, 2009 at 5:06pm, Susan said...

      Oooh! Lime sounds terrific! I’ll have to try that next time. And, there will be a next time! 😉

  20. On July 14, 2009 at 9:39pm, BigSis said...

    I’d love to try this! I love that golden brown crust! I have a recurring issue with underbaking pound cakes; even though they test done, they aren’t quite there. Any tips to avoid this in the future?

  21. On March 16, 2010 at 9:17pm, Nikki-Riles said...

    It’s cooking as I type this, and if the batter is anything to go off of it’s going to be amazing! Thanks for the recipe.

  22. On February 06, 2011 at 8:21pm, Foodieling said...

    This was very good. I made mine with 8 eggs, so moist and yummy

  23. On May 22, 2011 at 4:11pm, Karyn said...

    Mine just went into the oven. I’m making it for my cousins 21st birthday party tonight. She asked for McDuffies Bakery lemon pound cake but I don’t see it on their website anymore so I decided to search for a recipe online. I deviated from the recipe slightly by adding the juice from one of the lemons we zested. Just seemed like a shame to waste the lemon. The house smells like a slice of lemon heaven :-) Thank you for the recipe.

  24. On May 23, 2011 at 3:55pm, Sally said...

    Is this Peruvian??

  25. On September 29, 2012 at 8:02pm, Dione L. Breland said...

    This recipe read like it’s title so I had to try it. I didn’t deviate from the recipe this time but I have a few variations I will try if this comes out right. I just placed it in the oven and I’m praying for success! I am taking this cake to my Order of Eastern Star District meeting in Glennville, Ga tomorrow. I think the ladies will love it. I know the scraping the batter from my KitchenAid mixer tasted great so I’m looking forward to trying the finished product. Thank You so much!!!

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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