If you love the Iced Lemon Loaf from Starbucks, you’re going to want to save or print this recipe. After years of remaking this recipe, I’ve finally settled on the perfect lemon loaf recipe. Try it yourself, and you too will be in love!
This pound cake is better than most recipes I’ve tried both at coffee shops and from relatives. It features a dense, moist crumb that is so delicious eaten alone or glazed. But, the real treat is the fresh lemon icing that makes this loaf shine as bright as the sun! You have got to try this recipe as is to discover why we love it so much!
Now that everything lemon season is approaching, you might also want to try these cookie recipes. Check out our delightful recipes for Lemon Cake Mix Crinkle Cookies, Lemon Ricotta Cookies, or perhaps these Iced Lemon Biscotti which pair so well with hot coffee.
Before starting this recipe, you’ll want to verify that you have the following ingredients:
- Sugar – Granulated, white sugar will help to sweeten this loaf.
- Butter – Unsalted butter helps to add that classic buttery taste and moisture.
- Eggs – The large variety works well to bind and add structure (along with the flour) to the loaf. Room temperature egg work best.
- Lemon – One large, ripe lemon should do the trick (although you might need 2). You will be zesting it to remove only the yellow outer peel. You will also need the juice from it. An average lemon has 3 tablespoons, but mine was jumbo and has 4! Roll the lemon around on a hard surface like a cutting board to get the juices flowing.
- Flour – All-purpose flour will make up the structure of this loaf.
- Baking powder – We help the load to rise.
- Salt – Always used in baking, this enhances the flavors.
- Milk – Whole milk (or 2% adds moisture to the loaf and makes the dough pourable.
- Powdered Sugar – This is the base of the glaze you will be pouring over the loaf.
Equipment and Supplies Needed
We used the following equipment and supplies to make this recipe. Items that are optional or can be substituted will be noted.
- Measuring cups & spoons – To measure out ingredients like the flour and baking powder.
- Lemon Zester – To remove the yellow peel of the lemon. This is where all the flavor is. Don’t remove the white pith because that is bitter.
- Stand Mixer (can also use a hand mixer) – To mix the ingredients. I prefer a stand mixer when I cream butter and sugar because it is efficient and make less of a mess.
- Rubber Spatula – To spoon the batter from the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Parchment paper – Line the loaf pan with this and you will have a fool-proof way to cool, and slice your loaf. Plus, the chances of you scratching your pan with a knife and low.
- 8 x 5 Loaf pan – This recipe bakes one loaf in this size pan.
- Medium bowl – To prepare the icing.
- Whisk – To combine the icing ingredients.
Preheat your oven to 350°F and gather your ingredients and supplies.
Add the paddle attachment to the stand mixer. Pour the sugar into the mixer bowl and add the stick of butter. Blend until fluffy; about 4 minutes on medium speed.
Beat in the eggs, lemon juice & zest (loaf portions). Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder, and gradually add that in. Slowly add in the milk and once the batter comes together, scrape the sides down, and give it a final mix.
Pour the batter into the parchment-lined loaf cake and bake for 40-45 minutes. The top of the loaf will be raised, slightly golden brown, and firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean once ready.
To make the icing, whisk powdered sugar, zest, and juice to combine a thick pourable icing.
When the loaf is baked, cool it for 15 minutes, remove the parchment from the pan, and cool it for an additional 15 minutes before layering the icing on.
Pour over 1/3 of the icing over the top of the loaf, and spread it slightly. Allow icing to set for about 5 minutes before repeating the process 2 additional times. After the final layer, and then slice it with a bread knife- enjoy!
If you want to store your Lemon Pound Cake, just follow these easy steps.
If you want to enjoy it without icing, allow the lemon loaf to fully cool to room temperature. This will take a good hour since it retains heat well. If you do not allow it to cool fully it will sweat and lose its nice texture. This will last for up to 4 days for best taste
If you want to enjoy it with icing, follow the directions in the recipe card and store the iced, sliced pound cake in an airtight container. This will last for up to 3 days for best taste.
Lemon pound cake can be stored without icing, frozen for up to 3 months. If you want to freeze your loaf, allow it to cool for at least 90 minutes. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, use a food storage system, freezer-safe container, or zippered bag to prevent freezer burn. Next, store the entire loaf or slices inside the freezer where they won’t be crushed by other heavy foods.
When you’re ready to eat your frozen pound cake, you can remove it from the freezer the night before and allow it to defrost at room temperature. Defrosting pound cake at room temperature could take up to 3 or 4 hours.
If you would like to ice your lemon loaf, follow the instructions in the recipe card below.
Follow the recipe below to make Iced Lemon Pound Cake! This recipe makes one loaf which equals 12 slices, but you can adjust the recipe card for a double batch.
Iced Lemon Pound Cake Loaf (Best Ever)
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Lemon Zester
- Stand Mixer
- Rubber Spatula
- parchment paper
- 8 x 5 Loaf pan
- medium bowl
- 1 cup Sugar
- ½ cup Butter
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 tablespoon Lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
- 1½ cups Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup Milk whole, or 2%
- 1½ cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. and gather your ingredients and supplies. Add the paddle attachment to your stand mixer.
- Pour the sugar into the mixer bowl and add the stick of butter. Blend until fluffy; about 4 minutes on medium speed
- Beat in the eggs, lemon juice & zest (loaf portions). Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder, and gradually add that in. Slowly add in the milk and once the batter comes together, scrape the sides down, and give it a final mix.
- Pour the batter into the parchment-lined loaf cake and bake for 40-45 minutes. The top of the loaf will be raised, slightly golden brown, and firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean once ready.
- When the loaf is baked, cool it for 15 minutes, remove the parchment from the pan, and cool it for an additional 15 minutes before layering the icing on. It will be slightly warm but that is okay.
- Add icing ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until thick and pourable. If icing is too runny, and additional powdered sugar in tablespoon increments.
- To layer the icing, pour over 1/3 of the icing over the top of the loaf, and spread it slightly. Allow icing to set for about 5 minutes before repeating the process 2 additional times. After the final layer is set, slice with a bread knife & enjoy.