Better Than Starbucks Lemon Loaf

Cakes & Cupcakes · Desserts · April 2, 2015

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If you like Starbucks Lemon Loaf, then you'll love this moist, delicious Lemon cake! This easy to make recipe, is loaded with delicious lemon flavor, and topped with an amazing lemon frosting.

If you like Starbucks Lemon Loaf, then you’ll love this moist, delicious Lemon cake!  This easy to make recipe is loaded with delicious lemon flavor, and topped with an amazing lemon frosting.  It’s even BETTER than Starbucks!

Raise your hand if you love Starbucks Lemon Loaf!  Yes, I see you raising your hand – I’m right there with you!  There is something about that delicious, moist cake that keeps us all coming back for more.  Its rich, moist, perfectly flavored lemon cake topped with the perfect layer of lemon frosting, well…there is no way I’m sharing a slice.  I’ve come to tell you that you can make this delicious Lemon Loaf right at home, and it will taste EVEN BETTER than Starbucks!

If you like Starbucks Lemon Loaf, then you'll love this moist, delicious Lemon cake! This easy to make recipe, is loaded with delicious lemon flavor, and topped with an amazing lemon frosting.

A couple things – I tested a few recipes I found on line.  What I found were recipes that ended up either too dry, or had an odd balance of tart lemon flavor.  None really had the same moistness and perfectly balanced lemon flavor as the Starbucks cake.  Another thing was getting a frosting that had the same consistency as the Starbucks cake.  The one I have here, hits the spot perfectly!

While baking, I kept it in the oven a little longer than some of the other recipes I tried.  It needed a little longer to ensure that it wouldn’t sink in the middle.  Unlike other recipes I tried, I added Greek yogurt to this cake recipe, and a little more oil.  With these additions, this recipe is spot-on!  The ultimate moist, delicious lemon cake!

Here are the video instructions to make this Lemon Loaf:



Here’s how this amazing Better Than Starbucks Lemon Loaf comes together:

4.8 from 52 reviews
Better Than Starbucks Lemon Loaf
If you like Starbucks Lemon Loaf, then you'll love this moist, delicious Lemon cake! This easy to make recipe is loaded with delicious lemon flavor, and topped with an amazing lemon frosting.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10
  • 1½ c. flour
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) package, instant Lemon pudding mix
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. lemon extract
  • ⅓ c. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ c. oil
  • ¾ c. plain Greek yogurt
  • zest of one lemon
  • Frosting:
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter, soft but not melted
  • 1½ c. powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 5 x 9" loaf pan with a piece of waxed paper. (With a pencil, trace the bottom of the pan on a piece of waxed paper and cut out with scissors.) Spray the pan, and waxed paper with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a stand or hand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon juice, oil and yogurt. Mix until evenly combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon zest, and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes, or until center is fully set, and a toothpick inserted comes out crumb free.
  3. After baking, let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan, invert and remove from the pan, removing the waxed paper from the bottom. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
  4. For the frosting: Combine the butter, lemon juice and lemon extract with hand or stand mixer. Gradually add the powdered sugar, and beat until smooth and creamy. Evenly spread the frosting over the top of the loaf. Refrigerate to let frosting set completely before slicing. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.

If you like Starbucks Lemon Loaf, then you'll love this moist, delicious Lemon cake! This easy to make recipe, is loaded with delicious lemon flavor, and topped with an amazing lemon frosting.If you like Starbucks Lemon Loaf, then you'll love this moist, delicious Lemon cake! This easy to make recipe, is loaded with delicious lemon flavor, and topped with an amazing lemon frosting.

I hope you enjoy this Lemon Loaf as much as my family and I have.  I think you’ll discover this recipe is definitely better than Starbucks, and maybe even save you a trip to the coffee shop in the future!

