foodFood & Drink

In the Kitchen With: The Easiest Mother’s Day Pound Cake

by Kristina Gill

Lemon Pound Cake | DesignSponge

When my grandmother was alive, I don’t think there was ever a holiday we celebrated together without a pound cake (and a sweet potato pie) on the table. Though my grandmother’s were always vanilla pound cakes, when I tasted baker Robin Broughton-Smith’s Lemon Pound Cake, it was like being back at the holiday table. Just the texture of the buttery cake reminded me of the family gathering together, most everyone focused on the savory parts of the meal, while I couldn’t wait for the pound cake. Robin keeps this pound cake on the menu of her Philadelphia bakery, Sweet Nectar Dessert Kitchen, for similar reasons. She has shared a recipe to make it as a single-layer cake, so you don’t even need a special pan, like a Bundt pan. Make the person you consider “Mom” very happy this Sunday with this simple, yet elegant cake. —Kristina

Why Robin loves this recipe: I grew up loving my Aunt Pat’s baking, especially her pound cake. Once I left for college, without missing a beat, every home visit and time spent together with her when I moved to Philadelphia was enjoyed with at least one slice of my favorite cake. In developing recipes for Sweet Nectar, I wanted to honor my aunt’s memory and our bond and used her recipe as a foundation for the lemon pound cake we now serve at the bakery. What was once a staple in her household is now a staple in my bakery.

Food Photography by Kristina Gill | Portrait by Jon Restaino

Lemon Pound Cake slice | DesignSponge

Lemon pound cake
Makes one 8-inch cake



— 1 cup butter
— 3 lemons’ lemon zest
— 1 1/8 cup sugar
— 3 eggs
— 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
— 1 1/2 cup flour
— 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
— 1/8 teaspoon Salt
— Lemon juice from one lemon
— 1/4 cup milk


— 2 cups powdered sugar
— Lemon zest and juice from one lemon
— 1 tablespoon water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 8″ pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, lemon zest, and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Lower to a medium speed and add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla extract and mix well. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk until combined. On a low speed add the flour mixture, lemon juice and milk to the mixer bowl and mix well until completely blended.

Pour the batter into the greased pan. Place in the oven and bake for 45-55 mins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cake is in the oven mix together powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add water 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you have a medium consistency. You may not need all of the water.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. When cool, run a thin flexible knife around the cake, turn upside down to get cake out of the pan and place on a cake plate. Pour glaze over the top of the cake and if needed smooth sides with small spatula or knife.

About Robin: Robin Broughton-Smith is a renaissance woman. A former accountant for Jay-Z, turned baker, her path toward opening Sweet Nectar Dessert Kitchen was an unlikely one. In her last two years of working as an accountant, Robin’s life evolved quickly. She got married, had her first child and moved to Philadelphia. She and her family traveled to France and ate their way through Paris. She began seriously baking and taking baking classes, experimenting with a variety of recipes, including ones passed down through her family. Baking always brought back so many fond family memories, so being able to bake on a daily basis continues to bring her nothing but joy. You can find Sweet Nectar DK on Instagram and Facebook.

Portrait of Robin Broughton Smith | DesignSponge

Suggested For You


  • Exchange the juice and zest of an orange for the lemon in your Aunt Pat’s recipe, and that’s my Memom’s cake! Homey, scrumptious and elegant in its simplicity.

  • I just made this cake. It was good & lemony (maybe slightly crumbly) And I have a couple suggestions. First, I used an 8″ cake pan and it flowed over terribly. It was my mistake; I knew there was too much batter so next time I’ll use a larger size springform pan. Also, definitely be sure to let the cake cool completely before pouring glaze on. I had 3 hungry little boys waiting and rushed, so the cake absorbed the glaze and made it a bit soggy. Nonetheless, it was gobbled up!

  • Hi, BMD- I used an 8×3″ pan– that may be the key. If you use a larger diameter pan, be sure to keep an eye on the baking time which may vary. On cooling, yes you are right! The cake must cool first, as indicated in the recipe- but you may also try using as little Extra water as possible to make the spread to make it less runny. :-)

  • This recipe worked great for me! The 8″ round cake pan was full but the batter did not spill over for me. I had to make it they day before an event and it kept just fine – still very moist and luscious lemon flavor. I served it with some ripe mango and blueberries as an extra treat.

  • This looks absolutely beautiful and very simple to make. I tried this with vanilla bean in the icing for a speckled black and yellow (from the zest) look- so delish!