If you are a fan of the Starbucks Lemon Loaf, you are going to love this Starbucks Lemon Loaf Copycat Recipe!
Lemon is one of those flavors that I tend to not think of as often as others. The funny thing about that is that every time I have any sort of lemon dessert or dish, I am reminded of how amazingly delicious they are, and I wonder why I don’t make them more often.
I’m hoping this year I won’t forget about my love of both lemon and lime, because we planted a tree of each! Citrus (almost) grows like a weed here in Phoenix. I can’t wait to get lemons from my yard instead of the store.
Starbucks Lemon Loaf
While I’m not a big coffee drinker, I am a big fan of the Starbucks Lemon Loaf. Some people call it the Starbucks Lemon Cake or Starbucks Lemon Bread. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious.
Because my daughter can’t eat most commercially prepared baked goods due to a food allergy, I had to make a Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipe so that she could enjoy it as well.
Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake
While shaped like a lemon bread, this really is more of a lemon cake, specifically a lemon pound cake. It is the perfect balance of sweet and just the right amount of tart. This makes a fantastic spring or summer dessert.
But calling it a “loaf” means you can enjoy a slice for breakfast and no one can say anything about it. This really is the Lemon Loaf (or Cake) that keeps on giving. Whether you enjoy it with your morning coffee for breakfast or serve it as a dessert, I think you’ll agree Starbucks Lemon Loaf is amazing!
For the lively lemon flavor in this pound cake, I use lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon extract. I find this combo to create a fantastic, but not overpowering, lemon flavor in this cake. Using those three different lemon ingredients delivers the right balance of flavor and depth that makes this cake so scrumptious.
I adore my Kitchen I.Q. Better Zester, it makes zesting very easy. I use it with all of my citrus recipes. I also use a handheld juicer/squeezer for my lemon juice, I find I can get so much more juice when I use it.
This delicious lemon cake is topped with an equally scrumptious lemon glaze. Made with powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract (optional) and milk. This lemon glaze recipe is flexible. If needed you can leave out the lemon extract, or use lemon extract instead of lemon juice.
You can also make it with just lemon juice, leaving out the milk. I suggest taste testing as you mix to get it just as you like it. And to get a taste!
How to Make Moist Pound Cake
No one likes a dry crumbly lemon loaf or pound cake. This recipe for Starbucks Lemon Loaf yields slices that are moist and tender, even a day or two after baking.
What’s the secret to moist lemon cake? Sour cream. The fat content and consistency of the sour cream in the batter help lock all the moisture into this cake. The lemon glaze on top seals the deal.
Store this lemon pound cake in an airtight container to help keep it moist longer. It’ll keep well for a couple of days but in my house it never lasts that long!
Every time I have a lemon loaf around I find myself reaching for a slice in the morning, for an afternoon treat or as a post-dinner dessert. I can’t get enough of that bright lemon flavor with sweet sugared glaze.
Starbucks Lemon Loaf Copycat Recipe
Once you find out how to make Starbucks lemon cake at home, you might notice your visits to your neighborhood coffee chain decrease. (I know your barista might miss you, but your wallet will thank you.) This lemon pound cake tastes just like the one I bought from Starbucks for years.
Copycat Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- Pinch of salt optional
- 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- 2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat well to combine (mixture will be fairly dry). Add in eggs and beat until well combined. Add sour cream, vanilla and lemon extracts, lemon zest and lemon juice and beat until well combined.
- 3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- 4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix on low until combined, but do not over mix.
- 5. Pour batter into a 9x5 loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- 6. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. If loaf does not see done at 45 minutes but is browning, foil can be placed loosely over the top to allow more baking time without additional browning.
- 7. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- 8. Combine icing ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. If a thicker icing is desired, add more powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time. If a thinner icing is desired, add more milk, one teaspoon at a time.
- 9. Remove loaf from pan (it helps to run a knife around the edges first to make sure the loaf isn't sticking to the pan) and pour or spoon glaze over the top. Allow icing to set up for 20+ minutes, then slice and serve.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
CLICK HERE TO PIN THIS COPYCAT
STARBUCKS LEMON LOAF RECIPE
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! And if you love lemon recipes, pucker up, I have a few more I think you should try!
Lemon Blueberry Scones are another coffee shop favorite!
My Girl Scout Lemon Cookie copycat recipe combines a lemony, buttery cookie with a mouthwatering lemon glaze.
Lemon lovers always go crazy for my Luscious Lemon Cake.
If you are looking for a great brunch recipe for Easter or Mother’s Day, I highly suggest my Lemon Rolls.
Cupcakes more your style? No worries, I’ve got scrumptious Lemon Cupcakes for you!
