Lemon Loaf Cake (Starbucks Copycat)
If you have ever ordered the Lemon Loaf at Starbucks and fell in love with the delicious lemon-y flavor, you are going to love this. I have a recipe for you to make it right at home! You won’t have to order just one slice, you’ll be able to have a whole loaf.
Starbucks CopyCat Lemon Loaf
This recipe starts with a moist pound cake with fresh lemon zest and lemon juice. Then, it’s topped with a simple lemon syrup and a lemon icing. It may sound overwhelming at first, but this recipe is is quite easy, I promise. I love how perfect the lemon flavor is – not too much, but just enough.
Ingredients You Will Need
Lemons: You’ll need these for the lemon juice and the lemon zest.
Baking Staples: All-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Butter: Unsalted, sat out to room temperature so it’s easy to mix.
Eggs: Also at room temperature.
Vanilla extract: The best flavor is from real vanilla, not imitation.
Buttermilk: Different and thicker than regular milk, buttermilk is fermented milk.
Lemon Juice + Powdered Sugar: A simple quick syrup.
Butter: Softened but not melted.
Lemon Juice: Fresh from a lemon tastes the best.
Lemon Extract: You can find this in the same area you grab vanilla extract.
Powdered Sugar: This brings the sweetness and thickness to your frosting.
How To Make A Lemon Loaf Cake
- Flour mixture – Combine the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugar – beat the two ingredients together at medium-high speed until fluffy.
- Add the eggs – one at a time, beat them into the butter mixture, then the vanilla and lemon juice.
- Add in the flour mix – scoop about 1/3 at a time, mixing fully, then alternating half the buttermilk and the rest of the flour mixture.
- Bake – for 45-55 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let it cool for about 15 minutes in the pan.
- Make the syrup – Simply stir together the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar.
- Remove the cake from the pan – brush the syrup on the top of the cake while it’s still warm, then let it sit to cool before moving on.
- Make the icing – Combine all the icing ingredients, starting with one tablespoon of the lemon juice and milk and add the remaining lemon juice as needed. You want the consistency to be thick and not runny. Pour the icing over cake and let dry before serving.
More Lemon Desserts to Try
Starbucks Lemon Loaf (Copycat Recipe)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp butter soft but not melted
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 5 x 9″ loaf pan.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4-6 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Beat on medium-high speed until combined.
- Scoop in about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until almost combined, then add half the buttermilk and mix until combined.
- Repeat with another third of flour mixture and then the last half of the buttermilk, ending with the last third of the flour until fully combined.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on it.
- Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes in the pan.
- Stir together the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar for the lemon syrup.
- Carefully flip the loaf pan, and transfer the cake to a cooling rack, then brush the syrup on the top of the cake while it’s still warm.
- Allow the cake to cool completely.
- When the cake is cooled, combine all the icing ingredients, start with 1 tbsp lemon juice and milk and add the remaining lemon juice as needed.
- The icing should be thick and not runny. Pour icing over cake and let dry before serving.