This better-than-Starbucks lemon pound cake recipe is healthy and made with simple ingredients like Greek yogurt, honey, and almond flour. It’s super moist, tangy, and so easy to make. The perfect breakfast, snack, and dessert!
Starbucks copycat lemon pound cake
I love all things lemon! Especially baked goods. My favorites have to be this moist lemon poppy seed crumb cake, this healthy lemon blackberry bread, and these cute mini lemon bundt cakes. The tangy lemon and sweet sugar combination is the best!
I am so excited to update this healthy lemon pound cake recipe finally. This is one of my OG first recipes on the blog. It was so popular that I needed to take better pictures for you. The recipe is the same, don’t worry!
This healthy lemon pound cake is incredibly soft and moist. It’s made with a mix of almond flour and all-purpose flour, Greek yogurt, honey, fresh lemon zest, and eggs. You can even make it 100% gluten-free by using gluten-free baking flour and dairy-free by using coconut oil and plant-based yogurt.
Lemon pound cake is the perfect sweet breakfast, afternoon snack, or after-dinner dessert. It’s sweet but not overly sugary; the fresh tangy lemon flavor is incredible. Kids and picky eaters will love this treat!
Why you’ll love this healthy recipe:
- It tastes better than the Starbucks lemon pound cake.
- Made with Greek yogurt.
- Extra moist and soft.
- Made healthier with almond flour, honey, and yogurt.
- Topped with a simple lemon glaze.
- Easy to bake.
- Perfect breakfast, snack, and dessert.
- A yummy Spring and Summer treat.
- Try these extra moist lemon-glazed mini bundt cakes next!
Ingredients & substitutions
This super moist healthy lemon pound cake calls for straightforward ingredients like almond flour, honey, butter, and Greek yogurt. It tastes BETTER than the Starbucks version and has half the amount of sugar. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
Yogurt Lemon Pound Cake:
- Flours: This lemon pound cake recipe calls for both all-purpose flour and almond flour. If you are gluten-free, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with this 1:1 gluten-free baking flour.
- Baking Powder: To help the pound cake rise. Don’t substitute baking powder with baking soda.
- Sugar: You only need 1/3 cup of granulated white sugar for this pound cake. It has a lot less sugar than classic recipes!
- Honey: Add some honey too to naturally sweetened the pound cake. You can also use maple syrup.
- Lemons: You’ll need the zest of 2 or 3 lemons to flavor this delicious Starbucks lemon pound cake.
- Eggs: To help the pound cake rise and hold its soft crumb.
- Greek Yogurt: I like using 2% or 5% Greek yogurt, but you can also use 0%. You substitute Greek yogurt with plain yogurt, skyr, vanilla yogurt, or sour cream if needed.
- Butter: You only need 4 Tablespoons of butter to flavor the pound cake and make it super moist. You can substitute the butter with coconut oil or vegan butter if needed.
- Vanilla Extract: Just a dash for flavor.
Lemon Glaze Topping:
- Powdered Sugar: The base of our classic lemon glaze.
- Lemon: Instead of milk or water, we use lemon juice to flavor and form the glaze.
Kitchen tools required
Here is a list of kitchen utensils you will need to make this easy lemon yogurt pound cake.
- 9×5-inch Bread Loaf Pan
- Parchment Paper
- Two Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Tools: 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup.
How to make healthy lemon pound cake
It’s crazy how easy it is to make this healthy lemon pound cake. It tastes better than the Starbucks version! Here are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference so any level cook can make them. The full recipe and ingredient measurements are at the bottom of this page in the recipe card.
First, preheat the oven to 350°F and line and grease a 9×5-inch loaf tin with parchment paper.
Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Ensure all the clumps are removed, then set it to the side.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and lemon zest. Then add the eggs, honey, Greek yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
After that, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined; don’t overmix! Then, pour the batter into the greased bread tin.
Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I baked mine for about 47 minutes. Let the loaf completely cool before removing it from the pan.
Finally, make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until there are no clumps. If it is too runny, add a little more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add a little more lemon juice. It should be a “thicker” glaze.
Drizzle the glaze on top of the cooled pound cake and sprinkle with extra lemon zest. Enjoy!
Expert baking tips for lemon pound cake
Spoon and level your flour. This is my #1 tip when baking pound cake. Don’t scoop the flour out of the bag with your measuring cup, or you will add too much, and the pound cake will dry! Make sure to spoon and level your flour.
Use room temperature ingredients. Use room-temperature butter, yogurt, honey, and eggs because using cold ingredients from the fridge will result in longer baking times, and your lemon pound cake may sink in the middle.
Zest your lemons before you juice them. It’s really hard to zest a squeed lemon, so make sure you zest them before juicing.
