The Best Lemon Loaf (Better-Than-Starbucks Copycat) — It took years, but I finally recreated it!! Easy, no mixer, no cake mix, dangerously good, and SPOT ON!! You’re going to love this lemon bread recipe!
Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Recipe
This lemon loaf cake recipe has been beyond a long time in the making. I’ve been trying to make this copycat Starbucks lemon loaf on and off for years. I can’t even tell you how much I have obsessed, tried, trialed, and failed at it. Until now.
If you’ve ever had Starbucks’ Lemon Loaf, you know how good it is. Full of lemon flavor, moist, dense, and rich. Anything that good I shouldn’t want to learn how to make at home, but I couldn’t leave well enough alone.
I’ve tried countless internet recipes for lemon bread and some were ‘fine’ but not quite perfect, while others were total fails. And I definitely didn’t want to go the cake mix route.
I’ve tried using butter creamed with sugar versus oil whisked with sugar. I’ve tried various combinations of whole eggs and yolks, cake flour and all-purpose flour, and endless variations of lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract.
I even sent one almost-a-possibility-but-not-quite to my mom to have her trial it.
Something as ‘simple’ as a lemon loaf cake eluded me for ages until I rediscovered and slightly adapted my own 2012 recipe for Blueberry Yogurt Cake with Lemon Vanilla Glaze. It’s an easy, no-mixer, one-bowl, whisk-together batter.
From my existing recipe, I added an extra egg, omitted the blueberries and incorporated lemon zest and lemon extract into the batter, and baked it in a loaf pan rather than a cake pan. Love it when the answer to my lemon pound cake prayers was right under my nose!
This lemon loaf cake is soft, springy, and moist without being heavy or dry, problems which often plague pound cake. Nor is it oily, which sometimes happens with the Starbucks’ version. Plus, you probably have all the ingredients on hand to make it and you can pronounce every ingredient used.
The lemon loaf cake itself is perfectly lemony, and the lemon glaze boosts the lemon flavor even more. Lemon lovers will be in their glory!
And just think of all that money you’ll save by making it at home. That’s almost dangerous.
Lemon Loaf Ingredients
To make this copycat Starbucks lemon loaf recipe, you’ll need:
- Granulated sugar
- Sour cream
- Canola oil
- Lemon zest
- Lemon extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
And to make the lemon bread glaze, you’ll need:
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Lemon juice
Can I Use Olive Oil Instead of Canola?
I don’t recommend doing so, as that would change the taste of the lemon bread too much. If you want a lemon olive oil dessert, make my Lemon Olive Oil Cake recipe instead.
Can I Make This Lemon Loaf Gluten-Free?
I’ve had quite a few readers ask about using gluten-free flour in this copycat Starbucks lemon pound cake recipe. I’ve only made the recipe as written, but readers have reported success using either Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour or Cup4Cup gluten-free flour.
I can’t say for sure if using a gluten-free flour will work, but this is what readers have recommended!
How to Make Lemon Loaf
This Starbucks recipe for lemon loaf couldn’t be easier to make! Here’s a look at how this recipe comes together:
- First, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and sour cream before drizzling in the oil.
- Stir in the lemon zest and extract, followed by the dry ingredients.
- Turn the lemon loaf batter into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan and bake until the top is domed, set, and toothpick inserted in the center crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter.
- The copycat Starbucks lemon loaf needs to cool for at least 30 minutes before drizzling with the glaze!
Can I Make This Recipe in Mini Loaf Pans?
Of course, just note that your bake time will vary depending on the size of your pans.
One reader reported success making seven mini loaves and baking them at 350ºF for about 35 minutes, if that helps. However, I can’t speak from personal experience.
Can I Double This Recipe?
Most likely, yes. You’d need to bake two 9×5-inch loaves.
A few readers have also asked if they can double the recipe and bake the batter in a 9×13-inch pan or a metal bundt pan. Both options would likely work, although I can’t say for sure.
Can I Freeze Lemon Bread?
Yes, this lemon bread freezes incredibly well. It can be frozen up to 6 months.
Just be sure to glaze the bread AFTER it’s been frozen and thawed (the glaze can be frozen, but the texture changes slightly).
Tips for Making Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf
A few key things to note about the lemon extract in the cake batter:
- I used 2 tablespoons of lemon extract because no actual lemon juice is used in the loaf and I found 2 tablespoons lemon extract necessary for full-bodied lemon flavor, but you can add it to taste.
- Do NOT use lemon oil and lemon extract interchangeably because they’re not — oil is much more potent and intense.
- Also, do NOT use lemon juice in place of lemon extract because it’s not strong enough and the acidity can alter the overall results.
What Readers Are Saying
As you can see on the recipe card, this copycat Starbucks recipe for lemon loaf has over 1,500 reviews on it. And if you scroll to the very bottom of this post, you’ll see the 1,000+ comments that readers have left.
To say that this lemon bread recipe has been tried and tested — and loved! — is an understatement!
Here are just a few 5-star reviews that have been left on this lemon loaf cake recipe:
“Delightful! This loaf did not last long in my household – lemony and delicious and a recipe I always come back to.” — Stephanie
“I have been making this recipe for a few years! Always gets the best reviews! I poke holes in it so when I add the glaze it goes into the loaf! This is my go to recipe when I am asked to bring a dessert!” — Joan Kasaris
“Simple, yet delicious! Baked mine for 40 minutes. It’s a dense, flavourful cake and will be my go-to lemon loaf recipe from now on since I have too been looking for the perfect lemon loaf for a long time. Thanks for finding it for me!!!” — Vivi
“Hard to believe a recipe so quick and easy tastes so good. Passed some out to friends and they were amazed at texture and flavor. I followed the reciperight to the end.” — Roger Drenga
“This recipe is incredibly delicious, and this was also my very first time baking a lemon loaf. I’m so happy how it turned out, and everyone in our house loved it. Thank you!” — Danielle
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The Best Lemon Loaf (Better-Than-Starbucks Copycat)
It took years, but I finally recreated it!! Easy, no mixer, no cake mix, dangerously good, and SPOT ON!! You're going to love this lemon pound cake recipe!
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream or Greek yogurt (lite okay)
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon extract, to taste (not teaspoons)*
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or as necessary for consistency
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, sour cream, and whisk vigorously until smooth and combined.
- Drizzle in the oil while whisking to combine.
- Add the lemon zest, lemon extract, and whisk to combine. Note – I used 2 tablespoons of lemon extract because no actual lemon juice is used in the loaf and I found 2 tablespoons lemon extract necessary for full-bodied lemon flavor, but add to taste.
- Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix. Some lumps will be present and that’s okay, don’t try to stir them smooth.
- Turn the batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
- Bake for about 50 to 52 minutes, or until top is domed, set, and toothpick inserted in the center crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. In the last 10 minutes of baking, tent pan with foil (loosely drape a sheet of foil over pan) to prevent excessive browning on the top and sides of bread before center cooks through.
- Allow loaf to cool in pan on top of a wire rack for at least 30 minutes (I cooled 4 hours) before turning out onto rack to cool completely before glazing.
- To a small bowl, add the confectioner’s sugar and slowly drizzle in the lemon juice while whisking until smooth and combined. You may need to play with the sugar and lemon juice amounts a bit as necessary for desired consistency and flavor.
- Evenly drizzle glaze over bread before slicing and serving.
- Extra glaze can be spread on the cut surface of the bread like you’d spread butter on toast and it soaks right in making the bread even moister and more lemony. Or you can halve the glaze recipe if you’re not a glaze person.
Make the Loaf:
Make the Lemon Glaze:
- *Don’t use lemon oil and lemon extract interchangeably because they’re not; oil is much more potent and intense. Don’t use lemon juice in place of lemon extract because it’s not strong enough and the acidity can alter the overall results.
- Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months; I don’t recommend storing it in the fridge because it’ll dry out.
- Recipe adapted from my Blueberry Yogurt Cake with Lemon Vanilla Glaze.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 6g
More Lemon Desserts:
Lemon Lemonies – Like brownies, but made with lemon and white chocolate! Dense, chewy, not cakey and packed with big, bold lemon flavor!
Lightened Up Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake — No BUTTER in this healthier cake with big juicy blueberries and refreshing lemon! It’s a keeper!
Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – Soft, fluffy, moist, very lemony cupcakes from scratch! Easy one-bowl, no-mixer recipe for cupcakes that taste like they’re from a bakery!
The Best Lemon Bars – Truly the best lemon bars I’ve ever had!
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze – Almost more berries than cake in this soft, fluffy cake!
Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies — Packed with big, bold lemon flavor for all you lemon lovers! They’re soft, chewy and not at all cakey!
Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Lemon Glaze — An easy buttermilk cake with big lemon flavor!! Soft, fluffy, and foolproof if you like puckering up!!
Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies — Big, bold lemon flavor packed into super soft cookies thanks to the cream cheese!! Tangy-sweet perfection! Lemon lovers are going to adore these easy cookies!!
Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Glaze — They taste like the Starbucks lemon loaf, but in donut (or mini muffin) form!! Easy, no mixer recipe with a tart-yet-sweet lemon glaze that’s PERFECT! Lemon lovers will adore them!!
I just made this again. It is so delicious. I think you hit a home run with this recipe. Your hard work creating this sure turned out perfectly. Thank you, Averie, for another great recipe. I love your website!Kathy
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad this was a home run for you and I appreciate the compliment that you love my site!
can i use fresh lemon juice in the cake instead of extract.
I go into detail about this in the post and why making it exactly as written is highly recommended.
I’ve looked at your FAQs and can’t see answers to a couple of questions I have.
1. If I use lemon oil, do you know how much I should use – since it’s more potent than extract;
2. Any chance you could give the ingredients by weight?
1. This recipe was so hard to perfect if you read about all my issues so I recommend following it exactly. I don’t know what will happen with lemon oil.
2. I am American and use cups/tablespoons rather than metric since it’s how I learned to cook and bake. Sorry for any inconvenience.
So delicious! Every time I make this it is a hit!! Thank you for such an amazing recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad that every time you make it it’s a hit!
Absolutely the BEST lemon loaf. EVER. Thanks so much for the great recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and that’s great that it’s the best lemon loaf ever for you!
This is such a great recipe! I have made it a number of times using gluten-free all purpose flour and Greek yogurt. I like to add a bit of almond extract to the glaze. My mom requests this loaf for her birthday instead of a cake because she loves it so much.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad that you have been successful with GF flour and Greek yogurt. I love almond extract and how nice for me to know that your mom requests this as her birthday “cake”!
I noticed in your reviews someone used real lemon juice and it came out delicious. I would rather use fresh lemon juice, what would be the ratio? Thank you.
I don’t know because I could never get that to work successfully based on my nightmare of getting this loaf EXACTLY right which I blogged about my efforts.
If you use enough lemon juice to actually get it lemony enough (like a half cup or so I would assume), the batter is wayyyy too wet. Apart from that, all that acidity causes weird things to happen to the texture during the baking process.
Make as written and save yourself lots of headache. IMO there is no way that 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice could come close to properly lemon-izing an entire loaf.
