Better than Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake

Better than Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake

Lemon Loaf Cake is one of my favorite treats to go with my morning cup of coffee and this recipe is so delicious and dare I say better than the Starbucks version!

September is a weird in between month for me. My body practically craves fall, but I also have a hard time letting go of summer. So I’m holding on to the brightness of the last days of summer with this lemon loaf cake!

Have you tried the Lemon Pound Cake at Starbucks? That was one of my major cravings with my second pregnancy so much so that people kept saying that I was having a girl! I guess citrus is a girl craving? Just another old wives tale that got it wrong because I definitely had a boy. But nonetheless, their lemon cake is delicious! I decided to try making my own so I didn’t have to run to Starbucks every time the craving hit and well I’m so glad I did! This lemon loaf cake is super easy to make, it’s so moist and the perfect amount of lemon flavor! Even my lemon hating husband loved it!

Tips on making this Lemon Loaf Cake

Lemon Extract: For this recipe you absolutely need lemon extract! Not lemon oil or lemon juice! To be able to replicate the strong lemon punch that you get from the Starbucks version of this cake, lemon extract is where it’s at! I found it an my local grocery store but you can also buy in on Amazon! I used 2 tbsp of lemon extract and I thought it was perfect. But for a milder lemon flavor you can do only 1tbsp.

Freezing Lemon Loaf Cake: I love freezing baked goods and this is one recipe you can definitely freeze! Wrap the whole loaf of lemon cake in plastic wrap several times, then place in a large freezer zip lock bag. It will keep in the freezer of up to 6 months.

Glaze: You can pour the glaze all on top of the lemon loaf cake (which is what I did!) or you can pour half on top and spread the rest of the glaze on individually cut slices the same way you spread butter! This would add even more lemon flavor to your cake.

Powdered sugar: If you start making this cake and get to the glaze and realize that you are out of powdered sugar, don’t worry! I got you. I’ve been there! But lucky for you, you can make powdered sugar at home way easier than you might think! Just add regular white granulated sugar to your blender or food processor and blend until it’s fluffy powdered sugar! I hardly ever buy powdered sugar anymore since it’s so easy and simple!

lemon loaf cake is moist and delicious and super easy to make!
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5 from 2 votes

Better than Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake

I absolutely love lemon loaf cake and this one is the best one I've ever had even better than Starbucks!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon cake, lemon pound cake, starbucks lemon pound cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8


Lemon Loaf

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup canola (or vegetable) oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon EXTRACT
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice


Lemon Loaf

  • Adjust the oven rack to lower third position and preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5 in loaf pan with baking spray (with flour).
  • In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, sour cream, canola oil, lemon zest and lemon extract.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour baking powder and salt.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the try and stir to combine.
  • Pour batter in prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cover the loaf loosely with foil halfway through baking to prevent over browning.
  • Let cool completely before glazing.

Lemon Glaze

  • In a bowl whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. If glaze is too thick add more lemon juice. If too runny, add a little more powdered sugar.
  • Drizzle glaze over cooled lemon loaf before slicing.


Recipe from: Avery Cooks
Keep lemon loaf in airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Make sure you use lemon extract not lemon juice or lemon oil! I found 2 tbsp lemon extract to give a perfect strong lemon flavor but even my lemon hating husband enjoyed it!

6 thoughts on “Better than Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake”

    • I have tried it with lemon juice and zest, but it’s just not a strong enough lemon flavor for me. The lemon extract just adds a nice punch of flavor. But by all means adapt to your taste!

  1. 5 stars
    I have been baking this cake several times, I just added 3 drops of yellow coloring to the recipe. From now on it is our favorite lemon Starbucks cake, takes no time to make it. I just put wet ingredients in the mixer, then add the dry ingredients and bake it for about 45 minutes. I make 2 at the same time.

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