This iced lemon loaf recipe is sweet, tangy, and a delicious copycat version of the famous Starbucks version. No need to visit the coffee shop anymore. You can make this right in your own home!
Craving for Spring: The Idea Behind the Iced Lemon Loaf
As I’m writing this, it’s 33 degrees outside. It’s still the middle of winter, yet I’m craving all things spring! We had record breaking rain here in California (which is unusual for us!) so the weather here has been gloomy and slightly downcast. However, we were given a brief respite and the sun came out for the entire day, and I had a major hankering for something sweet and that screamed spring. Queue the iced lemon loaf!
All the Lemon Flavorings
Here’s how to make a copycat version of Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf. You’re going to have to get a lot of lemon flavoring packed into this 9″x5″ guy. In order to do that you’ll not only need fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and a tiny bit of pure lemon extract. But you’ll also need the not-so-secret ingredient: a box of lemon jello.
The secret to this iced lemon loaf is the the small box of lemon jello. It not only creates a slightly crumby loaf cake, but it’s undeniably packed with lemon flavor, just like the Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf. It’s super moist, citrusy and irresistibly delicious!
Thick, lemony icing for the Iced Lemon Loaf
Now if we’re going for a true Starbucks Copycat Iced Lemon Loaf, the icing on top needs to be thick. A lot of lemon pound cakes that you see on the internet or in stores, has more of a lemon glaze. Which if that’s your thing, go for it! However, in this recipe, we’re laying it on thick! It’s actually going to be slightly thicker than a cake frosting, because we want it to harden a little bit as it sits.
Because the cake of the lemon loaf is super bright and lemony, you’re going to want to offset that with a thick layer of icing. Make it as thin or as thick as you want it! This recipe gives you enough icing to frost the entire top with about a 1/4″ thickness of icing.
Why you will love this Iced Lemon Loaf!
This iced lemon loaf is a dessert that everyone will love and dare I say, the closest thing you can get to the Starbucks recipe.
- It’s a “one bowl and pour” kind of deal. Meaning, just mix all the loaf ingredients together and bake in a 9″x5″ rectangular baking pan. Then just allow to cool and frost. Ridiculously easy!
- Way cheaper to make at home than buying at Starbucks. The cost of one slice of iced lemon loaf at my local Starbucks is currently $3.65! That’s insane for one slice. This recipe makes about 8 slices (depending on how thick you cut it.) If you bought 8 slices at Starbucks, that’s almost $30! If you’re a baker, you probably have most the ingredients at home, so save your money and make it at home.
- Slightly healthier. I say this in the sense that you know every single ingredient that’s going into your iced lemon loaf. You’re also able to alter the ingredients (or change them completely!) to adjust to your personal taste. While it may not be low in fat or calories, we can pronounce every single ingredient going into this loaf, and that’s a good thing.
The Players aka The Ingredients
Here are the ingredients to making this delectable iced lemon loaf!
- Flour – all-purpose flour. I’ve never experimented with much other flours
- Lemon Jello packet – just one 3 oz box will do
- Baking powder – helps the loaf rise
- Baking soda – another rising agent
- Salt – helps bring and develop all the flavors together
- Eggs – helps the dough rise and create a perfect crumby loaf
- Sugar – to sweeten your loaf
- Buttermilk – brings a wonderful tangy flavor to the loaf
- Canola Oil – plays as the fat for the lemon loaf
- Lemon juice – bring a natural lemon flavor
- Vanilla extract – enhances all the other flavors in the loaf
- Lemon extract – helps bring even more lemon flavor
- Lemon zest – brings more natural lemon flavoring to your loaf
- Butter – helps give structure and flavor to the icing
- Powdered sugar – also known as icing sugar, is quick dissolving for the topping
Leftover & Storing Instructions – if you have any left that is!
How I store this delicious iced lemon loaf is straight on the counter. Well, I mean on a plate on the counter haha! I fear that if you stick this in the fridge, the cake with dry out terribly. Wrap it with saran wrap and keep on your counter. Your lemon loaf should last for at least 3-4 days before it starts to dry out.
Serve a slice of this up with a cup of coffee for breakfast, slightly warming in the microwave for a few seconds. Additionally, have this for dessert with a super cold glass of milk. Or do both in one day. I promise I won’t judge or tell cause I may have done this lol!
Want to try other recipes with lemon?
Give these recipes a try if you’re a lemon lover like me!
Other Starbucks Copycat recipes I’ve made
Fun fact about me and why I love Starbucks so much. I used to work at Starbucks for 7 years. I was able to taste test everything throughout the years and once I stopped get that employee discount, buying the sweet treats were expensive haha! Consequently, I’ve tried to replicate my Starbucks favorites at home, with more to come in the future!
- Starbucks Pumpkin Scone Recipe
- Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf Recipe
- Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin Recipe
If you end up trying this Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf copycat recipe, leave me a comment down below! What Starbucks treat should I bake next?
Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf Copycat Recipe
Lemon Loaf Mixture
- 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 pkg lemon jello (3 oz)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk*
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons of zest)
- 2 tbsp softened butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tsp lemon juice
Baking the Lemon Loaf
- Preheat oven to 350 F and set oven rack to middle of oven. Spray a 9"x5" loaf baking pan generously with cooking spray.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, lemon jello packet, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
- To the same bowl, add in the eggs, buttermilk, canola oil, lemon juice, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest. Using a hand held mixer, mix very well until there are no visible lumps. Pour mixture into baking pan.
- Bake for 55 minutes, checking with a toothpick at 50 minutes by poking in the middle of loaf. If toothpick comes out clean, the loaf is done.
- Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the baking pan. Remove loaf from pan by running a knife around the edges of pan and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Making the Lemon Icing
- In a medium size bowl, mix together softened butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice. Make the consistency as thick as you'd like by adding more or less lemon juice. Frost the cooled lemon loaf.