Lemon Loaf Cake

Lemon Loaf Cake

Out of everything that I cook or bake, this lemon loaf cake is Brad’s absolute favorite treat. I discovered this recipe last winter and made as many loaves as possible with our fresh Meyer lemons. I’m pretty sure I baked over two dozen of these loaves last winter. I gave most of them to neighbors, coworkers and friends as a small holiday gift. This lemon loaf will brighten up your day. I don’t know what it is about lemon, but it is so refreshing and always puts me in a happy mood. Perhaps it is because in the middle of winter when most plants are struggling to survive through the cold weather, the lemon tree is full of life and bursting with bright yellow color. A slice of this lemon loaf cake is the perfect way to start the week after enjoying a long relaxing holiday weekend.

Eat this cake for breakfast, snack or dessert. The fresh lemon zest and juice create a loaf that is full of lemon flavor. The loaf cake is moist, dense and sweet. It is comparable to a pound cake. I always use Meyer lemons because I always have them available, but regular lemons work just as well. And I always make at least two loaves. If you don’t want to eat them both, freeze one and then glaze just prior to serving.

And if you would like a lemon tree of your own, head over here and enter the giveaway to win a $50 gift card to Williams Sonoma to use towards the purchase of a lemon tree or anything else that you might want.

Lemon Loaf Cake

Lemon Loaf Cake

Lemon Loaf Cake

Lemon Loaf Cake

Lemon Loaf Cake

Yields 1 9-inch loaf

Lemon Loaf Cake
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    For the cake:
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. grated lemon zest (about 1-2 lemons)
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. To make the loaf, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Dust with flour and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the sugar, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the melted butter. Add half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla until combined. Mix in the remaining dry ingredient just until incorporated.
  2. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes, then rotate pan and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Continue baking 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes.
  3. When the cake is completely cool, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk to blend until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the loaf. Let stand briefly until the glaze hardens. Slice and serve.

Source: adapted from Cooks Like a Champion, originally from Baked: adapted from New Frontiers in Baking


  1. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    I absolutely LOVE lemon loaf cake but don’t make it at home nearly enough! Might have to get a little lemon loaf cake baking frenzy going during the holidays. 🙂

    • Ashley

      I highly recommend a lemon loaf cake baking frenzy 🙂

  2. Courtney

    So glad you enjoyed this! It’s seriously one of my favorite things to make.

    • Ashley

      Thanks for sharing, Courtney! I LOVE this lemon loaf. I love anything by Baked but I don’t have this book so I am glad that you shared this recipe.

      • Courtney

        I have Baked and Baked Explorations. Both are awesome, so you should get them next time you’re searching for a cookbook to buy.

  3. Kelly

    I adore Meyer lemons and love that you have fresh lemons from your tree to bake with at any time 🙂 This lemon loaf sounds so good and full of fresh citrus flavor. The glaze looks so pretty! Pinning 🙂 Hope you have a great week Ashley!

    • Ashley

      Thanks, Kelly! It is incredibly convenient to have my own lemon tree 🙂

  4. Janet

    I will use regular lemons but this cake looks like a winner! I love lemon flavored things so this is on my holiday baking list but I am going to try it with gluten-free flour. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Ashley

      Regular lemons will work just as good. I hope that you enjoy, Janet!

  5. Ashley

    I used to hate lemon in baked goods up until about a year or two ago … I feel like I need to make up for lost time! This loaf cake sounds awesome – definitely a you can eat it for breakfast kind of treat : )

  6. simple green moms

    Had some lemon cake over the holidays that was terribly sweet! Might have to try this recipe asap =)

    • Ashley

      You should definitely try it! It is perfectly sweet 🙂

  7. Amy @ Homey Oh My!

    (continuing from my comment on Instagram)… yes yes yes yes yes!!!! LOOOOVE lemon cake!!! It’s so beautiful, too. How I wish I was your neighbor…

    • Ashley

      I hope that you get to try this lemon loaf, Amy. I think that you will like it!

