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Starbucks Lemon Loaf

Review Recipe
close up shot of slices of Starbucks Lemon Loaf topped with lemon glaze on a plate
If you like the Starbucks lemon loaf, then you will love this copycat version. This bread is moist, yet light and topped off with a sweet lemon glaze.
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Table of Contents
  1. Starbucks Lemon Loaf Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Starbucks Lemon Loaf Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This copycat Starbucks lemon loaf recipe is a moist, flavorful bread that tastes just like the original. It even includes the sweet lemon icing drizzled on the top making it the perfect baked good to enjoy with your next cup of coffee!

close up shot of Starbucks Lemon Loaf topped with lemon glaze with pieces of bread sliced on a wooden board

Starbucks Lemon Loaf Ingredients

Starbucks Lemon Loaf raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Lemon Loaf

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Lemon Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, add more until you reach desired consistency
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon milk

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

ICING: You can leave the icing off your lemon bread if you don’t want the added sweetness. You could also use store-bought icing if preferred.

SOUR CREAM: You can substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream at a 1:1 ratio if you prefer.

How To Make This Starbucks Lemon Loaf Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your loaf at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl add the eggs, sugar, and sour cream. Use an electric mixer to beat together until smooth.

Starbucks Lemon Loaf process shot of ingredients blended together in a bowl

STEP THREE: With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the vegetable oil while continuing to beat together.

STEP FOUR: Add the lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla extract then beat to combine.

PRO TIP:

If you want a more vibrant and brighter yellow, you can do that by adding in less lemon extract and increasing the zest amount for more color and flavor.

STEP FIVE: Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined.

PRO TIP:

Be careful not to overmix the batter.

Starbucks Lemon Loaf process shot of ingredients folded together in a bowl

STEP SIX: Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.

STEP SEVEN: Bake for 43 to 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

PRO TIP:

In the last 10 to 15 minutes check the top of the bread. If it is getting too browned, tent a piece of foil over the top to prevent it from browning further.

Starbucks Lemon Loaf process shot of loaf batter placed in a pan then baked

STEP EIGHT: Once the loaf is done baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the loaf pan before removing and adding the glaze.

STEP NINE: To make the icing, in a medium bowl add the powdered sugar, milk, and lemon juice. Whisk together until it is smooth and well combined.

powdered sugar, milk, and lemon juice whisked together in a bowl

STEP TEN: Evenly drizzle glaze over top of the loaf before slicing and serving.

PRO TIP:

Place bread on a wire rack before pouring the glaze on top so that any excess glaze will run through the rack rather than leaving a puddle around your bread.

Starbucks Lemon Loaf process shot lemon glazed poured on top bread

How To Serve

Lemon lovers can enjoy a slice of this citruly loaf along with a warm cup of coffee, a pumpkin spice latte, or whipped hot chocolate. If you are looking for a cold drink to enjoy this treat with, try a glass of our iced tea.

If you enjoy this delicious lemon loaf recipe, check out these other lemon quick bread recipes: lemon poppy seed bread and lemon blueberry bread.

STORAGE

ON THE COUNTER: It’s best to store leftover loaf on the countertop at room temperature for up to 5 days. We don’t recommend storing this in the fridge as it will dry it out faster.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze your moist lemon cake for up to 6 months by placing it in an airtight container, or wrapping it in plastic wrap and placing it in a freezer bag.

close up shot of Starbucks Lemon Loaf topped with lemon glaze on a wooden board

You can save yourself the trip to Starbucks now that you know how to make this delicious lemon cake at home. This is a great option to have for brunch or breakfast or even to serve as a dessert dish. This loaf cake is bursting with sweet and zesty lemon flavor. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I store this loaf?

We recommend keeping this lemon loaf on the counter rather than in the fridge where it will dry out faster.

Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil in this lemon loaf cake recipe?

Olive oil has a fairly strong taste and will affect the flavor of this loaf. We recommend sticking to vegetable oil.

Can I freeze this loaf cake?

This great recipe freezes really well. Wrap in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container and freeze for up to six months.

