The Starbucks lemon loaf cake recipe is one of the best copycat recipes out there. It is made with simple ingredients and tastes even better than the real thing plus it will cost you a fraction of the price.
This is the best Starbucks lemon cake ever!
One of the most popular items at Starbucks has to be this lemon loaf. It is moist, dense, and packed with lemon flavors, and if you asked me it is one of the best things to pair with your coffee or tea (or refresher!)
Now if you are lemon lover like me, this might be one of those lemon desserts that you can have for breakfast lunch, and dinner and I can’t blame you! It has a tender yet moist crumb, a tangy lemon icing that stays pretty thick and doesn’t run down leaving the loaf bare.
The secret is to let the loaf cool down fully and use just the right amount of lemon juice, milk, and melted butter for a shiny glossy glaze that stays thick even when you slice into the cake. Without further ado, let’s make this loaf cake!
Why do you need to make this recipe?
- It tastes just like the Starbucks lemon loaf.
- This moist lemon pound cake is made with a thick lemon glaze, with no runny thin lemon glaze here.
- It is moist, thick, and packed with lemon flavors.
- This recipe will cost you a fraction of the price of what you’re used to paying at Starbucks.
- It is so easy to make requiring minimal hands-on work.
Ingredients for the best lemon loaf recipe ever!
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed ingredient list and measurements.
- Granulated sugar
- Sour cream You can use Greek yogurt as well for this.
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest- We are using a combination of lemon extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest to bring out the fresh lemon flavor even more.
- Flour- All-purpose flour works great in this recipe.
- Baking powder & baking soda
- Powdered sugar- When using powdered sugar try to aim for a brand that doesn’t add cornstarch to it to avoid that bad aftertaste. I always use trader joes powdered sugar because it has tapioca flour in there instead. (those anti-caking ingredients)
- Milk- Use any milk you have on hand to thin out the glaze a little more.
- Butter- We will use some butter to thicken the lemon glaze that goes on top of out
How to make this delicious lemon cake copycat Starbucks recipe
This is how you can make this lemon pound cake recipe. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed instructions!
- Add the sugar and the lemon zest to a large mixing bowl.
- Using your hands rub the sugar and the lemon zest together to release all the oils in the lemon and bring out that lemon flavor.
- Add in the eggs and the sour cream and whisk until combined.
- Pour the oil over it with the fresh lemon juice, lemon extract, and vanilla extract and whisk again to combine.
- Add in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until everything is well combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven.
- Allow the loaf cake to cool on a wire rack fully before topping it with the glaze.
Make the sweet lemon glaze
- In a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, milk, and melted butter.
- Whisk until fully combined.
- Pour over the cooled down
The cool thing is that this recipe can be made with a stand mixer, an electric mixer / hand mixer, or even using a whisk by hand.
Frequently asked questions – FAQ
How to store this Starbucks copycat lemon loaf cake?
Store this super moist pound cake in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up t a week. Keep in mind that if you live somewhere very warm, it would be best to keep it in the fridge to keep the glaze intact.
Can I freeze this lemon loaf?
You sure can!
Slice it then wrap each slice in plastic wrap then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the slices to thaw before enjoying them, you can either do this by letting them sit in the fridge overnight or on the countertop for a few hours.
What other oils can I use in this lemon loaf?
I used canola oil in my loaf cake but feel free to use coconut oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil or even olive oil. Just know that the olive oil will change the flavors of your loaf cake a little bit, giving more depth of flavor but making it taste a little different from the Starbucks moist lemon cake slices.
Can I double or triple this recipe?
Absolutely! You can double it or even triple it using the x2 or x3 button on the recipe card below. Just make sure that you are using two or three pans if you are increasing the measurements.
How can you get that perfect split center on top of the loaf cake?
There are a few ways to do that, the easiest way would be to run a greased knife or spatula alongside the center of the top of the loaf cake batter.
The second option which is something I have seen on Instagram and tested in one of my banana bread is to pipe a very thin amount of softened butter alongside the center to the top of the loaf cake batter. This will in turn melt as it bakes and create that beautiful split-center loaf cake.
The best copycat Starbucks lemon loaf recipe
Starbucks lemon loaf cake
- 1 & ¾ cup flour
- 1 & ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup sour cream or greek yogurt
- ½ cup oil
- 1 zest of two lemon
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 & ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon milk
- ½ tablespoon butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, rub the sugar and the lemon zest together using your fingers to allow the citrus oils to come through in the sugar.
- In a mixing bowl cream the eggs, sugar, and sour cream together until light nd fluffy.3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, ¾ cup sour cream
- Add in the oil and mix slowly. Add in the lemon zest, lemon extract, and beat to combine.½ cup oil, 1 zest of two lemon, 1 tablespoon lemon extract, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix just until combined. Do not overmix.1 & ¾ cup flour, 1 & ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the loaf pan to cool down completely before removing from the loaf pan and top it with the lemon glaze.
Make the lemon glaze
- In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar, milk, lemon juice, and melted butter and whisk to combine.1 & ¼ cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ tablespoon milk, ½ tablespoon butter
- Pour the glaze over the loaf and allow it to set. Slice and enjoy!
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