  8. Monet

    What a STUNNING loaf cake! Just love this! My little sister loves lemon bread and I can’t wait to make this for her. Thank you for sharing, my friend! I hope you are having a great start to your week!

    • Ashley

      Thanks, Monet! I hope that you and your sister enjoy this cake. It is incredibly delicious!

  9. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

    Ashley, this cake is absolutely beautiful – down to the moist cake and drizzled glaze! I can smell this deliciousness from here, hoping to make a loaf of this very soon!

    • Ashley

      I hope that you enjoy this delicious lemon loaf, Pamela!

  10. Zainab @ Blahnik Baker

    Oh absolutely yes!! Lemons are the best and they are always in season. This is a gorgeous cake!

    • Ashley

      Thanks, Zainab! I always have plenty of lemons 🙂

  11. Anne ~ Uni Homemaker

    Love this cake! I have some Meyer lemons in the yard that need to be used up. This is the perfect recipe for it. Thanks for sharing Ashley. Pinned!

    • Ashley

      Don’t you just love having Meyer lemons right in your yard? We have so many this year and it makes me so happy.

  12. Marcie

    This is such a beautiful cake, Ashley! I absolutely love lemon flavored treats — they just pop with freshness and flavor.

    • Ashley

      Thanks, Marcie! I agree, I love the sweet tart flavor of lemon treats.

    • Ashley

      Lemon treats are so refreshing 🙂

  13. Min @ MJ and Hungryman

    Yum!! This looks so amazing, Ashley! I’m with you. Anything with lemon makes me happy ;). What is there not to like about it? I love that you bake for your coworkers and friends during the holidays. I can’t wait to try this delightful cake soon! Hope your week is off to a great start! 😉

    • Ashley

      Thanks, Min! As much as I would love to eat everything myself, it makes me feel better to give most of it to others 🙂

  14. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    I love baking with lemons, they make everything taste so fresh and the color’s just beautiful! This loaf looks awesome, I’ll have to try it soon 🙂

    • Ashley

      I didn’t realize how much I loved lemons until I started baking with them. I agree that there is something about them that makes everything taste so fresh. And they are so versatile that I use them for everything.

  15. Chocolate Shavings

    I love lemon loaves like this one! It always makes the winter months feel summery. Yum!

    • Ashley

      I think that is why I love lemons so much, because it brightens up a dark, cold and gloomy day.

  16. Natalie @ Tastes Lovely

    I seriously love all things lemon! Especially lemon bars. But this lemon loaf cake might be my new favorite. Can’t wait to try. Your pictures are beautiful by the way : )

    • Ashley

      Thanks, Natalie! I think you would love this cake if you love lemon bars. I love anything lemon – bars, cookies, bread. It all tastes so refreshing even in dessert form 🙂

  17. Winnie

    Lemon cake is one of our favorites, and this is a wonderful delicious looking cake !

  18. Karly

    This has got to happen in my kitchen very soon! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  19. Julie @ This Gal Cooks

    I love lemon cakes. This one looks great, Ashley! Thanks so much for sharing at Marvelous Mondays. Pinned! Have a wonderful week!

  20. Christine

    This looks so moist-I bet adding to the good mood is the cheery, fluffy yellow that you can look at anytime you pop a bite into your mouth;)

  21. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    That is one gorgeous looking loaf cake. I say yes to eating this for breakfast!!!!

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  24. Brad

    This is my favorite recipe on this website but I couldn’t make it tonight because it takes 4 eggs and not 3. I’ll try again another day. This bread is soooooo good.

  25. Brad

    Just made this recipe, it’s best to use Meyer lemons and I skip the glazing. Yummm

  26. ray

    can you tell the type of sugar?

    • Ashley

      Hi, Ray! This recipe uses standard granulated sugar. I hope that you enjoy!

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