I would recommend ppl to actually not make this because…it’s too delicious…mouth watering, drool worthy, down right delicious, I mean so delicious you will do the happy dance while eating it. You will cut a piece to eat, then another sliver and then another sliver and then a few more slivers until you realize a day later the lemon loaf is finished…all by yourself, and your kids will say, wow, mom who ate all the loaf, you’ll deny it but you know who ate that whole loaf sliver by delicious sliver
Thanks for the 5 star glowing review! I truly appreciate your nice and fabulous comment! (not all of them are) I am glad this disappeared sliver by delicious sliver! :)
This recipe was amazing! Truly the perfect lemon cake bread: fluffy, sweet and citrusy. I did make a small tweak by swapping the vegetable oil for coconut oil. I also added 4-5 tablespoons of lemon juice (rather than 3) to get the glaze to a texture that would coat right over the loaf and frost when dried. Thank you for sharing this recipe- it’s brought joy to our family and friends several times!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad it was amazing for you and that it brought joy to your family and friends. I love hearing that!
I only have Balkan style yogurt. Would this still work? Thanks!!
I don’t know what that is. If it’s thick like Greek yogurt yes. If it’s runny, no.
I made this on Sunday to take to my work for my Dept.as they like trying new cake receipes I make. It was an instant hit everyone loved it. I said it was my first time making it. When I tried it I felt as if I had died and gone to heaven. Perfect perfect and perfect. Tastes so good better than I thought and was really easy to make. Will definately be making it again. Thank you.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad it was perfect and that everybody loved it! Always nice when everybody loves what you make.
Tasted good but texture is not the same as Starbucks.
I feel like this texture is actually better than Starbucks because it’s moister without being oily. But of course it’s not an exact replica because they are mass producing things with different types of ingredients (some not so “great” for you probably) that the average home cook just does not have access to. Thanks for trying the recipe!
I would like to try your recipe. Would you say it tastes like the old Starbucks lemon loaf cake? The texture of their current cake (it’s been some years now since it’s changed) doesn’t compare to the old version.
The texture is more like the old lemon loaf and not their current version which I agree, does not compare. Also mine is way better than their old and their new :)
Outta the park for sure!!! If I could rate it more than 5 stars I would! Followed your recipe, directions and blog instructions to the letter, and you can tell you spent some serious time researching this and perfecting the ingredients and method! Thank you, Averie, from so very many of us! YUM! It’s quite dangerous this recipe! It’s being eaten up very quickly for sure. A friend made it and gave us some to try and then sent me the recipe. I am not sure whether to thank or damn her, hahaha! Thank you again, SO GOOD!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad it was outta the park! And yes, I definitely spent so much time researching this recipe perhaps more on this particular recipe than any other recipe on my entire website, 2500+!
This Lemon Loaf recipe seems quite delicious , surely be my weekend recipe. Thanks for sharing this one with us.
I am so glad I found your website. This is an incredible recipe. There is absolutely nothing I would change. My husband melted when he tried this. I had no choice in sending this to my sister to make. I have tried one other recipe of yours and now I am slowly printing these to put in recipe binder for frequent future use.
I am so glad your husband and sister and you have been really enjoying my recipes!
Ive made this a million times over the past couple years but wanted to say I also make the mini loaves with it.I have pans of 8 mini loaves I use and check at around 30 minutes sometimes up to 35 minutes.People love the mini ones I make fr family dinners
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad that you have been making this a ton the past few years and also as mini loaves. Yes, people love mini loaves and they are perfect for gifting and sharing which is so nice of you!
Where are the measurements for the ingredients?
In the recipe card section of the blog post.
Hi Averie:This is the second time I’ve made this and we love it. We took it to my friend’s house to have with coffee. Cherie loved it too. The lemon extract (McCormick) is expensive but I’m sure it’s less than purchasing a loaf at Starbuck’s. It’s so quick and easy to make and the lemon taste so vibrant! Thanks again for a great recipe.
I am glad you love the loaf and yes even though extract is expensive, it’s still cheaper than buying a 10 slices or a loaf of Starbuck’s lemon loaf (plus I think much tastier)!
Hi Averie, not sure if this has been asked yet, there are a lot of comments to go through :)
Can I use plain 0% Greek yogurt instead of sour cream?
Probably yes that is fine.
Can one use coconut oil instead of canola oil? Thank you!
Probably yes that will be fine although I haven’t personally tried it.
Pros – loaf texture and baking directions were spot on. Cons – used 2 TBSP lemon extract as directed because I wanted a strong lemon flavor. I presumed the alcohol would bake out of the loaf; however, when cut, you could smell (and taste) the alcohol from the extract. Luckily I served it with strawberry sauce which slightly masked the alcohol. After reading the last review about using Watkin’s extract and looking at my lemon extract, bakers should be warned to watch the alcohol content of their lemon extract in this recipe because the alcohol does NOT bake out of the product. If your extract is high in alcohol, you will need to cut back if you do not want the flavor of alcohol in your loaf.
All extracts vary and so yes, one always has to be mindful of things like this. However, the alcohol content does bake out (heat neutralizes the actual alcohol) although some brands or types of extract you will still be able to taste an aftertaste that is alcohol-ish. I use store brand generic (cheap) extract and don’t have this problem. I am glad you found the texture and my directions spot on. Thanks for trying the recipe.
What lemon extract are you all using? I used Watkins pure lemon extract and the loaf tastes like lighter fluid……It was an absolutely beautiful loaf, perfect consistency, but dang the 2tbsp of extract killed it, even one would have been too much
I generally use the store-brand generic extract I find at my local grocery store (cheapest). If you want to splurge, McCormick is another good option. Sorry that Watkins didn’t do the trick for you. Before you add any brand to any future recipes, do a thorough sniff test. You could probably try add a drop to a large glass of water too and see what you think.
Agreed. I made the mistake of adding 2 tbsp of lemon extract – and you can definitely taste the alcoholic nature. My daughter wouldn’t eat it. Next time I plan on trying 2 tsp and see if that works.
All brands of extract vary in how alcohol-ey they taste. Unfortunately yours sounds like it was on the stronger side. I use store brand extracts with good luck.
I live in the town that makes Watkins. I also had the same lighter fluid experience. Otherwise a beautiful loaf! But Watkins also produces Great Value extracts. So I’ll try again with less.
Best lemon loaf my family loved it! First time ever leaving a review but I had to this turned out amazing.Thank you for the recipe
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that your family loved it and it’s the best. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, much appreciated!
where are the measurements for each ingredient? It’s hard to follow a recipe when there’s no measurements.
Keep scrolling down a bit more until you see the actual recipe card section where everything is listed.
Hi, I enjoy your food recipes, which is why I returned to your blog to see what new and wonderful dishes you share. This looks incredible and delectable, and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.
I did a little tweaking to the original recipe. I didn’t have enough sour cream so I combined 1/2 sour cream with 1/2 unsweetened plain coconut milk yogurt. Instead of canola oil I used unflavored organic coconut oil. This loaf came out amazing ! Very light and delicious. I went with the full 2 tbsps of lemon extract also. Thank you and I will be making this often!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this came out great for you with your tweaks!
Hello Averie! I am excited to make this and have a question. You mentioned not to glaze the loaf until after thawing when freezing, as it changes the texture. Can you tell me how it changes? I am freezing two and gifting them and would rather they arrive already glazed for the convenience of the recipient. Thanks in advance!
If you’re gifting them, then just glaze it all and freeze them if you are gifting them frozen.
If you are gifting them at room temp, do it yourself before you gift them.
Glaze can make things mushier/softer sometimes which isn’t bad per se, but just a different texture.
Thanks so much! I ended up just sending the glaze on the “side”. They turned out wonderfully with rave reviews! “Better than Starbucks” “Something I would find at a fancy bakery” Another Averie winner!!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this got rave reviews!
So good!! I’ve baked this a few times now. My spouse loves it too. I live in Malawi Africa so its hard to find ing. sometimes, so, I had to sub the pure lemon extract for lemon flavoring, but it turned out really good!!Next time I think I’m gonna add some poppy seeds 😋
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you were able to find some lemon extract and will give it a try with poppy seeds, too!
I love your recipes, they are so good and very easy to follow.I have made this lemon loaf, it was a big hit and very delicious, even though I used fresh lemons, from my lemon tree, and not the extract as directed, but I am going to buy some to see the differenceMany thanksKrysia xx
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad this was a big hit! How wonderful that you have a lemon tree with fresh lemons, too!
Hi, I was wondering if I can replace the granulated sugar with Monk Fruit sugar?
I really don’t know. I have never worked with that sugar so I can’t say how it would respond or work or not work.
Is it okay to use a metal 9×5 loaf pan at 350*? Thanx for your response
Yes I bake this in a 9×5 metal loaf pan at 350F.
We are a gluten free, mostly dairy free house hold so we had to make some subs, but it still turned out DELICIOUS! I used Bob Red Mill gluten free 1-1 flour. I used half greek yogurt and half mayo for the sour cream since we don’t buy it. (Mayo in baked goods freaks some people out but i promise you’ll never know) I actually used lemon essential oil because I didn’t have extract. With all these sub’s it was still so good!! Added this recipe to my binder. I thought it was even better the next day. YUM!
Thanks for the five star review and as you said even with all the subs it still turned out great which is wonderful to hear!
Delightful! This loaf did not last long in my household – lemony and delicious and a recipe I always come back to.
I am glad this was great and didn’t last long!
Amazing! I used this recipe just with two modifications I used a mini loaf pan with 12 loaves and added a handful of fresh blueberries. Baked at 350 for 25 minutes. 10/10 amazing! Thank you for this amazing recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was a 10 out of 10 amazing!
Love the mini pan idea AND the blueberries, too!
My friend, Cherie, gave me a very large Meyer’s lemon from her lemon tree in her solarium. I was saving it for something special. Then your lemon loaf recipe appeared. I don’t recall having lemon extract but as I looked in the cupboard, there was a little bottle unopened. The loaf was so fun and easy to make and turned out perfectly. Bill wanted to cut a piece as soon as it came out of the oven but I said it had to sit four hours for the glaze. He snuck out to the kitchen an hour later and loved the loaf. The glaze made it even more special. Thanks for another delicious recipe, Averie!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that this was a winner!
Make this next, it’s even better in my opinion! https://www.averiecooks.com/lemon-olive-oil-cake/
I made this recipe and it turned out great! Any recommendations for making at higher altitudes. I will be making this again for the relatives over the holidays!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it turned out great! I live at sea level so you would have to Google for altitude baking tips since I am not experienced.
I’m hoping to make your recipe for this copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf as a gift for neighbors. I’ve ordered some aluminum foil baking pans (8.5 x 2.5 x 4.5). Do you have any tips for changing any ingredient measurements to make loaves this size – or will this successfully make 2 at a time using this recipe? Also, do you recommend any baking temperature or baking time changes?
Thanks so much – I’m looking forward to trying this!!
Well this recipe is intended for a 9×5 inch pan. It’s not the tallest/highest loaf ever, but will be a bit too much batter I think for a smaller pan, but definitely you can’t divide it between two pans or they will be like pancake-tall sized loaves.
Fill one pan until appropriately full and discard the remainder or make 2 muffins.
That makes sense! Thanks so much for your quick response!
Thank you for your recipe! It was super delicious. Everyone loved it!!!
Followed the recipe as written. It was easy to follow and had almost all of the ingredients on hand.
Forgot to add the 5 🌟 rating!
Thanks for the 5 star review and great to hear it was super delicious!
I have been making this recipe for a few years! Always gets the best reviews! I poke holes in it so when I add the glaze it goes into the loaf! This is my go to recipe when I am asked to bring a dessert!
I am glad this is your go-to recipe and that it always gets rave reviews!
