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This sunny Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake recipe is a fantastic way to to bring summer into the kitchen. It's full of sweet juicy blueberries, has a tender crumb, and a heavenly glaze made with fresh lemon juice.
Pound cake is such a classic dessert in the South. When I make this blueberry lemon pound cake, I know for a fact that it will not last overnight without being eaten.
The sour cream makes it nice and moist, the lemon zest and juice bring that brightness that really screams 'summer' along with some in-season fresh blueberries.
I also added in my favorite secret ingredients: almond extract along with vanilla extract. It brings a light sweet flavor that goes perfectly with the bluebs.
This pound cake is incredibly moist with a really nice, tender crumb and it's most delicious when covered in that bright, zippy lemon zested glaze.
What is a Pound Cake?
Pound cakes were created sometime in the 1700s in Great Britain. Almost everyone in the country was illiterate during that time, so a written recipe wasn't around.
But a 'pound' of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour was really easy to remember; and it made enough cake to feed a large family and some neighbors, usually ending up as a cake that weighed many pounds!
Traditional pound cake recipes have equal amounts of sugar, butter, eggs, and flour. It was a heavier, denser cake than modern pound cakes are because it had no leavening, so people relied on just whipping air into the cake.
In the South we joke that pound cake will make you gain a pound or two, so I grew up with that idea for its name, but nope. Throw that out the window, honey.
Making Lemon-Blueberry Pound Cake from Scratch
When you think of pound cake you think of rich, moist cake with a tender crumb that is perfect with a dollop of whipped cream and with a cup of coffee. That to me is the perfect slice of pound cake, and this one doesn't disappoint!
The combination of lemon extract and almond extract in the cake along with our blueberries gives a bright flavor that I love so, so much. It's also super easy to put together, which is great for kids and beginner bakers.
All Purpose Flour. You can't use cake flour here, y'all. All purpose flour has more protein than cake flour and it will be able to hold up all the heavy butter, eggs, and those bluebs.
Unsalted Butter. Do not use cold butter! Room temperature only!
Lemon Zest and Juice.
Granulated Sugar. Bonus points if you rub the sugar and lemon together to make lemon sugar for more flavor.
Baking Powder. This is your leavening agent, y'all. Make sure you use fresh baking powder, it should be under 6 months old! The older your baking powder is, the less lifting power it has in your baking. Making sure it's aluminum-free will ensure the taste of the batter isn't metallic.
Baking Soda. Now, why both baking powder and baking soda? Baking soda will neutralize any excess acidity in the cake, leaving it tangy and also helping the cake gain more color.
Sour Cream. You want a moist, well-lifted, beautiful pound cake? You need something that adds the acid and fat this cake needs and sour cream does just that. Make sure it's room temperature
The Extracts. Do you need almond, lemon, and vanilla extract? No! You can totally just use vanilla and you'll have a very delicious pound cake and glaze. But if you are extra like me, use the almond and lemon extract too for some serious pop of flavor. If you're sensitive to really lemony flavor, just use the almond and vanilla extracts.
Blueberries. If it's blueberry season, go ahead and use those fresh bois. But if not, use frozen (not thawed!) blueberries, they'll work just fine.
Pro Tip: You'll toss the blueberries in flour before folding them into the batter. This is a baker's trick for mix-ins like fresh berries to be well-dispersed into the batter as your sour cream pound cake bakes rather than sinking to the bottom.
Large Eggs. Make sure they're room temperature as well. When baking, everything needs to be room temp.
Powdered Sugar. To make that glaze full of fresh lemon flavor, we are using fresh lemon zest and lemon juice
Making Pound Cake
This lemon blueberry pound cake recipe is specifically for a 9x5 loaf pan, not a bundt pan or tube pan. Coat your pan with shortening and line it with a parchment paper. I've done it without lining it but using magic cake release to butter it down and have a perfect pan release.
Use an electric hand mixer (or stand mixer) in a large bowl with the paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until they're lighter in color and fluffy, which will take a couple of minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often to make sure all the sugar and butter are whipping up.
While that's creaming together, sift together the dry ingredients. I love using a sifter for this because it really blends all the leavening, flour, and salt together evenly while knocking out those big clumps of flour that end up sneaking into your baked goods when you just give them a good whisk in a bowl.
