Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Essential Oil

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I love lemon pound cake, and the more lemon juice or zest, the better! So when my friend Leah asked if I was interested in baking something and including an essential oil, I immediately said yes to the lemon oil! The oil is cold-pressed from the rinds of lemons, so it smells absolutely amazing and adds even more lemon flavor to a recipe. And, in addition to being an antioxidant, it has lots of other benefits.


The cake is good. It’s very moist and has a nice texture, and the glaze adds a nice lemony punch. If I were to make it again, I’d probably add a tablespoon more lemon juice to the cake, just because I like lemon desserts really tart.


You can purchase the lemon essential oil (or any other essential oil!) here.

Cake Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons lemon juice
6 drops lemon essential oil
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt

Glaze Ingredients
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 drops lemon essential oil
1 cup confectioners sugar

Heat oven to 325° F. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice and 6 drops of the lemon essential oil, then the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Add half the flour mixture, then the yogurt, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 65 to 75 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar, 2 drops of the lemon essential oil, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice until smooth, adding the remaining lemon juice as necessary to create a thick, but pourable glaze. Pour glaze over cooled cake.

Recipe adapted from Real Simple.


5 Responses to “Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Essential Oil”

    Leah Sorensen on 1 February 23rd, 2015 6:53 am

    YUMMMMM!!! Can’t wait to try this! Thank you! LOVE lemon too 🙂

    Sarahkate on 2 March 2nd, 2015 1:04 pm

    This recipe looks so great, I’m going to try it just as soon as I order up the essential oil. We have a terrific resource in my area for organic oils, herbs and spices and it’s my go-to resource.

    By the way if you haven’t seen this book yet, it was featured a couple weeks ago on Splendid Table: “Fragrant: The secret life of scent” (author’s last name is Aftel). It talks a lot about essential oils and using them in cooking and your recipe with the lemon oil looks like it’s a good way for me to start learning to cook this way.

    Thank you for a great website with terrific recipes many of which I’ve baked (favorite is the snickerdoodle muffins and the brown sugar cookies).

    Hilary on 3 March 2nd, 2015 2:28 pm

    @Sarahkate – Thanks for the info! p.s. If you like the snickerdoodle muffins, you have to make the snickerdoodle bundt, it is amazing!!

    Leah Sorensen on 4 March 3rd, 2015 8:48 am

    Just make sure the Essential Oils you use for cooking/ ingesting are food grade approved by the FDA. An oil can be labeled organic but the FDA does not regulate “organic” labeling for cosmetics/ aromatherapy. Be sure the bottle you use is therapeutic grade FDA approved GRAS (generally regarded as safe) to ingest. If it says “aromatherapy” on it, it is generally not a pure oil.

    Sarahkate on 5 March 31st, 2015 1:22 pm

    Sort of off topic unless the topic could broaden to include all citrus-y baked items, I recently made (again!) your fabulous Sour Cream Orange Tea Cake. I’d had a half box full of THE most delicious oranges from a high school b-ball team fundraiser and was scrambling to use as many as possible before their amazing sweetness also became their downfall. Didn’t lose a one.. It was a Nosh With Me recipe from I think around 2009? (I’ve been visiting here a looooong time!) It had been about a year since I’d made it for the fourth or fifth time. It was every single bit as fabulous as the first time (and second, and third, and, and, and) … So please consider this once again to be a fervent thank you not only for the deliciousness you make possible for us amateur bakers but also for the perfectly created recipes – haven’t had a failure yet. Thanks again for a fabulous blog!

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