Kirbie's Cravings

4 Ingredient Lemon Pound Cake (No Butter or Oil)

This lemon pound cake is soft, moist and full of lemon flavor. It is easy to make and needs just four ingredients. Unlike most pound cakes, you don’t need any butter or oil. The cake is drizzled with a sweet and tart lemon glaze. It is great for brunch or dessert.
a pound cake with slices cut off.

I’ve been in the mood for lemon desserts recently, especially with summer just around the corner. This lemon pound cake is so easy to make and topped with a delicious and easy lemon glaze that is just the right amount of sweet and tart.


  • Self-Rising Flour
  • Eggs
  • Lemons
  • Condensed Milk

Self-Rising Flour: Self-rising flour is all purpose flour already pre-mixed with baking powder and salt. I like using self-rising flour because it saves me a few extra steps in preparing the recipe. If you don’t have self-rising flour, you can make your own by mixing together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.

Eggs: The eggs provide structure for this cake.

Lemons: This cake uses both lemon juice and lemon zest to give the cake lemon flavor and fragrance. Make sure to use both the juice and zest. You will need 1 to 2 lemons for this cake.

Condensed milk: This cake is made with sweetened full fat condensed milk. Condensed milk adds sweetness to the cake and also gives the cake a tighter crumb.
a sliced lemon pound cake topped with glaze.

How to Make Lemon Pound Cake

The eggs and condensed milk are first mixed together. The flour is then mixed in. Finally, the lemon juice and zest are stirred in until just combined. It’s important to add the zest at the end, otherwise you won’t be able to see if there are any unmixed flour lumps in the batter.

The batter is then ready to be poured into a loaf pan and baked.
three slices of pound cake.

More Lemon Recipes

4 Ingredient Lemon Pound Cake

Servings: 12 slices
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
This easy lemon pound cake is soft and moist with a bright lemon flavor. It is great for brunch or dessert.
4.25 from 8 votes


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (303 g) full fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup (128 g) self-rising flour
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz/30ml) lemon juice + 2 tsp lemon zest


  • Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Add eggs and condensed milk to a large mixing bowl. Make sure to scrape the sides of the measuring cup with a spatula to get all the condensed milk into the bowl. Whisk until eggs are fully incorporated and batter is uniform. Add in flour. Whisk until flour is fully incorporated and no lumps of flour remain. You can also mix the batter with a mixer but if you do, make sure to mix flour in on low speed until just mixed so that you don't overmix the batter.
  • Add in lemon juice and zest. Gently stir until they are evenly mixed in.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until cake is done. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick and it should come out mostly clean. When you press against the surface of the cake, it should also bounce back. Let the cake cool fully in the pan before removing. If adding glaze, wait until the cake is fully cooled before drizzling it on top.


  • This cake is soft and moist with a tight crumb. It's a little hard to see in the photos but the bottom of the cake is more dense because of the high amount of liquid in this batter. I did make versions of this cake to fix the appearance but they didn't taste as good as this version.
  • To make your own self-rising flour, mix together 1 cup all purpose flour + 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp salt.
  • I used Lily's self-rising flour*
  • *This product link is an affiliate link. This means I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
  • Don't leave out the lemon zest. The cake only has a little lemon juice added to the batter because too much will change the cake texture, so a lot of the lemon flavor comes from the zest.
  • Optional Lemon Glaze: Add 1 cup of powdered sugar to a medium bowl. Add 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice until the glaze reaches desired consistency. I recommend starting with 1 tbsp and then gradually adding in the second as needed because it only takes a little liquid for the glaze to become very thin. If you prefer a less tart glaze you can also just add 1 tbsp of lemon juice and then thin out the glaze with water or milk.
  • The cake is sweet, but not super sweet on its own. If you prefer sweeter desserts, I definitely recommend you add the lemon glaze. The lemon glaze also adds more lemon flavor as well
  • You will need one to two lemons to produce 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tsp of lemon zest. 


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 136kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 157mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 14g, NET CARBS: 20

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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Recipe Rating

43 comments on “4 Ingredient Lemon Pound Cake (No Butter or Oil)”

  1. Can you use a citrus other than lemon such as orange?

  2. Can you double this lemon pound recipe..

  3. I’m not sure what I did wrong, bc I followed the directions to a T but this came out extremely dense. And had no lemon flavor whatsoever. I will try it again and see how it turns out 

    • As we mention in the recipe notes, the bottom of the cake will be a little more dense than the top – was this the case with yours? Or was the whole thing very dense? It is a pound cake texture, so if you’re expecting a light and fluffy crumb, you won’t get that with this recipe. Also, how you measure the flour matters – we recommend weighing the flour for the most accurate measurement. If you use a dry measuring cup, you should spoon the flour in the cup and level it off. If you scoop it out of the container with the cup, you will end up with too much flour. That can make the cake more dense. The cake is only lightly sweetened (as mentioned), but it should have a lemon flavor. If you prefer a stronger flavor, we recommend adding the glaze, increasing the amount of lemon zest (not juice – just the zest) or add some lemon extract. Hope this helps!

  4. The recipes are fantastic and never thought I could make such delicious tasting breads loaves and cookies. I am so grateful to have found this and especially the author who has provided us with this free site which has been a blessing and one that I enjoy immensely.

  5. I’m going to try it today!!!

  6. Can I replace sweetened condense milk with milk ? 

    • We don’t recommend that – the sweetened condensed milk adds sweetness and also ensures the cake has the right texture.

  7. I’ve just signed up to your site, to receive your recipe emails! All of your recipes look and sound fantastic and so easy! I look forward to receiving your emails and can’t wait to try out these recipes! 
    P.S. I’ve been looking for something like this for so long. Glad I finally found you! ?

  8. What is the substitute for condensed milk

  9. Hi, I don’t have self rising flour can I use regular all purpose white flour and add baking powder or is it baking soda..and how much?

    • Yes, please see the 2nd bullet in the notes section in the recipe card – we tell you how to make it.

  10. Will this recipe work with gluten free flour.?
    Thank you.

  11. Even tho it’s a simple it’s still remarkable and was extremely scrumptious. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!

  12. I can’t wait to make it!

  13. I enjoyed viewing your cakes recipe today

  14. Enjoyed viewing

  15. What about using lemon extract? Have you tried that?

  16. I made this today. It was very easy and quick. I think it needed to be a tad sweeter (personal preference). I cooked it in three mini loaves and it came out kinda dry. Do you have any suggestions for cooking time for mini loaves? I liked the glaze. It was very dense which is what I love! I will definitely be making it again.

    • Sorry I don’t have baking time for mini loaves. I would need to test myself and also not sure what size your mini loaf pans were

  17. Looks like a delicious cake. Lemon flavor is my favorite for anything. However I have to say that this is not a pound cake but doesn’t contain any butter. The name pound cake refers to the ingredients which includes 1 lb of butter. This is a lemon loaf cake.

    • While pound cakes originally got their name because they contained one pound of each ingredient, they’ve definitely evolved and modernized and they are not always made with butter.

  18. Interesting

  19. The lemon pound cake looks tasty .

  20. Thank you For The full
    Detailed Information about
    The Lemon Pound Cake ,
    For the Notes and for the

  21. Hi! Thank yuh for the recipe….will try soon…may I know the measurements of baking powder and baking soda with All-purpose flour?

  22. Is there an alternative for condensed milk?