Our lemon bundt cake is a Starbucks lemon loaf copycat!
Welcome sunshine into your kitchen with an irresistible lemon bundt cake! This delicious dessert is tender and moist with the perfect crumb. Drizzled lightly with lemon glaze, it bursts with citrus flavor. Prep the batter in 15 minutes, then bake. For lemon loaf cake, swap the bundt pan for loaf pans.
STARBUCKS LEMON LOAF copycat
Like my carrot cake cupcakes and angel food cake with citrus glaze, this lemon cake recipe was provided by Ashley Ornellas. She’s a professional baker from Northern California’s “Peace, Love & Eat Cake”.
In the quest for an exact replica of Starbucks lemon loaf, I took Ashley’s original recipe and applied gentle tweaks until it matched the exact taste and texture of the popular treat sold at Starbucks’ coffee house.
The result of our professional collaboration: a beautiful springy pound cake that’s actually better than Starbucks lemon loaf! Just think of all the money you’ll save by making this tasty pound cake at home.
BEST BAKING PANS FOR THIS RECIPE
For lemon bundt cake, select a non-stick pan with simple lines. Pans with ornate details are a bit tricker to use. For best results, I recommend USA Pan bakeware. Below are the pans I use when making this delicious dessert.
This easy recipe comes together quickly with a few common refrigerator and pantry items. If fresh citrus is not in season, use bottled lemon juice instead. No sour cream on hand? Use full-fat Greek yogurt.
LEMON BUNDT CAKE
- All-purpose flour
- Sea salt
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs
- Pure vanilla extract
- Whole milk
- Zest of 4 lemons
- Lemon juice
- Sour cream
LEMON GLAZE FOR CAKE
- Powdered sugar
- Whole milk
- Lemon juice
- Pure vanilla extract
- Lemon zest
- Lime zest
lemon BUNDT CAKE
RECIPE PREP: Adjust oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare baking pan: generously grease it with butter, taking care to butter up all crevices. Dust it with granulated sugar. Shake out the excess.
In the oven, this delicious butter/sugar coating forms a thin crisp crust that makes this recipe even better than the standard Starbucks lemon loaf!
LEMON CAKE RECIPE
Here’s how to make a gorgeous lemon pound cake without a lot of fuss!
- STEP 1: In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set the bowl aside.
- STEP 2: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high.
- STEP 3: Add eggs one at a time. Mix on low for 10 seconds between each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix again.
- STEP 4: Add flour mixture in two parts. Mix until just combined. Add vanilla extract, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix on low speed until just combined. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add sour cream. Mix briefly until just combined.
SPOON BATTER INTO PREPARED PAN: This method helps the batter reach into every crevice so the cake will have optimized details from the pan. Tap the pan on the counter 3 times to remove air pockets.
HOW TO BAKE LEMON CAKE: Bake 35 minutes at 350°F. Reduce heat to 325°F. Continue baking 15 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
COOL THE CAKE: Place the pan on a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes. Set a timer. Ten minutes is the magic number!
Run a skinny rubber spatula vertically up and down along the sides of the pan. Invert cake onto a wire rack. Cool 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours before icing.
MAKE Lemon GLAZE
- In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk, lemon juice and vanilla.
- Stir or whisk until icing is smooth and glossy.
- To thicken the glaze, add a little more powdered sugar. For thinning, add a little more milk.
ICING CONSISTENCY FOR LEMON CAKE: A thin glaze will drip off the cake too fast. If it’s too thick, it won’t easily drizzle down. For the best results, icing should pass the “spoon test.” The glaze should nicely coat the back of a spoon.
ICE THE LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE
- Once lemon cake has completely cooled, place the wire rack over a sheet of waxed paper.
- With a spoon, drizzle lemon glaze over the top of the cake. Let icing drip down the sides onto the waxed paper.
- Gently transfer Starbucks lemon loaf to a platter or cake stand.
- Garnish with sprinklings of fresh lemon zest and lime zest.
EXPERT TIPS & FAQ
It’s not recommended. There’s always a risk of over blending or under mixing. For the best taste and texture, make cake batter twice.
Sour cream is the secret ingredient for preventing a dry dense cake. It’s what makes this Starbucks lemon loaf moist.
Cold ingredients don’t mix together easily. When butter and eggs are at room temp the mixing process is easier, and the final product lighter and fluffier.
