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(Iced!) Keto Lemon Pound Cake 🍋

Suuuper tender and moist, this keto lemon pound cake is a total melt-in-your-mouth situation… at just 2g net carbs! p.s. its lemon icing, for extra citrusy vibes, is simply non negotiable.

Three slices of iced keto lemon pound cake on a wooden board

(Iced!) Keto Lemon Pound Cake 🍋

Suuuper tender ‘n moist

Traditional lemon (and orange!) pound cakes might just be some of my favorite baked goods, like of all time. Which is definitely the reason why it’s taken me a few years to give you guys a recipe that I can truly say I’m proud of.

i.e. I’m fairly certain it was totally worth the wait 🙂

You see, we’ve got here all the hallmarks of a terrific lemon pound cake: a tender and ultra moist crumb, that buttery melt in your mouth situation, and a beautiful zesty tang (which only intensifies after an overnight rest).

Just be sure to top it all off with the glaze to hit those ultra citrusy notes.

Ingredients for the keto lemon pound cake in a white mixing bowl Whisking the eggs with the sweetener and lemon zest until light and fluffy

The Deets

We’re doing things a tad bit different here vs traditional pound cake methodology (i.e. creaming the butter with the sweetener). You see, I’ve found the texture and final crumb come out *much* better if you whisk the sweetener with the eggs instead until light and fluffy.

The texture of the eggs and sweetener will thicken and grow in volume significantly after beating it for a couple minutes with an electric mixer or a whisk (but only go for the latter if you’re an actual pro).

p.s. I’m also a pretty big fan of adding the lemon zest this early in the process to ensure maximum essential oil release throughout the batter. iykyk.

Pouring the thick grain free lemon pound cake batter onto a lined loaf panThe Flours

I like a mixture of super fine almond flour and coconut flour (I always use Anthony’s!). Add a touch of (grass-fed) whey protein isolate, xanthan gum (you know, to replace the gluten) and we’re golden.

Smoothing out the top of the gluten free lemon pound cake batter before baking with wet fingertips Freshly baked keto lemon pound cake on a wooden rack

The Sweetener

I gotta say, you guys, that I’ve found that imho keto muffins, (white) cakes, pound cakes, etc. work best with erythritol sweeteners (per usual here, my favorite is Lakanto).

You see, I find that erythritol behaves much more like sugar in these cases in terms of texture and rise… while allulose has the unfortunate quality at times of behaving more like a wet ingredient, resulting in dense, over-browned (deep yellow/orange?) and wet centers. It’s a bit of a weird one (feel free to chime in the comments).

If you’re opting for the lemon glaze (and I’m totally twisting your hand about it!), your best option is allulose (or xylitol*) because barely any after taste. But it must be powdered.

So get your blender out, make sure it’s completely dry, and process your sweetener of choice until powdered. Just make sure you wait a few moments for the dust to settle before opening the blender or food processor.

Or you can always grab a bag of Lakanto powdered.

And if just gluten free, use regular cane sugar.

*pssst!! if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys!

Slicing a loaf of keto lemon pound cake with a serrated knife Three slices of iced keto lemon pound cake on a wooden board

Looking for more zesty keto recipes?! Check out my (no bake!) key lime pie cheesecakeand supreme lemon poppy seed muffins.

Three slices of iced keto lemon pound cake on a wooden board

(Iced!) Keto Lemon Pound Cake

Super tender and moist, this keto lemon pound cake is a total melt-in-your-mouth situation... at just 2g net carbs! p.s. its lemon icing, for extra citrusy vibes, is simply non negotiable. 
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 174 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the lemon glaze

  • 3/4 cup powdered sweetener
  • 1 1/2-2 tablespoons lemon juice as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line (or grease and flour) a loaf pan.
  • Whisk together in a medium bowl almond flour, coconut flour, whey protein isolate, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 
  • Add the eggs, sweetener and lemon zest to a large bowl and beat together with an electric mixer until truly lightly and fluffy (about two minutes). This *really* helps with the rise and final texture, so take your time.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and the melted butter until well incorporated.
  • Add in the dry flour mix in two parts, alternating with the sour cream and lemon juice. The dough will be very elastic (and prone to climbing up your electric mixer). So just do your best to mix quickly and use a spatula at the end to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Distribute batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the top with wet fingertips. Bake for 50-60 minutes (I did 55 minutes), until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Check in on it after minute 15 though, and tent with aluminum foil (ensuring its not resting on the loaf!) as soon as the top is fully set and beginning to brown.
  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before removing, and cool completely on a rack before glazing.
  • Make the lemon glaze by mixing the powdered sweetener with the lemon zest and juice. Add lemon juice as needed until desired consistency is reached, but watch out as you want it fairly thick so it sticks nicely.
  • Store in an airtight container for 3 days and freeze for up to three months.
  • Pssst! I've definitely noticed that this lemon loaf is *always* better the day after (in both taste and texture), once all the flavors and essential oils from the lemon have had a chance to properly mingle. i.e. plan accordingly!

