You Can Make Starbucks Lemon Loaf at Home!

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If you are a fan of the sunshiney taste of Starbucks’ iconic lemon loaf but want to skip the drive-thru line and the high price tag, you will love this recipe! Unlock the secret to a homemade version that rivals this coffee shop classic. This Starbucks copycat recipe bursts with bright lemon flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

This lemon loaf is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, with a moist crumb topped off with a delicious lemon glaze. It brings a slice of summer into your kitchen, no matter what the weather’s doing outside.

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The beauty of this copycat recipe lies in its simplicity. No fancy ingredients are required to achieve coffee shop-worthy results! You’ll likely have most of the baking staples on hand already.

The true star of the show is a fresh lemon. Its zest infuses the batter with a bright citrus aroma, while the juice adds a delightful tang that cuts through the sweetness perfectly. It’s all you need to unlock sunshine-flavored perfection in your own kitchen.

Keep reading to learn how to create the ultimate lemon loaf. From serving ideas to all my best tips and tricks, you will learn what you need to know to make this tasty treat. And remember, when life gives you lemons, make lemon loaf!

Looking for more lemon desserts? Try frosted lemonade, mini lemon Bundt cakes, or homemade lemon curd.

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🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Lemon: For the best lemony flavor, zest and juice a lemon. In a pinch, you can skip the lemon zest and use store-bought juice.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter: Soften this to room temperature before starting.
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Lemon extract
  • Sour cream
  • Powdered sugar: This is optional and is used to make a sweet glaze.
Ingredients for a lemon loaf on a marble table.

🥣How to Make Lemon Loaf

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat your loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Then zest and juice your lemon.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set the flour mixture aside—we’ll come back to it in a minute.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. You’re aiming for light and fluffy batter. Crack the eggs in, one by one, and mix each one in.
  4. Add the lemon extract, zest, juice, and sour cream. Beat it all together, and it will transform into a batter that smells like a lemon grove in summer.
  5. Stir the dry ingredients into the lemon batter. Be sure not to over-mix.
  6. Spread the batter into your prepared loaf pan and slide it into the oven for an hour.
  7. Once a toothpick comes out clean, let your lemon loaf cool in the pan and then remove it.
  8. Make a simple lemon glaze by mixing powdered sugar and lemon juice and drizzling it over the top.
A white bowl with an egg in it.
Mix the wet ingredients.
A white bowl filled with flour on a yellow checkered tablecloth.
Combine the dry and wet ingredients.
A yellow cake in a pan on top of a yellow checkered tablecloth.
Spread the batter into the loaf pan.

🍴Serving Ideas

This loaf’s fresh lemon flavor pairs beautifully with a variety of foods. For a brunch or a picnic that’ll have everyone buzzing, slice it up and serve it alongside a fresh fruit salad, or layer it with yogurt and berries in a mason jar.

Want to impress at tea time? Cut delicate slices and arrange them on a pretty platter with a selection of teas – Earl Grey and this lemony delight are a match made in heaven. Or serve it with a latte, just like you are at Starbucks.

If you’re feeling indulgent, turn your loaf into a dessert fit for any dinner party. A dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh berries on top, and you’ve got a simple yet elegant sweet treat.

Or, get creative and use it as the base for a blueberry trifle, layering chunks of the lemon loaf with lemon curd, whipped mascarpone, fresh berries, and a scatter of toasted almonds for crunch.

A slice of lemon loaf on a plate next to a glass of milk.

💭How to Store

If you plan to enjoy it within a day or two (and who could blame you?), cover it with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container at room temperature. The key is to keep air out so your loaf stays moist and tender.

For more extended storage, wrap individual slices or the whole loaf in plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil, and tuck it into the fridge. It’ll stay flavorful for up to a week.

You can also freeze it for those times when only a citrusy snack will do. Wrap it as you would for the fridge, label it with the date, and put it in the freezer. When the craving strikes, let it thaw at room temperature or give it a quick warm-up in the oven or microwave.

A slice of lemon loaf on a cutting board.

⭐Tips

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • When zesting your lemons, only zest the bright yellow skin, not the bitter white pith underneath. Always zest before juicing; it’s way easier, and you won’t end up wrestling with a squishy lemon.
  • Softened butter is your friend here. If you’re like me and forget to take it out of the fridge ahead of time, grating the cold butter is a quick cheat—it’ll soften in no time.
  • Creaming the butter and sugar isn’t just a suggestion; it’s the secret to a fluffy loaf. Beat them together until they’re pale and fluffy.
  • A gentle hand is vital when mixing your dry ingredients into the wet. Overmixing will make the loaf tough instead of light and tender.
  • Make this bread even sweeter by stirring in a cup of frozen blueberries for fantastic color and flavor.

📝Reader Questions

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh?

You could, but fresh lemon juice is best. Bottled juice lacks the bright flavor and punch that the fresh stuff brings. Plus, you need that zest for the full lemon effect! But if it is all you have, use it.

My loaf is browning too quickly. What do I do?

Simply tent your loaf with aluminum foil partway through baking to protect it from getting too dark while the inside finishes cooking.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes. Swap out the all-purpose flour for your favorite gluten-free flour blend. Just keep an eye on the texture; you might need a touch more liquid.

How do I know when my lemon loaf is done?

The classic toothpick test won’t steer you wrong. Insert it into the thickest part of the loaf; it’s done if it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.

Can I add poppy seeds to this recipe?

Absolutely! If you’re a fan of the lemon-poppy seed combo, go ahead and add a tablespoon or so to the batter. It’ll add a nice little crunch and make your loaf even more special.

⭐Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

A slice of lemon loaf on a cutting board.
4.50 from 4 votes

Lemon Loaf Recipe

Published By Anne
Skip the line and bake your own Starbucks-worthy lemon loaf! This easy recipe uses simple ingredients and a secret weapon: fresh lemon. Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or dessert!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 9
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Ingredients
 

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Zest and juice the lemon to obtain one tablespoon of zest and two tablespoons of juice. Set 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice aside for the glaze.
    1 lemon
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    1 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
    1/2 cup butter, 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
    3 eggs
  • Add the lemon extract, zest, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and sour cream. Beat to mix.
    1 teaspoon lemon extract, 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the loaf to cool completely in the pan, then remove.
  • Make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar and lemon juice, which you set aside in step 2, until smooth. Spread the glaze over the top of the loaf and allow it to set and harden before slicing.
    1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Notes

  • If you don’t have a fresh lemon, you can eliminate the lemon zest and use bottled lemon juice.
  • Always zest your lemon before juicing; it’s way easier, and you won’t end up wrestling with a squishy lemon.
  • When mixing your dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, be sure not to overmix. Stir until the flour is just mixed in.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 10g | Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 477IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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A slice of lemon loaf on a cutting board.
anne

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

1 thought on “You Can Make Starbucks Lemon Loaf at Home!”

  1. 5 stars
    Husband buys alot of lemons and some go to waste and i always cut bad parts for cooking/drinking or for cleaning sink/pans, as i don’t want to waste such “valuable” lemons.

    Reply

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