This perfectly moist and rich lemon loaf cake is loaded with intense lemon flavor and topped with a sweet lemon glaze. This copycat Starbucks lemon loaf recipe is the TRUE definition of sweet and tart and it's absolutely delicious!
If you love this recipe then you will love my Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe!
If you're a fan of Starbucks' famous lemon loaf, you know how addictively delicious it can be and I'm right there with you. But did you know that you can make a copycat version at home that tastes just as good? With a few simple ingredients you can create a Starbucks lemon loaf recipe that's just as moist, sweet, and tangy as the original!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Use this homemade coffee ice cream as an excuse for a pick-me-up any time of the day!
- This is the creamiest and most flavorful coffee ice cream - you won't believe that no ice cream maker is needed to make it.
- Only a few ingredients needed and its comes together in minutes - then it's time to freeze!
Ingredient Notes for Starbucks Lemon Loaf Recipe
- Lemon juice: Use freshly squeezed lemons for best results for both bread and glaze.
- Buttermilk: Make your own by adding ½ tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to the ½ cup needed for this recipe. Stir well and allow to thicken for 5-10 minutes. You will typically need 1 tbs vinegar per 1 cup of milk. 🙂
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions.
Substitutions & Variations
- Blueberry Lemon Loaf: Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter for a burst of fruity flavor that pairs perfectly with the lemon. If you love lemon + blueberry together, then you'll love my Easy Lemon Blueberry Scones!
- Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf: Fold 2-3 tablespoons of poppy seeds into the batter for a crunchy texture that complements the lemony sweetness.
This recipe has not been tested with any other substitutions or variations. If you change any ingredients, I'd love to hear how it turned out in the comments below!
How to make lemon loaf cake
Step 1: Gently whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
Step 2: In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Step 3: Beat in eggs, lemon juice and zest. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk and mix well after each addition.
Step 4: Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake.
Step 5: Allow bread to cool for in pan before inverting onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
For the Lemon Glaze
- Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.
- While lemon loaf is on the wire rack, poke holes into the top of warm bread with a toothpick or other small object. Drizzle on half of the glaze and spread it around into the holes. Allow this layer to set for a minute or so before adding another layer.
Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor!
As it bakes, checking for browning is important. Cover loosely with foil if you notice the top getting too dark. The sides will brown more than you think. I sometimes do this with my banana choc chip bread, too!
When making the glaze, start with less lemon juice and add more as needed to desired consistency.
Starbucks lemon loaf will stay fresh for up to 5 days stored in an airtight container.
While I have not tested this out myself, I have had readers tell me that they have had great success using Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour! 🙂
Wrap loaf without icing tightly in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. Place in a resealable, freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To Thaw: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter. Prepare glaze and drizzle on top before serving.
More lemon recipes you'll love
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Starbucks Lemon Loaf Recipe
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tbs lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tbs lemon zest
- 1-½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- ½ cup buttermilk*
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2-4 tbs lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line the bottom of a 9x5" loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, gently whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, lemon juice and zest until combined. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk and mix well after each addition. Be sure to not over-mix.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes in 9x5" pan. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Don't be alarmed at how the outside of this ;e
- Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes in pan before inverting onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
For the lemon glaze
- Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. While lemon loaf is on the wire rack, poke holes into the top of warm bread with a toothpick or other small object. Drizzle half of the glaze on top of the bread and spread it around into the holes. Allow this layer to set for a minute or so before adding another layer on top.
The provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Accuracy is not guaranteed.