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If you love lemon desserts – then you need to try this Starbucks Copycat Lemon Loaf! It’s buttery, moist, bursting with lemon flavor, and topped with sweet lemon glaze!

Slices of Starbucks copycat lemon loaf on a plate.

This lemon loaf tops the list of favorite lemon desserts, along with Lemon Pound Cake and Lemon Blueberry Muffins.

Starbucks Famous Lemon Loaf

Have you ever tried the lemon loaf from Starbucks? As much as I love homemade treats, I can’t turn down a slice of their lemon pound cake. It’s so tender and packed so much lemon flavor in every single bite.

When I was a student, I’d go to Starbucks on a Sunday to do homework. And without a doubt – I’d always order a slice of their lemon loaf. It has the perfect balance of delicious butteriness without being greasy, and the lemon flavor packs a punch without being sour whatsoever.

So I wanted to find the perfect Starbucks copycat lemon loaf recipe so that I could make a delicious lemon loaf at home and eat 3 slices without the embarrassment of ordering all 3 from the Barista.

Starbucks copycat lemon loaf with sweet lemon glaze.

Starbucks Copycat Lemon Loaf Recipe

To develop the perfect lemon loaf from scratch – I had to do some sleuthing. I first looked at the Starbucks website to see the ingredient list for their lemon loaf. While there’s a ton of ingredients I didn’t understand that are obviously only used in commercial kitchens, I did learn a lot about the ingredients they use.

  1. They use butter instead of oil for the fat.
  2. They’re using lemon juice, lemon peel and lemon oil for the lemon flavor.
  3. Both baking powder & baking soda to help it rise beautifully.
  4. There’s sour cream to keep it moist.

So in order to get a recipe that’s close as possible to the original – I wanted to make sure I had those ingredients in my recipe too. Obviously, they don’t show the exact proportions on their website, so from there it was time to start experimenting in the kitchen.

A freshly cut Starbucks lemon loaf with sweet lemon icing.

Developing the Perfect Lemon Loaf Recipe

The first lemon loaf recipe I tried was too dry – so I knew I needed a little more sour cream and an extra egg to keep it tender and moist. Then the next one wasn’t quite lemony enough. Finally, number 3 was just right. Tender, moist, and bursting with fresh sunshine lemon flavor.

To get a lemon flavor that was the most similar to the Starbucks version, I used lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon extract. I found that the lemon extract made the flavor the most similar to the Starbucks version. However – I know it’s a little harder to come by. So feel free to leave the lemon extract out. Your lemon loaf will still be delicious.

Whether you’ve tried the lemon loaf from Starbucks or not – you definitely need to try Starbucks copycat lemon loaf recipe. It’s perfect for breakfast, a midmorning snack, or even dessert. And the bright lemon flavor makes it taste like sunshine in delicious pound cake form.

Top Tips

  • We have received a lot of comments in regards to the icing. The proportions in the recipe include a note to add more powdered sugar as needed until you have a nice thick consistency. This can vary from kitchen to kitchen depending on personal preference, and what type of milk you use. I’ve updated the recipe with less liquid to start for the icing, but keep in mind that you may have to play around with it to get a flavor and texture that you love.
  • Check for browning as it bakes. If the top is getting too brown, cover with foil.
  • If you want more lemon flavor in the bread and the icing, use lemon extract along with the lemon juice. The flavor will be more intense. It can however have a “fake” taste so be cautious using too much.

Store and Freezing

Your Lemon Loaf will remain fresh for up to 5-6 days when properly stored, or up to 6 months in the freezer.

  • Store leftover Lemon Loaf in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. Do not refrigerate as this can dry out the cake.
  • For long term storage, you can freeze the Lemon Loaf and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Place frosted lemon loaf (whole or slices) on a sheet pan and pop it into the freezer for 2-3 hours. Once it’s frozen, wrap it up in plastic wrap and a layer of foil, then into an airtight freezer container. Unfrosted lemon loaf you can just wrap and freeze.
A slice of moist Starbucks lemon loaf on a plate.

More Lemon Desserts

Lovely Lemon Recipes

Sweet lemon bread, sliced, with lemon glaze.

Starbucks Copycat Lemon Loaf

4.73 from 415 votes
If you love the lemon desserts – then you need to try this Starbucks Copycat Lemon Loaf! It’s buttery, moist, bursting with lemon flavor, and topped with sweet lemon glaze.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 slices


Lemon Loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted and at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract* or add additional ½ tablespoon of lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk

Lemon Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar add more until desired consistency is reached
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons cream or milk adjust as needed for consistency


Lemon Loaf

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour an 9×5-inch loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.
  • In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together. Set aside. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, with a electric mixer on medium speed, mix the granulated sugar and the eggs for 2 minutes. The extra time helps to incorporate air into the batter which makes the bread more fluffy.
  • Add the melted butter and the oil. Mix to incorporate.
  • Add the vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are combined.
  • Add in the sour cream and mix well. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet, approximately ⅓ of the mixture. Mix until almost incorporated and add more. Continue until all the flour is incorporated in the wet mixture. Don’t over mix. Sometimes I will use my hand mixture but finish with a spatula when I only have a little bit of dry flour left.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the top feels firm to the touch. If after about 30-40 minutes the top is browning too much, tent a piece of aluminum foil over top and continue baking.
  • Cool completely. Once the loaf is cool, prepare your glaze by mixing all ingredients together

Lemon Icing

  • In a medium bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and cream/milk until smooth. Add in more powdered sugar or cream as needed for desired consistency.
  • Remove the cooled loaf from the pan and drizzle or pour over top. 


