• Lemon buttermilk pound cake with lemon curd (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

A heavenly layering of mouth-puckering lemon pound cake, curd and syrup, teamed with summer fruits and ‘soured’ cream, this dessert is one for lemon-lovers. The cake is just as delicious served either plain, toasted or chargrilled – just take your pick! 






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (22 votes)


  • melted butter, to grease
  • 125 ml (½ cup) sour cream
  • 125 ml (½ cup) thickened cream
  • 2 x 125 g punnets blueberries, to serve
  • 2 ripe medium mangoes, sliced, to serve

Lemon buttermilk pound cake

  • 125 g butter, at room temperature
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 125 ml (½ cup) buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp strained fresh lemon juice


Lemon curd

  • 125 ml (½ cup) strained fresh lemon juice
  • 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, whisked and strained
  • 100 g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature

Lemon syrup

  • 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 160 ml (⅔ cup) strained fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 30 minutes

To make the lemon buttermilk pound cake, preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 9 cm x 19 cm (base measurement) loaf tin and line the base and long sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the lemon zest. Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of flour. Combine the buttermilk and lemon juice. On lowest possible speed beat in half the flour mixture and then half the buttermilk mixture until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk mixtures in two more batches until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to stand in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool (this will take about 30 minutes).

To make the lemon curd, combine the lemon juice, sugar and eggs in a medium heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Stir with a wooden spoon for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture thickens to a consistency similar to pouring cream (do not boil). Remove the bowl from the saucepan and gradually stir in the butter until the butter is evenly incorporated and the curd is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap (see Baker’s tips) and place in the fridge to chill.

To make the lemon syrup, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes or until reduced slightly.

To serve, combine the cream and sour cream in a medium bowl and use a balloon whisk to whisk until soft peaks form. Transfer to a serving bowl. Preheat a chargrill pan on high (see Baker’s tips). Cut the cake into 1.5 cm-thick slices and toast in a toaster until lightly golden and warmed through. Transfer to a plate and place in the centre of the table with the curd, syrup, fruit and cream for guests to assemble their own dessert.


Baker’s tips

• The Lemon buttermilk pound cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

• If making the curd ahead of time, you can transfer it straight into a clean airtight jar, cover with an airtight lid and place in the fridge. It will keep in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

• The lemon syrup will keep in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

• The cake can be also toasted in a sandwich press or in a toaster until golden.

• The combined whipped cream and sour cream can be replaced by scoops of good-quality vanilla ice-cream if desired.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.


This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: DIY dessert bar column.

View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.