If you’re a fan of Starbucks’ Lemon Loaf Cake, then you’ll love making it at home with our easy recipe. With just a few simple ingredients you can enjoy this moist and delicious cake anytime you want. Not only is it a crowd-pleaser, but it’s also perfect for those who love a citrusy, tangy flavor in their desserts.
This post was originally published May 13, 2015. It has since been updated to include fresh photos and helpful tips.
- Cake Mix Hack: I love a good cake mix hack recipe, and this one lands firmly in that category. Quick, easy, and delicious!
- Bold Lemon Flavor: With a triple dose of lemon, thanks to the cake mix, lemon zest, and juice, this cake has the perfect bold spring flavor.
- Makes 2 Cakes: Eat one now and freeze one for later!
I LOVE the lemon loaf at Starbucks. It’s loaded with tang and has a sweetness that is unbeatable. I order it whenever I can and never ever share. It’s my guilty pleasure and I’ve been working on a copycat recipe for quite some time now.
This copycat Starbucks lemon loaf recipe has moist, dense texture and a sweet, tangy flavor with a pronounced lemon taste that all starts from a cake mix! Top that off with a sweet and tangy icing and you’ve got a lemon dessert that everyone will be fighting over!
Lemon Loaf Cake From A Box Mix
Starting with a cake mix has so many amazing benefits. It’s time saving, you get consistent results, and is extremely convenient. Here’s what you will need to get started:
- Cake Mix: I wanted a nice lemon flavor and started with a lemon cake mix. Any brand should work.
- Pudding Mix: Vanilla is key here. It helps to mellow out the bold citrus while still bringing all of the flavors together.
- Flour: In recent years, cake mixes have shrank in oz sizes. Add just a touch of flour to help stabilize the cake and give it lift.
- Sour Cream: The tang is delightful, but it also adds moisture.
- Oil and Milk: Both add to the moisture of the cake and help it bake to perfection.
- Eggs: Large eggs at room temperature.
- Lemon: Used 3 ways: as zest, juice, and in the glaze.
Iced Lemon Loaf Recipe
- PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the inside of two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2″ loaf pans with baking spray and set aside.
- MIX: Whisk together the cake mix, dry pudding mix, flour, sour cream, oil, milk, eggs, lemon juice and zest of lemon.
- BAKE: Divide between the two pans, about 22.9 oz each. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until baked through and a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
- COOL: Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- GLAZE: Once the cakes have cooled completely, whisk a little powdered sugar with lemon juice. Spread over the cakes and let set for 10-20 minutes.
- Loaf Pans: This two set of loaf pans (affiliate) is amazing for quick baking projects!
- Silicone Spatulas: If I can only recommend one kitchen tool, it would be a set of silicone spatulas (affiliate). These are so versatile and used daily in our kitchen. Great for baking AND cooking.
- Mixing Bowls: I have a nesting mixing bowl set (affiliate) that stacks beautifully. Space saving and tons of sizes included!
You can use other cake mix flavors, however the flavor will not be as bold. If you do switch to a classic cake flavor I suggest using a lemon jello.
I’ve never tried this with other fruits, but I’m sure a lime version would be delightful.
Yes! You can bake and cool this cake completely. Wrap in plastic and transfer to a freezer safe zip top bag. Freeze for up to three months. When ready to enjoy simply let it come to room temperature and add the glaze.
The best way to store this cake is in an airtight container at room temperature.
The best way to tell if your cake is done baking is to test the center with a toothpick. If it comes out clean when poked in the center, your cake is done baking.
Lemon Loaf Cake
Lemon Pound Cake
- 1 (15.25oz) lemon cake mix
- 1 (3.4oz) box instant vanilla pudding
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- zest 1 lemon
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- zest 1 lemon
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the inside of two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2" loaf pans with baking spray and set aside.
- Whisk together the cake mix, dry pudding mix, flour, sour cream, oil, milk, eggs, lemon juice and zest of lemon.
- Divide between the two pans, about 22.9 oz each.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until baked through and a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Whisk the powdered sugar with the lemon zest and lemon juice, starting with 3 tablespoons and increasing until your desired thickness is achieved.
- Divide the glaze evenly over the top of the cooled cakes. Allow to set for 10 minutes before serving.