Let the pound cake cook before glazing. Don’t try to glaze a hot or warm pound cake; the glaze will melt off! If you want the perfect Starbucks copycat pound cake look, make sure you cool the cake for at least 1 hour. You can speed up this process by placing it in the fridge to cool.
Make sure your baking powder is NOT expired. Check the expiration date! If your baking powder is expired or open for more than six months, your pound cake will sink in the middle. To avoid this problem, I always write the date I opened a new container on the box.
The taste & texture:
This extra moist lemon yogurt pound cake is buttery, tangy, and tastes like a classic lemon cake. It is very similar to the Starbucks version, but this recipe is made healthier and is moister. The primary flavor comes from lemon zest and butter. You cannot taste the yogurt.
Once baked, this healthy lemon pound cake is soft and very moist. It is not dry or crumbly.
Reasons why this lemon pound cake is healthy:
Here are four reasons this lemon pound cake is healthier than traditional recipes – but trust me, you can’t tell!
- Less sugar. We use a combination of honey and only 1/3 cup of white sugar to sweeten this lemon pound cake.
- Less Butter. We use a fourth of the typical amount of butter in cupcake recipes. You only need 4 Tablespoons. We use Greek yogurt to replace the rest.
- Added Greek Yogurt. In place of some of the butter, we use Greek yogurt to make this pound cake higher in protein and super duper moist.
- Almond Flour. We use a mix of almond flour and all-purpose flour to lighten this lemon pound cake up and add vitamin E.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does a pound cake sink in the middle?
There are three main reasons why your pound cake may have sunk in the middle: (1) you added too much baking powder, (2) you used expired baking powder, or (3) you didn’t use room-temperature ingredients.
Can I make it dairy free?
Yes! You can make this healthy lemon pound cake dairy free. Simply substitute the butter with coconut oil or vegan butter and the Greek yogurt with a plant-based alternative like coconut yogurt or almond milk yogurt.
Can I substitute the almond flour?
No, I do not recommend substituting the almond flour in this recipe.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
You can easily make this lemon pound cake gluten-free by substituting the all-purpose flour with gluten-free 1:1 baking flour. This is my favorite brand. Almond flour is already gluten-free.
Can I substitute the Greek yogurt?
You substitute Greek yogurt with plain yogurt, skyr, vanilla yogurt, or sour cream.
Can I use another sized baking pan?
Yes! I used a 9″x5″ bread tin, but you can also use an 8″x8″ pan, a 9-inch cake pan, or a small bundt cake pan. Be aware that the baking time will change. If you use an 8″x8″ pan or a 9-inch cake pan, bake for 30 – 45 minutes. If you use a small bundt cake pan, the bake time will be 40 – 55 minutes.
Can I use a stand mixer?
I love easy recipes, so I made sure you don’t need a stand mixer or electric hand mixer for this pound cake recipe. However, if you prefer to use one, you can.
Do I have to glaze it?
No! You can leave the glaze off to reduce the amount of sugar. That decision is up to you!
How long do I bake lemon pound cake at 350°F?
Pound cake takes about 40 to 50 minutes to bake at 350°F.
Can I freeze glazed lemon pound cake?
I don’t recommend freezing lemon pound cake with glaze. However, you can easily freeze unglazed lemon pound cake. I left instructions below.
Storing & freezing instructions:
Storing: For best results, store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezing: You can freeze lemon pound cake for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing it un-glazed. Let it cool for at least 1 hour, cut them into slices, and then wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Finally, add them to a freezer-safe bag and freeze them for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, let the pound cake thaw at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Healthy Lemon Poppy Seed Crumb Cake
- Lemon Blackberry Bread
- Mini Lemon Bundt Cakes
- Lemon Sugar Cookies
- Starbucks Blueberry Scones
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Healthy Lemon Pound Cake
Lemon Pound Cake:
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled (use this gluten-free flour if needed)
- ½ cup almond flour, (not almond meal), spooned & leveled
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon zest, about 2 or 3 lemons
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup honey
- ¾ cup greek yogurt (plain or vanilla), I like 2% or 5%
- ¼ cup unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Lemon zest, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line and grease a 9×5-inch loaf tin with parchment paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and baking powder. Make sure all the clumps are removed, and then set it to the side.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and lemon zest. Make sure they are fully combined, then add the eggs, honey, Greek yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
- Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix!
- Pour the batter into the greased bread tin.
- Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I baked mine for about 47 minutes.
- Let the loaf completely cool before removing it from the pan.
- Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until there are no clumps. If it is too runny, add a little more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add a little more lemon juice. It should be a “thicker” glaze.
- Drizzle the glaze on top of the cooled pound cake and sprinkle with extra lemon zest. Enjoy!
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