  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. 
  • Melt butter in the microwave then let it cool for a few minutes before adding to the batter. 
  • The original recipe used buttermilk, but I adjusted and now use sour cream instead. It provides more moisture, preventing the bread from turning out dry. 
  • This recipe uses a 9×5-inch loaf pan. The size is important! You can use an 8×4-inch pan, but will need to adjust the time and temperature. It would also result in a thicker loaf and you risk losing moisture.
  • This recipe was updated in May 2022 when we adjusted a few ingredients and swapped out buttermilk for sour cream, reduced the butter and added oil. This adds more moisture to the bread.
  • If you preferred the old recipe – use ½ cup buttermilk instead of sour cream, omit the oil and add an additional ¼ cup of melted butter, and reduce the amount of baking powder and vanilla to ½ teaspoon each. Bake in an 8.5×4.5 loaf pan. 


Calories: 398kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 5gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 139mgPotassium: 131mgFiber: 1gSugar: 41gVitamin A: 537IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 1mg
Keyword lemon loaf


Fiona blogs over at Just So Tasty where she shares easy, classic recipes for desserts & sweet treats. A peanut butter lover, chocolate connoisseur, and sprinkle addict - she hopes to make your life sweeter, one cookie at a time. She also teaches yoga, because life is all about balance.

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  1. It’s so good!!!! And not hard to do. My son wanted a lemon loaf from Starbucks I said I could make one!!! Without knowing if I really could..:) but with your recipe I NAILED IT!!! Thank you very much

  2. This came out dense and dry. The flavor was OK but I felt like it could have been more lemony, rich and buttery. I guess I’d recommend more lemon zest and sour cream or oil in the batter?

  3. I love, love, love the Copycat Starbucks Lemon loaf! It is delicious. My only comment is – how do they get the icing to form a thick white frosting on top and, even though I added extra powdered sugar to thicken it, the frosting still ran off. I even poured it over the cooled loaf in the pan! Definitely making this again – a lot!!

    1. To get the icing really thick, you could try adding it in stages/layers. Pour some icing on the cooled loaf, let it set for an hour, then another layer, and so on. This has worked for some people if the icing is too thin.

  4. Delightful! I made this into cupcakes, added 1/4 cup plain yogurt, and baked for 25 minutes. Sometimes I’ll add 1.5 tablespoons of poppyseeds as well. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I have now made this lemon loaf five times and have to say it’s better than the Starbucks. Everyone loves it and raves about it also so easy to make. Will keep making it thanks for receipe!!!

  6. Oh wow! I love, love, love Starbucks Lemon Loaf so I was excited to try this recipe. I followed it to the letter and I’m thrilled to say it was perfect! There isn’t one thing I would change! Thanks so much, this has now become my go to for every occasion.

  7. My household is dairy free. Can you substitute regular sour cream for a plant based sour cream. As well substitute milk for coconut milk. Love to try this recipe.

    1. That’s a personal preference and since I don’t cook dairy free, I haven’t tried a dairy free sour cream or coconut milk so I’m not sure how the substitutions would work.

  8. I have made this lemon loaf twice now and both times came out perfect. The taste is amazing and not difficult to make at all. A huge success and will continue to make it. I love it.

  9. This recipe does produce a nice lemony loaf but, it’s not quite as dense as Starbucks; however, it’s still a keeper. I did follow the recipe exactly using the sour cream. I had a 8.5 X 4.5 loaf pan, so I made a cupcake to sample because the loaf is intended for brunch. The cupcake was delicious and had a nice crispy top.

    1. I have not made this loaf yet and I’ve also never had Starbucks’s lemon loaf, but if what you’re saying is true about the density, you could try using bread flour instead of AP flour!

  10. Great recipe. Just wanted to ask when you say melted butter do you mean actually melted into a liquid/oil form or melted like soft to the touch? Thanks

    1. Melted to a liquid form. Soft to the touch would typically be labeled “softened” or “room temperature.”

  11. I was disappointed with this recipe. I didn’t think it tasted like the Starbucks lemon loaf pound cake at all and it was also extremely dry. I followed the recipe exactly and used the same ingredients, yet it was so dry that I didn’t even want to eat it.

  12. I’m sure this is a wonderful recipe, but there’s so many pop-up ads I get too frustrated to read your instructions. So I’ll move on. If more people would do g this, perhaps the ads will not be so obnoxious.

  13. Hi..what would the baking time be for the 8×4 size loaf pan? I’m excited to make this!

  14. This is undeniably THE best lemon loaf. I am addicted to the amazing lemony taste. The people I have given it to think it is better than Starbucks. I have substituted flax eggs for chicken eggs as I have an egg allergy and it is so moist and delicious

  15. I doubled the recipe, adding more lemon zest and lemon juice. Baked on convection for 50 minutes in 2 9/5 loaf pans. They turned out beautifully, will definitely make them again, a keeper

  16. I made it today. Absolutely mind-blowingly good!! So delicious, moist and the flavor incredibly outstanding. My husband was thrilled. Thank you!