I’ve made this two times now and my family loves it. It’s super tasty! I just have one question. I ran out of lemon extract but I have lemon emulsion. Would using an emulsion work for this recipe? Would it be the same amount? Thanks.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad your family loves it!
I don’t know re the emulsion. Did you read all the fiascos I had trying to get this right? That is why I personally wouldn’t deviated. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can see what happens. LMK if you do!
Hello, I read your disclaimer about referring to the FAQs section but didn’t see my question answered there. I’m attempting to make this using Wilton’s 3D aluminum car cake pan. Do you have any suggestions for how long to bake using that (or a similar) pan? I was planning on just doubling the recipe and using in extra t in smaller pans. Thanks!
I don’t have any idea, I have only made it as written as well in a 12-cup Bundt pan.
Thank you for perfecting the Lemon Starbuck Cake. My husband and I get a piece of the SB cake and share it, each of us wanting the half with the most icing. I read through most of your reviews, and no one seemed to comment about the missing icing, except I saw two people who made the glaze thicker. The cake is delicious as you make it and doesn’t really need. Icing. I guess I feel that it should have icing to be like the original cake. I am not complaining——your recipes are wonderful and you are so very nice. I am just a little surprised and disappointed about icing.
Thanks for the five star review and glad it’s a winner for you! I guess some people say glaze, and others say icing. To me, they’re the same. It’s only the word frosting that really means something different in my mind.
If you want a thicker icing/glaze that is more pronounced, double the confectioners sugar but not the lemon juice. And/or use a tablespoon or two of cream and it will probably remind you more of that thick layer theirs has on it. I don’t love that because it breaks, cracks, crumbles and isn’t my fave so I don’t make mine like that but of course, so many ways to top this loaf.
Thanks for quick comment and suggestion. Thought maybe you had perfected the icing (frosting?) as well, and surprised no one missed the thick stuff. That’s probably because it is perfection as is! You’re the best!
Thank you so much!
And the thick frosting easy, just use more sugar :)
Simple, yet delicious! Baked mine for 40 minutes. It’s a dense, flavourful cake and will be my go-to lemon loaf recipe from now on since I have too been looking for the perfect lemon loaf for a long time. Thanks for finding it for me!!!
Thanks for the five star review and I am glad to hear this will be your go-to lemon loaf recipe!
My family loved this recipe! We’ll be making it again.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad your family loved it and you’ll make it again!
Tried this recipe and love it! I wanted to make it again but double the recipe for a layer cake. Is it possible to double the recipe exactly and make between two pans?
You can double the recipe yes and bake it between two pans. That should be fine.
What is the internal temperature of this lemon cake
More accurate the toothpick
I don’t know since I don’t do that when I bake.
These were absolutely delicious.Instead of oven baking since it was hot outside. I put all the ingredients into my bread machine set the sweet bread for 1.5 load light crust it wasn’t quite done so sweet to bake about another 15 minutes. Thank you so much for a new household favorite.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this worked in your bread machine – good to know!
I don’t have vegetable oil nor canola oil where I live. Can I use olive oil ?
You could, but if you’re going to use olive oil to make this lemon recipe, make this instead, it’s to-die-for!
First time making a lemon cake and this recipe was divine! I did end up substituting the lemon extract for lemon juice since I had no extract on hand. Added some vanilla extract and it tastes great!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad this worked well for you with lemon juice rather than extract and that it turned out divinely!
Hard to believe a recipe so quick and easy , tastes so good. Passed some out to friends and they were amazed at texture and flavor. I followed the reciperight to the end. I might put a little more extract next time. I love the stronglemon taste.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad that it was quick, easy, and amazed your friends!
This recipe is incredibly delicious, and this was also my very first time baking a lemon loaf. I’m so happy how it turned out, and everyone in our house loved it. Thank you!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad to hear it’s delish and everyone in the house loved it!
This is, without a doubt, the best lemon cake I have ever tasted. I made this with Greek yogurt and the full 2 tablespoons of lemon extract and it is perfect. Actually the most delicious and moist cake and even better than Starbucks. Thank you for perfecting and sharing this amazing recipe. Lots of love from Glasgow, Scotland.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am thrilled that this is the best lemon cake you’ve ever made without a doubt and better than Starbucks!
Thanks for reading all the way from Scotland!!
Can i use lemon essence instead of extract?
Read the blog post in this section: Tips for Making Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf
I would stick to the actual recipe since I went through a heck of a time trying to finally perfect this recipe.
Made this today and I used 2 tbsp of natural lemon extract. While it was baking, I could smell the lemon! So good! The only thing I had trouble with was measurement as I reside in Asia. Thought converting them to grams would be alot more convenient for me. Will bake it again nevertheless!
Glad you will bake this again!
Can I check if you bake them in the middle rack and with or without fan?
Middle rack, no fan (i.e. NOT convection) however if you use a fan (convection) that is fine, just rotate the pan and check on it 10 minutes earlier than written.
This recipe is excellent! My wife is gluten free so I subbed Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 and it turned out perfectly.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that the Bobs Red Mill 1:1 worked great here and you made it GF!
Lemon loaf was fab! Spot on. I’ve ride other copycat recipes and this one is the best. My friends asked for the recipe.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you feel my copycat recipe is the best you’ve tried!
Could I use olive oil instead of canola/vegetable oil? Or would it change the flavor too much?
This has been asked before and I personally think it would change the flavor too much.
If you want to make a lemon olive oil cake, this cake is one of my fave cakes of all time https://www.averiecooks.com/lemon-olive-oil-cake/
I used grape seed oil and it turned out perfectly.
This was delicious. I made it exactly as written. ( the next time I will make smaller loaves and add nuts to some). I did have to add about 8 minutes to the baking time I think because my loaf pan is quite a solid aluminum. I also cut a opening in the top of the aluminum foil to expose the middle of the top to brown. Wonderful recipe.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was delicious exactly as written!
Indeed better than Starbucks! This my go to recipe for lemon loaf and no more trips to Starbucks for me. I’ve made this about 7 times now and each time it comes out tasty, flavorful and just perfect. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
I am glad you’ve made it many times and always perfect and better than Starbucks!
THE BEST! I followed your recipe as written. The cake was spot-on perfect. Lemony, just firm enough, and thoroughly delicious. My only alteration was I cooked the batter in my mini-loaf pan (8 capacity). I baked them for 35 minutes @ 350*F. There was enough batter for 7 lil loaves. By mistake, I left them in the pan overnight as I got busy doing something else. This morning, they came right out of the pan and the results were DEEELISHUS!! I glazed and then froze 6 of the 7 to be able to send off to college with my son in a week. Thanks!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad to hear this turned out great in your mini loaf pans and that your son gets a care package for back to college next week!
I love 🤩 this lemon loaf recipe and make it with 4 large eggs instead of 3. Thank you so much for sharing!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you love it and it works well with 4 eggs rather than 3!
I have tried many lemon cake recipes but this one is the absolute best! I took this to a one dish party and everyone else thought the same. Thank you so much. After baking, I poked holes into the cake and added lemon and sugar syrup. I then added a lemon glaze once the cake was completely cool :)
Great to hear this is the absolute best you’ve tried! Your hole poking and lemon and sugar syrup trick sounds soooo good! Great idea!
This recipe was so easy and beyond my expectations. Bless you for the many test runs you made to create this perfection. My Husband even said it taste and smells just like Starbucks. I agree. Now we can eat it anytime and make a loaf for what it almost cost for one slice. I cant wait to have this with a good cup of coffee in the am.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that it was so easy and exceeded expectations! And yes, thank you for noting the test runs and trials I did on it. People still continue to ask me if they can change x, y, or z and I always wonder if they even read what I went through! Enjoy your slice in the a.m. with coffee!
Made the lemon loaf-devious! Thank you!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that it was delicious!
If you love lemon loaf. This is the RECIPE. Great lemon flavor and perfect texture. For the flour, I did spoon and level. I used avocado oil instead of canola. Planning to make it again this week.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it had great lemon flavor and perfect texture for you and the avocado oil worked well too!
Look no further…. Here is the best recipe you will find for a lemon cake. I’ve made this many times and it always turns out the same. It is an amazing cake. Very moist and a lovely lemon flavour. I use Greek yogurt in mine. Doesn’t even make me miss chocolate cake. But…I just opt out the lemon zest and essence for orange oil and put in chocolate chips. Coat it with melted chocolate orange. That’s amazing too!Just a tip I’ve learnt… Use a foil shield for the edges or they will go dry and I cover the whole thing after 30 mins. Absolute perfection this recipe 👌😁
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that my recipe is the best for you and your favorite! And yes I agree with you about tenting, really helps the finished product stay moist and not appear darkened.
My coworkers go crazy for this cake! I usually double the recipe and bake it in smaller loaves to stretch the bbatter. Instead of lemon zest I peel a lemon and chop it, but not too fine. This way it gets almost candied in the bread and you get yummy bits of sweet lemon peel as you eat it. Awesome recipe, thanks so much for hammering out all the details to make it great!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that everyone loves this! Interesting technique with the almost candied lemon peel idea~
My best ken friend Bradley and I made these recipe, and it slayed! Title didn’t lie, better than Starbucks. We used vegan lemon yogurt instead of sour cream and it was awesome. Perfect texture, maybe a bit too lemony for us but we did use the full two tablespoons of lemon extract, and the lemon flavoured yogurt. Grandma approves, “you beat Starbucks by a mile”, her words, great job.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad even Grandma says that this beats Starbucks by a mile! Thank you and glad it’s a winner!
At 61 years old, this is the first thing I’ve ever baked in my life. It turned out great.
Thanks for the 5 star review and there is a first time for everything!! BRAVO and congrats to you! I love hearing this and is a great way to start off my day. I hope you keep baking, Rick!
For freezing this loaf, do you recommend adding the glaze before I freeze it? Or will come out weird when it unfreezes?
Add it after you thaw it, will be much better that way.
I LOVE the Starbucks lemon loaf!! The pictures for this copycat look fantastic, but the recipe seems a bit unconventional. I’ve always found the best results for pound cakes come from using butter and creaming it with the sugar, not from using oil. Would that work for this recipe? Additionally, I only have lemon oil on hand, but from what I gather it’s interchangeable with lemon extract.
Did you read everything I went to to get this to taste like the Starbucks loaf? And read the post where I addressed oil/extract?
Please do so and then make as written for perfect copycat results.
This was amazing. I did make a change only because I was out of canola oil and used avocado oil as a replacement. It was really delicious and will definitely be making this again.
Thanks for the five star review and glad it was amazing with the avocado oil!
If you want to use an alternative oil in a lemon dessert, this is my fave lemon cake of all time! https://www.averiecooks.com/lemon-olive-oil-cake/
Mine came out quite dense & a little dry. The only think I changed was that I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I was careful not to overmix and my batter was a little lumper than yours in the video. Any idea what I did wrong to not get the moist fluffiness of the Starbucks loaf?
Probably over-added the flour with too heavy of a hand and dried out the batter is my guess or accidentally mismeasuring it. I would say too much flour for the quantity of liquids. Something to pay attention to for the next time. Thanks for trying the recipe.
hi averie, can i use buttermilk instead of sour cream ? need to get rid of my buttermilk 😉
Did you read everything I went to to perfect this recipe? It was veryyyy challenging so if you make any changes at all, not sure how they will effect the final result.
WOW!!! This is spot on. I love the Starbucks lemon loaf, and now thanks to you I can make it on my own. It is so much better fresh and homemade. Who knew it was so easy?! Although I realize that is due to all the time you invested to figure it out. Thank you!!
