This Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf is packed with lemon flavor in a moist and tender loaf cake! A must make.
Hope you don’t mind all the lemon desserts because I have yet another one for you today and it’s a good one!
I love lemon desserts! Lemon desserts and banana desserts are easily my top 2 favorite flavors, be it cake, pudding, frozen yogurt, you name it. Color me a huge fan.
I’m also quite a fan of Starbucks’ lemon loaf, but my coffee order is already over $5, and adding on another treat is just so frivolous, so I set out to make my own loaf cake. This one is pretty darn close to Starbucks, but I think it’s better because you get a whole loaf instead of a measly slice!
Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf
There are a few key components to making a lemon loaf cake, and those are:
- Oil: I like using oil in this cake recipe instead of butter because oil makes it extra moist. There’s nothing worse than a dry cake!
- Sugar: for sweetness!
- Eggs: for binding everything together and moisture
- Lemon zest: and plenty of it! I use close to 1/4th cup. This provides a huge amount of the lemon flavor.
- Pure lemon extract: this gives another huge kick of lemon flavor. Make sure you purchase pure lemon extract as opposed to imitation, as pure has better flavor.
- Flour, baking soda, and salt: these are your structure ingredients and leavening agents!
- Sour cream: adds moisture and richness. Make sure you use full-fat sour cream.
And of course, Starbucks’ cake is known for that irresistibly thick glaze on top. We can achieve a similar glaze by using confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice and pouring it over the cake.
I love the pure, unadulterated lemon flavor in this moist and tender cake. The one-two punch of lemon flavor from the heavy-handed zest and the pure lemon extract is the best, and the texture is amazing thanks to the oil and sour cream. You’re going to love this one, trust me!
And you’re welcome on saving that extra $4 at the coffee shop! 🙂
Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup lemon zest (from about 3 medium lemons)
- 2 Tbsp pure lemon extract
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 350° degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" light metal loaf pan with cooking spray. (See Note if you're not using a light metal loaf pan).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the oil and sugar with the paddle attachment until combined, about 1 minute. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, followed by the lemon zest and lemon extract, mixing well. Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on low speed until just barely combined, then add in the sour cream and mix until fully combined. Do not overmix.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake the loaf for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, but not wet, crumbs. Cool for about 20 minutes in the pan, then carefully invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until just combiend, smooth and glossy. Pour over the cooled cake and allow glaze to drip down the sides. Let glaze harden slightly before cutting and serving the loaf.
This loaf cake is so delicious! I know you’ll love it!
Have a super sweet day!
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I just made this loaf and I found that the 2 Tbsp of pure lemon extract was TOO much! (I did use pure). Maybe I used the wrong kind, but I just thought it didn’t leave a lovely lemon flavor and it was still sort of alcoholic tasting.
Made this with 1 Tbsp, per the other reviewers comment that 2 was too many. Also did muffins instead of a loaf
and cooked them for about 18-19 minutes. Mild lemon flavor, but delicious – they disappeared very quickly!