  17. Here is my feedback. I made the recipe exactly how it was written (I always do that with every recipe) and today I made it again and did some tweaks on it and it came out absolutely incredible. My daughter said, “mom, Starbucks has nothing on you, this is better”. Best compliment.
    Here is what I did…. I like my loaf to be taller, so I did a recipe and a half for my 9×5 pan. I also doubled just the sour cream. I used lemon oil instead of the extract, I do not like the fake taste lemon extract has. And for the glaze, I made it really thick and I put 1/2 of it when it was still kinda warm and the other half I thinned out a bit and poured over when the loaf was cooled off. That way I got that perfect glaze thickness and looked perfect.
    But all together, its an amazing recipe and a keeper for sure. Thank you Fiona!!!

  18. followed the recipe exactly and middle caved in, it was super dry and didn’t really taste like lemons. still tasted good though.

  19. I made this lemon loaf and made sure to measure the pan to ensure it was the right size. Also, I measured the ingredients exactly only to have it explode out over the pan all over the bottom of my oven and racks. Not impressed.

  20. I have made this delicious recipe many times using the sour cream.
    Today I had some buttermilk to use up.
    I still like the loaf but was worried as It didn’t rise the same as when baked with the sour cream. It did taste as delicious.
    Whenever I make it I always share it and the recipients always want the recipe.

  21. This recipe was great! But the only complaint I had was with the way it cooked was a bit odd I would recommend dividing up the batter into two pans or just cooking with the tin foil on it the whole time because mine got a bit dry and cooked kinda unevenly.

  22. This is the second try on this recipe and each time I’ve made it, it comes out like rubber. What am I doing wrong? I followed the instructions to the letter, used extra zest instead of the extract.

  23. In your comment regarding lemon extract you say you can leave it out. If you do, should I up the amount of lemon juice? Thanks so much! I cannot wait to try this recipe!!

    1. You can increase it a little, but not so much that it thins out the batter. So maybe a tablespoon or so. But keep in mind this won’t add as much lemon flavor. I highly recommend following the recipe if you can for the best results.

    2. This is so yummy! We’ve made it at least twice now and a real hit in our house!

      I do wonder… if I doubled the recipe, could I make some in the pan and a version of lemon cupcakes with the other?

  24. so good! made it twice and both times it’s been amazing. just wondering if the 398 calories is per slice or the entire bread?

  25. Thank you for the recipe! The Starbucks lemon Loaf has a delicate but tasty lemon flavor which I love. So I think this recipe may use a bit too more lemon juice then I prefer. Do you think I can use 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice without ruining the consistency?

      1. Thank you! I just made mine and it isn’t as tall as the Starbuck’s one. I made sure all my ingredients were fresh before using them. Do you think using an 8×4 inch pan would give a better rise?

        1. Possibly. But keep in mind it’s a copycat recipe, not an exact replica, so there will be some differences.

          1. Thank you! Also, last question but when you say to add melted butter that is room temperature, mine becomes thick again, is it fine to leave it like that or should I mix the butter with the sugar instead?

          2. Just let the butter cool a bit so it’s not hot, but also not back to a solid.

  26. Came out great! I was out of lemon extract so used lime and out of fresh lemons so used jarred lemon juice and a box of lemon jello. Turned out super moist and lemony. 🙂

  27. Finally! I have a terrific, heavy-gauge metal 9 x 5 inch pan that bakes breads about 10 min faster in my oven. That, and a long period of experimentation led me here. This is the recipe I’ve been searching for. The right amount of leavening at last. Thank you for this recipe. I have been through many others but none as good as this one.

    PS I used 2 Tbs of zest, plus 1 tsp of good quality lemon extract (Watkins) and the lemon juice. It is none too lemony for me. I know the flavor will develop by tomorrow. I’ll check back in if it becomes too lemony.

  28. Yummy! Y’all this is a good recipe for lemon loaf and my daughter said it is just like Starbucks. I used gfJules gluten free flour just like regular flour and it was perfect. I have not made lemon loaf in years due to gluten allergy, but now with this #1 gluten free flour by Jules, I will make it often. If you are gluten free, don’t worry,, your whole family will eat this. Mine has eaten half the loaf. This recipe is heaven sent and I love it. Next time, I will just make two lemon loaves.

  29. I’m trying this today for my sons birthday, as he loves Starbucks lemon loaf. Curious if you think I could make it a two layer cake to put extra icing in the middle? Would you double the recipe or just split in two rounds? Or should I just stuck with a loaf?

  30. Hello, wondering if you have made it using sour cream and tried the buttermilk method. I really like sour cream in dence loafs, but that buttermilk has me really curious!!

  31. this was such a delicious lemon loaf! super easy to make, it was so perfect which so much lemon flavor, i didn’t have lemon extract so i used extra zest. the frosting recipe was perfect, my loaf was so moist and came out looking just like starbucks! my family loved it! when i see a cake has sour cream as an ingredient i already know it will be a moist cake.

    i dislike when people give a bad rating to recipes when maybe they failed and not the recipe, if it was dry, an ingredient was probably left out. so thanks for this amazing recipe!

  32. Was so excited to find this recipe. Made it for tea with friends sadly it was a huge disappointment. It was so dry. I thought I had followed recipe to a tee. Carefully reading and re reading directions. I wanted to throw the loaf out but a friend took it home to her family

  33. I made the recipe, followed it to. “T” they both came out collapsed in the middle! I see I’m not the only person that had that problem! Suggestions?

    1. Hi Leigh, I’m so sorry you had trouble with the recipe. Yes, some bakers have had the same problem but I haven’t been able to replicate it myself. The most likely reasons for this issue are too much liquid used, insufficient leavening (possibly expired ingredients) or that it just wasn’t done cooking in the middle. I hope you’ll give it another try!

