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!
Yesterday I made this glazed lemon dessert and it is absolutely superb. It goes straight to my favorite cake list. Extraordinary. Thank you very much!!!!
I made the Starbucks lemon loaf it was very delicious 😋
Neha Anand says
What can be used as a substitution of sour cream in the lemon cake recipe?
Christi Johnstone says
Neha, I’ve only made it as written, but you could try full fat Greek yogurt.
Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe, can I ask why the oven is heated at a higher temperature and then reduced when the cake goes in ?
Also I wondered if you had the measurements in grams as I’m in the UK.
Christi Johnstone says
I’m afraid I don’t have grams as I never use them. The initial blast of higher heat helps with the rise.
The batter was so good I didn’t want to put in in the oven!
Great recipe. As some other comments mentioned, I would recommend baking for 30-35 mins instead of 45.
I cut about 25% of the sugar according to my taste, so I used a 3/4 cup instead of a full cup in both the cake and the glaze. I also prefer a stronger lemon flavour so I increased the amount of lemon zest in both. It was still perfectly sweet. If you’re looking to cut sugar from your recipes, you definitely can with this one! I also made this is in quarantine and didn’t have sour cream, lemon extract, or vanilla extract on hand. So I substituted with greek yogurt and lemon zest, and just went without the vanilla. It still turned out perfectly!
Holly Shilling says
Turned out a perfect loaf! Great recipe!
Wow!!! This really does taste exactly like Starbucks! Was super easy to make and your instructions are so helpful. Little tip for those reading: definitely put more powdered sugar in the glaze so it’s nice and thick like Starbucks. Also, I didn’t have lemon extract so I just used a combo of more juice & zest and it worked (just be super careful with that)!!!
Better than Starbucks! This is a great recipe
Delicious! Easy recipe with great results. Everyone in my family of 6 loved this. When life hands me lemons, I’m going to make this recipe!