Lemon Loaf

Delicious, moist Lemon Loaf with a sweet glaze is easy to make at home! Even better than Starbucks lemon bread, this quick loaf is bursting with fresh lemon flavor.

Lemon Loaf- sweet, moist lemon bread with a delicious glaze! Better than Starbucks!!

Another recipe inspired by a Starbucks bread! I love a slice of Starbucks lemon loaf, especially during the spring and summer. The texture is just the right balance between a firm crumb and a moist one that melts in your mouth.

Finally, I have perfected the recipe at home!

Why this recipe is best

The Internet is full of various lemon bread recipes, but I’ve yet to try another one that holds the smallest of candles to this one. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. It uses real lemons! I’m not opposed to lemon extract or artificial flavoring in all cases, but in lemon loaf freshly squeezed juice and zest from real lemons makes all the difference.
  2. Sour cream makes it moist. Ever make a bread that tasted great the first day but turned into a dry crumbly mess by day 2? That won’t happen with this recipe. The sour cream locks in moisture so it tastes just as good the next day (or 2 or 3 days later!).
  3. Simple syrup: Before topping your baked lemon loaf with lemon glaze, you poke it with tiny holes and drizzle lemon simple syrup over the whole thing.

It’s lemon on lemon on lemon, folks. Need I say more?

Ingredient Notes

Like I mentioned above, you’ll need fresh whole lemons to make this bread. I used 5 medium sized lemons and juiced and zested all of them just before making the batter.

I love using sour cream for the flavor and moisture. You can also substitute plain unsweetened Greek yogurt! It’ll add even more tang to the finished loaf.

Step by Step Instructions

STEP 1. Make the bread

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. In separate large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy and beat in eggs until fully incorporated.

Beat in lemon zest and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Beat in flour mixture and sour cream in batches until fully combined.

Pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. Cover with foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit in pan to cool about 15 minutes. Remove to wire rack.

STEP 2. Add the simple syrup

To make simple syrup, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup of the remaining lemon juice. Heat in a saucepan on low until sugar is completely dissolved and then remove from heat.

Use a toothpick to poke holes all over the top of your warm loaf. Spoon simple syrup over the top of the bread slowly until it’s all dissolved into the bread. Allow to cool completely while you make the glaze.

STEP 2. Lemon glaze

Whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream and remaining lemon juice. Pour over cooled loaf and allow to sit for about 15 minutes so the glaze sets.

Slice and serve!

Tips and Tricks

  • Store this at room temperature tightly covered or in the fridge. I love the way this tastes cold too!
  • For the glaze, you can add as much or as little cream as you need to achieve the consistency you prefer.
  • I used a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan for this bread.
  • Make sure to spray your pan with baking spray! I also add a layer of parchment paper on the bottom just to be safe. It makes it easy to slide the baked loaf out of the pan without breaking.

I like cutting my slices extra thick, and I get about 10 slices per loaf. Then, I proceed to eat half of them if my family isn’t quick to come get their share.

This bread will be going on the rotation of quick breads I make regularly. it’s the perfect sweet quick bread that goes well with coffee, milk, tea and laughter!

With just the right amount of zing from the lemons and plenty of sweetness in the glaze, my fellow lemon dessert addicts will adore this Starbucks Lemon Bread too.

Lemon Loaf

Lemon Loaf


For the Loaf:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 5 lemons, zested and juiced, divided

For the Simple Syrup:

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup reserved lemon juice (from fresh lemons above)

For the Glaze:

  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp reserved lemon juice (from fresh lemons above)
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream


  1. Zest and juice all five lemons. Set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, mix flour, salt and baking soda together. 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 and ¼ cup lemon juice (about two lemons worth of juice). Beat in flour mixture and sour cream alternatively until fully combined. Pour into a 9"x5" loaf pan that has been coated with baking spray (I line the bottom of mine with parchment paper as well, as an extra precaution).
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 65-70 minutes. Cover with foil during the last twenty minutes to keep the top from browning too much.
  5. Remove from oven and let sit in pan to cool about 15 minutes. Remove to wire rack.
  6. To make simple syrup, whisk together ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup lemon juice (juice of about 2 lemons). Heat in a saucepan on low until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
  7. Poke holes using a toothpick into the top of your warm loaf. Spoon simple syrup over the top of the bread slowly until all dissolved (this makes the bread so moist)! Allow to cool completely.
  8. For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream and remaining lemon juice. Add more cream if necessary to get desired consistency. Pour over cooled loaf. Allow to set (about 15 minutes). Slice and enjoy. This bread is delicious after refrigerating as well!


**adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/top-secret-recipes-version-of-starbucks-lemon-loaf-bytodd-wilbur-234704

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 August 5, 2012

Comments & Reviews

    1. Love all things lemon, am also making this for the ladies after Wednesday night bille study .I, amsure it will be a hit with everyone .Thanks for sharing it .

  1. I saw a couple of recipes you had featured in your blog for Valentine’s Day. I am wondering if you happen to have or tried Maraschino Cherry Bread. I have looked at some places and they don’t seem to taste like the one I tried recently at a restaurant I don’t want to name in here. Your lemon loaf definitely looks so good!

    1. Oooh, I have never heard of maraschino cherry bread!! It sounds wonderful, I’d love to have a better description and I’d be happy to try to recreate it!!

  2. I recently tried to make a lemon loaf but it didn’t look anything as good as yours!! I’ve nominate you for the Versatile Blogger award-you can check it out here: http://bakingblissful.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-versatile-blogger-award.html
    Congrats! 🙂

  3. I’m one of those eat-half-the-baked-goods-all-at-once types too. 🙁 And lemon bread?! Love it. The glaze just puts this over the top!

  4. Oh, wow! That looks so goooooood! Thank you for sharing. Visiting from Someday Crafts. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2012/08/make-it-pretty-monday-week-9.html Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  5. Mmmm…Aimee, it’s gorgeous! It’d never make it past my kitchen. I’m a glutton for lemon treats!

  6. That glaze is unbelievably gorgeous. Lemon desserts are one of my all-time favorites, ever since I took my first bite in my mom’s Lemon Bar recipes when I was 8. A lemon loaf with that decadent, beautiful and creamy icing is now on my recipe list. 🙂

  7. You eat half…I’ll take the other half!! This looks so good! And I spy a cute IKEA cup and placemat:-) I love that you are leading a Bible study this fall…I wish I lived close enough to attend. What book/series are you studying?

    1. I think our first one will be one of the Women of Faith series. I have to go pick it out still! Wish you could come too!

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