This Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipe is even better than the original! Made with simple ingredients, it’s easy to prepare, perfectly sweet, and ready in less time than it takes to run through the drive-thru. 

Pieces of an iced lemon loaf.

What Makes Starbucks Lemon Loaf So Good? 

If you’ve ever had the delightful experience of devouring an iced lemon loaf from Starbucks, you know exactly why this treat has become a cult classic amongst Starbucks lovers. It’s light, moist, sweet, and filled with the perfect amount of lemon tang. 

Truly incredible, it’s worth the splurge every time. However, to curb our cravings without breaking the bank, we decided to recreate this infamous dessert at home.

Turns out, several factors make the original recipe unique. For example, upon looking at the original recipe, we learned that Starbucks: 

  • Uses butter instead of oil. 
  • Includes lemon juice, lemon peel, and lemon oil. 
  • Incorporate both baking powder and baking soda. 
  • Add sour cream to keep the loaf moist. 

While we varied the original ingredients, we can confidently say we nailed the taste and texture. In fact, we like our copycat lemon loaf recipe even better! 

Baked lemon loaf in a loaf pan.

Copycat Lemon Loaf Ingredients

Below is an overview of the ingredients and instructions for this iced lemon loaf recipe. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below for the complete details and nutrition information! 

Loaf

  • Flour – All-purpose flour forms the base of the batter. If needed, use a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour to keep this recipe gluten-free. 
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – These act as leavening agents, creating the light, almost airy texture we’re looking to achieve. For the best results, make sure they’re fresh! 
  • Vegetable Oil – This keeps the bread moist and enhances the richness of the flavor. 
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar helps sweeten the dessert. 
  • Eggs – These provide structure to the loaf, helping it hold its shape. 
  • Lemons – Use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to infuse the recipe with a bright, zesty lemon flavor. 
  • Greek Yogurt – This is the secret to keeping the bread moist and adding a slightly tangy taste and spongy texture. 

Lemon Glaze

  • Powdered Sugar – This melts down to create a smooth, runny consistency. Granulated sugar cannot be substituted. 
  • Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed is best! 
  • Vanilla Extract – This helps enhance the sweetness of the glaze. 

How to Make an Iced Lemon Loaf Recipe Better Than the Bakery

  1. Prepare. Preheat your oven, and butter a loaf pan before you begin. 
  2. Flavor the sugar. Add the sugar to a bowl, add the lemon zest, and gently massage to infuse the sugar with a citrus flavor. 
  3. Combine the wet ingredients. In the same bowl as the sugar mixture, add the eggs. Beat until fluffy, and mix in the oil and vanilla.
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Working slowly, add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. Stir just until combined. Then, fold in the lemon juice and Greek yogurt. 
  6. Bake. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Then, transfer the lemon loaf to the oven until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean. 
  7. Create the glaze. While the loaf cools, combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl until smooth. 
  8. Serve. Once completely cooled, drizzle the lemon glaze over the loaf, slice, and enjoy!
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02/29/2024 09:44 pm GMT
Slices of glazed Starbucks lemon loaf.

Tips for Sucess

  • Use room temperature ingredients. Before you begin, allow the ingredients to set out and come to room temperature. This allows for easy mixing and helps you avoid overmixing the batter. 
  • Tent the loaf. If the top of the bread begins to brown too quickly, tent the loaf pan with foil, and continue to bake until the center is set. 
  • Adjust the consistency of the glaze. If the glaze is too thin, add an extra dash of powdered sugar. Or, if it’s too thick, add more lemon juice until the desired consistency is achieved. 

Storage Options 

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four to five days. Do not refrigerate, or the loaf will dry out! 
  • Freeze for up to two to three months. To do so, arrange frosted slices on a baking sheet, and transfer them to the freezer for two to three hours or until solid. Then, wrap each slice in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil, and transfer it to a freezer-safe bag, and freeze. 

Common Questions About This Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Recipe

Can I double the recipe? 

Yes, but we recommend dividing the batter between two 9×5 loaf pans rather than making one giant loaf. 

Can I make it in mini loaf pans? 

Yes, just adjust the baking time as needed. Mini loaves typically take around 20 minutes, but the exact baking time will vary depending on the size of the loaves and your oven. 

Do I have to use the glaze? 

The glaze is what helps replicate the exact Starbucks recipe. However, you can leave it off, if desired! 

More Lemon Dessert Recipes 

Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Recipe

4.70 from 23 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Skip the drive-thru, and make this easy copycat starbucks lemon loaf complete with lemon glaze at home instead!

Ingredients  

Lemon Loaf:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9×5 loaf pan, and set aside.
  • In a bowl, gently massage the granulated sugar with lemon zest to infuse the sugar with the citrus aroma.
    1 cup granulated sugar, 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • In the same bowl as the sugar mixture, add the eggs. Beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Then, add the oil and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
    3 large eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Gently add in the lemon juice and Greek yogurt.
    2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 3/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes original or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Tip: at the 45 minute mark, if it starts to brown too quickly, loosely cover with foil.
  • For the glaze: mix together, if too thin, add another tablespoon of powdered sugar, if too thick, add another squeeze of lemon juice.
    1 cup powdered sugar, 2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Allow the lemon loaf to cool before pouring on the glaze, slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 352mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 121IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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Recipe Rating




23 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made the loaf but didn’t make the icing. I grilled a piece in butter on the stove top instead. It was absolutely delicious and you don’t even need the icing. I can never get enough lemon baked goods. And this is one did not disappoint.

  2. 4 stars
    Sorry if I’m just confused, but you said you found out Starbucks uses butter instead of oil. You guys did not use the butter? How much butter would I use if I wanted to?

    1. We didn’t! We replicated the taste and texture without it. You could try swapping 2/3 cup of butter for the oil, but we can’t guarantee the results will be the same. We would love to know how it goes if you give it a try!

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa

  3. 2 stars
    I tripled the recipe followed the directions perfectly I was so disappointed!! I truly love all your recipes. This is the first time I’ve had one that I was not happy with my cakes were dry, and the lemon flavor was hardly there. The glaze turned out perfect and lemony but not the cakes.

    1. Canola oil or olive oil will work. The flavor will just be slightly different. We hope you enjoy!

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa

  4. Thank you for this recipe, it sounds delicious. Quick question, in step 3, do I transfer the lemon sugar mixture to another bowl before adding the dry ingredients?

  5. What can be subbed for full-fat Greek yogurt? I only have plain, no-fat Greek yogurt. Is it best to wait to make this until I can find full-fat?

  6. 5 stars
    This loaf turned out so delicious! My whole family can attest. I love the way the recipe is written out, too with the ingredient measurements under each step. Such a helpful addition!!

  7. 5 stars
    This was so good and easy to make! The only change I did was use coconut oil (it was the only oil I had on hand).

    1. 2 stars
      I tripled the recipe followed the directions perfectly I was so disappointed!! I truly love all your recipes. This is the first time I’ve had one that I was not happy with my cakes were dry, and the lemon flavor was hardly there. The glaze turned out perfect and lemony but not the cakes.

      1. We’re sorry to hear this, Teresa! Did you bake the entire recipe in one pan? That could have impacted the taste and texture.
        We appreciate your feedback and hope you continue to enjoy other recipes on the site.

        Xo,
        Alia & Radwa