how to make pound cake | kelly’s kitchen

Hello and happy Saturday! Welcome back to Kelly’s Kitchen, It’s so great to see you again.  Week before last, my husband and I received our first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box from Collective Harvest, here in Athens. This box of fresh, local produce makes me so happy! It is a joy to think of what to make with all the gorgeous veggies. We have been doing a lot of big, hearty salads with mushrooms, scallions, pepitas and anything else we can toss in. More on that in the coming weeks…. But for this week, I wanted to highlight one particular treat in our CSA box: strawberries. Early spring is the time for strawberries. And to go with our cute little basket of strawberries I wanted to make a pound cake. I found Melissa Clark’s recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake on the New York Times cooking site, so I thought I’d give it a go.  Here’s how to make pound cake.  

How to make pound cake

In reading the recipe, I noticed it calls for buttermilk. Well, I didn’t want to go out just for buttermilk. I know I can make my own by adding vinegar to some whole milk…but then I remembered my husband accidentally bought plain Kefir, instead of the plain yogurt on my shopping list a few weeks ago. Perfect!

For my strawberries, I didn’t want to go so far as to make a compote – I wanted to keep them mostly naked, but I did want a saucy-ness to them. I found an easy recipe from Bon Appetit’s latest issue to dress my berries.

Now, how about we make that cake:

Dish Towel | Microplane | Cutting Board | Batter Bowl | Loaf Pan | Measuring Cup and Mixing Bowl Set

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-9 inch loaf pan.

Step 2: Combine the lemon zest and the 1 cup granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar), massaging it together to create a sandy mixture.

Batter Bowl |Microplane


Spouted Mixing Bowl Set | Whisk | Citrus Juicer | Prep Bowls

Step 3: Whisk in buttermilk (or kefir), lemon juice and 3 eggs. 

Step 4: In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder

Step 5: Whisk dry ingredient mix into wet mix. 

Batter Bowl | Loaf Pan | Dish Towel 

Step 6: Whisk in the olive oil (it seems like A LOT, but just keep stirring until the batter is smooth and all the oil is incorporated) Then stir in your poppy seeds*. 

*I think the poppy seeds can be totally optional. You can omit them and your cake will still be delicious!

Step 7: Time to bake! Place in the 350 degree oven and bake for about 1 hour, until it’s golden brown and the center top of the cake is firm.

How to dress strawberries

Meanwhile: Cut your berries into quarters or halves, depending on size and mix with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and set aside. 

Then: Heat 3 tablespoons of honey in a saucepan until bubbly. 

I let my honey cool slightly then I poured it over my berries and stirred to combine. (The honey will seize up at first, but after sitting for a bit, it will dissolve in the acidic juices.*) Set aside, and stir occasionally. 

*If you end up with little bits of solid honey in your berry bowl by the time you want to serve the berries, you can strain them out with a fine mesh strainer, no problem. 

How to make a glaze

Also meanwhile: If you want to glaze your pound cake, take 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar and 4 teaspoons of lemon juice and mix until smooth. You can make it as thick or thin as you like by adding more lemon juice (thin) or more confectioner’s sugar (thick). Set this aside until your pound cake is cool.

Once your cake is done, set it out to cool slightly, then when it’s handle-able, turn it out on a wire rack placed over a sheet pan, turn the cake upright, and let it cool a bit more.

Sheet Pan | Wire Rack | Silicone Brush | Pyrex 4 Cup

Then use a pastry brush to brush the icing on your cake. I glazed the whole cake, even the sides. Then I did a second coat. 🙂

Let your cake cool all the way before you serve it. Slice it thick or thin, top with berries and enjoy! 

PS: No one will be mad if you if you whip up some whipped cream to top it all off! 

5 from 6 votes

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Author Melissa Clark


  • 1 3/4 cup Flour
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk or kefir!
  • 3 tbsp Lemon Juice + 4 Teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Poppy Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Confectioners' Sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch loaf pan.

