Starbucks Copycat Lemon Loaf Recipe: How to Make It at Home

Are you a fan of Starbucks' lemon loaf? If so, you may want to make a copycat version at home. With just a few simple ingredients and some basic baking skills, you can create a delicious lemon loaf that rivals the original.

Loaf of freshly baked lemon loaf like Starbucks on parchment paper on a black baking sheet

Making a copycat Starbucks lemon loaf is a great way to enjoy your favorite treat without having to leave the house or having to spend a lot of money!

Plus, you can customize the recipe to your liking, whether you prefer a more lemony flavor or a sweeter glaze. So why not give it a try and see how your homemade version stacks up against the real thing?

Iced Lemon Pound Cake that's Better than Starbucks

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💌 Why You'll Love This Recipe

The Starbucks Lemon Loaf is a moist, dense cake that is infused with lemon flavor. The cake is topped with a sweet glaze that adds a burst of flavor to every bite. It's a popular item on their menu, and it is no surprise that many people want to recreate it at home and this recipe is super close in taste and texture to the 'real thing'!

When making a copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf, it is essential to pay attention to the ingredients and their measurements. The right balance of ingredients is crucial to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. It is also important to follow the recipe instructions carefully to ensure that the cake turns out moist and delicious.


This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.

Overhead view of ingredients used to make homemade lemon pound cake that's a Starbucks copycat iced lemon loaf
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • butter
  • vanilla extract
  • lemon extract
  • lemon juice
  • coconut oil
  • powdered sugar
  • milk

See recipe card for quantities.


This is an overview of the instructions. The full recipe and instructions as well as nutritional information can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Lemon pound cake batter in clear glass bowl

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

Close up of lemon pound cake batter - copycat Starbucks recipe

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon juice with a mixer (or by hand) until well blended.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add oil and mix well.

Lemon pound cake poured into a metal loaf pan

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Freshly baked lemon pound cake.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then gently loosen sides and allow to cool completely on wire rack.

Iced Lemon Pound Cake that's Better than Starbucks

When completely cool, make the icing.

In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, and lemon extract until smooth.

Spoon frosting over top of cooled cake.

homemade Starbucks lemon loaf cake

When frosting has hardened (set) slice pound cake and serve!

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Baking Essentials

When it comes to baking a perfect copycat Starbucks lemon loaf, having the right baking essentials is crucial. Here are some of the essentials you'll need to make a delicious lemon loaf:

Loaf Pan

A loaf pan is a must-have for baking a lemon loaf. You can use a standard 9x5 inch loaf pan or two mini loaf pans. If you want to make a bundt cake, you can use a bundt pan. Whatever pan you choose, make sure it's greased properly.

Room Temperature

When baking, it's important to have all your ingredients at room temperature. This includes eggs and butter. Room temperature ingredients mix together more easily, resulting in a smoother batter.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a key ingredient in this recipe. It helps the loaf rise and gives it a light texture. Make sure your baking soda is fresh and not expired.

Toothpick Test

To ensure your lemon loaf is fully baked, insert a toothpick in the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, the loaf is done. If there is batter on the toothpick, bake for a few more minutes and test again.

Preheat Oven

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before baking. This ensures that your oven is at the right temperature and the loaf will bake evenly.

📖 Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Lemon Loaf

When it comes to making a delicious copycat Starbucks lemon loaf, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure your cake turns out perfectly. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Use fresh lemon juice and zest: For the best lemon flavor, use fresh lemon juice and zest, rather than bottled juice or pre-packaged zest. This will give your cake a bright, tangy flavor that can't be beat.
  • Don't overmix the batter: Overmixing the batter can result in a tough, dense cake. Mix just until the ingredients are combined and then stop. It's okay if there are a few lumps in the batter.
  • Grease and flour your pan: To prevent your cake from sticking to the pan, make sure to grease and flour it thoroughly. You can also use parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan for extra insurance.
  • Let the cake cool completely before slicing: It can be tempting to dig into your cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, but resist the urge. Let it cool completely before slicing to ensure that it holds its shape.
  • Store the cake properly: To keep your lemon loaf fresh, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. If you want to keep it longer, you can freeze it for up to three months. Just wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer-safe container.

Storing and Freezing the Lemon Loaf

Close up of a loaf of freshly baked lemon pound cake with two pieces sliced

Once you have baked your delicious Starbucks copycat lemon loaf, you may be wondering how to store and freeze it for later enjoyment. Here are some tips to help you keep your lemon loaf fresh and moist.