Yes definitely an easy recipe to make, once the recipe has been developed which was not easy at all, probably my hardest copycat recipe ever to try to perfect. Glad it was spot on for you and you loved it!
Over the course of my life I have baked many types of cakes. This is by far the best Lemon Cake recipe I have ever used. My friends and family think that I’m a “genius” in the kitchen, not knowing I was using a “fool proof” recipe and following instructions.The most original compliment I can give Ms Averie about her recipe is that it “travels well”. I’m based in Spain and this recipe works as well here as it does back in California.In other words, she did her homework and “benchmarked” the recipe. Impressive!Thank you so very much for your hard work and efforts, they are greatly appreciated.Javier
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this recipe makes you look like a kitchen genius and that you’re successful making it in both CA and in Spain, with different types of flour, sugar, etc. and that it still works great for you! Love hearing that!
Hi!!! Would it work if i switch from lemon to lime? It looks deliciou
I haven’t ever tried that. Obviously the flavor profile is very different but if you’re up for that, go for it.
Sooo yunmy! I did not think I like lemon loaf until now. I was looking for something to make with lemon extract since I ordered the wrong spice. I am glad I came across this recipe, this one is definitely a keeper for sure!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that my recipe changed your mind about lemon loaf!
Wow, craving a moist dense lemon loaf and saw this recipe. SO EASY! Shockingly spot on, Yes 2tbsp lemon extract a must, baked perfectly almost too pretty to slice! This recipe is a keeper, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this turned out perfectly for you and that it’s a keeper!
I didn’t have enough eggs for this recipe – but decided it give it a shot using just 2. Still delicious! Moist and tangy and perfectly slightly dense.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that it still worked fine with two eggs. Adding the additional will keep it from being as dense.
Do you think if I double recipe I can put in bundt pan?
Probably will be fine but I haven’t personally tried it.
Most definitely a make. And make again and again.Easy to make. If you like Starbucks lemon loaf but the slice they give you is just not enough. This tastes just like the Starbucks version. It’s not dry, it’s zesty, and just really good.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you loved it and will make it again and again!
This absolutely the best thing ever! So easy to make. The only problem is that I have no discipline and eat the entire thing myself.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you absolutely love it!
What is lemon extract?
Simple and delicious! I used Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream, and sunflower oil instead of canola. I also had some Buddha’s hand in the house, so I used that instead of the lemon zest (and instead of the lemon extract as I had none). It took closer to 60 minutes to bake for me. I’ll keep using Buddha’s hand to sub the zest, but I’ll definitely buy some lemon extract next time). By the end of the day, it was all finished. Simple, lemony, and moist!! Everything that it promises
Glad it was great and you finished it off in a day!
I didn’t have any lemon extract in hand, so I used the same amount of lemon juice instead (even after you advised against it) but it still came out pretty good, maybe just a tad bit dry but my folks loved it!
Great to hear it was fine and your folks loved it!
This was so delicious! I followed recipe exactly except for only making half of glaze since were trying to cut down on sugar lol. Oh and I baked it in an 8×8 because I realized at last minute I didn’t have anymore loaf pans. I use the disposable kinds from $1 store. Excellent recipe. Thank you!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was a winner for you a one dollar disposable pan and with half the sugar – awesome!
I made the Lemon Loaf, and it was amazing! I followed the recipe exactly, and it did not disappoint! Thanks for the recipe, Averie!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it did not disappoint!
Amazing lemon loaf! I tried powdered coconut milk and worked great but coconut milk from the can didn’t work well at all. I used the sour cream instead and it was very good. Thank you for this recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was amazing!
Hi the lemon extract that i bought says Lemon flavor and under ingredients, it says sunflower oil/lemon oil; no alcohol in it.
Is it still okay to use as your recipe calls for lemon extract?
I use lemon extract and you can read about all the issues I had perfecting this recipe in the blog post. So I recommend sticking with what I did otherwise I cannot predict how it will turn out.
OMG is my comment to this recipe. I just made it and my loaf was so tasty and soft, like a sky cloud. I love it! Definitely I’ll make more times. 😋
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was an OMG recipe for you!
This recipe is absolutely TO DIE FOR!!! It’s hands down one of my favorite lemon recipes of all time, it came out so moist and had the perfect lemon flavor. I can’t wait to make it again!
Thanks for the five star review and glad this is to die for and one of your favorite lemon recipes of all time!!
So good! My boyfriend was disappointed I made lemon bread instead of banana bread, but this changed his world. New favourtite desert! I didn’t have any lemon oil so I made this with lemon juice and some extra zest grated fresh from the lemon, it turned out perfect. <3
Thanks for the five star review and glad it was so good and changed his world! Glad the lemon juice and extra zest worked out great!
Hi there! I LOVE lemon! I made this loaf cake a while ago (I think back in Dec) and then had a pregnancy craving, so I made it a few nights ago. I actually hadn’t had the Starbucks Lemon Loaf until last week, but OMG it’s so good. It seems such a simple recipe, but it’s clearly not. For this one, I REALLY loved it! I had to bake it longer (about 60 min) and it was still very moist, dense (as it should be in my opinion). I made lots of glaze and let it drizzle all over. Yummy! Compared to Starbucks, the icing is much thinner than Starbucks and the loaf itself isn’t nearly as sweet or lemony as Starbucks. I have to wonder if it’s because the Starbucks one isn’t made from as high-quality ingredients and probably has a lot more sugar in it. All in all, I loved this recipe!
My granddaughter loves the Star Bucks lemon loaf. I would take her once a week for a lemon loaf and her pink drink. It was getting very expensive. I looked up a recipe for copycat lemon loaf. And found one on your web site. I just made it and delicious. It was all eaten by my granddaughter, her brother, her mother and me.Thanks for posting this. Just loved the lemon loaf.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was a hit with everyone!
I checked the video and I want to make it. It looks from the video that the lemon zest is not the real thing. Can I use lemon zest thats not grated fresh?
It is real and freshly grated. I have never used another type of zest so can’t say.
Came out pretty dense
Don’t mix the flour stage too much…..just enough to combine, with lumps still there. I make this all the time and people LOVE IT! I’m known as the person who makes the best lemon cake thanks to this recipe.
Glad you are known as the person who makes the best lemon cake thanks to this recipe!
I made this delicious cake. I don’t have lemon extract & substituted fresh lemon juice in same measurements & turned out great so lemon extract is not necessary.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it turned out great even without lemon extract and that lemon juice worked fine in the same quanity.
HiI made this recipe earlier on this evening, but unfortunately I couldn’t get hold of any lemon extract. So decided to use orange extract + zest instead an the end result was lovely. Tastes beautiful an will definitely be doing this again but will also be adding chocolate chips as well.
Thanks for the five star review and glad that you were able to have great results with the orange extract and lemon zest!
This turned out great, thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks for the five star review and glad it was great!
I only have about a tablespoon of lemon extract, but I’ve got plenty of real lemons, what would the equivalent be for a tablespoon of extract please. (Btw I’ve made this many time and add blueberries, you nailed it, thank you!!).
The thing is that real lemon juice is acidic. It will change the composition of the loaf. You would need to add quite a bit in comparison to extract because it’s no where near as concentrated, and then acid will then change the results. Read about my trials and tribulations getting to the final product with this recipe and how I could never get it to work with lemon juice.
Just made this and WOW!! so moist and absolutely DELICIOUS! i could eat the whole loaf in one sitting. i made the recipe exactly as listed. 52 min in the oven
Thanks for the five star review and glad it was absolutely delicious and that you could eat it all in one sitting!
Amazing :) Nailed the copy <3
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that you think I nailed the copy! :)
Hi! Can I use lemon juice instead of extract?
If I want to scoop the batter into cupcakes, how long should i bake and for what temp?
Not sure, have never done it that way. 350F and maybe 20 mins? Guessing…
Can i use self raising flour in place of all purpose flour and baking powder?
Not sure I have only made the recipe as written.
This was outstanding. This will be one I’ll be making on a regular basis. Everyone loved it.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was outstanding and will be on your regular rotation!
I have made this, and it’s absolutely awesome! I shared with co-workers and everyone loved it 😊
I am glad it turned out awesome for you and was a hit with your coworkers too!
Hello I am making this recipe tonight and I was wondering which lemon zest you use? Do you buy it at the store? If so, which brand do you buy? Thank you.
I grate a fresh lemon on a box grater or in a handheld rasp (lemon zester tool).
Don’t have any lemon zest right now, how would the cake be without it, or should I add additional lemon extract?
Not as lemony.
More extract could cause it to have a bit of an alcohol-ey taste. Taste your batter and evaluate based on what you think.
I loved this lemon loaf. I have made it multiple times now. I am now craving that same texture but maybe not lemon. Can I make this just with vanilla? I want it something similar to a pound cake but not as dry, just the vanilla flavor.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it’s a favorite!
I would say yes to just vanilla. Or another citrus fruit/extract like orange would work nicely too I bet.
I’ve cross referenced this with several other recipes, this is the only one I found that DOES NOT use butter in the recipe..did it turn out okay?
What does the butter do in a lemon loaf recipe?
I have butter one hand, but of course if it turns out just as good without the butter, I won’t include it.
Did you read all my trials and tribulations that I went through in order to make this cake/bread taste like I wanted it to? It was no easy task!
And there’s a reason it does not use butter. I prefer oil. After exhaustive testing.
Any deviation from the recipe and I cannot predict the results.
Hi there from Florida. I have not made your recipe yes so I am wondering which brand of lemon extract you use? Also can you use a lemon emulsion? Thanks, Carolyn
I use whatever store brand is the cheapest to be honest. For this extract, I don’t find it is important to buy the more expensive ones like it would be for say vanilla extract.
I have never used a lemon emulsion in this recipe.
Absolutely delicious- springy, moist and naturally lemony. I made them in a muffin pan and it yielded 12 perfectly. I’ve made them twice in two days and while they taste EVEN better next day, they don’t last that long. Thank you for perfecting it!!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad they taste even better the next day for you!
I made this last night and it was fantastic. I will definitely make it again. I was well into the recipe when I realized I didn’t have lemon extract (which I usually do, so who knows what happened). I went ahead an used 1tsp of almond extract and 2 tsp of vanilla extract and added mini chocolate chips. It was delicious! Tasted like biscotti. I will definitely make it again in its lemon form, the texture was spot on with the Starbucks lemon bread. It used to be a favorite of my kiddos when they were younger.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was fantastic and you’ll make it again!
This was my first try for this recipe. The instructions were very simple and as stated i had all of the ingredients. I felt it was a no brainer. I followed the instructions to the letter, looked good when it came out the oven. I could not wait to cut into it but when i tasted it, no lemon flavor. All i taste is a hint of oil. I will try it again. I think i need to add alot more lemon peel. Can you add dried lemon peel? Please let me know.
Did you add the full amount of lemon extract? Did you smell it before you added it? Was it super lemony smelling? Something with that is what is striking me as to where the problem lays. But it’s hard to guess what happened in someone else’s kitchen.
You can add more lemon zest. Dried lemon peel isn’t something I use and use fresh so can’t comment on that.
I used brand new lemon extract and it smelled a little lemony, but I also noticed the loaf wasn’t super lemony. I may not have used enough lemon zest. The batter smelled really lemony before I baked it.
