Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf

1 9x5 loaf pan
1 hr 5 min

I think we can all agree that the Starbucks lemon loaf is to die for! It's packed with the most wonderful lemon flavor, is incredibly tender, and has the silkiest vanilla icing to top it off. As a huge lemon and Starbucks lover, I decided to not only recreate the infamous loaf cake, but make it BETTER. It is wayyyy less overpriced, is packed with fresh lemon flavor, and is the perfect balance between not being too oily and not being too sweet. What I really love about this recipe is how springy and light it is, especially when compared to "pound" cakes. Plus, the vanilla glaze accentuates the lemon flavors in the cake leaving behind a flavor explosion in your mouth. Happy baking!

Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf
Recipe details
  • 1  9x5 loaf pan
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 5 min
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Lemon Loaf
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain, non-sweetened yogurt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Zest from one full lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon oil (for baking)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Vanilla Icing
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until it reaches a creamy consistency. Add in the eggs and beat again until combined.
Pour in the vegetable oil, plain yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon flavoring. Mix to combine.
Add the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients in until well-incorporated but be sure not to over-mix.
After lining a loaf pan with parchment paper, pour the batter into the prepped pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely. While waiting for the loaf to cool, begin prepping the icing. In a small mixing bowl with powdered sugar, slowly add in increments of the heavy cream until it becomes a thin consistency. You can play around with the ratio of sugar to heavy cream to match your desired consistency. Next, add in the vanilla extract and mix together.
After your loaf is cooled, drizzle the icing over the top. Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.
Sarah’s Kitchen
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  • Barbara Barbara on Mar 03, 2023

    Lemon oil or can use lemon extract?

    • Food grade lemon oil is expensive and not carried in many big box grocery retailers. Not to be confused with essential oil which is NOT edible. I would use lemon extract as a good substitute. Don't forget that once you buy a bottle of lemon oil you will need to use it up before going rancid. If you decide to go the lemon oil route, use for homemade salad dressings or other baked goods!

  • Mmmmm looks delicious! Love anything lemon, and am far too frugal to purchase any snacks at Starbucks, so I have nothing to compare it to. No matter, will give this a try! Thank you for sharing!