  2. In a bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar and rub with your fingers until it looks like wet sand. Whisk in buttermilk, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk dry ingredients into the batter, then whisk in oil and poppy seeds.

  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan until warm to the touch, then turn out onto a baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Turn cake right side up.

  4. Whisk together remaining 4 teaspoons lemon and the confectioners’ sugar. Use a pastry brush to spread glaze evenly over top and sides of cake. Cool completely before slicing.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, I do hope you give this Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake a try, it’s so good for dessert or breakfast! Don’t forget, you can also find me on facebook and instagram. Thanks so much – I look forward to seeing you again next week! Take care and be well everyone. xo Kelly



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  1. ali wrote:

    I love pound cake, but have never tried making it myself. It looks delicious. I’m going to give this a try.

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Hi Ali, I had never made one either! I have always loved pound cake and I am so happy I finally gave it a go. Thanks for tuning in today, xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  2. 5 stars
    It looks so yummy and so pretty. Mouth watering!

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Thank you Linda! I am enjoying a slice with my coffee as I write this now! Thank you for reading today’s post. xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  3. Kristine wrote:

    When I finished reading this, I literally said out loud: “Wait – show me a picture of a slice of pound cake with the strawberries!”…and when I kept scrolling there it was!! Phew! I love your step by step instructions. I have collected pound cake recipes but have never tried one. With these instructions, I think it will be fun!

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Hi Kristine! Haha, I did save the strawberries for last! I hope you try this recipe, I am sure you will really enjoy it. Thank you for tuning in today, xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  4. Nelda Pattillo wrote:

    5 stars
    Looks delicious and I have the ingredients on hand!! I will make this today!!

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Wonderful Nelda! Do let me know how it turns out for you, Enjoy! xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  5. Susan wrote:

    Thank you Kelly, will be making today!

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Great, Susan! I am sure you will enjoy it, thank you so much for reading today’s post. xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  6. zooperson wrote:

    5 stars
    This is a keeper! Thanks for excellent instructions.

    Posted 4.25.20
    • I am so glad you like it, zooperson! Thank you so much, xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  7. Laura Tiegs wrote:

    5 stars
    I am loving your Saturday cooking
    posts. First,your choice of recipes are so interesting and things I would like to try.Next, you teach them beautifully . Your personality shines through in your writing.
    Thanks for doing this,as I really enjoy them,and look forward to them. You help add beauty to life.
    Sincerely, Laura

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Laura. I am so happy you are enjoying the column; I am really happy to have the opportunity to share my ideas with you. Thanks again for tuning in, xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  8. Andrea wrote:

    5 stars
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe, Kelly. I love all things lemon and poppy seeds. The poppy seeds add an extra layer of depth…and fibre!

    For those who like deserts but are trying to keep calories in control, try having this for breakfast or lunch, with a slice of cheese or yogurt as well as fruit. 🥂

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Hi Andrea, thank you for tuning in today; and yes, I definitely agree that yogurt or cheese would be a perfect compliment to this pound cake. And of course you can omit the glaze for even fewer sugar calories. Take care, xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
      • Sylvia Espinoza wrote:

        Another wonderful recipe! Saturdays are extra great now as we get your recipe for the week. Love all things pound cake…lol! I toss strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and walnuts in a quart-size bowl. Then in a measuring cup I add a local-brand buttery-tasting olive oil (about 1/4 cup) an equally tasty Alessi-brand balsamic vinegar (about a tablespoon), a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Mix together, then pour into the berries, coating gently. Taste so good then and there, but when they sit a while, oh my 🙂 Wish I had a slice of your pound cake right this minute! Love to you from Texas~

        Posted 4.25.20
        • Hi Sylvia! Thank you so much for tuning in today. Your recipe for dressing your berries sounds amazing! I will definitely give it a try, I love all of those flavors – salty, sweet, sour…and your addition of walnuts is genius! Take care an be well in Texas, xo Kelly

          Posted 4.25.20
  9. I’m drooling. Must save this recipe for when we have local strawberries here in NJ – we’re a few weeks behind GA.

