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. Aimee I have two questions could you do these in mini loaf pans? I am trying to help my grand daughter raise money for her softball team uniforms. Also can you use sour cream in place of yogurt? So glad I will have extra for myself to have with my Brand name coffee lol loved your post. Thanks for the laugh. After just laughing at a question on my favorite Banana Bread recipe where someone asked if they could make it without bananas I know I shouldn’t have laughed but, it just made me giggle.

  2. As advertised! Absolutely delicious, I agree, better than Starbucks even. I didn’t have 2 loaf pans so I baked entire recipe in a bundt pan and it turned out great. Thank you for this recipe!

  3. I just had a slice of Starbucks lemon loaf yesterday – it’s my favorite Starbucks treat. I agree with you, spending $8 on a coffee beverage and a slice of lemon loaf isn’t something I can afford to do every day!

  4. These pictures have me drooling. The salad I am eating right now just isn’t cutting it. Usually I am a chocolategirl all the way, except when it comes to lemon. Trying this ASAP!

  5. Oh my! this looks delicious!
    I may try it this weekend! sooo yumi!! 🙂

    perfect for breakfast, I’m sure my boyfriend will love it! I do a similar one, but the top of your cake is awesome! 🙂

  6. Exactly! Your five are in my top 10! This is going to be wonderful to make. It is like a bite of spring! Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas, recipes and thoughts!

  7. AAH!! My printer is telling me my ink is low, am on my last 10or so pieces of paper in the thing, but, HAD to do it!! Print, pin, ALL the lemon yummies! Thanks. No really. nice to see refreshing recipes! Darn healthy chia,quionia,grits,whatever!UGH!Hope not to offend anyone, but when I see those seeds in food, they GROSS me out! I try, really I do. Quinoa, I just do not like the texture. On the other hand, save me some jingolla by making a Starbucks copycat, a lemon recipe no less? Throw in a few more lemon recipes?! All good here! 

    1. I LOVE lemon everything. Seriously. I could make this a lemon blog and be happy forever 🙂 I don’t mind chia seeds (I use them in place of poppy seeds often). But you won’t be seeing a quinoa recipe here for awhile. I don’t care for the texture either (although I did have a friend make some peanut butter quinoa bars that were pretty tasty).

    2. Hi! This is moderaty unrelated but you mentioned you don’t like the texture of quinoa, and I totally get you! I used to hate it until I found a tip online that suggested using less liquid to get a better texture. Usually people recommend a 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa which gives you mush (ew). However, when it’s made with a 1.5/1 ratio I find it delicious! Just thought I’d put this out there 🙂

  8. I so adore any lemon quick bread and this one makes me want to lick my computer monitor.  But of course then I’d wipe it ONLY with a Bounty paper towel.  I respect a girl’s boundaries.

  9. I’m such a fan of the Lemon Loaf at Starbucks and this looks amazing- so much cheaper than buying it, and aren’t homemade treats always just a tad better? 🙂 

  10. Ha! I’m the same way about peanut butter…but not your brand. I like the OTHER ONE. I’m also partial to name brand coffee. NO substitutes! But copycat lemon loaf? I’m all over this!

    1. ahem…Skippy??…LOL??? I’ve noticed. Ha!!! At least we have our love of coffee and lemon loaf in common 🙂

  11. I have a tree full of lemons in my backyard and this cake is calling my name. I’m ready for a piece (or two) right now!

  12. Glad you were able to recreate it and get it just right!

    And being a namebrand snob on certain things, I’m the same.  When I was a kid if my mom tried to buy non-Doritos and pass them off as Doritos, there was revolt in the house 🙂

  13. So true about some brands being better than generic, I couldn’t agree more about the cream cheese. Sign me up for an extra large slice of this lemon loaf, it looks so good!

  14. Haha – I couldn’t help chuckling at your intro because that’s my kinda thinking! 🙂 And freezing the second loaf instead of gifting it is also my kinda thinking – so bad but so good eh?! 
    I adore the texture of this loaf – and the fact that it’s homemade makes it BETTER than the Starbucks loaf!

  15. My husband will not let any TP in the house that isn’t Charmin. He even sings the theme song. And back when our kids were in diapers, I couldn’t do any other brand but Pampers. I think the other ones leaked, and it’s worth spending any amount of money to avoid that. 
    Plus, I mean, Reese’s. That’s brand loyalty. I do not  truck with generic PB cups of any kind.
    And the lemon loaf. How could they be out of it?! That is just a major blow. I’m glad you were able to bake this and get it out of your system!

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