If the cake looks like it’s getting too brown, tent the pan with foil.
Grease and dust the pan well. Cover every single crevice. For lemon bundt cake, grease the pan with a generous amount of butter. Then dust the pan with granulated sugar.
BEST TIPS: Don’t over-mix the cake batter. Spoon batter into the pan. This helps prevent pockets of air from getting trapped in the batter. Once pan is filled, tap it on the counter 3 times.
With a spatula, lightly pull batter from the middle of the pan toward the sides. Batter should be higher up the sides of the pan than in the center.
Slide a cake tester, toothpick or wooden skewer, vertically into the center of the cake in 2 to 3 different spots. If the tester comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs clinging to it, the cake is done.
Many test kitchens have experimented with this. The overwhelming conclusion: cool a bundt cake in its pan for exactly 10 minutes.
Before un-molding a bundt cake, carefully run a skinny spatula vertically up and down along the edges of the pan. Shake pan and give it a tap on the counter. Place a cooling rack on top of the pan, then flip to invert. Lift the pan straight up from the cake.
With a serrated knife use a sawing motion to slice off the bottom of the cake so it’s flat and even.
One hour to 1 1/2 hours. If you apply the icing any sooner, it’ll drip right off the warm cake.
When wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, a lemon bundt cake will stay fresh 3 to 5 days.
Yes. Place loaves, or slices with parchment paper in between, inside an airtight container and freeze. For the best taste and texture, defrost and enjoy within 1 week.
MORE SPRING DESSERTS
If you love this Starbucks lemon loaf recipe, you’ll enjoy these recipes too! Each dessert is easy to make.
- STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
- WATERGATE DESSERT SALAD
- KEY LIME PIE
- CARROT CAKE SCONES
- BLUEBERRY COBBLER
RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Family and friends are over-the-top wild about this cake! Everyone wants the recipe. They say it’s the best Starbucks lemon loaf. If you agree, give it a 5-star rating in the comments!Print
Lemon Bundt Cake
- Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
- Yield: 1 Bundt Cake or 2 Lemon Loaves 1x
This delicious lemon cake is irresistible! It’s iced with lemon glaze and garnished with a sprinkling of fresh citrus zest. If you’ve been craving Starbucks lemon loaf, this is the copycat recipe you need. Assemble the batter in 15 minutes then bake!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- Zest of 4 lemons
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
- 2/3 cup sour cream
LEMON GLAZE FOR CAKE
- 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Lemon zest
- Lime zest
BAKEWARE FOR THIS RECIPE: 1 bundt pan or 2 (1-pound) loaf pans
RECIPE PREP: Adjust oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking pan(s) with butter. Make sure all crevices are covered. Dust with granulated sugar. Shake out the excess.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set the bowl aside.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high. Add eggs one at a time. Mix on low for 10 seconds between each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again.
- Add flour mixture in two parts. Mix until just combined. Add vanilla extract, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix on low speed until just combined. With a rubber spatula, scrape down bottom and sides of the bowl. Add sour cream. Mix briefly until just combined.
- Spoon batter into prepared baking pan(s). Tap pan on the counter 3 times. This helps remove pockets of air.
- Bake 35 minutes at 350°F. Reduce heat to 325°F. Continue baking 15 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
COOL THE CAKE: Put cake pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Set a timer. Ten minutes is the magic number! Don’t let the cake sit in the pan even a minute longer. Run a skinny rubber spatula vertically up and down along the sides of the pan. Invert cake on a wire rack. Cool 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours before icing.
ASSEMBLE LEMON GLAZE FOR CAKE
- In a small bowl, combine sugar, milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir or whisk until icing reaches desired consistency. To thicken, add more sugar. For thinning, add more milk.
- Place cake on a wire rack over a piece of waxed paper.
- Drizzle icing over the cooled lemon cake.
Transfer cake to a platter or stand. Garnish with sprinklings of lemon zest and lime zest.
CAN I DOUBLE THIS LEMON CAKE RECIPE? It’s not recommended. There’s always a risk over blending or under mixing. For the best taste and texture, make the cake batter twice.
HOW LONG CAN I KEEP A BUNDT CAKE? When wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, the cake will stay fresh 3 to 5 days.