  34. I love this recipe and have made it several times! Unfortunately I have been recently been having trouble with the bread collapsing in the center. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Baking powder/soda is only good for about 6months after opening. Since baking powder/soda are both rising agents, I would guess that might be the issue. Also make sure your eggs are room temp.

    1. You can, but it could end up with too much liquid and not enough lemon flavor. The lemon extract is just more intense.

  35. I made this lemon loaf for a friend’s birthday. It looked delicious. Although I did not get a taste of it, my friend said it was really good. I will make again to test it for myself.

  36. Now this cake right here is worth eating when you want to gain some weight…..I mean every pound you gain…..this cake is lit

  37. I was craving this so bad but not a huge fan of Starbucks coffee , I’d rather make everything at home!! Everything was great, I just over backed it thinking that it was still raw bec of how moist it was. I made royal lemon icing which is thicker than the glaze to make it close to the loaf from Star B as close as possible. Lemon royal icing is a game changer.

  38. I live in Colorado at a higher altitude.
    I backed off on the baking powder by 1/4 of a teaspoon.
    I also used plain yogurt instead of sour cream or buttermilk.
    I could have baked it for a few minutes less.
    It was amazing! I love the Starbucks lemon loaf and your recipe gave me so much more satisfaction making it myself and even sharing a few slices with friends.
    Thank you!

  39. I’m planning on making this recipe tonight although I want to use mini loaf pans. Any suggestions please??!!!??? Time sensitive, replies from anyone would be helpful!!!

    1. Hi Wanda, You can certainly use mini loaf pans, but would need to watch the time. I’d suggest 30 minutes and then check every 5-10 minutes.

  40. So much fabulousness!! Modified recipe to make GF by subbing in GF all purpose flour. It came out perfect. It’s been so long since I’ve had lemon loaf … what an amazing treat!!

  41. do you think you could just post the original recipe? i’ve been using this recipe for over a year and was sad when I came here to see something so different :/

    1. Hi Vanessa,

      Unfortunately a lot of people were having trouble with the original recipe so I made a few changes and updated it. The recipe hasn’t changed to much, and the main differences are swapping the buttermilk for sour cream and adding oil. I also recommend a larger pan and as such have slightly increased the amount of baking powder and vanilla to account for the larger volume. There is a not at the bottom telling you the exact changes so you can make the old recipe if you prefer.

  42. Hi: I love this lemon loaf recipe and it was my go to for special occasions. I recently made one for a family occasion the end of April to rave reviews. I tried the updated recipe but preferred the old one. Can you confirm the differences as I would like to make it according to the original recipe. I know the new recipe added oil and swapped sour cream for buttermilk….were there any other changes? Thanks so much for your help!

    1. Hi Jennifer, I’m think I’m going to add the original recipe in the notes. I’m considering going back to the old. Seems to be 50/50 on preference. Thanks for your feedback.

  43. The list of ingredients calls for softened butter. But in the directions it says to add melted butter.
    Which one is it?

    1. It’s melted. We recently updated the recipe and appear to have missed that change in the instructions.

  44. Hey, I’ve done this recepcional a lot and it work for me great. Could you send me the original version?

    1. Hi Gaby, you can read the adjustments we made in the notes section and made the changes back to the original recipe.

  45. I personally have never had Starbucks lemon cake but I made this yesterday as a friend was coming for dinner and we both love lemon desserts. I followed the recipe exactly and in her words I “nailed it”. I’m sure I will be making this again. Quite delicious.

  46. Hi, I just made this recipe. In the ingredients it lists oil but the instructions never tell you when to add it. There is no Buttermilk listed in the ingredients but the instructions say to add the buttermilk.
    I ended up adding 1/4 cup of Buttermilk since I wasn’t sure how much to add.
    Please advise.

    1. Hi Diane, I’m sorry for the confusion. I was in the process of updating the recipe and you must have caught it mid-update where I swapped out the buttermilk completely in favor of sour cream due to some comments that the bread was a little too dry. I’m sure your bread still turned out great though!

  47. Love this recipe. I tried to follow everything except I didn’t have the lemon extract and it turned out super moist and yummy. I only used the zest of one lemon but next time, I’ll try to either add more as the recipe suggested or actually get the extract just to see the difference. Either way, this recipe is a keeper!

  48. I followed the recipe exactly as said. It looked beautiful in the pan and as it was baking. But it turned out so doggone dry! I was really disappointed!

    1. Agree Michelle. I love Starbucks Lemon Loaf and this looked like it would be a winner. Based on the reviews I made a couple adjustments to try to counteract the dryness, adding 1/4 cup oil and increasing the sour cream to 1 cup. Despite this it was still too dry for me. I weigh ingredients so I am certain about the amount used.

      I found another recipe that uses 2 Tablespoons (not teaspoons) of lemon extract. I used that amount and still thought Starbucks has a more lemony flavor. I may try again, but would further increase the additional oil or decrease the flour a bit and add the lemon juice in addition to the lemon extract for more lemon flavor (I never have lemon zest).

  49. I just LOVE this recipe! I substituted monk sugar for regular sugar. It was a 1:1 sub which worked out perfect! I didn’t have any zest but used the juice and extract. I also used the sour cream as you suggested. This one is definitely a keeper and very easy to make!