Notes

See section on sweeteners for deets and possible subs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice / muffin | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 212mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword keto lemon loaf, keto lemon pound cake, keto starbucks copycat lemon loaf
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!

31 comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Hi Paula, I’m waiting for my cake to cool, and it smells divine. I can’t wait to try it! I’m seeing that the center is falling quite a lot, rather dramatically. I baked for 60 min, though did not have a toothpick to test with. Do you think I needed to bake longer? Thank you!

    • Well Stephanie, my center did fall a bit too (but I wouldn’t say it was dramatic… I think you can see in the glaze pics how it sunk in the center a little and the glaze puddled there. It’s sort of inevitable to a certain extent as keto breads lack structure).

      Perhaps it did need a little longer… I think only you can tell me. If it did need longer, where you baking in a gas or electric oven? Any subs?

  2. Tracty says:

    5 stars
    This produces a great cake that can be used for strawberry shortcake etc. I would add more lemon flavor to the cake, maybe lemon extract? and I would at least double the glaze. My glaze was clear, is that because I used Splenda to avoid intestinal issues. It would be nice to get a low-carb white glaze like your photos. Thanks

  3. Angelina says:

    5 stars
    So, so good! Will make time and again!!! I added a lil pinch of salt to the glaze and that helped tremendously with flavor (I used powdered swerve). 10/10 recommend!

  4. Jennifer Taylor says:

    5 stars
    Just made this using a few substitutions (guar gum for xanthan gum – increased by 50%, hemp flour for the whey protein, and decreased the leaveners by 50% because I’m at 7500 ft altitude), and other than turning out slightly green from the hemp, it turned out amazing!!

  5. Lulu says:

    Hmm. I’m debating whether to try this because your Cranberry Orange muffins are SO GOOD that I’ve just been using variations of it for everything lately! I’m convinced that maybe the psyillium husk is the magic ingredient that makes the crumb amazing but this lemon loaf doesn’t have that and honestly I’ve avoided making almond flour bread/cake/muffins for years now because they were so disappointing. Until your muffins!! So should I try this new one or stick with my cran/orange but in a loaf pan??

    • Ahhh the cranberry muffins… funny you mention those Lulu as they were the inspiration for this guy! Frankly I think that changing around the methodology a tad and subbing the psyllium with the whey actually results in a better ‘pound cake’ (more tender and not even a tad bit gummy).

      So I *really* think you should try this one… even if only to tell me that my first keto muffin recipe was the best one yet, and I’ve only been screwing them up for the past three years 🤪

    • Melissa I definitely want to say yes, as I’m sure it will work… I’m just not sure of the specifics as I haven’t tried it yet myself. Depending on your bundt pan you might also need to make 1.5 batches to accommodate for the depth… which should increase the baking time a tad (though given the shape of the pan, I’m weary of even giving you an estimate?).

      I’ll make an orange bundt cake for you guys asap though!

  6. Karly K says:

    5 stars
    Standing ovation Paola, its AMAZING!! Made it last night and its 10x better this morning. Its also the first keto lemon loaf I;ve tried thats not just a block of almond flour, beautiful texture and taste!

  7. Anna says:

    Hi Paola! What size loaf pan do you use here? There are so many different sized ones! Is this a “standard” 9″x2″x5″?

    • Anna I’m sorry I didn’t add this to the recipe (my fail!). I’m not home right now and need to measure it as on the William Sonoma page all I can find right now is that it’s the small 1 lb load pan.

      Now, I know this is a vip question as the baking time will be affected (if your pan is larger you will have greater surface area = lower baking time by about 5-7 minutes)… so I’ll add a note on the recipe card this morning.

      I generally prefer with keto breads to use the smaller bread pan size as it helps to create support for a taller loaf.

  8. Francesca says:

    Omg I can’t wait to make this. Your recipes never let me down, Paola, so thanks in advance 🥰🥰💕💕

    • Lori says:

      Your recipes are the best, which is why I bought your cookbooks. However I’m allergic to whey. Do you think I could substitute it for psyllium without it changing the texture too much?

  9. Leslie says:

    I LOVE your recipes! I plan to make this tomorrow as I have all of
    the ingredients on hand. What size loaf pan did you use? Tanks!

    • You know Jenny, it’s what gives the loaf its structure (so it doesn’t collapse when cooling) so its a bit of a tough one.

      If you don’t mind adding a bit more carbs, subbing with arrowroot or tapioca for a more paleo version will certainly help. Otherwise I suggest checking out my recipe for the lemon poppy seed muffins as those use golden flaxseed/psyllium for structure (and baking in muffin vs loaf form certainly helps to make up for the lack of whey). I hope this helped!

  10. Phyllis says:

    This is a loaf but in the nutrition section muffin was listed. That raised a question in my mind, would this work as muffins as well?
    Thank you.

    • Oh lol thanks Phyllis! Yes, I’ll update with what needs to be a note that says that it can be baked in a muffin tray for about 20-25 mins (and nutrition facts are calculated per slice = 1 muffin).

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