German Pound Cake with Lemon and Vanilla Recipe

Sandkuchen - German Poundcake
Sandkuchen - German Poundcake Credit: J.McGavin / Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
273 Calories
11g Fat
37g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 273
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 222mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 9g
Calcium 50mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The only leavening in this classic German Pound Cake recipe is the air you beat into the eggs, so make sure to beat well and fold carefully. Pound cake, or Sandkuchen in German, is especially good all by itself fresh and homemade, but you can use it as the base for many desserts. The cake is fairly easy to make, too ​and has a great, lemony-vanilla flavor.



  • 5 large eggs (room-temperature)
  • 1 1/4 cups/250 grams sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon zest (lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup/125 grams starch (potato, not potato flour)
  • 1 cup/125 grams flour (all-purpose)
  • 12 tablespoons/170 grams butter (unsalted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Butter and flour a loaf pan or a narrow, Königskuchen pan (about 30 cm in length, about 11.8 inches).

  2. Heat oven to 360°F/190°C.

  3. Combine 5 large room-temperature the eggs, sugar, vanilla seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the top of a double boiler. Mix on low speed with a hand mixer until well combined.

  4. Place the top of the double boiler on the bottom half filled with simmering water and whisk or beat on low speed with a hand mixer until the temperature of the mixture is about 98°F/36°C (body temperature).

  5. Remove from heat and continue to beat on low to medium speed until the mixture cools back down to room temperature (about 75°F/25°C). This will take about 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture will be thick and light yellow in color.

  6. Sift the 3/4 cup/125 grams potato starch and 1 cup/125 grams all-purpose flour over the batter and fold in gently.

  7. Melt the 12 tablespoons/170 grams unsalted butter and pour the warm, not hot, liquid over the batter and gently incorporate.

  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes without opening the door or the cake might fall.

  9. Bake a further 25 to 40 minutes (baking time depends on real oven temperature and elevation above sea level), until a temperature probe registers at least 180°F and the top is golden brown.

  10. Cool for a few minutes in the form, then remove the cake to a rack and cool completely.

  11. Usually, Sandkuchen is sprinkled with a little confectioners' sugar. This cake can be served in slices and leftovers can be cubed and used in a trifle or as a base for strawberry shortcake.