Pre-heat the oven to 350° F, and grease a loaf pan or bundt pan.
Mix or blend the lemon zest with the sugar (and only the sugar) first, so the oils from the lemon zest can be infused into the sugar. You can even let this mixture sit for a few minutes to really give it time to infuse, although this isn't really necessary if you don't have a lot of time.
Then mix the cake mix and cream cheese into the lemon sugar mixture.
Next add the canola oil, hot water, lemon extract, and eggs.
Mix everything together really well, until you have a smooth, creamy batter.
Then just pour the batter into a greased loaf pan or bundt pan, and bake at 350° F for about 45 to 50 minutes, or 'til a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Oven times may vary.
Optional Glaze: Mix together the powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice, and pour it over your cake while your cake is still slightly warm.
*While you shouldn't need xanthan gum for this recipe because most cake mixes already have it… Xanthan gum gives the dough more elasticity and can keep a gluten-free cake from being too crumbly. If you notice your cake mix doesn't have this important ingredient, you might add a pinch of xanthan gum to curb this problem.*Be sure to soften the cream cheese ahead of time. I'd even recommend whipping the cream cheese separately before you mix anything else with it. This will help to keep any lumps from ruining your cake batter.How should I store gluten-free pound cake?You can store lemon pound cake for 4-5 days at room temperature in an airtight sealed container. You want the container to be as airtight as possible. When storing gluten-free foods, it's really recommended to label certain sealed containers and use only those containers for your gluten-free foods.Can I freeze pound cake?Yes, you can. For best results, place the completely cooled lemon pound cake in an airtight container and freeze the day of baking after it's cooled completely.How do I make it dairy-free?You can replace the cream cheese with a dairy-free cream cheese like Wayfare. Wayfare is an organic, plant-based cream cheese; it's both gluten-free and dairy-free. You'll also want to make sure your cake mix doesn't have any dairy ingredients.