Lemon Loaf Cake

This lemon loaf cake is great for breakfast, dessert and even snack. It stays well for days if covered and requires only 15 minutes of prep. 

Fresh lemon adds the best flavor. This loaf cake is made using fresh lemons and a few basic baking ingredients. Drizzle the loaf with lemon glaze for even more lemon flavor. The cake is perfect for any time of the year. Kids and adults love it!

mixing ingredients for lemon loaf in a glass bowl

How to make lemon loaf cake

  1. Prepare the cake batter. Use fresh lemon zest and lemon juice. Do not over mix the batter. You want to stir until just incorporated.
  2. Transfer the batter to a prepared 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and continue baking for 30 to 35 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  4. Allow the cake to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Prepare the lemon glaze and drizzle over the loaf.

cake batter in a loaf pan before and after baking

Tips for making loaf cake

  • Use any type of lemons for this cake. We love using Meyer lemons because they are packed with flavor and a little on the sweeter side. Because they are sweeter, we cut back on the sugar. If using Meyer lemons, we use 3/4 cup granulated sugar.
  • You can use all purpose flour instead of cake flour. Or use a homemade cake flour substitute. The cake flour helps create a light and fluffy consistency so we recommend it, if possible.
  • You can use a gluten free one to one flour instead to make it gluten free.
  • Do not over mix the batter. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Store the loaf covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. Tin foil or a sealed bread box works great for storage.
  • To freeze the loaf, ensure the loaf is completely cool and wrap it in plastic wrap.Then wrap in tin foil and store in a freezer safe bag in the freezer for up to 4 months. Make the glaze and drizzle just prior to serving. Do not freeze with the glaze.

one slice of lemon cake sitting in front of the remaining loaf on a white table

Best lemon recipes

Three slices of lemon loaf cake stacked on top of each other on a white background

If you love Starbucks lemon loaf or anything lemon then you will love this tasty loaf cake. Prep is easy and it lasts for a few days. Try it and let us know what you think!

one slice of lemon cake sitting in front of the remaining loaf on a white table

Lemon Loaf Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
This loaf cake is great for breakfast, dessert and even just a quick snack. It stays well for days if covered.
5 from 6 votes


For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, about 1 to 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


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.
  • 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 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes.

For the glaze:

  • 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.


  • Cover the loaf and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. 


Serving: 0g, Calories: 327kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 148mg, Potassium: 81mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 576IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Ashley C.
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

Recipe originally published December 2013 and updated June 2020. The recipe was adapted from Cooks Like a Champion, originally from the New Frontiers in Baking.

6 comments on “Lemon Loaf Cake”

  1. This was such a great recipe! A must have for any lemon lover! 

  2. I just finished making this and it was AMAZING!! So full of lemon flavor. I did use your “homemade cake flour” recipe, reduced the sugar to 3/4 of a cup and reduced the butter to 8 tablespoons (16 just seemed like too much comparing the fat in other quickbread recipes) and the bread came out perfect! In total, I was also able to reduce the number of calories in the recipe by 890 calories!! I haven’t tried it with the glaze yet as the bread is still cooling (but I couldn’t wait to try it, so I had to chop off an end to taste before fully cooled), but will add a hint of glaze tomorrow. Even without the glaze…this recipe still tastes great!! Will definitely be making again!!

  3. Delicious!! will have to try it out!

  4. Wow! This is definitely my kind of breakfast! Looks so delicious.

  5. This cake came out beautifully with just the right amount of lemon flavor. Thanks for the recipe! Will be making again.

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