Lemon Pound Cake Made With Cake Mix

Today’s recipe is for an easy lemon pound cake using a pouch of Pillsbury Neon Yellow Funfetti cake mix. The original flavor of the mix is vanilla, but adding some lemon, lemon oil, butter, lemon instant pudding and cream cheese gave it a great lemon flavor and a soft, dense, pound cake texture that improves as it sits.

Lemon Pound Cake

The pouches are the perfect size to make one small loaf cake.If you can’t find the pouch, you could always just weigh out half a box of yellow cake.  However, I tested this recipe with the Funfetti and it’s obviously the key to the bold yellow color.  Here’s what it looks like.

Pillsbury Neon Yellow

I used an 8 ½ inch by 4 ½ inch loaf pan and it domed nicely, but capacity-wise, it would have been taller and more stately had I made it in a smaller 8×4 inch pan. Do you feel like the 8×4 size pans are hard to find these days? I had to special order mine because most of the ones I own and see at the store are 9×5 or even 9 1/2 by 5 1/2.  But feel free to use a 9×5 inch anyway — the cake will be shorter in stature but still tasty, Just remember to shave some minutes off the baking time because a large pan means more exposed surface area and a shorter bake time.


Lemon Pound Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lemon Pound Cake Made With Bold Yellow Cake Mix
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) softened unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces (half a block) softened cream cheese
  • 1 package (8.5 oz) Neon Yellow Pillsbury Bold Cake Mix**
  • 2 tablespoons dry instant lemon pudding mix**
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lemon (about ½ tablespoon)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Boyjian lemon oil (my favorite!) or lemon extract
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar – more if you like
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan with flour-added cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Add cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, milk and lemon oil; beat on low until mixed, then scrape sides of bowl bowl and beat on high until smooth.
  4. Spread the thick batter as evenly as possible in the pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes (45 if using a larger loaf pan) or until cake a skewer inserted comes out with moist cake on it rather than batter. Let cool for about 30 minutes in pan, then remove from pan and let cool completely.
  5. To make the icing, beat all the ingredients together until smooth and spread over the cake.
I apologize for leaving you with an open box of dry pudding, but I'm sure it will come in handy for a future cake. I keep pudding mix around for various recipes and it stays fresh for a while. Plus it only costs about a dollar. I like the flavor of the pudding mix and the way it softens the cake a bit. I'm not sure what would happen if you left it out and just added more lemon flavoring. There are probably ways around it, but I recommend using the pudding mix before making changes.

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  1. C L says

    This looks terrific! Does this pound cake freeze well? If it does, I might make two loaves so I don’t half to measure a half block of cream cheese. Half blocks tend to disappear who-knows-where in my fridge, not to be seen again for a very long time. 😉

  2. C L says

    Ooops… I just realized I can just buy a small block of cream cheese. That’ll work. 🙂

  3. says

    No worries! The other half of the block goes in the icing :). I should make a bigger point of mentioning that.

  4. says

    Love the color of this cake. Pudding adds moisture and flavor-I like baking with it. I too could not find the 8×4. I thought I bought them, but when I measured the inside depth and width they were closer to 8,5 x 4.5. Oh well.
    Always welcome your tips too!

  5. says

    Love these neon colored cakes! I just saw a marble cake on Facebook that was white cake with swirls of hot pink and black. Very cool zebra look. I think it would be FUN to make marble cakes or cupcakes with these mixes!

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