We are living in crazy times right now, and when life hands you lemons, make a lemon loaf! Better yet, make a Starbucks inspired copy cat lemon loaf with lemon glaze. That's right, you guessed it... this lemon loaf tastes just like the one that love so much at Starbucks. So now, you can have a taste of Starbucks from the comfort of your own home! And I am not just saying that, I literally can't even taste the difference.
This cake is super moist, dense, and has the perfect sponginess to it. It's packed with lemon flavour, and has the perfect balance between sweet and tangy. Plus, you can't beat the extra pop of flavour from the lemon drizzle on top. So so good!
Lemon Loaf Ingredients
To make a Starbucks-copy cake lemon loaf cake, you will need to gather these ingredients:
- all-purpose flour - adds substance
- baking powder - adds lift
- salt - adds flavour
- eggs - adds flavour, lift and structure
- Greek yogurt - keeps the cake moist
- sugar - adds flavour and texture
- vegetable oil - keeps the cake moist
- lemon extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice - adds flavour
How to Make Super Moist Lemon Loaf
Making a lemon loaf is a lot easier than you think.
- First, you simply combine eggs, yogurt, and sugar and beat together until smooth. Then add in oil, lemon extract, lemon zest and lemon juice and continue to beat until smooth.
- Next, gradually add in your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt), and beat for about 30-60 seconds until just combined. You have to be careful to not overmix. The batter will have some lumps and that is okay!
- Lastly, pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes in a 350 F oven. Remove from the oven, place pan on a wire rack and allow it to cool in the pan for an hour. Then remove from the pan and allow it to cool for another 1-2 hours on the wire rack, until completely cooled.
The Secret to Super Moist Lemon Cake
It's the yogurt. Adding Greek yogurt to the cake batter keeps the cake extra moist. Yogurt is also a really good source of fat, and I mean the good fat, the kind that your body and brain need to function.
How to Make Lemon Glaze
Making lemon glaze is really simple. All you need is lemon juice and confectioners' sugar (icing sugar). You slowly add the lemon juice to the sugar and stir until smooth and desired consistency is reached. The consistency that we are looking for is thick but can still easily be poured. So if your icing is too runny, simply add more sugar. If it is too thick, add some more lemon juice, until you get it just right.
How to Store Lemon Loaf
Lemon loaf cake is best stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, and consumed within 2-3 days. It stays moist and fresh for days. To store longer than 3 days, wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Note that when stored in the fridge, the loaf will dry out slightly and it will not retain the same level of moistness as when stored at room temperature. Thus why room temperature is recommended.
You can also freeze lemon loaf for up to 3 months, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
This loaf is a huge hit in our home and never lasts more than two days. The worst part is that my husband is not a big lemon guy so he barely has any. It's basically all me... stuffing my face... for a full two days... Don't just please, I can't help it!
Lemon loaf goes especially well if you are huddled up under a blanket on your couch reading a good book or entertaining guests after a dinner party. You may need to just brew up a nice, warm pot of tea to go along with it.
More Copycat Recipes
Craving to make some other restaurant favourites. Check out some of my other copycat recipes:
- Szechuan Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Mayo (Cactus Club Copycat)
- Baked Mashed Potato Spring Rolls (Joey Copycat)
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.
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The Best Lemon Loaf with Lemon Glaze
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 1 loaf
- Diet: Vegetarian
Inspired by Starbucks lemon loaf, this moist, homemade lemon loaf with lemon glaze has the perfect balance between sweet and tangy, and so so flavourful.
For the lemon loaf:
- 1 + ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (or zest from 1 large lemon)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly-squeezed
For the glaze:
- ½ cup icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, and sugar, and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Add in oil, lemon extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice and continue to beat until smooth.
- Gradually add in the dry ingredients and beat until just combined (about 30-60 seconds). Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan, and bake for 50 mins. Check that it is done with a toothpick.
- Place pan on a wire rack and allow the loaf to cool in the pan for an hour. Then, remove loaf from the pan and allow it to cool on a wire rack for another 1-2 hours, until completely cooled.
- In a small bowl, add the icing sugar. Slowly add in the lemon juice and continually stir until smooth and desired consistency is achieved. The icing should be thick but can still be poured. If the icing is too runny, add more sugar. If it is too thick, add some more lemon juice.
- Evenly drizzle glaze over the lemon loaf and allow it to set and dry before slicing the loaf.
How to store: Lemon loaf cake is best stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, and consumed within 2-3 days. It stays moist and fresh for days. To store longer than 3 days, wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Note that when stored in the fridge, the loaf will dry out slightly and it will not retain the same level of moistness as when stored at room temperature. Thus why room temperature is recommended.
How to freeze: You can also freeze lemon loaf for up to 3 months, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: lemon loaf, lemon pound cake, lemon cake, starbucks lemon loaf, easy lemon cake
This recipe was originally published in December 2015 (my first month of blogging). It has been completely updated with new photographs and content.
We’ve used this a few times and it’s always tasted amazing!
I only have fat free Greek yogurt in today, would that work instead?
Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme says
Yes that will absolutely work! Enjoy!
I would really like to make this during the COVID quarantine but I don't currently have plain yogurt. Would sour cream do the same thing? If not I'm considering using vanilla yogurt.
Sam | Ahead of Thyme says
Yes, sour cream should work really well. I wouldn't recommend using vanilla yogurt, unless it's a vanilla Greek yogurt. It you use it, expect a change in the taste of the cake.
Divine recipe! My modifications: subbed in whole wheat AP flour and cut the sugar from 3/4c to 1/2c and still tastes absolutely amazing. Can't wait to bring this to my team tomorrow morning. Thank you for the recipe!
Sam | Ahead of Thyme says
Amazing! So glad you loved the recipe! 🙂
This recipe was super easy to do, and so very tasty. I enter a loaf in my local fair and not only won 1st place, but Best in Category. Will definitely make again.
Sam | Ahead of Thyme says
Wow, that is awesome! Congrats! 🙂
I really would like to make this but before I do, I wanted to make sure the measurements are correct. So, 2 tablespoons of lemon extract, and only 1/4 tsp on lemon juice? Is this correct, or should that be reversed? Thanks in advance for clarification.
Sam | Ahead of Thyme says
Yes, the measurements as listed in the recipe are correct. Enjoy! 🙂