Lemon and Basil Pound Cake Recipe

The perfect pound cake recipe for summer parties or tea time. Moist pound cake recipe flavored with bright lemon and sweet basil.


Growing up in rural Louisiana, pound cake was a dessert staple. Church events, funerals. and cookouts weren’t complete unless there was a pound cake made by the best baker. I never understood why grownups raved over this icing-less cake! It wasn’t until that fateful day when I popped open a styrofoam to-go plate from a post-church dinner that I finally tasted the dense deliciousness that is a true Southern pound cake. I’ve been a believer ever since.

How is a pound cake different from a regular cake?

Pound cake differs from a regular cake because it is denser. The reason it is denser is that pound cake contains more fat content. Regular cake has a more subtle flavor and fluffier texture. Also, a traditional pound cake usually is not covered in icing, but in a glaze.


What is the secret to a good pound cake?

Although I grew up eating pound cake, I quickly learned that all pound cake recipes are not made the same, honey. People often ask why is pound cake so dry or how do you keep pound cake moist.

Well, here is my secret, don’t overbake it! You want to take the cake out exactly when it is completely baked and let it finish baking in the pan.

Second, keep the cake covered. If you have left the cake out for hours or days, it will, just as any other cake, dry out.

Third, make sure to not use too much flour. Often, the batter is too dry. Obviously, this leads to a dry cake. Your batter should smooth, silky, and easily pour into the pan. Even if use a pound cake recipe with cream cheese, make sure the batter is wet enough to ensure a moist cake.


Best Pound Cake Recipe

Okay, the time has come, here are the details you’ll need to make the best moist pound cake you’ve ever had!

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Lemon and Basil Pound Cake Recipe

  • Author: Johnniemay McDonald
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x


Moist pound cake recipe flavored with bright lemon and fresh sweet basil. It’s the perfect summer dessert for any gathering.



Lemon Basil Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened & room temperature

1 cup sugar, I use raw sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Juice of 1 lemon

zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

45 fresh basil leaves sliced into ribbons

3 fresh basil leaves for garnish

Cream Cheese Icing

1 block cream cheese, softened to room temp

2 tbsp softened butter

24 cups sifted powdered sugar (adding 1 cup at a time and tasting after adding each until you reach desired sweetness.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare your pan.
  2. In a bowl or stand mixer, combine the softened butter and sugar well.
  3. Add your eggs and vanilla extract to the wet mixture.
  4. Add fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to the wet mixture, and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients by folding the dry ingredients into the wet. 
  7. Fold fresh basil and sour cream into the mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-55 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.
  8. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter. Whip the mixture for 1 minute or until fluffy.
  9. Add vanilla extract and 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar at a time until desired texture and sweetness is reached.
  10. After removing the cake from the oven, let it cool then remove it from the pan. After completely cooled, smoothe the icing over the cake and garnish with lemon slices and fresh basil ribbons.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon basil pound cake, lemon, basil, pound cake

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