If you like this recipe, you’ll love some of my other recipes over at Delightful E Made!  Check these out:

Purple Ribbon Banana Bread -

Purple Ribbon Banana Bread by Delightful E Made

Fall Favorite Pumpkin Bread -

Fall Favorite Pumpkin Bread by DelightfulEMade 

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake by

 Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake by DelightfulEMade

I would love for you to stop by and say hello via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!



Oh my! This Lemon Loaf look AMAZING!!!

And no yeast is involved, which is good for me since I still haven’t mastered using it. 😉

Thanks, Erin!

For more great recipes from her, be sure to go to Delightful E Made.

For more yummy quick bread recipes, check out:

Cream Cheese filled Banana Bread recipe - no yeast involved and SO delicious!! Oh yeah, and it's topped with cinnamon and sugar!

Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread

Delicious Glazed Almond Poppy Seed Bread - no yeast involved and so good! { } Glaze is made with almond extract, lemon juice, powdered sugar & milk.

Glazed Almond Poppy Seed Bread

For all bread recipes, go HERE.

For all recipes, go HERE.

For even more great ideas follow me on FacebookPinterestInstagramTwitterPeriscope.


If you like Starbucks Lemon Loaf, then you'll love this moist, delicious Lemon cake! This easy to make recipe, is loaded with delicious lemon flavor, and topped with an amazing lemon frosting.

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Holy Crap ! I am sooo trying this. I will post back here after I do. This is what I get at Starbucks every single time as my overpriced treat. I love lemon loaf. And I will not share with my husband or daughter, so maybe with this recipe I’ll have enough I can share. A big whopping thank you for creating this ! Cannot wait to try it. I think my mouth is literally watering. Just a PS for ya, I have tossed all my other sauce recipe’s and we use your kid friendly spaghetti sauce exclusively now. Because we all love it, not just my kid. Your site has been extremely helpful. Thanks for all your hard work ! It is appreciated.
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Stephanie R

O.M.G!! Starbucks lemon bread is one of my absolute favorite snacks, I have GOT to make some of this STAT. But on a school day, when the kids are gone so I don’t have to share!

    Peggi Blevins

    I tried it and my daughter and her friends all said it was the best cake they have EVER eaten (I strongly agree and I’m not a lemon cake person). I have had to pass the recipe to several people. Wish I could take credit for it.
    I didn’t have lemon extract so I just added some extra lemon zest to cake and icing. I actually liked the icing better with the peel instead of the extract. And, I only had vanilla greek yogurt and liked it better with that as well. I made it a second time exactly like the recipe and liked the first one better…so did everyone else. Oh So Yummy for the Tummy!!!

      Lil' Luna

      Yay!!! I like what you did! That sounds just as delicious!! You made it your own, so take credit!!


      To Peggi, could you give me the recipe with the vanilla greek yogurt….It sounds yummy. Thanks my email is as follows: [email protected] Again Thanks


Looks so wonderful! I love sweet breads and lemon is sure to please.
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Yum – so many great bread recipes. Thank you and Happy Easter.


Love anything lemon! This looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe. Pinned 🙂

[email protected]

Oh my goodness…, so, so yummy! I can’t wait to make this delicious Lemon Loaf. I LOVE lemon flavored goodies and this one looks absolutely divine! Thank you for sharing! PINNED!
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[email protected] eco friendly homemaking

Oh my goodness this lemon loaf looks so delicious!!
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Dezi A

Never had it from Starbucks but lemon is my favorite flavor every. Can’t wait to try this!!


I made this yesterday!!! It is AMAZINGLY GOOD! I’ve been a long-time addict of Starbucks lemon loaf. In my opinion, this is AS GOOD OR BETTER! Delicious!


Hi what brand of yogurt did you use?


I LOVE Starbucks Lemon Loaf and just came home from a trip where we stopped and got some along with our coffee. It is such a treat but so expensive. I hope to try this recipe very soon however I do have a question. Being that I am somewhat of a novice at different techniques this one has me stumped. You said to use wax paper on the bottom of the loaf pan. I have read and have experienced that wax paper melts. I am not sure that I am comfortable using this technique only for fear of ruining my loaf. Please let me know if this is something all of you tried and what experience you had using the wax paper.