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close up shot of slices of Starbucks Lemon Loaf topped with lemon glaze on a plate

Starbucks Lemon Loaf

5 from 53 votes
If you like the Starbucks lemon loaf, then you will love this copycat version. This bread is moist, yet light and topped off with a sweet lemon glaze.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Lemon loaf

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large zest lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, add more until desired consistency is reached
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions
 

Lemon Loaf

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, and set it aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and sour cream. Use a hand mixer to beat together until smooth.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the oil while continuing to beat together.
  • Add the lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla extract, then beat to combine.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined, be careful not to overmix. Some lumps may still remain, and that’s okay. Don’t over-mixover mix the batter trying to get them.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 43 to 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Once the loaf is done baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the loaf pan before removing and adding the glaze.

Lemon Icing

  • In a medium mixing bowl, add powdered sugar, milk, and lemon juice. Whisk together until smooth and combined.
  • Evenly drizzle glaze over bread.
  • Slice loaf and serve.

Video

Notes

  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your loaf at the lower end of the recommended baking time.
  •  If you want a more vibrant and brighter yellow, you can do that by adding in less lemon extract and increasing the zest amount for more color and flavor.
  • Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  • In the last 10 to 15 minutes, check the top of the bread. If it is getting too browned, tent a piece of foil over the top to prevent it from browning further.
  • Place bread on a wire rack before pouring the sweet lemon glaze on top so that any excess glaze will run through the rack rather than leaving a puddle around your bread.

Nutrition

Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg
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    Comments

  1. Jennifer Patzer says

    Would love to try this recipe but I’m a bit concerned about the amount of lemon extract. 2 tablespoons???

  2. Steph says

    5 stars
    This is delicious! I just found it 2 weeks ago and have made 2 loaves already. I also was a bit hesitant to add that much extract, but trust the recipe. It’s perfect. I’m so glad to have this delicious treat now. I moved to Australia and this is one of the things I’ve missed from home that is impossible to get here. I wish I could get the frosting consistency right, but I’ll just keep at it 🙂 thanks so much for sharing this!

  3. Patricia says

    5 stars
    I made this recipe in mini muffin tins!! Awesome! I dipped the tops in the glaze, others I did a zigzag pattern with it. Love this!!

  4. Mirka says

    5 stars
    I made it for new years and my family loved it! It was very moist, almost like a cake. It has a tangy flavor and very nice taste (not too sweet).

  5. Marjorie T. says

    5 stars
    Made this to bring in the New Year. Small gathering, yet this went immediately, even with creme filled chocolate cupcakes among the offerings. Easy to make. Worked perfectly, was great to have your technique tips to ensure my success. This is a definite keeper going into 2022 and beyond. Thank You!!

  6. Gwen says

    5 stars
    Amazingly moist and so delicious! I was wondering about the 2 TBSP of lemon extract, but it’s perfect. Thanks!

  7. Jannine says

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I’ve tried close to 15 different “copycat” recipes and this is far and away the closest to the Starbucks lemon loaf. The instructions on the glaze could be a little more precise, as in saying how thick it should be, but overall this recipe is a keeper. Thank you for posting it.

  8. Jannine says

    5 stars
    I have FINALLY found a true Starbucks copy cat Lemon Loaf recipe. Thank you! I have made over a dozen “just like Starbucks” recipes and there is none closer to the “real thing” than your recipe. The texture is spot on, the lemon flavor is the correct intensity and it didn’t get too dark and crusty, like so many other recipes I have tried. I am seriously addicted to Starbucks Lemon Loaf and now that I can make it at home, I am thrilled! Thank you for an amazing recipe.

  9. Stephanie says

    If I don’t have any lemon extract on hand, can I just use lemon juice and zest? How much would you recommend?

    • Becky says

      Hi Stephanie,

      I used all of the zest and two tablespoons of the juice from 2 average sized lemons and it turned out perfect.

    • Gail says

      5 stars
      This lemon cake is so yummy and super easy.. My husband and I love this. I have one in oven now. Was thinking of pouring a small amount of fresh lemon juice over loaf right out of oven for even more lemony flavor.

  10. Becky says

    5 stars
    This is excellent and very simple to make! The only changes that I made was to use 2 average sized lemons and since I had no lemon extract I used the juice from the lemons and it was delicious! My only complaint is that I only made one loaf! Thank you for sharing the recipe, it’s a keeper!

