Air Fryer Pound Cake (Lemon & Sour Cream Recipe)

I remember so many spring and summer nights featuring a dessert of sliced pound cake topped by fresh fruit. Of course, pound cake is great on its own, as french toast, and other ways as well. This air fryer pound cake comes out perfectly moist and delicious anytime you’ve got a craving!

air fryer pound cake recipe with lemon and sour cream dinners done quick

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

One thing that’s not great about making pound cake in the summer is turning on the oven. Thanks to your air fryer, that’s a thing of the past! No more heating up the whole house, and for an added bonus the baking time is nearly half of a traditional recipe!

I’m not going to profess to be the world’s best baker. This recipe is simple, dependable, and delicious. I’m sure there are ways to make it more “perfect”, but I’m less about that and more about easy and tasty food here.

Though, speaking of making things easier, if you’re not a confident baker either, make sure to check out my Box Cake Hacks to make it taste homemade!

slice of air fryer lemon pound cake with glaze

While I’m making a spring and Easter favorite lemon pound cake with sour cream for added moisture, there are a ton of other varieties you can experiment with.

Lemon is a perfect flavor for spring or summer, but I love chocolate chip, pumpkin, and other variations throughout the year.

What You’ll Need

air fryer lemon pound cake ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup softened butter 
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest (from about 2 medium lemons)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze (optional)

  • ½ cup powdered sugar 
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Ingredient Substitutions and Variations

  • You can omit the additional salt if you use salted butter
  • The sour cream can be substituted by Greek yogurt or cream cheese if preferred. Either full fat or light is fine
  • Margarine or other similar products can be used in place of butter
  • Fresh lemon juice is best, but bottled is fine if that’s all you have available
  • The vanilla extract can be swapped for lemon extract if you happen to have some on hand and want a stronger lemon flavor
  • The glaze really helps to add more lemon flavor, but you can also dust with powdered sugar instead if preferred

Special Equipment Note: You’ll need a loaf pan that fits in your air fryer basket for this recipe. I’m using two mini loaf pans because they fit well in my Ninja Dual Zone air fryer. For single basket air fryers, a regular loaf pan, cake pan, or bundt pan will work.

How to Bake Pound Cake in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 325°F (or the closest setting your air fryer has)
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well mixed. You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer to speed this up if you have one
cream together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl
  1. Add the eggs, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Stir to incorporate, making sure to blend the eggs thoroughly
mix eggs, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl
  1. Now, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, again stirring to combine well until you have a smooth batter
add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then stir
  1. Grease your cake or loaf pan well, or insert parchment paper
grease oven safe cake pans
  1. Pour the pound cake batter into the loaf pan, filling no more than ¾ full
add batter to cake pan
  1. Place the pan into the preheated air fryer basket
place oven safe dish with batter in air fryer basket
  1. Cook on the air fry setting for 20 minutes at 325°F
  2. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Add additional cooking time in 5 minute increments as needed (note that if you use a larger cake or Bundt pan, cooking time will generally be 30-35 minutes)
  3. Cool for 10 minutes before turning cake out onto a rack to cool completely
let lemon pound cake cook on a wire rack
  1. Dust with powdered sugar, glaze, or fresh fruit, then slice and serve!
overhead view of air fryer lemon pound cake with fresh lemon and blueberries

What to Serve With Pound Cake

  • Fresh berries
  • Poached fruit
  • Whipped cream
  • Creme fraiche
  • Toasted nuts
  • Brittle
  • Fruit curds
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Caramel sauce
  • Buttercream
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Ice cream
  • Creme brulee 
  • Trifles

There are so many great toppings to dress up your pound cake for any occasion!

Try your air fryer lemon pound cake with fresh blueberries, strawberries, a drizzle of my easy Microwave chocolate sauce, or with some crunchy Honey Roasted Pecans in the Air Fryer.

Recipe FAQs

Can I Put a Cake Pan in My Air Fryer?

Yes, you can put a cake pan in your air fryer. Make sure that it fits in the basket and still has at least 1” of clearance between the pan top and the heating element.

In short, any pan that could go in your oven can go in your air fryer, so long as it fits.

Can You Bake a Cake in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can bake a cake in an air fryer. No special setting is needed beyond the traditional air fry setting.

You will, however, need a pan of some kind that is oven safe and fits in your air fryer to contain the batter as it cooks.

Why is My Pound Cake Not Moist?

Typically pound cake is not moist if it was overbaked, or if not enough liquid ingredients were added.

Make sure to check frequently as you get close to the recommended cooking times to prevent overbaking. Use a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle of the cake to test. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.

What Does Baking Soda Do in a Pound Cake?

Baking soda is a leavening agent in pound cake. It is what makes the cake rise during cooking.

Baking powder has a similar effect, and cream of tartar does as well, especially when combined with egg whites.

Should I Sift Flour for Pound Cake?

You don’t have to sift flour for pound cake, but certainly can if preferred.

Sifting flour helps to reduce clumps, distribute dry ingredients, and remove any foreign objects that may be in your flour.

How Do You Know When a Pound Cake is Done?

To know when a pound cake is done, stick a toothpick, wooden skewer, or butter knife into the center of the loaf. Pull it out, and inspect it for traces of wet batter. If it comes out clean or with dry crumbs only, then it is done.

