This copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipe is rich, decadent and a special treat to enjoy. This moist pound cake needs a few simple ingredients and has a moist, light and fluffy crumb. The sweet lemon glaze further boosts the tangy zesty powerful lemon flavor of the cake. This perfect lemon loaf is way better than the original Starbucks cake.
Lemon recipes and desserts are special to me because the tangy lemon-ish flavor adds so much to the baked goods just like my Lemon Crinkle Cookies, Lemon Yogurt Cake, Blueberry Cake with Lemon Glaze and Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.
As I am a lemon desserts lover so it was a must for me to perfect the Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipe, which is always my favorite on the menu along with a cup of coffee.
The bright lemon flavor adds to this cake as well and the best part is you achieve the strong powerful lemon flavor using the lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. No artificial lemon extract is used to enhance the flavor, which is the best part of this iced lemon loaf.
Not only this quick bread is delicious in itself but a perfect lemon icing drizzled on the top of the loaf makes it simply irresistible.
Table of Contents
why this recipe works?
- This Starbucks Lemon Loaf has a soft, moist, pillowy and tender crumb.
- This delicious lemon loaf recipe is super easy to bake using a few basic ingredients.
- This Starbucks Lemon Loaf is a treat for all lemon lovers.
- This lemon loaf is one of the best copycat recipes without a doubt.
ingredients & substitutions for starbucks lemon loaf
Pro Tip # 1
Always use room temperature ingredients for baking (unless otherwise specified) as they incorporate better and give perfect baked treats.
- all-purpose flour: gives structure to this cake. You can substitute it with a 1:1 gluten-free flour.
- baking powder + baking soda: are the leavening agents that give a good rise to the cake.
- salt: balances the sweetness and elevates the overall flavor.
- eggs: binding agent for this cake which helps with the structure of the bake.
- buttermilk: adds tanginess and gives moist, light and tender crumb. Substitute it with greek yogurt or sour cream in equal ratio.
- vegetable oil: for the fat content and give height and moistness to the cake. You may use canola oil as well.
- lemon zest + lemon juice: the hero of the flavor.
- vanilla extract: adds to the overall flavor.
- powdered sugar
- lemon juice
Pro Tip # 2
Always use a digital scale to measure all-purpose flour and other dry ingredients for perfect results. Scooping it out directly using cups may result in uneven amount of dry ingredients and dense bakes.
how to make starbucks lemon loaf
These are basic process shots for this recipe. For detailed instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1. In a medium bowl sift and whisk all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl mix the lemon zest with sugar.
3. Take a large bowl and using an electric beater, beat the eggs for 2 - 3 minutes until they are light and fluffy.
4. Add sugar and oil and beat for one minute until mixed. Add buttermilk, vanilla extract and lemon juice, and beat until incorporated.
5. Gently fold the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan. In the preheated oven at 350 F and bake for 45 - 50 minutes. Take the cake out of the cake pan and let it sit on the wire rack to cool it completely. Prepare the lemon glaze and drizzle over the cake.
do not overmix: the cake batter or the cake will turn tough and dry. Combine the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine just mixed. Overmixing will activate the gluten strands in the flour that will result in a tough and rubbery texture.
consistency of the lemon icing: keep the consistency thick for your icing or it will not stay on the lemon loaf. In case you find the icing is runny add more powdered sugar to it until you reach the desired consistency.
yes, by all means. Use a Bundt pan of your choice and bake in a preheated 325 F. Grease the pan properly so that the cake will not stick to the pan. Bake the cake for 60 - 90 minutes. Insert a tooth pick in the center of the cake and if comes out clean, your cake is ready. Similarly, prepare the mini loaf pans and bake in the preheated 350 F for about 30 - 35 minutes. Keep an eye on the baking time as it may vary.
I do not recommend it because the taste if not as great as when you use the fresh lemon juice in this delicious lemon cake.
yes you can make muffins out of the cake batter. Prepare the starbucks lemon loaf copycat recipe as instructed and then using an ice-cream scoop pour the cake batter into the muffin liners and bake at preheated oven at 350 F for 20 - 23 minutes.
no you are not. I am not a big fan of lemon extract in this starbucks lemon cake because the flavor can get too intense quickly with the extract. Also, I want to avoid the artificial flavors in this loaf recipe. The fresh lemon juice and lemon zest gives the perfect flavor.
yes, you can double this recipe easily. Prepare two loaf pans or use a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan. Keep an eye on the baking time.
how to store starbucks lemon loaf
- Store the cake pieces in an airtight container and place it on the counter for 2 - 3 days.
- Freeze the cake for up to 2 months. Do not apply the lemon glaze on the lemon loaf in case you want to freeze it. Take the individual lemon cake pieces and spread them on a baking tray and place it in the freezer until the pieces harden. Then wrap each piece into a plastic wrap and further add a sheet of foil to it. Stash the cake pieces into a ziploc bag or an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
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Starbucks Lemon Loaf
Starbucks Lemon Loaf
- 2 cup all purpose flour (240 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder (7.5 g)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda (1.25 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil (96 g)
- 1 cup castor sugar (200 g)
- ¾ cup butter milk (182 ml)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (3 ml)
- 1 zest of one lemon (only yellow part)
- 4 tablespoon lemon juice (juice of one big lemon)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (125 g)
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice (45 ml)
Starbucks Lemon Loaf
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Take a 9 x 5 inch pan and grease it using a baking spray. Set aside.
- Take a medium sized bowl and whisk together all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, rub together sugar and lemon zest. This will infuse the oils from lemon zest into the sugar.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs for 3 - 4 minutes until the eggs are pale and fluffy.
- Add sugar and oil and beat for another minute until combined.
- Add butter milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix only until combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour the cake batter into the cake pan. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes until a cake tester or tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Take out the cake and let it sit in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then take it out and place on the wire rack and let the cake cool completely.
- Sift the icing sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add one tablespoon lemon juice and mix and add more lemon juice until you get the desired consistency of the glaze. Make a thick glaze.
- Pour the glaze over the cold cake.