Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake Recipe

This is a recipe in need of bookmarking. Brunch invite? Break out the lemon cake. Backyard barbecue? It's a perfect dessert. Breakfast for overnight guest? Coffee and lemon cake it is. With a light lemony flavor and the perfect coffee shop icing, it's perfect any time of day. It's also a great excuse to eat cake for breakfast, and that's something we could all use.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Things You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

  • ¼ cup lemon juice (1 large lemon)

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1

    ¾ cups all purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon

    baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 1: Zest, Sugar and Butter

Add the zest, sugar and butter to a stand mixer. Mix on high for 3 to 5 minutes. This will help release the lemon oils in the zest for a bigger lemon flavor.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 2: Add Eggs and Vanilla

One at a time, add the eggs, the lemon extract, and the vanilla, beating well between additions.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 3: Add Remaining Wet Ingredients

Add the lemon juice, buttermilk, and oil, beating until well combined.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 4: Add Dry Ingredients

Sprinkle with flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir until just combined–do not over mix.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 5: Bake

Grease a 9 inch loaf pan (flour as well if cakes tend to stick to your loaf pan), and spread the batter into the pan in an even layer. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.

Step 6: Make Icing

Add the 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons buttermilk and 1 teaspoon lemon extract in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until well combined. It will be very thick–this will allow it to sit on top of the loaf instead of running down the sides.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 7: Cool and Ice

Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the pan. Ice the top of the cake, allow to icing to set before slicing.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd


Want to make it super moist? Just brush all sides with simple syrup! Combine equal parts hot water and sugar, then brush onto the cake with a pastry brush.

Step 8: Slice and Serve

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd
Image Credit: Jackie Dodd