  50. Can’t find or don’t have lemon extract on hand; no problem. Just soak your lemon peels in vodka and you will have lemon oil

  51. Just a question what is the mixture of buttermilk sour cream or is buttermilk sour cream an actual product?

  52. Delicious! I’ve never had Starbucks’s, but this was wonderful. I did add the 1/4 cup of additional vegetable oil, lots more zest and lots more juice too, and I doubled the glaze recipe. I like glaze. 😀

    This weekend I’m making this but ORANGE. Very summery. I have cabin fever.

  53. This is my go to because it turns out perfectly every time.. and I make it a lot! I like to add a couple tablespoons of poppy seeds. I find they add a nice crunch.

  54. I’ve tried this recipe and I have to say this is the BEST lemon loaf I’ve tried!!! My forever recipe now! Thank you for sharing it!🤗🤗🤗

  55. Love the flavor but it wasn’t moist – I took it out at the earliest time but it was still too dry.

    I’m going to try to add a 1/4th cup of vegetable oil to try to add some wet ingredient.

  56. My son is obsessed with the Starbucks Lemon Loaf so I attempted to make this early one Friday morning. I’ve never made pound cake so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was so quick and easy! This recipe is spot on and I think it tastes better than the Starbucks one. I actually used the Namaste Gluten Free flour and it tastes amazing! I did have a little bit of a cave in in the middle but nobody cared. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks Fiona!

  57. Yummy! This is what I’ve been dreaming of! I use more lemon zest, and no lemon extract. I skip the vanillla too So yummy! Thank you!

  58. My son wants this for his birthday cake, two tiers and decorated with fondant. Have you ever made it like this? Does it taste good with fondant?

    1. I’m personally not a fan of fondant, so I couldn’t tell you how that would work. I’m also not sure how this would work as a two tiered cake because it’s actually a quick bread. Your best option would be to search google for a great lemon cake recipe.

  59. This is my go to recipe now! Every time I have people over or go to a party, everyone loves the lemon loaf . I make them in to cupcakes as well. So delicious!

    Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe !

    Xox rosa

  60. Has anyone else had trouble printing this recipe, I click print but it just opens up the same window over and over again

  61. Ordering 3 slices of Starbuck’s Lemon Ice from the Barista made me smile. When my youngest daughter was a teen, we would always order 3 slices, spitting the 3rd. But there would always be an argument over who got the biggest slice or the most icing. Thanks for making me remember.

    I have not tried your recipe yet but I have tried to replicate before and I can tell by your ingredients that yours will be much better.

  62. what can i substitute for lemon zest? we got these packets saying it will taste like it but we aren’t sure how much to add. it said it was for tea and recipes and tastes like a lemon peel, but it was gross in the bread. we can’t find lemon zest anywhere and have nothing to zest a lemon with. any help???

    1. Hi Emily, without knowing where you are, I can’t give a good suggestion. You could leave the zest out and maybe use lemon extract instead.

  63. I have this cake cooling on my counter. The only question I have, is this did not “dome” like most sweet breads do. I’m sure it will look lovely and taste really good. But I have no idea why it cooked “flat”. My soda and powder were fresh (I always test them even when I just open them) and I beat the eggs thoroughly after each additions, so I’m wondering what (if anything) could have gone wrong.

    1. Hi Dee, there are lots of reasons for the bread not fully rising. The pan may be too small, or it could even be the weather or the oven temperature. It shouldn’t affect the taste though, I hope you enjoyed it!

  64. I’ve tried two recipes for a copy cat lemon loaf and so far this is definitely the best. Mine was just a tiny bit less cakey. Another recipe I tried turned out pretty terrible as it was too dense, didn’t have a good rise, and the icing was always runny because it had butter and I live in AZ where butter (and therefore the icing) becomes room temp and softens in 5 minutes. I feel I must attempt this better recipe again, for research, to see what I can do about getting nust that final step closer to the Starbucks loaf.

    1. I don’t think it would translate well to a layer cake, but you could certainly give it a try.

  65. I tried this recipe a few months ago and it turned out really dry for me as well. However, I tried again today and it turned out much better! I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand, so I used 1 cup unsweetened soy milk+ 1 tbs lemon juice as a buttermilk replacement ( mix and let sit a few minutes before using)

        1. I don’t think it would translate well to a layer cake, but you could certainly give it a try.

  66. This turned out really dry compared to the Starbucks lemon loaf. How can I make this denser and moister?

    1. To substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour.

  67. i am definitely gonna try this recipe. since you seem to know about starbucks copycat recipes, would you happen to know what ingredients more or less are in their phenomenal cake pops? the cake pop coating does not taste like regular candy melts to me, and i can’t quite put my finger on what they use for that amazing but not overly sweet richness lol

  68. Made this and LOVED it. This time making two loafs and going to freeze one. Should I do the icing before I freeze or just freeze the plain loaf and ice when I defrost?

    1. I would personally add the icing after defrosting. But you can freeze the iced loaf on a baking sheet for a couple of hours until it’s solid, and then wrap it up and keep it frozen for several months.

  69. I made this recipe but used orange ? because i didnt have lemons atm and its very good! Will try making again with lemons?

  70. This was a bit dry. I liked baking it. I just don’t think it was a rockstar recipe. I would like to try this recipe again just to perfect some of the recipe

    1. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out for you, but I do hope you’ll give it another try. It’s received tons of great feedback just as is. 🙂

      1. Made this with my 3 year old and it was super easy. And the best part is it is absolutely delicious and made our house smell amazing! Super fluffy on the inside thanks for the recipe.