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Haha Cathy! Definitely give it a try, your strawberries will thank you 😉 xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  10. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    Yum. I have a lemon poppyseed pound cake recipe and I’ll have to compare them and try yours out. It looks delicious. My Joe loves a glaze on it, so that would be a must for me here! 😉 And yeah–whipped cream peaks sitting in there somewhere sounds scrumptious! I like the idea of kefir. I’ll have to pin this one and try it. Thanks for the very clear directions. I love a recipe that doesn’t make you wonder if you’re doing it correctly. Have a great weekend! I think Beth needs a piece of this while she elevates that leg! xoxo

    Posted 4.25.20
    • I love a glaze on it too, Suzanne, it really adds that tart pop of lemon. I really appreciate the feedback that my directions are clear, I strive for that and it’s helpful know I am hitting the mark. Thanks so much for tuning in this week – see you next week! xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  11. Donna wrote:

    Just wondering what kind of flour you used. We don’t normally eat flour and always eat organic. I noticed you used organic sugar, so I was curious about what kind of flour you used. Thanks!

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Hi Donna, I have King Arthur all purpose flour on hand these days, which is organic. I really like Bob’s Red Mill too. I have a variety of alternative flours like almond and coconut, though haven’t used them for this recipe before, so I am not sure what the conversion would like…thanks for your question and for tuning in today. xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  12. Rory wrote:

    Looks delicious! Thanks

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Thank you for checking out today’s post Rory! xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  13. Carroll Niesen wrote:

    Those strawberries are so beautiful. I have made lemon poppy seed pound cake and love it, but never any strawberries that look that great! Must try it!!

    Posted 4.25.20
    • Hi Carroll, it’s nice to see you again. I love these CSA strawberries, not as big as the ones in the supermarket, but so sweet and fresh! I hope you try the recipe and enjoy! xo Kelly

      Posted 4.25.20
  14. Dora Renata pala wrote:

    Buongiorno Kelly (qui è mattina) bella ricetta semplice e sicuramente buona. Né abbiamo bisogno per il nostro morale, é siccome adoro i dolci oggi che è domenica provo a farla. Scusa Kelly scrivo in Italiano perché leggo e parlo l’inglese ma non scrivo correttamente anzi un disastro!!!. Buona settimana 🥧

    Posted 4.26.20
    • Buongiorno Dora! Le domeniche sono perfette per concedersi un dolce! Grazie mille per aver letto la mia rubrica. Mi piace condividere le ricette con te. Stai attento, xo Kelly (Google Translate semplifica la chat con persone in altre lingue! :))

      Posted 4.26.20
  15. Beth Crawford wrote:

    5 stars
    Thank you Kellyfor another great recipe !
    I have to be gluten free and I’m sure this will convert very well. I use King Arthur measure for measure flour and almost always it turns out very well. I’m happy to try this one!

    Posted 4.26.20
    • Hi Beth, I am sure it will convert well to gluten free. Thanks so much and be sure to let me know how it turns out for you. Take care, xo Kelly

      Posted 4.26.20
  16. Lee wrote:

    I made this yesterday and it’s a big hit at my house! The light lemon flavor is delicious. I left out the poppy seeds (thank you for mentioning that), only because I wasn’t sure they’d go over well with my son & husband. The next time I bake this, I’m going to either reduce the temperature or the baking time; the edges come out a little well done. Still tastes great though! Thank you.

    Posted 4.26.20
    • Hi Lee, I am so happy you made the pound cake – and that it was a hit! Everyone’s oven is different so you might need to reduce the time or temp to suit your taste. Thank you so much for tuning in and commenting to let me know you made the recipe! Take care, xo Kelly

      Posted 4.26.20

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