Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf

Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipe made at home. Moist bread recipe with a sweet vanilla glaze, freezer friendly too!

Loaf of lemon bread on a wooden cutting board, topped with vanilla glaze.

There are some things in my life that only the name brand will do, and no amount of copycats or generics can be acceptable.

  1. Cream Cheese. I’m sorry, but if I’m baking with cream cheese, it’s got to be Philadelphia. The texture and flavor is perfect.
  2. Bounty. I’m a paper towel snob. There. I said it. And while I’m at it, I might as well tell you, I’m a toilet paper snob too. Name brands only. (and no, Scotts doesn’t count in my book)
  3. Doritos. Don’t even try to pass those crappy, sad, no name cheese tortilla chips my way. They don’t taste the same. I don’t care how much money they saved you.
  4. Peanut Butter. It’s Jif or Smuckers only in our house. DEFINITELY not some off name store brand. Sorry.
  5. Ketchup. I’m a Heinz fan. No other ketchup can stand the test in our home. Too watery, too bland. It’s got to be Heinz.

I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones that come to mind immediately. We’re like Goldilocks in this house, it’s got to be JUST RIGHT.

Know what I’m totally cool with? Recreating coffee house drinks and desserts. Why not make a copycat of those when you can?

Because let’s be real, paying $8 for a cup of coffee and slice of lemon bread just isn’t realistic for me to do on a daily basis.

Imagine a loaf of Starbucks pumpkin bread with a pumpkin cream cold brew coffee, all made from scratch at a fraction of the price.

Why not make this recipe, which makes TWO loaves of lemon bread? And you can freeze them and save for later!

You've got to try this delicious, moist Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipe!

Whenever I’m at the airport, a slice of Lemon Loaf is my go-to “bring on the plane” treat.

But the last time I flew, there was NO Lemon loaf. I was sad. And disappointed. And had to take a plain bagel instead. Which is NOTHING like a slice of sweet Lemon Loaf. NOTHING.

I even looked for my favorite Cranberry Bliss Bars. Nope.

In looking up various “copycat” recipes, many of the ones I found call for using a box of cake mix and a package of lemon pudding. Um, no thanks.

Not that I have anything against those…because I have plenty of recipes in my archives that call for that…I was just seeking something a little more “from scratch.”

So naturally, I looked in my own archives for a recipe that I can adapt and use as a base. It turns out this Lemon Loaf was pretty close to my favorite Starbucks treat, I had no idea!

I changed it up slightly, and adapted the recipe so it would make TWO loaves of bread. If I’m going to bake something from scratch, I like to be able to freeze extra. It’s like cooking once and getting two meals. I’m all for that.

The sugar syrup on the bread adds extra moisture, keeping this bread fresh and moist for days longer than traditional sweet breads. ENJOY!!

You've got to try this delicious, moist Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipe!

More Lemon Recipes

More Bread Recipes

Yield: 2 loaves bread

Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


For the Bread:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 5 lemons, zested and juiced (save the juice)
  • 2 cups vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Simple Syrup:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup reserved lemon juice (from your fresh lemons above)

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup reserved lemon juice (from your fresh lemons above)
  • 2-4 Tbsp heavy cream (or milk)


  1. Zest and juice all the lemons first. You should have approximately 1 cup juice from your lemons. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine your flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with sugar until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Beat in lemon zest, ¼ cup of lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
  4. Beat in flour mixture and yogurt alternatively until fully combined (in about 3 additions).
  5. Pour batter into TWO 9x5-inch loaf pans that have been greased with baking spray. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 40 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and bake an additional 20-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven. In a small saucepan, whisk together the simple syrup ingredients over low heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Poke holes in lemon loaf using a toothpick. Pour syrup over loaves. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
  7. For the glaze, whisk together the sugar, lemon juice and heavy cream. Add more or less cream to get desired consistency. Pour over cooled bread. Allow to set (about 15 minutes). Slice and enjoy. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days. ENJOY!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 236mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 1gSugar: 44gProtein: 6g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on January 13, 2016

Comments & Reviews

  1. Hi! I made the Lemon Loaf last night. It was very good, not quite what I expected. I have never having tried Starbucks cake. Thank you!

  2. I have to say this is one of my favorite treats from Starbucks as well. But I always have to tell the server to put it in the bag with the glazed side UP! For some stupid reason every single one of them put it in the bag glaze down so it gets stuck in the bottom of the bag. I think they are jealous and want to punish the people who are lucky enough to get the Lemon Loaf 🙂

  3. I also love Starbucks lemon cake! I live overseas and the Starbucks branches here don’t carry it, but like you I often get it in the airport in the US (on layovers on the way back to my home in MI).

    I was very excited to make this recipe today and it turned out OK, but not quite what I was expecting. It wasn’t quite as even-textured as at Starbucks – almost a bit eggy?

    It might be my fault though. I realized halfway through that I didn’t have quite enough granulated sugar, so I had to substitute powdered sugar for about 1/3 cup of it. Normally I’d go out and grab some, but I’m trying to stay in because my neighborhood is going through a pretty bad covid wave right now.

    Anyway, the flavor is good and I’ll still finish it. I’m thinking it might improve overnight too. Maybe I need to try it again when I have 100% of the ingredients.

  4. Could you make this in mini cupcake pans?  I’ve been asked to make a school treat for a 12 year that loves the Starbucks Lemon Loaf  Cake.

  5. I’ve never actually tried the lemon loaf at Starbucks, but your version has me drooling. I love all things lemon and can’t wait to try it!

  6. Do you have a recipe for Chewy Blondie Brownies,,,nothing added just the blondies?? and chewie cookies??

    1. For this blondie recipe, just skip the candy! https://www.shugarysweets.com/candy-bar-blondies/

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