Carla Flott says
Can I freeze this without the glaze and then thaw it later and ice it? My husband gave up sugar for lent
Christi Johnstone says
I think that would work just fine. I think as long as you do the glaze after, it should work just fine. Enjoy!
What kind of bread pan did you use? I have a 9×5 dark nonstick Wilton pan… My loaf is coming out so dry and hard!!! I feel like one second it’s obviously gooey and undercooked and the next it’s a brick. Another thing I noticed is that the edges are really really dark and shorter than the rest of the loaf. What could I be doing wrong?
Samantha, do you happen to have a small oven thermometer? My first though (having just dealt with it myself) is that your oven temp is off or unstable. I have a little $5 oven thermometer that I use in mine and it was shocking to see how off it was, sometimes in both directions.
Thanks for the reply! I do have a thermometer and I always check it before putting anything in the oven. However, since my oven light is bad I can’t check the temp throughout the baking time without opening the door, so I try not to do that
I’m wondering if it’s fluctuating? I would maybe try running it without something in it (or something that won’t make a big difference) so that you can check it.
What pan do you use exactly?
The recipe has butter listed, and some of the comments say that oil is added however there is no oil in the recipe.
Does this recipe call for oil?
I AM THINKING , THE BUTTER IS THE “OIL” .. I AM CURIOUS TOO.
Christi Johnstone says
Again, the recipe has changed over the years. 🙂 Stick with the current (revised) recipe.
Ed Adelman says
I’ve made this recipe twice. It tastes great but keeps falling badly in the middle. Any suggestions?
Hi Ed, a few things to consider. Some of the factors that could cause that would include the following:
A pan that is filled fairly close to the top. Bread pans come in so many sizes, that you want to make sure there is plenty of room still above the batter in your pan when you fill it.
Check the dates on any baking soda or baking powder.
Are you using a stoneware, glass or metal pan? For some stoneware and glass pans you might want to reduce your temp by 25 degrees, and extend your baking time if needed.
Make sure to not over mix the batter.
Baking time may need to be adjusted, sounds like possibly a bit longer. Unfortunately ovens can be very inaccurate, even day to day, swinging 50 degrees in either direction, as well as having warmer and cooler spots. An inexpensive oven thermometer is a great investment. I keep one in my oven to help me double check that the temp is correct.
Hopefully one of those will help you out!
Ed Adelman says
I just can’t get this to work. I have made it literally 10 times and everytime when there is about 15 mi utes left the cake falls in the middle. I’ve changed pans, refreshed baking soda, baking powder, sugar and flower. Lowered the center rack. Raised the center rack. Does the same thing every time. Lowered the temp to 325. I don’t know what else to do. I love the way it tastes but I’m so frustrated at this preptual failure.
Hi Ed, okay, did some research for you and THIS ARTICLE seems to incorporate a lot of ideas. One thing we hadn’t discussed is the mixing of dry and wet ingredients. Over mixing can absolutely cause sinking. I did also have two questions, what altitude are you at? Second, when you say it sinks, to what extent? If you notice in my photos, this is not a bread that domes, it’s fairly flat and often with a small impression in the middle, so I guess I’m trying to define what sink is.
Would it turn out the same if I were to bake it in a 9 inch cake pan?
Nia, I haven’t tried that so unfortunately I can’t speak to the results.
Would be ok if I use only butter?
Daniela, I haven’t tried it that way so I can’t speak to the results.
Hello~I tried this recipe for Christmas this year as a favorite of mine from Starbucks….I wanted to see if it could be douplicated.
Please take it from an absolute lemon cake snob…..this recipe is SPOT ON! I felt like we were enjoying the original Starbucks lemon cake without the exaggerated price point. It’s now become a new family favorite which I will be baking each year from now on!
Thank you so much!! xoxo
Renie from Long Island, NY
Renie, So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
I want to try this recipe so I wanted to know is salted or unsalted butter?
For butter go with whatever you prefer. I’ve honestly never in my life found salted butter to have enough of a salty taste to it to make a difference, but that’s *my* tastebuds.
I made this and it came out AMAZING I think next time I’m gonna cook it for 35 min cause it came out just a bit too hard but other than that everything was perfect thank you!
So glad you enjoyed it, Clairissa!
How can pound cake only have 3 Tbls butter?? Is it really worth making?
Hi Lisa, you’ve got a 1/2 a cup of oil there to give this recipe a great texture!
YUM! thanks for sharing this! i LOVE starbucks (well any coffee really lets be honest…) and lemon reminds me of SPRING! and in this -40 windchill weather up here in ND I could go for anything that reminds me of spring (or at least makes spring seem more hopeful..) thanks for sharing..those lemon rolls look pretty bomb.com too!