  11. Lois Fuller says

    5 stars
    Lemon desserts are my favorite. This one will definitely go in to my recipe collection. I would definitely like icing on mine.

  12. Cathy says

    I will probably NOT add icing (even a drizzle) to this loaf.

    My husband and I really enjoy Starbucks lemon loaf and usually share a piece as an afternoon treat . . . but we almost always “peel off” the icing as we think it is just too sweet.

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

  13. Carol says

    Good recipe, I would put fresh squeezed lemon instead of lemon extract. And probably make icing less sweetening as well

  14. Shelly G says

    5 stars
    I would definitely add the icing. I’d serve it for brunch or honestly any meal as dessert or a snack at any time during the day. This would pair nicely with a nice dark French roast with a smidge of 1/2 n 1/2. Yum!

  15. Diane says

    5 stars
    I’d definitely make this for a brunch get-together. It would have the icing on it and be served with big mugs of coffee or tea.

  16. Anne-Marie K says

    5 stars
    Anything lemon to me is a win but the simplicity of this recipe makes it even easier. I like the idea of adding the icing to the loaf makes sense. The tip about using a wire rack so it doesn’t mound up is a great idea. I’d use this recipe for any meal that calls for dessert so breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, a win!

  17. Patty Tiesch says

    5 stars
    This lemon loaf is so good. Yes I served it with the icing, and coffee. A Hazelnut coffee. It came out good and so tasty. I would make it again

  18. Debbie Barnes says

    5 stars
    Love lemon flavor. The icing with the lemon is wonderful and with a cold glass of lemonade I can get my lemon fix on!!

  19. Diane says

    I can’t wait to try this. I think it would be good with or without the icing. But will be using the icing on my first one. Sounds yummy

  20. Karen Parker says

    5 stars
    this cake looks awesome. I would pair a good cup of hot coffee to this dessert. Coffee with lots of half/half and surgar. Yum

  21. Connie says

    5 stars
    Delicious! I could eat the whole thing! Definitely I would add the icing and enjoy with cup of coffee for brunch. Thank you for this recipe!

  22. Vicky says

    5 stars
    This recipe is ideal because I always have these ingredients in the house. I’m a lemon lover! Plus, icing is a must (I’m also an icing lover!) I will be bringing this to the next women’s group at church, which is a breakfast meeting. Coffee and tea will go perfect with it. I will probably have to make 2 loaves because when my husband sees it, he’ll want to dig into it for sure!

  23. Billie says

    5 stars
    I will be baking this today using juice and zest from a lemon from our Meyer Lemon tree. I think that icing this list is key to making it a delicious brunch item or dessert.

  24. Mary Winter says

    5 stars
    Yes, I would use icing. My hubby has a sweet tooth & loves icing.
    I would serve it for brunch or for dessert.
    My daughter & I would enjoy it with a nice cup of tea!

  25. Maureen says

    5 stars
    This lemon loaf bread is a top citrus bake for me. I love it with the icing. I have enjoyed this with a glass of ice tea. It would also be great with a cup of coffee or tea.

  26. Jeannette says

    5 stars
    This was very good! I had to use King Arthur gluten free all purpose flour. I would eat this for breakfast with a cup of tea and/or have another slice around 4 in the afternoon when I start getting sleepy. Thank you. I’ve never had it at Starbucks and it always looked so good! I intend on making this often for others as well as myself.

  27. Kathy Quear says

    5 stars
    I would def add the icing, It would only put the finishing touch on this awesome lemon loaf, then I would finish it off with some lemon- aid…

  28. Maureen says

    5 stars
    This recipe is exactly what I am looking for. Anything lemon attracts my attention. I love lemon anything. I put a whole lemon in my ice tea. This would absolutely go with my ice tea. Could eat this for breakfast with a cup of tea, or an afternoon snack, or for dessert. You could also have a slice before bed. In other words, it goes down good any time.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe

  29. Lynn says

    5 stars
    I would make this Starbucks Lemon Bread anytime and eat it anytime for breakfast, brunch, & between meals (ha-ha) as a snack & pick me up if I was hungry!!

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