  71. Hi Kristin, I’d like to know how much the weigh of the 4 large eggs is in grams (without the shell). In Mexico, the eggs are not sold by size so I´m not familiar with the sizes and it would be better for me to follow the recipe with the exact amount of eggs in grams that are needed, please.

    1. Hi Lucy, try clearing your cache on your internet browser. I can print from all of my devices.

  72. I found that with the icing, if you add a little extract to it in addition to the 1 tbsp of lemon juice and 1 tbsp cream, it’s even better. If you add more juice, it’s too runny.

  73. I tried to make it with half of flour cake. Your recipe is really good but for some reason our bread is a bit too firm for our liking. I hope it will turn out ok. I have tried using your exact recipe and my kids loved them. Thank you!

  74. Made this for my husband’s birthday and it was a hit! We like the icing thicker so I about doubled the powdered sugar and added just two tablespoons of room temperature butter. Will definitely be making again!

  75. Loved it! I used yogurt instead of buttermilk as that’s all I had and could’ve been a little more moist but will make again !!

    1. This loaf was fantastic and an absolute hit in a house of picky eaters. I’ve got celiac disease and replacing with a good gluten free flour came out just fine, too (add a 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum if you go this route). The loaf was made 18 hours ago and it’s almost gone. This is absolutely going in my recipe book. Thank you!

  76. This is very close to Starbucks lemon cake, possibly better! I followed the recipe almost as written, bringing eggs to room temp as suggested. I accidentally used 1/2 cup sour cream because I thought I had grabbed the 1/3 cup. Also, because I always do when I bake cakes ir cookies, I added a 3.4 oz box of jello instant pudding (lemon flavor, but vanilla would work too). I also used butter in place of the cream in the frosting because I wanted that thicker paste-like consistency like at Starbucks. This cake was perfection! Dense, moist, highly satisfying!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  77. This was amazing! It was the first time ever making it and it came out so good! Incredibly moist and lemony. I didn’t have lemon extract so I used the extra lemon zest and it was amazing. Thank you!

  78. Loved this recipe! I made it without lemon extract and made my own buttercream and it still turned out amazing! Will be making regularly when I have extra lemons!

  79. This loaf is awesome. Thank you so much for the recipe. I skipped the lemon extract, but managed to get 3.5 TBSP of zest from a large lemon, which was a good amount for flavour. Your baking instructions were spot on for me – foil at 40 min, done at 60.

  80. Hi
    I was wondering if I was to make it in a 9.5 flunted bunt cake pan would I need to do anything different. Any tips?

    1. Hi Kaaya, It sound like you’re making the recipe differently because that’s what you have on hand, but changing even a few things might not have the result you want. I’m not sure how it would work in a fluted pan. It would probably be fine.

  81. Hi
    I was wondering if I could use oil instead of butter. Would it taste the same? How much would I need to use and when do I add it?

    1. Hi Kaaya, yes you can replace the butter with oil. The flavor will be different and not as rich, but it will work.

  82. Can we use lemo on extract or something else for lemon zest? It’s the only thing I don’t have (can get some but I’d prefer not to go out).

    1. Hi Violet, you can omit the zest or add a tiny bit more extract. It might not be as intense with lemon flavor but will still be tasty.

  83. If I use sour cream instead of buttermilk, would I still do the step by putting half flour then half sour cream?

  84. Hi! Do I need to grease the pan or line baking paper/wax paper first before pouring the batter? Thank you so much. I really want to try your recipe.

    1. Hi Myles, Step one tells you to line the pan with parchment paper. IF you don’t have that, grease the pan really well.

  85. Hi Tracy, you might try making this with Steve’s Gluten Free cake flour (you’ll have to order it online as I’ve never seen it in stores). I use it exclusively for my Gluten Free customers. Don’t worry that it’s a cake flour, it works beautifully and it’s a 1:1 replacement for wheat flour. My daughter in law also needs to use GF and we often find that the GF baked goods I make are even better than the wheat versions when we use Steve’s GF flours. I hope this helps

  86. I am a home baker and seen your delicious looking cake and would love to make this for my family.
    can u convert this recipe into gram measurements?

  87. I love try this weekend, I need gluten free food otherwise I’ll have to visit the ER if I don’t have gluten free foods. If you have any gluten recipes that would be Great.
    Thank you for your time and sharing this receipt with us.

  88. Hi! I’ve made this as a loaf before to rave reviews, awesome recipe. I’m wondering if I can double the recipe & use either a 9×13 or 8×8 baking dish? Would it still rise & cook properly, what sort of cook time would you recommend for either of those sizes of baking dish?
    Thank you!

    1. I have converted quick breads to an 8×8 before, but not this recipe. I think it would work fine, you ‘d just need to adjust the cooking time.

  89. Hi! I’ve made this as a loaf before to rave reviews, awesome recipe! I’m wondering, if I were to double the recipe & use a 9×13 baking dish, would that work instead of 2 loaf pans? What kind of cook time would you think would you recommend?

    1. Hi April, I’ve used an 8×8 pan to make quick bread, just not with this recipe so I can’t specifically say how this one will turn out. However, I think it would be fine, you just need to bake it for about 20-30 minutes. Check the center until it’s finished.

  90. Hi ?,
    I love this recipe and I made it many many times.
    For some reasons the middle of my cake always always sinks .
    Any idea why ? ( I don’t open the oven door, I follow the recipe, )

    1. I’ve been having the same exact issue! I’ve baked this in the past and it never has been giving me issue, until recently. I have researched why it’s sinking too but cannot find a cause for the sinking.