Although I’m 45, I’m really an amateur in the kitchen. I have recently decided to start cooking and baking (Thanks, Coronavirus) and because I had been given some lemons, I decided to make this lemon quick bread. I did not use a glaze and I added a tbsp of vanilla. It. Was. Amazing. The crust had the awesomely sweet and light crunch which contrasted so well with the perfectly tender crumb. The lemon and sweetness were in a perfect balance with each other. Neither overpowering the other. My 12 year-old daughter, who insists that she does not like lemon, ate 1/3 of the loaf by herself. She says that this bread has made her question everything about her life. We have added this recipe to our family recipe box. (I can’t compare this to the original because I’ve never had the version from Starbucks but if it’s half as good as this was, I’ll be sure to try one the next time I happen to be near one.)
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this recipe went into your family recipe box and your 12 yr old’s comment sounds like something my 13 yr old daughter would say too…haha!
Can’t wait to try this! We love the Starbucks lemon loaf and so glad to see a recipe for us to make at home. Can I substitute avocado oil or olive oil for canola?
If that’s all you have, fine, but it won’t likely taste the same as the Starbucks version which is what I intended to create here.
If you want to make an olive oil lemon dessert I recommend this https://www.averiecooks.com/lemon-olive-oil-cake/
Christina, I only use avocado oil (no canola oil in this house) and it has never failed me in a baking recipe. I used it in this recipe and it was perfect. Avocado oil is a neutral tasting oil.
I made this recipe because I found that I had all the ingredients! I did use vanilla Greek yogurt instead of plain but the results were fantastic. I did not frost it but just enjoy a slice to nibble on during these stay at home times! Every time I open the sealed plastic container it smells like a fantastic slice of lemony cheese cake…New York style! I am in heaven. You got to make this recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this is a big hit for you!
Thanks for the five star review and glad it was great!
This recipe is amazing!! Very soft and flavorful. Very very tasty. Instead of the 2 tbsp of lemon essence i used 1 tbsp of lemon essence and 4 drops of lemon essential oil. Truly sensational!!!! Also instead of using 9×5 loaf pan i used a small bunt cake pan which fits perfectly to the recipe resulting to 18 equal portions.
Thanks for the five star review and it’s great to hear that the essential oil worked well as well as a Bundt pan. Glad this turned out so well for you!
Do we need to have the eggs and sour cream at room temperature? or is it ok straight from the fridge? I don’t want to mess it up. :)
Always they’re the most optimal at room temp, but it’s not imperative for this recipe.
Has anyone tried this with GF flour and/or poppy seeds?
Poppy seeds, yes fine.
GF flour, would depend on the type if it will work.
Yes I use Cup for Cup and it comes out quite nice…
AMAZING omg. I am so obsessed. The bread itself was perfectly sweet And with the tart glaze made it spectacular. My only complaint was how time consuming it was to get 2 tbsp of lemon zest. Other than that, I would totally recommend!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you love the bread!
Buy yourself a box grater that you’d grate cheese on. You can whip a couple lemons up and down on that thing and in 30 secs you’ll have all you need.
How long should I preheat the oven?
Until it comes up to temperature, i.e. 350F for this recipe.
Honestly one of the best cakes I have ever made. So simple and the cake came out so moist. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it is one of the best cakes you’ve ever made!
Been trying different recipes for a year now but this is the one! This is a bonafide legacy recipe, Thanks!I even used 0% Fage Greek yogurt and was a little concerned about the lack of fat but I cannot imagine it coming out any better.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this this will be a legacy recipe for you! Glad you found ‘the one’!
I made this using Truvia Sugar Blend and mini loaf pans. It turned out fantastic! So.moist and delicous! Thanks for the recipe.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this came out fantastic with Truvia and in mini loaf pans!
Great recipe if you are low in ingredients, definitely good results, but I do prefer the old fashioned pound cake with real butter, flour, eggs and sugar.I just bake this loaf using a Hobart N-50 mixer, really simple formula, I got organic lemon extract from Central Market. The mixing and baking takes about an hour all together. The loaf came with a delicious crust, much better than he real pound cake, the interior of the loaf is similar to an oil cake rather than a butter pound cake. With this lock down probably I will make a few more because I don’t have enough flour, sugar, eggs and butter to make it right.This cake tastes more like a grocery store lemon cake than a Starbucks, which I really adore. But anyway a great option as I mentioned before that you don’t have enough ingredients.
Glad you enjoy my recipe.
Made this pound cake, so easy to do and you don’t even realize that it doesn’t have lemon juice. It’s perfect! I didn’t even glaze it, cake was amazing by itself ❤️
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was amazing even without the glaze!
Hello for the light Greek yoghurt, can I use 2% fat or 0% fat? Thanks
Yes as long as they are thick and not a runnier yogurt.
I don’t normally leave reviews but I wanted to say that I made this recipe today exactly as described and it was PHENOMENAL! Incredibly easy to make and SO SO GOOD! Thank you for perfecting the recipe and sharing it with us. I’m not much of a glaze person but this one was great. Not overpowering and a perfect match for the moist cake.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was phenomenal! Thanks for taking the time to leave your review!
Can I add raspberries to this to make a lemon raspberry loaf? What do you suggest?
Yes that sounds delish! I would go with 1/2 to 3/4 cup to start with, see how that looks, and add more depending on taste prefs and how it looks (skimpy or sufficient). LMK how it goes!
I am obsessed with Starbucks Lemon Loaf so I decided to try and make it at home to save some money, I looked up recipes and came across yours! I made it today and I am so impressed at how amazing this is and how easy it was to make! Thank you for finding a way to copy it! I am now going to use your other recipes for how good everything looks!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was a success and thanks for wanting to use my other recipes, too! LMK how they go for you.
Hello, I want to try this recipe but due to my dietary restrictions I cant use lemon extract. Is there a non-alcoholic substitute I can use instead?
I am pretty sure lemon extract comes in non-alcoholic versions. Not all extracts are made with alcohol so I would find one that is non alcoholic.
Trader Joe’s has several alcohol free flavor extracts
Love lemon, I used lemon flavored Greek yogurt and my cake/loaf was GREAT. Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s a keeper.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this turned out great and that it’s a keeper!
I only have vanilla Greek yogurt, no sour cream. Will it change the flavor too much?
It will just be a bit sweeter but will be fine.
Averie, can I use Splenda instead of sugar?
I am not sure because I haven’t tried. I would say if it’s a cup-for-cup style sugar replacement, maybe. You would have to give it a whirl and see what happens.
Came out great. I think you can use half the recipe for the glaze. Way too much for this cake. Also, I used the same recipe and just substituted vanilla for the lemon and used 3 tablespoons. Came out great. Nice vanilla pound cake for people that don’t like lemon.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you tried the recipe as lemon as well as vanilla and as you said, now you have a nice vanilla pound cake recipe.
Could I make this in a bunt pan?
Just realized i don’t have a loaf pan =( can i use anything else?
8×8 pan and bake for about 25 ish minutes would be my guess. Check it closely.
Mine came out a little dry. Any suggestions? I live at a high altitude if that helps.
Cut back the flour by 2 tbsp or so, bake for slightly less time, add an extra 2 tbsp sour cream/Greek yogurt, make sure you’re using full-fat products.
Any combination of those should help with the moistness level.
I’m definitely trying this.
Apparently it’s so good, someone else might have copied it: https://recipesofholly.com/lemon-cake-recipe/
Thanks for the alert. People seem to love to steal/copy/paste my recipe, this one in particular compared to others. It’s just that good I guess :)
Do you need to use lemon zest? That looks difficult to do.
Yes, and not hard. Just grate the peel of a lemon on a box grater (finest blade) or a handheld grater. Takes 30-60 seconds total.
I cannot find lemon extract. What can I use instead please?
It is essential for this recipe and I would recommend finding it. It’s very commonly found in supermarkets next to vanilla extract. Otherwise order it on Amazon.
Thanks so much for all your effort with this as I love Starbucks lemon pound cake! I made it last night and whilst it tastes delicious (lemon flavour is spot on) the texture of my cake wasn’t quite the same…..more air holes and not as moist…..I’m not the best baker in the world, did I over stir it maybe? I’ll definitely try it again but any tips would be great! Thanks again
Ah ah ah. Such a great recipe (Quebecer here). My wife and my co workers loved it. I was already a fan of your healthy blueberries muffins. It’s amazing that almost 2 days later it was as moist as day one… I couldnt test its longetivity more because it was so good we ate it fast 😍
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was loved by all! Also glad to hear that the healthy blueberry muffins are a hit too!
If using the Greek yogurt, do you recommend vanilla or plain flavor?
If you want a little extra sweetness use vanilla, if not they go plain – up to you. Really, there’s not enough of it to really make a big flavor impact one way or the other.
Has anyone made this with poppy seeds? Would a couple of spoons of poppy seeds throw off the balance of the cake?
I haven’t personally but it’s on my to-bake list. And no, it wouldn’t throw anything off. LMK if you try it and how it goes!
Made the Lemon Cake with poppy seeds and it turned out great! Added 2 TB of poppy seeds (might be too much for some) and it added a nice crunch. Thanks for the recipe!
Glad this turned out great with poppy seeds! I have been meaning to do this myself and am going to this spring! :) Thanks for the motivation!
Tried with 2 tablespoon of poppy seed. Doesnt change taste but i didnt liked the crunch thing. Tried also with only one tablespoon of lemon extract (watkins one) and it wasnt enough lemony. Will stick to original recipe. That said my next experiment will be to use muffins mold 😁 I have also tried with 1 tbs of butterum extract and 2 tbs of lemon extract and it had a great success.
Hi Averie, What is your loaf pan size? And how many loaves does the recipe make?Thanks.
9×5, makes 1 loaf
Averie, I made this today and it turned out great. I’ve always loved the Starbucks lemon loaf. Thanks for all your work in putting this together.- John
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this turned out great for you!
Really love this recipe. Made it for the 1st time yesterday.Easy recipe.Turned out perfect, I added a little yellow food coloring, to give it that lemon color. Will make this cake for many years to come.Thank you for sharing Averie.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad to hear that you will make this for years to come!
Love!!! The family devoured the Lemon Loaf within a 24 hour time span. It came out light, fluffy and lemony. Used only 3/4 cup sugar and half the glaze and it was still sweet enough for my teenagers. Thank you for a wonderful and easy recipe.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad your family loved and devoured it!
WOW!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Averie. It is truly awesome. Licking our lips over here.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad you loved it and it turned out awesomely for you!
I just made this today and it tastes good but texture is more on the rubbery side- maybe it’s because I only had fat free Greek yogurt? Not sure. Everything I make of yours is usually amazing!! If I shouldn’t have done that, I would definitely try it again!
That definitely could have caused the difference since there is no fat and whatever they put in yogurt to make it taste good but still be fat free, that chemical probably caused an odd texture in the final result.
I made this Lemon Loaf today and it is divine! I discovered your website while searching for chicken fried rice (the best) and have been a fan ever since. Now, when I’m searching online for a recipe, I go to your site first! Thank you for the amazing recipes! BTW, your photographs are beautiful!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you found my website when you were searching for chicken fried rice and now it’s the first site you go to! That is a wonderful thing for me to hear and I appreciate it very much!! :)
And thanks for the comments on my photography! Always a work in progress so thank you!
This sounds dangerously awesome!
I haven’t made it (yet), my question is about the oil. We don’t use Canola. Has anyone substituted olive or avocado oil for the recipe?