Cooling and Storing

After baking, allow the lemon loaf to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, wrap the loaf in foil or plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for up to 3 days. Be sure to grease the foil or plastic wrap to prevent sticking.

If you want to keep the lemon loaf for a longer period, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. However, keep in mind that refrigeration may dry out the loaf and affect its texture.


If you want to freeze the lemon loaf, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. Be sure to label and date the package. The lemon loaf can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you are ready to enjoy the lemon loaf, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, remove the foil and plastic wrap and allow the loaf to come to room temperature before serving.

Tips for Maintaining Moisture

To maintain the moisture of the lemon loaf, you can place a slice of bread or a damp paper towel in the container with the loaf. This will help keep the loaf moist and fresh.

It's important to note that freezing may affect the texture of the lemon loaf, so it may not be as moist as when it was freshly baked. However, with proper storage and thawing techniques, you can still enjoy a delicious slice of lemon loaf anytime you want.

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card below ⬇️ you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need.

If you love this recipe please give it a 5 star rating. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖 Recipe

Starbucks Copycat Iced Lemon Loaf Cake

This Starbucks Copycat Iced Lemon Loaf Cake recipe brings the tangy-sweet delight of the coffee shop favorite right into your home kitchen.
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homemade Starbucks lemon loaf cake
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:45 minutes
Cooling Time:10 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 5 minutes



Lemon Loaf



Lemon Loaf

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease loaf pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon juice with a mixer (or by hand) until well blended.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add oil and mix well.
  • Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then gently loosen sides and allow to cool completely on wire rack.
  • When completely cool, make icing.


  • In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, and lemon extract until smooth.
  • When loaf is cooled, spoon frosting over top.
  • When frosting has hardened (set) slice pound cake and serve!
  • Garnish with grated lemon or lemon slices.

As with any of my recipes, calorie counts and nutritional information varies greatly depending on which products you choose to use when cooking this dish.


Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 147IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 327kcal
Author: Mary Beth
Cost: $6.00
Glass Citrus Juicer

*I have an old plastic juicer but I have my eye on this glass one.  I'm trying to replace "old plastic" in my kitchen with glass. Have you replaced your old kitchen plastic yet?}

**If the coconut oil is not in liquid form, microwave in 10-second increments until melted (can substitute vegetable oil) ~ If using coconut oil make sure your other ingredients are at room temperature before adding the melted coconut oil.  Once it comes into contact with "cold" ingredients the coconut oil will harden (which you don't want to happen).

Signature Block - with photo of Mary Beth, your homemaking coach, and a pink stand mixer

When I was looking for recipe ideas for this I found that almost every recipe credited Todd Wilbur's and his version at - therefore, this recipe, is attributed to him!

sliced homemade Starbucks copycat lemon loaf on a white plate

 What's your favorite baked good from Starbucks?

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Recipe Rating


  1. Oh yum!! Definitely one of my favorite desserts, too!! Your recipe looks amazing!!
    I actually have a vintage green glass juicer (in storage) just like the one you envy. It's got a chip in the foot, but oh, well, it still works great. Since I'm a terrible lemon squeezer and uses lots of lemons here in my temp apt., I picked up a little hand juicer and it works well.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you, Diane! I would love to see your green glass juicer. We have a local antique store that has the glass ones. Someday, I would love to pick one up. I'm not sure if I'd use it or just display it. xo

  2. Hi! Haven't tried your recipe yet but definitely will soon. My ? tree is bursting with lemons! Not complaining ;o) I'm wondering if I could use lemon juice in the glaze instead of lemon extract? What do I think? Thanks! ?

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Hi Marta, I have been thinking about this one for a few days now and I absolutely think that you could use real lemon juice in the glaze. The lemon flavor would be a bit more watered down as extract provides more intense flavor but I think it would still be delicious! You could make it on the side, taste it (maybe even make a small test batch) and make sure you like it before you add it to the top of your cake. I hope that helps. xo, mb

  3. Julie smith says:

    Iv made this 2 times. So delicious.. but both times it has sunk in the middle. Once very much. Please help ! What am I doing wrong ??

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Hi Julie! I am so sorry the cake is sinking (but I'm glad you like it!). The one thing I would recommend is that you alter the baking powder and baking soda a little and try these measurements instead: 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. If you make it again, please let me know if this helped. kind regards, Mary Beth

  4. I have been craving lemon - but never have any fresh lemons on hand! I came across this recipe and even with the greatest faux pas of using bottle lemon juice for the cake and icing - this turned out so scrumptious! I have to believe it would be heavenly with real lemons! Thank you for a great recipe!