This sour cream lemon cake is the second of my pound cakes made using sour cream.
Pound cakes typically do not contain sour cream and most of my pound cake recipes on my blog are without sour cream.
This lemon pound cake recipe is a slight variation from the typical version in that I have included sour cream in it. The difference lies solely in the use of sour cream as an additional ingredient in this recipe and it gives the pound cake a lovely moist texture.
Sour Cream - What Is It Actually?
Sour cream is the name given to heavy cream that has been fermented. It has a creamy texture and resembles yogurt to a large extent. The only difference between yogurt and sour cream is that yogurt is fermented milk while sour cream is fermented heavy cream. While they may look similar, sour cream is creamier than yogurt.
Sour cream is a common ingredient in many baked goods, especially cheesecakes. It helps with the creamy texture of the cheesecakes and adds depth to the flavor too. In normal cakes, the addition of sour cream helps produce an excellent moist texture to the cakes. What is more, the sourish taste of the fermented cream also helps in adding a wonderfully rich flavor to these baked goods.
You can purchase sour cream from the milk and dairy section in most stores. It does not typically have a very long shelf life, hence keep it refrigerated at all times.
How to Make the Sour Cream Lemon Cake
- Self-raising flour + baking powder + salt
- Granulated sugar
- Sour Cream
- Vanilla Essence
- Lemon Zest (grated)
- Lemon Juice
- Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Mixing the lemon cake batter
Start by grating the lemon zest and juicing the lemon. Set it aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, add the sugar and butter.
- Cream both until they turn light and fluffy. This should take approximately 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl at one minute interval.
- Add in the eggs. Do this one at a time. Each time, beat until the traces of the egg are no longer visible.
- Next, add the sour cream and beat again until it is well incorporated into the creamed mixture.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the self-raising flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold in the sifted dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in 3 batches.
- Alternate the first and second batch of dry ingredients with lemon juice. Alternate the second and third batch of the dry ingredients with milk. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Finally, add the grated lemon rind and mix it well.
- Pour the lemon cake batter into a well-greased and floured 8 inches by 4 inches loaf tin. Level the top and bake at 165 degrees Celsius for 50 to 55 minutes. Test the sour cream lemon cake at 50 minutes by inserting a skewer in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready and can be removed from the oven.
- Let the cake rest in the tin for about 5 minutes. Use a jam knife to loosen the sides of the baked lemon cake against the cake tin. Transfer the lemon pound cake onto a wire rack (with the top facing up) and let it cool completely.
- Once the cake is completely cool, dredge the top with icing sugar. To do this, place the icing sugar is a sifter and sift it all over the top of the lemon cake.
Can you omit the sour cream from this sour cream lemon cake recipe?
- Technically you can. However, you will no longer able to call it a sour cream lemon cake. It would be just a lemon pound cake.
- I have another recipe of a lemon pound cake recipe that you can use to bake a lemon pound cake without sour cream, and you can check it out here.
Grate the lemon zest before juicing the lemon
- This sour cream lemon cake recipe requires both lemon zest and lemon juice. When grating the lemon zest, it is always easier to do it before juicing the fruit. A full plump lemon will be much easier to hold and grate as compared to one that is no longer plump after juicing.
How long can this lemon cake last?
- This sour cream lemon cake can last at room temperature for a good 4 to 5 days provided it is handled without moisture.
- If you wish to keep it longer, it is best to refrigerate it. Consume with one week.
- If you do not intend to serve the lemon cake on the day is it baked, wrap it in cling wrap while is it still warm and refrigerate. Bring the lemon cake to room temperature (with the wrap still on, to avoid condensation) and dredge the top with icing sugar before cutting and serving.
Can this lemon cake be baked in a round tin?
- Yes, it can. For the recipe amount below (in the recipe card) use a 7 inches round tin. Reduce the baking time to 45 minutes. Check the cake for doneness by inserting a skewer in the center of the cake at 40 minutes interval. If the skewer comes out without any wet batter sticking to it, it is ready. Otherwise, continue to bake further. The cake will bake to an approximate height of 2 inches.
- You can also use this sour cream lemon cake to make a birthday cake or celebration cake. Double the recipe and bake it in two 7-inches round cake tins. Sandwich the layers with the frosting of your choice and decorate as you wish. The cake will go well with cream cheese frosting, or simple buttercream frosting.
Here are my other posts you might want to check out
- Super Moist Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake (the Best Ever!)
- Old School Butter Pound Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting
- Classic New York Cheesecake - An Old Fashioned Cheesecake
- Banana Pound Cake
- Matcha Pound Cake
- Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake
Here is the full printable version of my sour cream lemon cake recipe.
Homemade Sour Cream Lemon Cake - Without Buttermilk
- 180 g self-raising flour
- 180 g granulated sugar
- 180 g butter at room temperature
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 90 g sour cream
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon grated lemon rind (approximately 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- Preheat oven to 165 °Celsius.
- Grate the lemon zest of one lemon and squeeze the juice.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy for about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat until all traces of the egg are no longer visible. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the sour cream and beat it well into the creamed mixture.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture in three batches. Alternate the first and second batches with lemon juice and the second and third batch with milk.
- Finally, mix in the grated lemon zest. Pour the sour cream lemon cake batter into a well-greased and floured loaf tin measuring 8 inches by 4 inches and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Test the cake at 50 minutes of baking time by inserting a skewer in the center of the cake. The cake is done if the skewer comes out without any wet batter.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest in the tin for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Place the cake facing up on the rack while cooling.
- Once the lemon cake has completely cooled down, dredge the top with icing sugar.
- If you do not intend to serve this sour cream lemon cake immediately, wrap it with cling wrap while it is still warm and refrigerate it.
- When ready to serve, remove it from the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature before dredging the top with icing sugar and serving.
And that's pretty much my sour cream lemon cake recipe for you.
Happy Baking 🙂