CAN I FREEZE LEMON LOAF CAKE? Yes. For freezing, it’s best to bake the cake in 2 loaf pans. It’ll be easier to store. Place loaves, or slices with parchment paper in between, inside an airtight container and freeze. For the best taste and texture, defrost and enjoy within 1 week.
MORE EXPERT TIPS: The body of the post contains more expert tips to help you achieve the best results!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Lemon Bundt Cake, Lemon Cake, Starbucks Lemon Loaf
NOTE: This post was originally published on March 26, 2018. It’s been updated with a new layout, images and expert tips for a better user experience.
STARBUCKS LEMON cake > JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Do you love the taste and consistency of the original Starbucks Lemon Loaf? What do you think about this copycat recipe? Share your thoughts on lemon cake in the comments!
40 thoughts on “Lemon BUNDT Cake”
Hello, can I make this gluten free with 1:1 ratio?
Hi Rubab. I haven’t experimented making this a gluten-free recipe. As I want you to have a delicious dessert that turns out perfect for your needs, I suggest trying this gluten-free recipe from another food blog that’s received many great reviews: https://theloopywhisk.com/2019/01/12/perfect-lemon-drizzle-cake/
Where is your cooling rack from? I’m in love with it! 😍
Hello Janel. Here’s an Amazon associate link for a similar cooling rack:
Another amazing recipe. This lemon bundt cake is super moist and flavorful!!! Definitely this will be making appearances at our family brunches from this day forward!!! 🍋♥️
Another amazing recipe. This lemon bundt cake is fantastic! Super moist and flavorful!!! Definitely this will be making appearances at our family brunches from this day forward!!! 🍋♥️
Where did you find a clear glass milk carton???? I swear I can taste the lemon in your pics – it looks delicious! can’t wait to make this over the weekend! i’m sitting in 10″ of snow and need something summery!
Hello Heather! About 2 years ago I found the clear-glass milk carton when shopping near San Francisco, California. Wherever I go, I’m always keeping an eye out for unique food-styling items!
Lemon is such a lovely flavor, and this is a real Tea Time treat option. I am definitely making this! The presentation and pictures are perfect too.
Lemon desserts are my absolute favourite, and this cake is no exception. It is superb! I have to be honest, I had never had the Starbucks version before, but I certainly have no reason to now – this will be my go-to!
Yum! I am a sucker for lemon anything and this cake is just so delicious. It was quick and easy to make. Definitely going into the regular dessert rotation.
This is my kind of comfort food! Mine came out perfectly light and fluffy, just like your images. Thank you for sharing!
What size pan do you recommend?
Hello Joanne! The USA loaf pan that was used for this lemon cake recipe is for one-pound loaves. Here is an image of the exact pan used:
Oh! You know how to make my lips smack with this lovely treat! It sure does look like a burst of sunshine. I love this treat from Starbucks, so nice to have a copycat recipe!
It is so good. Hope you like it.
Yes, please! I love lemon loaf and would love to make this recipe!
I think you will really like it.
This looks so delicious! My family will totally enjoy this. Thank you for sharing, I can’t wait to make this!
Thank you so much.
I LOVE lemon cake! Lemon anything actually. Perfect for spring and summer!
It really is. Perfect combo.
This looks delicious and i have tried it out myself.
I hope you liked it.
DIVINE!!! I made it and I loved it.
Im so glad you liked them.
OMG I loooove Starbucks lemon cake loafs!! I am ABSOLUTELY saving this recipe to make! Thank you so much!! Cheers!
You are so welcome.
i cannot wait to try this! I love the starbucks version!
I think you will really like it.
Oh my goodness. I am a lover of all things lemon flavored and this looks totally amazing. I am going to make this for Easter weekend. Pinning it now. Thanks so much!
You are so welcome. Glad you liked it.
Oooops! I forgot to leave a 5-star rating… do the have a 10 star?
Thank you so much. You made my week.
This. Is. Yummy! I’m serving this again for Easter Brunch AND Mother’s Day! Did I say it turns out gorgeous, too?? I does!
Thank you so much
I am not a lemon dessert lover, but my family loves it. They went nuts over this cake and it was gone in a day! I definitely made my family happy!
im glad you liked it
What a refreshing and decadent dish! I love the lemon flavors and that glaze on top! OH MY! So addicting!
They are. Hope you enjoy.