Spoon a little flour into a separate bowl with the blueberries and toss them with a spoon to coat them in the flour so they stay evenly distributed throughout your pound cake (instead of falling to the bottom of the cake) and you save that bowl for later.
Next you add the room temperature eggs (one at a time!), the sour cream, lemon juice and zest into the creamed butter and sugar. Then mix the flour mixture a third at a time into the wet ingredients, mixing in until just incorporated then pour in the next addition.
Fold the berries in gently, with a silicone spatula, by hand. You don't want to burst them! Keep a small handful of the blueberries out of the batter to dot the top of the batter with them once into the prepared pan.
Now make sure you greased the bottom of the pan real good (this is where cakes like to stick), then transfer batter into the prepared loaf pan. Tap the pan on the counter to pop any bubbles in the cake batter, sprinkle the remaining blueberries on top of the cake and place into the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes. Use a cake tester to see if your cake is done; it shouldn't have any wet batter on it, only a few crumbs at most.
Cool the cake in the pan until it's cooled enough to pull it out of the pan and let the cake completely cool on the wire rack.
Making that tangy lemon glaze
What makes this lemon glaze a bit different from others is that not only do I use lemon juice and zest in the glaze instead of milk or water, but adding the vanilla extract here, too. It really rounds out the flavor so it isn't just mouth-puckering lemon. It'll harden as it cools.
Wrap the pound cake in plastic wrap or keep it in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days, this is perfectly safe to leave out.
In fact, because of the butter, it's best to leave the cake on the countertop instead of the fridge because the cake will get hard, it'll dry out, and the cold will make it less flavorful.
To freeze our lovely blueberry pound cake (naked without the glaze!), you'll need to wrap it in multiple layers of plastic wrap and then place it into a freezer-safe zip top bag. It'll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To thaw it, leave the cake on the countertop overnight until it is room temperature. Then it's ready to serve!
More Summer Desserts:
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Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake
- 1 ½ cups (218 g) + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 tablespoon (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (301 g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ tablespoon (7 g) lemon zest
- ¼ cup (59 mL) lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract, optional
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract, optional
- ½ cup (123 g) full-fat sour cream, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (249 g) blueberries, divided*
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/165 degrees C. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×5 loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Let the parchment paper hang out of the pan so the cake is easier to pull from the pan.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt with a sifter or whisk. Set aside.
- Cream the unsalted butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer on medium speed (or a stand mixer using the paddle attachment on level 3) until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Beat in the room temperature eggs one at a time, mixing until they are just combined before adding the next one. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, almond and lemon extracts (if using!), and sour cream and mix just until combined.
- Stir in the flour mixture with a silicone spatula (or using the stir speed on the stand mixer) in batches just until well incorporated in the wet ingredients. Don't over mix!
- Toss 1 cup of the blueberries in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour in a small bowl. This will ensure your blueberries are well-distributed throughout the pound cake instead of sinking to the bottom.
- Gently fold the flour-dusted blueberries into the pound cake batter using a silicone spatula.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan, give the pan a few hearty taps onto the countertop and sprinkle the remaining blueberries on the top .
- Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake. When it comes out with a few crumbs and no wet batter, your cake is ready.
- Cool in the pan for 45 minutes before lifting out of the pan with the parchment paper to a wire rack to finish cooling down.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the lemon glaze when ready to serve the pound cake.
- Once the baked cake is cooled completely and placed onto a serving plate, generously pour the lemon glaze evenly over the top.
- The glaze will harden over the pound cake within 5-10 minutes.
Serve lemon blueberry pound cake glazed and at room temperature.
Storing, Freezing, and Thawing
Wrap the pound cake in plastic wrap or keep it in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days, this is perfectly safe to leave out. In fact, because of the butter, it's best to leave the cake on the countertop instead of the fridge because the cake will get hard, it'll dry out, and the cold will make it less flavorful.
To freeze our lovely blueberry pound cake (naked without the glaze!), you'll need to wrap it in multiple layers of plastic wrap and then place it into a freezer-safe zip top bag. It'll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw it, leave the cake on the countertop overnight until it's room temperature. Then it's ready to serve!
Using Frozen Blueberries
You can 100% substitute frozen blueberries for the fresh ones. Don't thaw them, use them just like you would the fresh berries in the recipe. You may need to bake the cake a few minutes longer if those frozen blueberries are extra juicy.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 slices Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 207mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g
All nutrition facts are estimations. Please see a physician for any health-related inquiries.
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.