  91. I haven’t made this yet but am going to I’m wondering what everyone perfects And how the lemon extract made a difference and sour cream/ buttermilk which ones work best

  92. Hi! I want to make this a lot but…. here where I live I don’t have buttermilk or sourcream. Do you know how can I make those? Or how can I substitute them? Thanks!

  93. I baked this yesterday and it came out so amazing! It was the first bread recipe I have done in quite sometime and it was so simple to make with all the common ingredients. I posted a photo on my Instagram @csteuwer

    1. You could try cutting the sugar a little bit, but I’m not sure how much it will alter the taste. It’s not overly sweet as it is.

  94. I made this last week and it turned out so good! And my brother loved this cake so much that he asked me for the recipe and he is in the kitchen right now making it himself! 😀

    1. So I’m in quarantine because I have COVID and I tried this recipe because I love the loaf cakes and haven’t been able to get one and this taste so good almost the same. I will definitely be making this again

      1. Hi Miranda, Thanks for your feedback, glad you enjoyed the lemon loaf! Sorry to hear about your illness and I hope you’re on the mend very soon!

  95. I tried out this recipe because my dad loves the starbucks loaf and, knowing i’m a baker, was wondering if I could make something similar at home!

    I think this recipe was great but the one thing I would change would be the amount of lemon. I’ve found that increasing the zest by 1 more lemon and the extract by 1/2 a teaspoon really did the trick!

  96. This was delicious! Even my picky teenager told me I needed to make this again, soon. I did not have the lemon extract and just added a little extra lemon juice and it was great. I will definitely make this again!

  97. Will the Starbucks Copycat Lemon Loaf come out just as good if you MILK instead of BUTTERMILK?

    1. Buttermilk has acid that reacts with the other ingredients. It would alter the flavor and possibly the texture. I’d recommend using sour cream instead of milk. Or make buttermilk using these instructions: How to Make Buttermilk

    1. Yes it would work. Not sure if you’d need to double the recipe though. Measure your bundt pan and measure the loaf pan by filling the loaf pan 3/4 with water and then pour that into the bundt pan. If it fill at least halfway you’re good with one batch.

  98. I’m not an experienced baker but the Starbucks iced lemon pound cake is one of my favorites so I had to try this recipe. It turned out pretty well! I checked it at 55 minutes and it was completely done, if not a tad over. It also did brown quickly on top so thanks for the tip. I put a little tin foil hat on at about 30 minutes in. I used milk and vinegar to make buttermilk and wonder if that would have had an impact on the baking time? My oven doesn’t usually run hot. Thanks! Will definitely make it again.

    1. The vinegar/milk shouldn’t cause a difference in the baking time. I think some ovens are just different. Glad you enjoyed it!

  99. I have two teenage girls who love Starbucks Lemon loaf so I made this on the weekend and it was a huge hit. Both my girls thought it was delicious, better than Starbucks. My only disappointment was that I only have 9×5 loaf pans so my loaf wasn’t as high as the Starbucks version.

    Thanks for a great recipe, I’ll definitely make again

  100. I made this for the first time last night and took it to our first dinner party since we have been released from a 2 month lockdown in Spain. Everyone loved it and raved about it! It came out perfect. The only thing i really changed is, we dont get sour cream here so I used my homemade kefir instead. I added just a little more than the recipe because some people said it was on the dry side. I served it with plain natural yogurt which was a great addition and helped even out the sugar. Thank you, this will be one of my favorites.

  101. I made this for my son’s graduation “party” (the family-only COVID-19 version), and it was fantastic!! My son loves the Starbucks version and said this one was WAY better! My mother and husband couldn’t stop raving about it. Absolutely outstanding recipe. I will definitely be making this one again!

  102. I made this and turned out so good my husband wants to take it to work to share. I want to make 2 loaves. Can I double the recipe or should I make 2 separate?

  103. Omg I made this last night and it is to DIE for, I’m a fairly new baker and it turned out amazing. One trick I tried was that I poked holes in the loaf when it was cooling and poured the icing over top so it trickled down. Also thanks to anyone who read this huge comment

  104. Thank you for the recipe! This was absolutely incredible! I used the zest of 3 large lemons instead of the essence and it came out perfect. Definitely tastes a lot better once it rests for a few hours. Can’t wait to make this again!!

  105. Great addition to my quarantine baking! I did not have lemon extract or buttermilk, so I used substitutes for those- plus I didn’t have any baking soda so I went without. Still turned out amazing! Baked perfectly, nice flavor and texture. One thing I would suggest is to make the icing just before the cake is done, as it will harden in the bowl if you make it too early. Thanks so much Kristin for this recipe!

  106. Hi, I LOVED this recipe! I think the cake is amazing, I think it’s easy enough that anyone can make and I personally loved the recommended recipe for the icing because I’m not a fan of thick, fake icing the original Starbucks recipe has. I didn’t use lemon extract and I loved how it turned out, it doesn’t have that fake flavor that just tastes somewhat good but doesn’t quite hit the stop, so for me this is like a homemade lemon loaf, I was inclined to make it again and add poppy seeds because its so delicious and everything I look for in a poundcake type loaf. I would say mine came out a little crumbly an duo really imitate the Starbucks recipe, I’d say I need a moister cake. Any suggestions? Thank you for reading this long comment, perfect recipe for lemon loaf lovers like myself 🙂

    1. Hi Laura, thanks for your feedback. I’m glad you liked that cake! We really enjoy this recipes as is. Poppy seeds would be a fun addition. Unfortunately unless we have Starbucks exact recipe it won’t taste exactly like theirs, but we think it comes close!