Being the recipe was extremely extremely time consuming to perfect, once I got it exactly where I wanted it to be I have not messed with it one iota. But I do have a lemon olive oil cake that I just recently posted that is one of my all-time favorite lemon desserts and probably would even top the Starbucks loaf. Which is super high Praise!https://www.averiecooks.com/lemon-olive-oil-cake/
I made this loaf this week. It turned out great. Mine did however not have that bright lemony colour. I used very old lemon extract. It had flavour. Has new extract have more colour?
No it doesn’t have any coloring added to it, but you can add a couple drops of yellow food coloring to really give it that extra pop of color.
Yummy! This looks so easy and delicious! I was hoping to make it in my 12 cup bunt pan, are there any modifications I should make?
It will probably cook in a bit less time, that’s just a guess though, but keep an eye on it.
Oh MY!!! Delicious AND easy!! I had a lemon cake recipe that used yellow cake mix and lemon jello that I used for YEARS….no more, this one is amazing! Who doesn’t LOVE the Starbucks Lemon Cake??
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad this is your new lemon recipe!
Can I make this without lemon zest?
Yes obviously it just won’t have as much lemon punch of flavor.
THE LEMON CAKE LOOKS DELICIOUS .I WILL TRY IT AND WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT.
THANKS FOR SHARING .
Hi! Can i have the measurements in metrics please? TIA!
You can use an online converter tool and convert them on your own.
Have you tried to separate the eggs and whip the whites, folding them in a t the end? I love my lemon bread, but it’s always dense. I want it to be light and airy. I will try your recipe and separate the eggs.
No I haven’t tried that. Let me know how it goes for you!
It’s the best!
Thanks for the five star review and glad it’s the best!
This recipe really is better for than Starbuck’s! I’ve made 5 loaves for Christmas presents and gave a fresh lemon and some confectioners sugar so the recipient can make extra icing, which really adds to the deliciousness. Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous recipe!
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that you think it really IS better than Starbucks! Obviously so if you’ve made 5 loaves for Xmas presents, how nice of you! Along with a fresh lemon and confectioners sugar! Wow…I wish I had people like you giving me gifts!
I would love to make these as cupcakes! How long and what temperature do you think I should bake them for if I go that route? Thanks!!
350F, 20ish minutes, but obviously keep an eye on how they are looking!
When do I make the glaze to put on the loaf
Before you serve it.
I’m pregnant and was craving a light fluffy lemon dessert yesterday. This recipe is easy to make and delicious! I must have eaten half the loaf myself. I especially like the detailed instructions for each step, very clear and easy to understand. I’ll be keeping this recipe as a go-to!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that this hit the spot and you’re keeping the recipe as a go-to!
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve made this loaf. It is an absolute winner! Everyone I’ve ever made it for loves it. It’s so so easy as well and very forgiving. I have a question. Can this recipe be doubled or tripled?
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this is always a big winner!
I have never doubled or tripled the recipe but I know many readers have doubled it successfully.
Have some vegans in my family so made this cake exactly as is, except instead of the 3 eggs ,I used 3/4 cup applesauce. Bake time was a few mins longer but it was AMAZING!!! Thans for the yummy recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it turned out amazing with 3/4 c applesauce instead of eggs! Great to hear!
I’m not much of a baker, and I don’t think I’ve ever commented on a recipe.. but WOW! This recipe is AMAZING! It’s easy, which might be the best part, but my partner ADORES it. He gets lemon loafs all over when we are out to eat, but he always prefers this one! About to make it again for his birthday, so of course I’m here to get the recipe! Thank you averiecooks!
If you ever make a similar vegan one, I’d be in heaven!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this turned out amazing and that you’re even making it for your partner’s birthday!
Very good I will make it again with a little less lemon extract for flavor preference but the texture, sweetness, and moisture is perfect for me! I even used Splenda for my diabetic family they loved it.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you will make it again!
Honestly just a fantastic recipe. Best lemon loaf I’ve ever made. The only changes I made were adding a quarter cup less sugar and adding lemon zest to the top of the loaf after glazing. I entered this in a baking contest at a Fair and won 2nd place. There were over 18 other entries. I’d say that is proof that this recipe is oneof the best. I suggest baking in a glass loaf pan so the loaf doesn’t get too brown. I also use butter to grease the pan and lined the bottomand sides with parchment paper (almost like you would do to a cheesecake). Thanks for the great recipe! Me and my family love it and make it all the time!
Glad to hear this was fantastic and my recipe won you 2nd place out of 18+ entries!
I made this and it’s every bit delicious as you said. Loved it enough to write out the recipe for my recipe box!!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was delicious and that you are saving the recipe!
I decided to make this recipe gluten-free and it was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!!!! I used Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour and added 1/2 t. xantham gum. It was so light and spongy! You might consider doing a note on your recipe that it can be made gluten-free. Cooking time may need to be adjusted, though.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was fabulous even GF!
does 1/2 t. refer to a teaspoon or a tablespoon? I need to make this for a gluten intolerant friend tomorrow!
In baking a lowercase t is always teaspoon and a T uppercase is always tablespoon. But I don’t leave it to chance and write it out teaspoon or tablespoon in my recipes.
I tried this recipe last night and it was a hit! Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes with us.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad this was a hit for you!
Thank you!! I’ve been craving lemon everything and this cake hit the spot! It’s so deliciously moist and lemony! I brought some to work and everyone is amazed!!
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that this hit the spot and amazed your coworkers!
After tasting this at SB’s, I became obsessed with finding a recipe. Yours was the first one I came across. No need to look any further. I followed the recipe precisely, though I used only 1 tbs. extract, rather than two.. and admittedly added more glaze than your recipe required…. don’t judge, please. In any case, it was absolutely fabulous and honestly just a little bit better than the SB version. In the SB version, I tasted something that was just a tiny bit off-putting, probably preservatives, and your recipe was free of that taste. It is a winner at my house – I’m sharing it today with coworkers. I expect i”ll be making it many, many times in the future. I’d love to leave you a pic of my results, but I don’t think that’s an option here.Thank you!
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad this trumps the Starbucks version for you!
Just made this loaf while substituting with Lime instead of lemon. I also chose to put them in mini loaf pans which takes 10 min less time to cook. They turned out beautifully! The texture is silky and the flavor is perfect! I did microwave my pure lime extract to remove some of the alcohol and I cannot taste any weird aftertaste. The only thing I noticed is that this is a lighter loaf than a true pound cake and to be fair I have never had a Starbucks pound cake so I have no comparison except my lemon pound cake that has a pound of butter in it.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that lime and the mini loaves worked beautifully!
When life gives you lemons, make this amazing lemon loaf!I wanted to make something for my young daughter who was not feeling well – WOW this hit the spot.We loved it so much I made it again two days later.Great recipe and so easy, even a Dad like me can make it.I even doubled down on the lemon extract in the batter and juice in the icing.Thanks for sharing Averie!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this hit the spot for your daughter and that you made it again two days later!
The texture of the bread was great, moist and dense. The lemon flavor of the actual loaf was on the milder side, following the 2 tablespoon lemon extract on the recipe. To get a more potent lemon taste, will proabably add an additional tablespoon next time. I added half teaspoon of lemon extract for the glaze as well, which helped boost the flavor.
Glad you enjoyed the bread and all extracts do vary in their potency. Some people would find 3 tbsp way too strong but it sounds like with the kind you’re using and the flavor profile you’re looking for, that you could go for it next time.
I’ve made this cake twice now and both times it was amazing. A very moist cake and very easy to make. It was a big hit with everyone who tried it 😊
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad that it’s been a big hit with everyone and that you’ve made it twice now!
Thank you for the time and patience it took to come the outstanding results. I was a non-baker until I found this recipe in 4/2019. Now I can turn this cake out in no time at all. I’ve never had a problem. I even altered it using vanilla or almond extract and no lemon rind for a friend who doesn’t like lemon, still great results. Baking one as I type. Thanks Averie for my new undertaking.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you’ve become a baker in the past 6 months and that you can turn this loaf out in no time!
Anyone….Do you have any adjustments for high altitude over 5,000 ft? Thank you?
I personally can’t suggest much since I don’t have expertise baking at altitude but there is so much on Google about what to add, do differently, etc.
I do! Decrease your sugar to 3/4 cup, Increase your flour by 2 Tablespoons and decrease your baking powder to 1 3/4 teaspoons.
DLK… thank you for your response for high altitude…are these changes for the posted recipe for two loaves? If so, 2 cups sugar to 3/4 cup? I get the added flour, but 2T for two loaves or 4 T for two loaves? Also, two loaves only calls for 1 t baking powder? Thank you for your quick response!
The adjustments are for the recipe posted. Not a double batch. The recipe only calls for 1 cup of sugar so you decrease that to 3/4 cup. The flour is increased 2 Tablespoons for each cup of flour in the recipe.
I love this loaf! It was so delicious. Served it up to a friend who just absolutely loves anything lemon. She said it was better than hers. I actually did not have enough canola oil and I ended up using 1/4 cup of olive oil to make up the difference. Could not tell. I am directing many friends to this site.
Thanks for the five star review and glad that olive oil worked well! Thanks for sending your friend over to my site too!
Just made a double batch. The store was out of lemon extract so used orange extract instead and was amazing. Super moist and very tasty for breakfast the next morning! Second loaf goes home with me for my kids…I’m thinking orange loaf and cream cheese sandwiches one day next week for them. I know you’re not a fan of tinkering, but my orange extract was a mix of rapeseed oil and orange oil. Given that, do you think a few drops of lemon essential oil instead of extract would work, especially since there’s oil in the cake already?
Thanks for the five star review and glad that you doubled the recipe to send one home with your kids!
Given that, do you think a few drops of lemon essential oil instead of extract would work, especially since there’s oil in the cake already? = Would probably be fine but I cannot say for absolute sure.
I have made your lemon bread 5 times since discovering your recipe and someone always asks for the recipe. (In fact just took it to a gathering just yesterday, and there was not one piece left! ) I follow your ingredients exactly and used 2 tablespoons of pure lemon extract! I agree…It is so ‘lemony’ and delicious.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad this bread has been very popular and that people always ask for the recipe!
Exquisite! Made it for my young adult group at church and they adored it. So lemony and moist~
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad it was exquisite!
This smells so good, just came out of the oven and looks delicious can’t wait to try it . Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad it smells great and I’m sure it tasted just as good!
Oh it tasted delicious…its all gone, will have to make more
The lemon extract is 83% alcohol. I used four T for a double batch. The finished product had a slight alcohol aftertaste so next time I will pour the extract into a small bowl several hours prior to adding to the recipe to see if the evaporation of the alcohol in the extract will reduce the harsh alcohol aftertaste.
I also used a hand mixer on low speed for the entire recipe. Both loaves came out great.
Good thought process…I wonder if too you could gently heat the alcohol, not to the point of letting it boil, but that just the heat could denature some of the alcohol and/or soften the flavor.
And/or you could pour the whole 2 oz bottle into a kettle and actually let it come to a boil for a minute or so, and then from that use your 3-4 tbsp in the bread.
Various experiments could be done! I already experimented enough though with this recipe :)
Glad to hear both loaves came out great!
I wish i had a picture! I made this for MIL’s bday. Since Birthday warrants for cake, I set this in a 9 inch cake pan and pulled it out 10 mins earlier. I also ran out of white sugar so i had to substitute with more than half of brown sugar. Once cool i halved it from the centre (took the top off) and added the glaze as well as on the top. To please my 5 yr old, i also added sprinkles and VOILA…. This cake turned out to be DIVINE. Thank you for sharing this recipe, its quick, delicious and I will make this over again.Wonder if you have a simple orange cake recipe too?Starbucks — thanks to Averie, I will not seek you out again!
