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Starbucks Lemon Loaf sliced and served on a platter.

Lemon Cake Recipe (Starbucks Lemon Loaf Copycat)


This beautiful lemon cake recipe is incredibly delicious. It’s literally bursting with sunshine! When it comes out of the oven your kitchen will smell just like a bakery! Iced to perfection, this pound cake is garnished with lovely slices of freshly-picked lemons. It’s everything you dream of when craving a thick yummy slice of Starbucks lemon loaf.




  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoons whole milk



  1. Adjust oven rack to the center position. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your loaf pan by spraying it with cooking spray, dusting it with flour, and then shaking out the excess flour.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set it aside.
  3. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high.
  4. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing on low for 10 seconds in between each addition.
  5. Add the flour mixture in two parts and mix until just combined.  Add in the vanilla extract, whole milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix on low speed until just combined. Take a moment to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Add the sour cream and mix briefly until just combined.
  6. Pour the lemon cake batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake the lemon cake for 35 min, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Continue baking for another 15-25 min or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the lemon loaf comes out clean.
  7. Allow the lemon loaf to remain inside the pan to cool off completely. After it’s cooled you can either remove it from the pan or first drizzle the top with a super yummy glaze for pound cake!


  1. Add the powdered sugar and whole milk to a small bowl. Whisk these ingredients together until the icing reaches the desired consistency.
  2. Drizzle the icing over your cooled lemon loaf.  If desired, garnish your lemon cake with lemon slices. When you’re ready to serve and enjoy your lemon cake, cut the loaf into 10 thick slices.



  1. Using room temperature butter helps the mixing process and makes the final product more light and fluffy. Isn’t that what we all desire? Cold ingredients don’t mix together as easily and will make the mixing process a whole lot harder.
  2. Icing consistency: When preparing the icing for your lemon cake recipe how thick should it be? It should pass the “spoon test.” You want it to have the ability to nicely coat the back of a spoon. You don’t want the glaze to be too thin (i.e., drip off the spoon too fast and have a runny consistency), but you also don’t want the glaze to be too thick that it can’t easily drizzle from the spoon. Adjusting your icing is as easy as adding in a bit more powdered sugar to make it thicker, or thinning it out with a bit more milk.
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack, Dessert, Party
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: starbucks lemon loaf copycat, lemon pound cake, lemon pound cake recipe