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Famous 1920 Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound Cake

  • Author: Adapted from Ritz Carlton
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 2 loaf pans OR 1 large bundt pan 1x


The vintage lemon pound cake recipe made famous by the Ritz Carlton tea room in 1920. This is the ONLY lemon pound cake recipe you'll ever need.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening at room temperature
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk or 1/2 cup lowfat milk plus 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice*
  • Zest from 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two standard loaf pans OR one large bundt pan. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a second bowl, using an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
  4. Alternately add the flour mixture with the milk with the mixer on low, then continue mixing on low until everything is combined and just a few flour streaks remain.
  5. use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and gently fold in the lemon juice and zest. Fold until the remaining flour streaks have been incorporated, but be careful not to overmix.
  6. Transfer cake batter to loaf pans or bundt pan and bake on center rack of oven 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Other signs of doneness is a golden top and the sides of the cake will start to slightly pull away from the edges of the pan.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan before trying to remove the cake from the pans. Slice and serve.


* Make sure to use real lemon juice here, not the bottled stuff from concentrate or with other added ingredients. It'll be worth it. If you want to use bottled, make sure it's 100% pure, like Santa Cruz
If you use the loaf pans, it's easy to freeze the extra cake! Just wrap tightly with plastic wrap, place in a large Ziploc bag, and place into the freezer. Let thaw on the counter for an hour or so before slicing.

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