This gluten-free pound cake uses a combination of butter and cream cheese to make a rich, moist loaf cake. Lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon extract give it a triple dose of lemon flavor. The recipe mixes up in one bowl with a ready made gluten-free flour blend.
Gluten-free flour blend – My preferred flour for gluten-free baking is King Arthur Measure for Measure flour. It works well in all of my cakes, muffins and cookies. It’s also the most affordable of the gf flours I’ve tested. Many of my readers have used other gluten-free flour blends in my recipes with good results.
Cream cheese makes this pound cake rich and and complements the tangy lemon flavor. Use full fat cream cheese only.
Butter adds that classic pound cake flavor. Use unsalted butter to best control the salt level in the recipe.
The temperature of the cream cheese and butter is super important in this recipe. If they’re too cool, they will turn lumpy and won’t incorporate into the batter well. Unless your kitchen is on the warmer side, it’s best to heat both briefly in the microwave. Instructions are provided in the recipe card below.
It is equally important that the eggs are at the right temperature. I don’t refrigerate my eggs but on colder days, room temp is too cold. If you add cold eggs to the creamed mixture, the butter and cream cheese will turn lumpy. So I highly recommend placing your eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes.
I include oil in almost all of my cakes and gf baked goods. It keeps baked goods more moist over a few days than butter. So this recipe uses a combo of butter, for flavor with oil for moistness. Use sunflower, canola, avocado or any neutral flavored vegetable oil.
I find that lemon juice on its own in baked goods is not enough to yield a definite lemony flavor. So lemon zest helps to add more lemon pop. Lemon zest is is the colorful outer layer on citrus that has concentrated flavor. When grated on a microplane or a fine grater, it disappears into the batter and leaves its lemony essence. If you haven’t zested a lemon before, check out my post How to Zest a Lemon for a quick tutorial.
Lemon extract adds the last bit of lemon flavor to this cream cheese pound cake. Simply Organic Lemon flavor is alcohol free and my favorite.
The rest of the ingredients are the basics of baking, including salt, sugar and baking powder
Most cakes, muffins, cookies and quick breads are baked at 350°F. But this pound cake does best at 325°F. It’s a large amount of batter in a deeper pan (than a cake) and if baked at too high a temp, the outside will burn before the inside of the cake is set.
Quick Lemon Icing
This pound cake is moist and yummy enough to serve with no topping. But I love a a little icing. Use a lemon icing to bring even more lemon flavor to this breakfast treat. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of corn syrup (optional) and drizzle over the cooled pound cake,
Gluten-Free Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake Loaf
- Microplane optional
- 1 lemon
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 oz (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ c + 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ⅓ c oil – avocado, sunflower, canola or other neutral flavored vegetable oil
- 2 tsp lemon extract or lemon flavor
- ½ tsp salt
- 1¾ c gluten-free flour blend – King Arthur Measure for Measure recommended
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 325℉ and grease and line an 8½ x 4½" loaf pan.
- Important Notes: In order to create a smooth batter it is very important that the butter and cream cheese are very soft. In addition, the eggs need to be almost lukewarm. If your kitchen is on the cooler side, room temperature may be too cool. For the cream cheese, I recommend placing it on a small plate and spreading it out in an even layer. Microwave it in 5 second increments until it is very soft but not melting.For the butter, cut it into six pieces, place it on a small plate and microwave in 5 to 7 second increments until it is very soft but not melting.Place the uncracked eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes.
- This recipe works best when mixed with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer.
- Use a microplane or the finest surface of a grater to zest the lemon. Zest it right into a medium sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Into a small bowl, juice the lemon to get 2 tablespoons of juice. Set aside the juice for later.
- Add the soft butter and cream cheese to the bowl with the lemon zest and mix on medium high for about 1 minute.
- Add the sugar and mix for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix another 45 seconds or until smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing each one in before adding the next.
- Add the oil, lemon juice, lemon extract and salt. Mix on medium high until combined.
- Add the flour and baking powder. Mix on low for 10 seconds, then scrape the sides of the bowl. Mix on medium high for another 15 seconds or until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Level the batter using a rubber spatula.
- Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.NOTE: The top will brown a little less than an all butter pound cake.
- Cool the pound cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Top with a simple, quick lemon icing for a pretty presentation. The 3 ingredient recipe is just above this recipe card.