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad this turned out great as a cake! With sprinkles no less :) Glad to hear you will make it over and over again too!
Orange cake try this one, it’s AMAZING https://www.averiecooks.com/olive-oil-orange-cake/ One of these best cakes I’ve made in years. AND I recreated a lemon version that I will be posting in the coming weeks.
I have made this recipe as is for a while now and it always gets rave reviews! I was wondering if it could be made in a Bundt pan?
Glad you love it! I never have made it in a Budnt but I don’t see why not.
I will never buy Lemon Cake at Starbucks again. This cake is so easy and delicious. Thank you
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad you’ll never buy lemon cake there again!
This lemon cake is amazing! In case anyone is wondering, you can sub cup-4-cup gluten free flour with no other modifications and it’s delicious and so moist! My non-GF boyfriend couldn’t tell the difference.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that cup-4-cup worked great to make it GF with no other modifications!
Thank you for this recipe, I’ve made it twice in three days. Truly the best lemon loaf I’ve ever made or tasted- amazing flavor and texture, and way better than anything store bought! I used the zest of two Meyer lemons, McCormick pure lemon extract (the full 2 tbsp- no strange tastes) and nonfat Greek yogurt. Plus it just takes one bowl!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad this is the best lemon loaf you’ve ever made or tasted and way better than store bought! And you’ve made it 2x in 3 days, awesome!
Thanks for sharing that you used McCormick brand lemon extract and had no strange tastes. That is very valuable feedback and thanks for sharing!
Love this recipe! I grab a slice every morning on my way to work, and I’ve been remaking this every time it runs out. Thank you for this amazing recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you love this and keep making it when you run out!
I did this on Sunday, following your instructions to a T! It was… oh-la-la! I had bought the lemon loaf from Starbucks twice and it was so good I wanted to “copycat” it. I found your recipe and it’s a keeper.You’re right about the 2 TBSP lemon extract.One quick question: would adding baking soda make it a tad taller?Thank you for sharing this. Now my aunt in California is asking for it.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it turned out great!
Yes baking soda will add some lift to the height of the bread but it will also change the texture and if you read the blog post about all I went through to get this recipe perfected, I personally do not recommend tinkering around with things. Since it turned out so well for you, I would just leave things alone :)
My family gobbled it up! Now Im trying to make a dairy-free version with coconut creme and one Tbsp of lemon to imitate the sour cream.: my daughter-in-law is lactose intolerant. Wish me luck!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad your family gobbled it up!
Would lemon curd work in place of the lemon extract? Thanks!
Thank you for all the work you did to perfect this recipe. You helped me win first place in our local Fall Fair plus my lemon loaf was considered the best loaf of all the different loaves submitted! Thanks again.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad my recipe won first place and best loaf overall! That’s great to hear that my hard work is paying off :)
WOW! Your lemon loaf helps her win by people thinking itʻs her own recipe SMH!
Asking if the lemon juice in the glaze can be substituted?
It would depend entirely on what you’re subbing it for/with.
I suggest making the recipe exactly as written.
This recipe has become my go-to for kids’ breakfasts. They were eating those awful Entemann’s mini muffins, and I let them because they were easy. But then I decided that it was time to eat homemade muffins/bakery items. The lemon loaf is a huge hit. I’ve also done this as an orange loaf (which I like better), and a chocolate chip loaf, subbing in vanilla extract in place of the lemon extract. This recipe makes the perfect texture and taste!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad to hear that this is a go-to recipe for you! I bet it’s great as an orange loaf or as chocolate too!
I can’t wait to make this! Just have one question, does it have to be canola oil? Could I use sunflower oil instead??
I think that would be fine although I haven’t personally tried it.
I appreciate it’s a bit after you posted but just made it with sunflower oil and was absolutely delicious!
Thanks for the five star review and glad it was delicious with sunflower old. Older or not, this is still one of my top commented upon posts I’ve ever written!
I have cake flour. Can I use that instead of all purpose??
I have only made it with AP so cannot say for sure.
This recipe is absolutely incredible and keeps so well on the counter in an air tight container – it was at its best on day 2 and 3. I doubled the recipe and baked in 2 9X3 loaf pans. Had to increase the baking time to about 63 mins. I didn’t have any lemon zest so just used the recommended 2Tbs of lemon extract (per loaf). Amazing! Moist (but not oily), flavourful, light!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you love this loaf and made a double batch!
Excellent recipe. Very easy. Having my first slice this morning with coffee. I am a stickler when it comes to breads, pastries, pies and cakes and this Starbucks-style glazed, lemon pound cake is spot on. I intend to make many more in the future. Thank you for sharing!My only change was that instead of a “drizzle”, I applied a thicker, consistent coating of glaze (icing) over the top just like Starbucks does. Perfect!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it turned out excellent for you!
I followed the recipe exactly using 2 tablespoons lemon extract as recommended for big lemon flavor. The whole cake turned out really well! It was soooo easy to make and it really did taste like Starbucks. Certainly close enough to satisfy a craving without heading over there. Thanks for allowing me to benefit from your hard work!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad these satisfied your Starbucks craving without having to go there!
My co-workers loved this lemon loaf!. Easy to make and the amount of lemon extract was perfect! I used 2 tablespoon of real lemon extract.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad your coworkers loved the loaf! Glad that 2 tbsp real lemon extract worked perfectly.
I absolutely loved how simple this was to make, and the texture and moisture was perfect, I doubled the recipe and made it in my stand mixer, I also added blueberries. I just wish it was a bit sweeter? Has anyone added extra sugar?
Glad you loved it and made a double recipe in your stand mixer.
I would say rather than doing a lemon glaze that’s quite as tart, I would just do a powdered sugar/milk glaze.
Or you could cut back on the zest and/or extract in the cake. You will lose lemon flavor but it will be sweeter. I’d omit the zest for starters, or halve it, and see how that goes.
If I made this in a 9×9 square metal pan how long should I bake it for?
Not sure, until it’s cooked through and done.
Do you think i could follow the recipe but add frozen/fresh blueberries to it?
Yes, and I would do fresh, ~1 cup.
Is it possible to use a healthier oil, like olive oil? I made the lemon loaf and it is delicious but the vegetable oil content is a bit high.
Probably but I haven’t tested it with olive oil.
This cake with olive oil is delicious and people who’ve made it love it https://www.averiecooks.com/olive-oil-orange-cake/
Thank you. I will try the orange cake next. My daughter gobbled up the last of the lemon loaf. It was really delicious!
LMK what you think of the orange olive oil cake next!
VERY good loaf. I made it exactly per instructions. Perfect texture. I adjusted the icing a bit to make it more to my liking (a bit of butter, zest and salt) Overall a big success and exactly what I was looking for!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was exactly what you were looking for!
My grandmother, who was a baker (professional, known for wedding cakes), immediately wraps her banana nut bread tightly in foil immediately coming out of the oven. She lets it cool completely in the foil. She said this helps to keep the bread moist. My question, can this same step be done with this bread or do you recommend against? I know ingredients set up differently and I don’t want to ruin my lemon loaf.
I think that would be fine. I haven’t tested it so can’t say for sure but probably ok.
excellent in every way: simplicity, presentation (beautiful, wish i had taken a pic! !) , and most important of all – taste! i’m thinking about adding coconut next time (my husband says “don’t mess with the Volkswagen beetle!”) – but like a combo of flavors sometimes…. not a fan of blueberries (to add), never much flavor… thanks for the recipe and your information on why you use what you do… not subbing one ingredient for another when the swap seems comparable…
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad they were perfect!
Glad you appreciate my tidbits of info about why/why not to swap ingredients.
And I think addition coconut sounds great! I bet you could use coconut oil and some coconut extract to get some coconut flavor but not overpower it or change the texture by adding actual shredded coconut.
i love the way you explain why you use what you use, e. g., don’t sub lemon oil for extract, and why not to use fresh lemon juice instead of extract – thank you, very helpful! making it in the morning for sunday coffee..i’ll let you know how it turns out and will rate it then!
Glad you appreciate the details and explanation and I’m sure you’ll love the recipe!
I only had coconut oil in my house so I risked it and used coconut oil. While it turned out soft and moist, it came out very oily and the color is just off – not bright and clean. I know it must have been the coconut oil. Can you help explain why coconut oil made it turn out that way? It’s probably edible, but it looks sickly and oily. My fault. Thank you!
Coconut oil is not quite the same as other oils when baking and sometimes it makes things exceedingly oily and just doesn’t deliver the results than a canola, vegetable, etc. oil will. I am sure there is a very detailed scientific explanation you can Google for the science behind it. All I can say is that from personal experience, it cannot be subbed 1:1 for other oils in baking across the board.
I have to apologize for a poor rating. My lemon extract is expired and that’s where my failure happened.
Yes if you used an expired product all bets are off.
All extracts do vary in their potency. I have tried using less and for me, it’s not lemony enough but you could experiment and use less and see how it goes. I had to remake this loaf dozens of times before I got it right, for us.
Could I substitute zest for lemon juice?
I would make exactly as written for optimal results since this recipe was such a hard one to get just right so I would not deviate at all.
The BEST and easy, easy to make. Lemon extract difficult to find around me though. I’ve made more than ten of them!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you’ve made it more than 10 times!
Thanks for sharing this recipe, my first lemon loaf was a great success. Now I don’t need to get it from Starbucks. Your version is wayyyy better. Again, thank you.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad that you don’t need it from Starbucks anymore and that my version is way better for you!
Made this twice, reliable delicious recipe for a lemony moist loaf! Actually second time I forgot the oil completely and it’s still fabulous, will be making it this was for a low fat alternative from now on :)
That’s great to hear it still was great without the oil!
Bless your heart for working so hard on this! (The Lemon Loaf) It’s delish. So many of your recipes I’m going to try, now that I’m retired!! YAY!!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you will be trying more of my recipes! Congrats to you for being retired :0
Averie can this Lemon Loaf be frozen? I would like to make a few loaves ahead of time for a party.
Yes, no problem to freeze it.
This truly is the best lemon loaf I’ve ever had! My husband said it’s awesome too.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it’s the best lemon loaf you’ve ever had!
Further to my comment on the baking powder. Shall I reduce to just one teaspoon?
yes I’d give that a try
The first time I made this it was perfect. The second time i made it it rose really high and over the edge of the pan. I think I added too much baking powder. The third time I made it I reduced the baking powder but it still overflowed the pan. I haven’t tasted the second and third one yet.
It’s hard to say what happened but I am guessing the baking powder for sure.
Do you think in the filling, I could use lemon curd instead of the lemon extract?
I would stick with extract.
Hey This recipe looks amazing, I was just wondering though, could I use buttermilk instead of the sour cream/ yogurt?
I have tried so many ways to make this recipe before I had success if you read what I wrote in the blog post, so I am hesitant to suggest anything that deviates from the recipe as written here.
Is it possible to use gluten-free flour ?
Others have done so successfully but I personally haven’t tried it.
Never comment on recipes but I’ve used this one so many times, so good!!!!
Thanks for the five star review and glad you took the time to comment, thanks!
I was hoping to do these in small mini-loaves and freeze them with the glaze on for an upcoming bake sale. Do you feel this would work? It looks delicious! Thank you for your wonderful recipes!