  107. I don’t understand the negative reviews either… I made it for my husband who LOVES lemon anything and it was great. I did add a lot more lemon zest (because we like strong flavor) and made sure all ingredients were at room temperature.

  108. Delicious recipe! It’s nice and moist but not too heavy. For anyone having issues with the glaze, it’s easily thickened or thinned out to your liking, as stated in the recipe. I added a bit more powdered sugar so my glaze would be a bit thicker and stick to the sides a bit more. I’ll definitely be making this recipe and passing it along!

  109. This recipe is so fantastic!! I am making it for the second time in a week. I make mine gluten free with cup-4-cup flour. One thing I do with gluten free baking is use room temperature eggs and buttercream.

  110. This is an awesome replica. I increased my lemon zest to 2 whole lemons. I EXCLUDED the lemon extract. It was superb!!! The negative comments are a shame. First because its UNNECESSARY and second, because the recipe is wonderful! I am also an AVID Starbucks girl. Also…for anyone who has an issue with sinking in the middle….MAKE SURE to use UNbleached AP flour. Makes a dramatic difference because of the gluten difference. Guarantee it will be a huge difference with no sinking!

    1. This recipe is delicious! I’m considering making a second loaf in a week! One issue I found was that it was a little dense and got a little dry the second day, I’m thinking I may have over mixed the batter. But other than that it was fabulous!!!

  111. I just made it for my roommates, yes the gaze could have been thicker, but other than that the lemon flavor was there and bold, and i’d say it was really yummy!

    1. Mine came out beautifully! The only thing that I would say is the icing could use a bit more lemon juice just to hit that tartness. I found the thickness was really good- I was worried it would be super watery but I found it was thick enough. I also added a tad more lemon zest since I didn’t have the lemon extract. Seemed to up the lemon content!

      1. If your icing is too watery, just add a bit more powdered sugar. I ended up using almost 2 cups- also make sure your adding it in gradually. Mine turned out amazing!

  112. This did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I love Starbucks Lemon Loaf and wanted so desperately to be able to make one at home. Like others have commented; The loaf did not have a deep lemon flavor; it is not moist, and the icing is not very thick. It was a thin glaze mess.
    The loaf went straight to the trash can after I tasted it. What a waste of time and money on this one for me.

    1. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out for you. For the glaze, the recipe says to add more powdered sugar until you like the consistency, so perhaps that would have helped?

  113. It’s okay. I would say it needs more lemon, everything. Also, it wasn’t as moist as I hoped it to be. Maybe more buttercream or not to be baked as long. Also the icing was way too loose. I had to keep adding more powdered sugar and it never thickened.

    1. This was by far the most unhelpful, critical review. It’s a copycat recipe, not the actual recipe. Cut your slices thicker, and make a different frosting if you’re not happy 🙂

  114. I made this for a coffee date. I substituted the sour cream for buttermilk, and a stevia blend for half the sugar and baked for 45 minutes. The flavor was great but it seemed a bit dry, even after being glazed. Suggestions?

    1. When you substitute any of the ingredients it can cause an adverse outcome. I always recommend making the recipe as it’s called for in the instructions.

  115. I made this today and it’s amazing!! I didn’t have buttermilk and my sour cream expired so I substituted with plain Greek yogurt. Wasn’t sure how it would turned out, But it was delish. I can’t wait for my friend to try it. I’ll be make more tomorrow. ?

  116. Want to divide into four smaller loaf pans but I’m not sure about the baking times and if this is even a good idea..Don’t want to mess with the ratio. Thanks

    1. You can divide into loaf pans, but I don’t know that you will be able to get 4. They will take about half the time to bake.

    1. Yes you can freeze the lemon loaf. Once it’s cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil then place in a freezer bag.

  117. Hello,

    I am elated at finding this recipe. I love ANYTHING citrus-y as I crave the bright and clean flavor. Will be making this soon and may or may not add poppy seeds (i love them as well).

    Seems like a winner. Thank you for sharing!

  118. I assume this recipe uses US cup sizes? I bravely want to make this for the first time for a birthday and therefore want to make sure I have my quantities right. Could you confirm ml/cup? Thank you.

  119. I have made this recipe several times as gifts and for myself and its a hit every time. Highly recommend!!

  120. Thank you for this recipe! It was easy to follow and I will definitely make it again! As a Starbucks barista it was nice to have the lemon loaf without the steep price tag! I used gluten free flour since my mum is gluten intolerant. It was a little denser but still delicious! I would also recommend tenting the foil regardless of your oven temp. Mine got a little brown. (Just means I know what to do next time).

  121. Loved this lemon loaf! Since I did’t have buttermilk, I used a 1/2 cup of yogurt and 1/2 cup of milk as an alternative. It still tasted amazing! I would definitely make this a second time. Thank you for this recipe!

  122. Mine fell as well, looked cooked on the out side pulled out of the pan, big hole in the middle and gooie.

  123. I’ve made this lemon pound cake 3 times now and it has turned out perfect each and every time! Tastes and looks just like the Starbucks. It is super easy to whip up and looks so impressive sliced on a platter! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  124. I also made it yesterday was thought it lacked lemon flavor even after I added more than called for in the recipe. It was a bit dry.