 Don’t let the top of the cake fool you, as it is normal for the loaf to have a wet-looking sheen. This doesn’t mean that the cake is actually wet.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • Make sure to grease both the bottom and sides of your pans, using a baking nonstick spray or parchment
  • For the lemon zest, you may use a citrus zester, microplane zester, or even the fine side of a cheese grater in a pinch. Make sure to only zest the bright yellow skin and not the white pith underneath or else it will be bitter
  • It’s normal for the lemon juice to separate the sour cream a little when you’re mixing the wet ingredients so it looks “curdled”. Once you add the dry and mix thoroughly, your batter will smooth back out. If you’re worried, you can always fold the lemon juice in at the end instead
  • If your loaf sticks in the pan (it happens!) just run a spatula or a butter knife around all the edges to try and help it release
  • My mini loaves were perfect at 25 minutes total in my Ninja Dual Zone air fryer. However, other air fryers and sizes of loaf pans will cause this time to vary
uncut loaf of lemon pound cake with glaze on top next to fresh cut slices

Storage Tips

  • Pound cake keeps well wrapped or in a container on the counter for about 3 days. Place it in the refrigerator for up to a week. It also freezes well for longer-term storage of up to 3 months
  • Thaw before eating. While pound cake is generally enjoyed at room temperature, you can pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm it before eating if desired

More Recipes For Lemon Lovers

Final Thoughts

This air fryer pound cake is so simple, yet delicious. It features bright, fresh lemon flavor and soft, moist cake from the sour cream. Of course, you can swap in your favorite seasonal flavors anytime!

I think this lemon version is just perfect for spring and Easter, and suitable for dessert, breakfast, and brunch!

Pair it with your favorite fresh fruit, or heat up slices for Air Fryer Strawberry Shortcake in place of the biscuits, french toast, and more! Since it takes half the time to make over your conventional oven, you’ll want to make it all the time!

air fryer pound cake recipe with lemon and sour cream dinners done quick featured image

Air Fryer Lemon Pound Cake With Sour Cream

This easy air fryer pound cake features fresh lemon flavor with moisture from sour cream. It’s soft, light, and perfect for spring or Easter!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 276 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Cup all purpose flour
  • ½ Tsp baking powder
  • ½ Tsp baking soda
  • ½ Tsp salt
  • ¾ Cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • ½ Cup butter softened
  • ½ Cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest (from about 2 medium lemons)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)
  • 1 Tsp vanilla extract

Glaze (optional)

  • ½ Cup powdered confectioner's sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 325°F (or the closest setting your air fryer has)
  • In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well mixed. You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer to speed this up if you have one
    ½ Cup butter, ¾ Cup granulated white sugar
  • Add the eggs, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Stir to incorporate, making sure to blend the eggs thoroughly
    2 Large eggs, ½ Cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp lemon zest, 3 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • Now, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, again stirring to combine well until you have a smooth batter
    1 Cup all purpose flour, ½ Tsp baking powder, ½ Tsp baking soda, ½ Tsp salt
  • Grease your cake or loaf pan well, or insert parchment paper
  • Pour the pound cake batter into the loaf pan, filling no more than ¾ full
  • Place the pan into the preheated air fryer basket
  • Cook on the air fry setting for 20 minutes at 325°F
  • Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Add additional cooking time in 5 minute increments as needed (note that if you use a larger cake or Bundt pan, cooking time will generally be 30-35 minutes)
  • Cool for 10 minutes before turning cake out onto a rack to cool completely
  • Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice to make a glaze. Drizzle over cake, then slice to serve!
    ½ Cup powdered confectioner's sugar, 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Notes

  • You can omit the additional salt if you use salted butter
  • The sour cream can be substituted by Greek yogurt or cream cheese if preferred. Either full fat or light is fine
  • Margarine or other similar products can be used in place of butter
  • Fresh lemon juice is best, but bottled is fine if that’s all you have available
  • The vanilla extract can be swapped for lemon extract if you happen to have some on hand and want a stronger lemon flavor
  • The glaze really helps to add more lemon flavor, but you can also dust with powdered sugar instead if preferred
  • Make sure to grease both the bottom and sides of your pans, using a baking nonstick spray or parchment
  • Make sure to only zest the bright yellow skin of the lemon and not the white pith underneath or else it will be bitter
  • It’s normal for the lemon juice to separate the sour cream a little when you’re mixing the wet ingredients so it looks “curdled”. Once you add the dry and mix thoroughly, your batter will smooth back out. If you’re worried, you can always fold the lemon juice in at the end instead
  • If your loaf sticks in the pan (it happens!) just run a spatula or a butter knife around all the edges to try and help it release
  • My mini loaves were perfect at 25 minutes total in my Ninja Dual Zone air fryer. However, other air fryers and sizes of loaf pans will cause this time to vary
  • Pound cake keeps well wrapped or in a container on the counter for about 3 days. Place it in the refrigerator for up to a week. It also freezes well for longer-term storage of up to 3 months
  • While pound cake is generally enjoyed at room temperature, you can pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm it before eating if desired
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand of ingredients, any substitutions or additions made, and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 83gCalories: 276kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 3.5gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 350mgPotassium: 29mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 381IUVitamin C: 2.4mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 0.7mg
Keyword air fryer cake, air fryer lemon cake, air fryer lemon pound cake, air fryer loaf cake, air fryer mini cake, air fryer pound cake, air fryer sour cream pound cake, lemon pound cake, pound cake
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air fryer pound cake recipe with lemon and sour cream dinners done quick pinterest
Katie Vine