No need to run out to Starbucks to enjoy a thick slice of their famous frosted lemon loaf. This scrumptious lemon loaf cake is perfectly moist and tender and topped with a delicious lemon glaze.
Super Moist Lemon Loaf
Step aside Starbucks, there’s a new sheriff in town. If you’ve ever sunk your teeth into the tender, moist, frosted lemon loaf from Starbucks you can understand my obsession with this lemon loaf. It’s super soft, slightly dense, and topped with the most delightfully tart lemon glaze. You’re going to love it.
What is the Starbucks lemon loaf?
Are you even living if you’ve never had the Starbucks’s lemon loaf? I think not. And now you can make a scrumptious lemon loaf cake from your house. No need to run out to the coffee shop and I think we can all agree that homemade desserts tend to taste better and fresher than anything store bought.
The Starbucks lemon loaf contains the following ingredients:
But, don’t worry–we’re going to make it with way less ingredients. And you’ll be able to pronounce them all 🙂
What ingredients do you need for the this lemon loaf
I love this lemon loaf cake recipe because it comes together quickly, with simple ingredients. Plus it’s made in bowl – no mixer required – and bakes up into a beautiful lemon loaf in under an hour. Even better? It stays moist and tender for up to 7 days or freezes well for up to a month!
So, like… you basically have to make it. Here’s your shopping list:
Lemons: You’ll need fresh lemons to keep this bread light, zingy and fresh. You’ll need both lemon zest and juice!
Butter: We tested this lemon loaf with both vegetable oil and melted butter, so feel free to use whichever you prefer! We found vegetable oil gave the loaf a slightly silkier crumb, but you can’t beat the buttery flavor you get from butter!
Sugar: Granulated sugar will keep your lemon loaf sweet enough to eat as an after dinner treat, but not so sweet that it feels wrong to eat for breakfast.
Eggs: You’ll need two eggs to give your bread the perfect amount of structure without being too cakey or too bready.
Flour: All purpose flour will provide the majority of the soft crumb in your lemon poppyseed treat.
Baking Powder: Baking powder is a stable leavener that will provide an even rise for your moist lemon loaf.
Sour Cream: Sour cream will keep your lemon poppy seed loaf uber moist and tender. You can also free to sub this out for greek yogurt for a lighter option.
Milk: You can always omit the milk and sub it out for sour cream if you don’t have any on hand, but we found a combination of the two created the perfect texture that was dense, but not too dense.
How to zest a lemon:
Don’t sleep on the lemon zest! Lemon zest will provide just as much lemon flavor as the lemon juice, so it’s important not to skip out on it in your lemon poppyseed loaf.
So, how do you zest a lemon? No, it is NOT a stupid question! It’s actual super, super simple. Just wash your fruit and whip out your zester. If you don’t have a zester I would highly recommend investing in one, but you can also use a microplane. In desperate times I have even used a fine cheese grater and it does the trick. Hold the zester at an angle and pull your lemon across until you reach the white of the rind. Rotate your lemon, repeating until you’ve gone all the way around your fruit. All of the zest will gather on the back side, where you can just scrape it into your batter!
Other lemon recipes we love for citrus season!
I love to buy lemons in bulk, especially during citrus season when they’re so juicy and flavorful! If you’re looking to use up some more lemons, might I suggest these other delicious lemon recipes!
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 1 lb loaf pan with parchment paper or grease well. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the sugar and the lemon zest together. This will help the zest to release and infuse the sugar with lemon flavor.
Add the melted butter to the sugar and mix well. Add the vanilla extract and the eggs in, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
Add the sour cream, milk and lemon juice. Mix to combine.
Add the all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean.
Make the lemon glaze while the bread cools. Combine all the ingredients for the lemon icing in a bowl and whisk together. If the glaze seems too thick, add in an additional teaspoon of milk until it reaches a drip-able consistency.
Once the bread is cool, remove from the pan and pour the glaze over the bread, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let the glaze sit for a few minutes to set before slicing and enjoying!
Leave a comment and rate this recipe!
10/10!! This was sooo delicious and VERY hard to eat just one slice haha! I made some subs for it to be *undetectably* gf + vegan (coconut sugar, justegg, miyoko’s vegan butter, Trader Joe’s cashew coconut yogurt for the sour cream, gf all purpose flour + oat flour, and organic powdered sugar), and I didn’t have to add the milk because of the moisture from the coconut sugar— will be making this a lot(: thank you thank you for this recipe!!
So happy you enjoyed this and that the substitutions worked for you!
Hello! I just made this recipe and it was delicious!! We couldn’t even wait for the loaf to completely cool down! I was wondering if we could make this same recipe but with oranges instead?
Made this today but had to sub out for GF & DF, still absolutely amazing!! Cannot wait to make it true to the recipe. Thank you so much for this xx
Thanks for sharing this recipe! It is so delicious! I’ve made it 3 times in the past few weeks & my family gobbles it up every time!!
YUM! So happy you and your family enjoy this!
This recipe turned out wonderfully. Easy to make and such a delicious flavor!