Yes I know it will work. Other people have written in saying they’ve made this as mini loaves with success.
Can I make cupcakes with this recipe? Thanks!
Averie – seems this Winter I’ve discovered how much I enjoy baking again. I just made your Lemon Loaf (Better than Starbucks) this past weekend. Girl oh Girl was it a hit. My sister is already asking for the recipe and she hasn’t even tried it yet. We’re going to video chat and make it together. I’ll be sending her the recipe in a few minutes so that she can gather the ingredients up. I followed your recipe exactly and live at 5280 elevation – DENVER!!!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad you rediscovered baking and that this lemon loaf is a hit!
Also great to hear that at elevation, without any changes, the recipe works perfectly. Thanks for the info!
I have lemon oil, how much would you recommend to use instead of extract?
I don’t know.
I followed this recipe exactly. I’ve already hit 56 minutes and it’s still raw batter. I’ve set for another 4 minutes. ????
I would check your oven calibration and temperature since that doesn’t sound right. And/or did you measure all the ingredients correctly, including the flour as well as the wet ingredients?
Amazing recipe! Do you know if I can use it to bake a round cake for layering? Thanks a lot! ;)
I have never made it as a cake but I’m sure it would be fine.
This is the BEST. Followed recipe exactly. Hooked on this as my go to recipe.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad it’s your new go-to recipe!
This is a great recipe. I have made it twice and it’s turned out perfectly each time. Very easy too. Delicious!
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that you’ve made this cake twice and love it!
I would like to make this for Passover
could I use almond flour?
No I don’t think it will work out.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad it turned out delicious!
I’ m waiting for the loaf to cool. I don’t have a good loaf pan, & was worried about using a Pyrex one. It looks great & smells delish!! The foil tent is a must as I didn’t tent my mini loaf & it was dark along the edges. Can’t wait to taste!!
I hope you love it and I’m sure you will!
Pyrex is fine but lower the temp by 25 degrees F. Glass is a better conductor of heat so you must account for this. That’s more likely the reason for you browned edges.
The lemon loaf is excellent and is always the first item to disappear at our breakfast meetings. I have found that it freezes well and have made it up to two weeks before serving it
I use a different recipe for the icing which uses lemon extract, milk and powdered sugar and tends to be thicker than the drizzle. It’s all a matter of preference as the lemon loaf is usually gone before I can get a piece.
I am glad that this is always a hit for you and disappears so fast!
I would like to see ur lemon drizzle recipe. Sounds like I would want to use
I followed the recipe using 0% Greek yogurt and the full 2 tbsp. of lemon extract because why make lemon loaf that doesn’t taste like lemons? It turned out exactly as stated and has now become my go-to for lemon poundcake. So happy Avery persevered to perfect it!
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad this is your go-to lemon cake!
In the video it looks like you’re using dried lemon zest… if so how much fresh lemon zest is recommended?
It is fresh, make as indicated in the recipe.
Can I use lemon juice instead of lemon extract in the lemon loaf?
Read how much trouble I had perfecting this recipe. Then you will have the answer to that question – stick to the recipe is what I recommend.
I made this today. I used 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 white whole wheat. I also didn’t make the glaze only because I wasn’t sure how sweet the cake might be. I followed the rest of the recipe as written. I used lemon extract (which was harder to find in the grocery stores than I thought it would be) as directed. It’s delicious and would be good with the glaze but it’s great without. My whole family said “yum!”. Thanks for the recipe.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad your family loved it too!
Sounds great! Question: I don’t like baking with veg oilcan i use melted butter instead?
Read how much trouble I had perfecting this recipe. Then you will have the answer to that question – stick to the recipe is what I recommend.
Plus butter makes things much drier than oil in terms of quickbreads.
You can substitute unsweetened applesauce for the oil. I usually use half oil half applesauce depending on the recipe. A little healtier kick to boot.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad it was yummy!
What lactose free substitute could I use? We don’t have lactose free sour cream or Greek yogurt. This looks so good !
We use Fairlife lactose free while milk, a tablespoon of chobani plain yogurt and a can of condensed milk(optional) in the instant pot, whisk them together and press the yogurt button. 8 hours later you have yogurt. My lactose intolerant toddler eats it with no problem.
Can v use Nestle cream or any other option
I don’t quite understand the question…but you need either sour cream or Greek yogurt if you are referring to what dairy products are acceptable.
Do you know what changes I should make for high elevations? I’m at 5200 feet and it makes a difference. Thanks.
I really don’t because I don’t cook at altitude, but there are all kinds of websites that in general can help you navigate this. I recommend checking out the King Arthur website.
Try adding a 1/4 c. extra flour.
I absolutely love this recipe but didn’t know if I could make it in a bundt pan.
Others have done it in a Bundt successfully although I personally haven’t tried.
I would love to try this recipe but wonder if I can substitute vegetable oil for sunflower oil? I’ve never tried Starbucks lemon loaf but make lemon drizzle cake a lot as it’s my little grandson’s favourite. Is this cake similar?
The sunflower oil will probably be fine here but I haven’t tried it personally.
I just bought a slice of lemon loaf from my local bread shop and it was meh. So I’m kinda itching to bake it myself. Looking on the internet and found your recipe. I don’t have lemon extract on hand, so I use 1/3 cup of lemon juice and I rub all the zest with sugar before putting in the mixture. Turn out GREAT and smell so lemony! Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad this turned out great for you with the lemon juice!
Mine turned out to be too dense. Why? I followed the instructions precisely
Overmixing the batter after you add the flour, and/or your baking powder wasn’t perfectly fresh and working well.
This loaf is fantastic. I make it all the time and everyone raves over it. I will sometimes make it as raspberry lemon loaf by cooking down frozen raspberries with granulated sugar. I then remove off some batter to mix with the berries and spoon it into the loaf at two separate layers with regular batter in between. It tastes fantastic and adds a nice ribbon of raspberry through the loaf. Thanks again!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad you make this all the time and get rave reviews! I love your idea with the raspberries and the presentation sounds elegant!
Yep…. you nailed it!!
Thanks for the five star review and the compliments!
Okay, I have to giggle, but bear with me a moment.This very well could be the best lemon loaf, but I wouldn’t know (!). I didn’t get any!I made this (as written, no deviations) and took it to a meeting this morning. After setting it up in the kitchen, and from the very first slice taken, I heard “Oh, my God”s. When I took a break after a half hour to grab a slice for myself, I was S.O.L. IT WAS ALL GONE. It had been inhaled! As I was leaving, a member told me that she and an older gentleman agreed it’s the best cake they’ve ever had. I did manage to finger-wipe some crumbs, and it is, indeed, moist and delicious. And it smelled heavenly while it was baking. So I guess I’ll just have to make another one, huh.Thanks for an excellent recipe. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m sorry that you didn’t get any but after a half hour if it was all gone, that’s a great sign! And that’s nice to hear that an older couple said it was the best cake they’ve had!
This stuff is delicious! I substituted the lemon zest for 2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice and it turned out fine. This is definitely my new favorite recipe!
I’m glad this is your new favorite recipe and that the lemon zest did the trick!
I’m a little sceptical about making this as it has veg oil in and I always use butter. Have you tried it with butter. I’ve made so so many of these and not quite found the one, usually my cakes are too light so don’t hold their shape when sliced. I’ve made a lemon pound loaf cake today. It looks great and holds its shape but I feel the texture is not tight
Make this as written – read all the great reviews and read my post about HOW HARD I worked to get this just right. It’s perfect as written IMO and in the opinions of hundreds of others.
this was my first lemon loaf and it was perfect. only thing changed was adding zest to the glaze ( I had too much) and poking holes in the warm cake to glaze. I wanted a crusty top so poured half after 5 minutes of being out of the oven to seep into the holes and then again after 25. It was delicious and stick to your fork kind of moist.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was stick to your fork kind of moist; that is my kinda dessert!
I LOVE lemon loaf and this is the only recipe I use now. It is perfect every time and each time I serve it to others they ask for the recipe. Moist but not too moist and lovely lemony taste. I use the 2 tbs of lemon extract and follow all your instructions to the letter, just can’t see the point of messing with a good thing. I cannot vouch for how well leftovers store because I never have any.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you can appreciate not messing with a good thing :)
This recipe is spot on! It’s perfectly sweet, moist, and lemony. This recipe is slightly more dense than the Starbucks lemon loaf. I’ve made it twice now and the only alteration I made was whipping the egg whites and folding them in to the matter after incorporating the flour in order to aerate the batter it worked perfectly and my loaf was more light and delicate.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that you think the recipe is spot on!
WOW! This is so good! I had a craving for baked lemon goods and I came across this recipe! I didn’t have everything on hand. I used 1c of mayo since I had no sour cream or yogurt. Used a loose, unpacked cup of dark brown sugar because I’m super low on granulated sugar. Lastly, I only had a little less than 1T of lemon zest. Everything else was followed per the recipe. I have a gas oven and this baked at exactly 52 minutes (loosely covered during last 10 mins of baking). I used the entire 2T of lemon extract and I’m glad I did. This is delightful with tea! The glaze is so good. Thanks for sharing! When I make this again, I hope to have the exact ingredients on hand because I know it will be even better. Side note: Surprisingly, the mayo worked (reg, full fat mayo). I think the sour cream will make it slightly crumblier and drier (which is fine & desired). It’s still perfectly moist and flavorful with the substitutions I had to make though. Yuuummm.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad your improvisations worked well and happy to hear the full 2 tbsp lemon extract worked great!
First of all let me state that I am not a baker. That being said, this seems like an easy recipe, I followed it to the letter. Not very lemony – what did I do wrong?
Perhaps you didn’t measure the lemon extract correctly or the brand you used was on the weaker side.
My husband and I are both Starbucks Lemon Loaf addicts. I’ve tried many copycat recipes over the years. Most are tasty but none have been “it.” This recipe is truly IT. For the few who mentioned texture, if you’ve had Starbucks you know it is a very dense, moist texture. That’s how it is supposed to be. If you’re looking for lighter, more cake-like, the Starbucks recipe is not it. This is a fabulous recipe that I am looking forward to sharing for years to come. Thank you.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad my recipe is The One for you! I’m glad that this is IT!
Can you freeze this?
I never have personally so I can’t say for sure how it will be.
I just baked the lemon cake and it looks perfect thank you for sharing
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad the cake looks perfect!
Thank you! I followed the directions exactly and it’s perfect. My girls love it. You’re awesome!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this is perfect and your girls loved it!
Just made this still hot but smells fabulous!!!! I just added raspberries!!!!! I hope it taste as wonderful as it smells!!!!! Thank you
Had 1 question I could zest 2 lemons but did not get much zest????? What can I do next time if I don’t have lemons?????? Or much zest????😢
I would say just buy an extra lemon or so to make sure you get enough. Or possibly your zesting tool isn’t too sharp and you may want to look into that too. Raspberries sound wonderful in this!
This recipe is spot on! Much better than Starbucks! My new go to lemon loaf recipe. THANK YOU for being so kind and generous with this valuable asset to us bakers in dire need of a lemon loaf fix that’s homemade.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad much better than Starbucks for you! And thanks for the nice compliments, I appreciate it :)
This recipe looks like somehing I’ve been looking all over the internet for. My sister law makes a lovely lemon loaf butt she hasn’t had the time to give me the recipe….maybe she doesn’t want to share it with me :(
Can you help me with the gram measurements please? We don’t use cups in the UK. Is all purpose flour plain flour?