    When using wax paper in the oven, you must make sure that it is completely covered by the batter you are trying to bake. You cannot leave the paper exposed directly to heat or it will melt. For instance, if you place a sheet on a cookie pan and try to bake cookies it will melt and smoke up your oven. When using it as a cake pan liner, it should work fine as the batter covers the entire surface of the paper. Hope this helps!


    Use parchment paper instead. It is designed to bake with. Wax paper is not. No wax. No problems.


      Wax paper will melt into your foods. I agree parchment paper will give you the same effect without the “chemicals” or burn of the wax.


    Use parchment paper for baking, NOTwax paper!
    Recipe looks delicious- definitely trying it.

Joelle P.

I just made this. Of course,the local stores didn’t have Greek yogurt, so I went with plain yogurt. I doubled your recipe and it made a regular loaf and two mini loaves. The frosting was spot on! It turned out delish and just as beautiful. My family loved it. I almost didn’t want to share. Haha. Thanks!

    Joelle P.

    Oh! Also, I used parchment paper because the idea of wax paper worried me…plus, I didn’t have any on hand anyway. Ha. Again, thanks!


I would love to do this one… however, I can’t find any instant lemon pudding mix in our area. can anyone suggest a substitute? Would really appreciate it… thanks in advance!


    Perhaps just use vanilla pudding and add extra lemon zest to the mix.


I would like to make this recipe but it is for a tea party on Thursday, but I only have time to bake it on Sunday. If I freeze it would it still be okay? Can someone help? Thanks

    Lil' Luna

    I think it would be okay to freeze, although I haven’t tried it myself. I would bake it Sunday, freeze it and then pull it out Wednesday night and then be sure to make the frosting for it the day of. 🙂


    For anyone wondering about freezing this, I was once told by a Starbucks employee that their loaves come to the store frozen and they thaw them as they need them. So, I would guess that freezing would work fine. Definitely trying this recipe and will try freezing half the loaf, to keep hubby and I from eating it all in one sitting (we adore SB’s lemon loaf)! Will report the results here.

      Lil' Luna

      Thanks so much for the tip!! Hope that helps anyone wanting to know!


Was super excited to make this because starbucks lemon loaf is my FAVORITE!
I made it according the recipe and used a metal loaf pan and it cracked right in the middle and browned on the outsides almost to a crisp and was still doughy in the middle! Is there a good way to avoid this?

    Moni A.

    The last time i made this the same thing happened to me. But i realized it after i finally tested the cake at 45 minutes. If i had tested it sooner it would have come out perfectly. So next time, Karli, poke the cake in several spots around 35-40 minutes (closer to 40, so it won’t fall) that way the heat will get to that center area. It still tasted wonderful tho! !! My only problem was getting the icing to stop looking so grainy. .

    I blame the uneven cooking on my electric oven. ..


    First you have two different problems:
    Just before you put the loaf in the oven put a bit of a trench in the centre of the batter to combat the fact that it will rise higher in the centre as it bakes. You want the batter to be deepest on the sides when it goes in the oven to avoid the cracking problem.
    If it’s crispy on the outside and doughy in the centre then your oven is too hot and it’s baking too fast to bake through. Don’t poke holes in the cake, turn down your oven and bake it for a longer time until the cake tester comes out clean with several tests as close to the centre as possible. You could also have your pan too close to the heating element. Is it in the middle of your oven? You may think your oven is set to the correct temperature but a lot of ovens aren’t calibrated correctly. To find out for sure buy an oven thermometer


Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am currently enjoying a slice while writing this. I love Starbucks lemon loaf and this tasted A LOT like it. I tossed in some poppyseeds and it was delicious! This will definitely be a staple recipe in my house. THANKS!

    Lil' Luna

    I’m so glad you liked it!! And poppyseeds would be a great addition. 😉 Will try that next time!!


Starbucks lemon loaf is my absolute go too….but I now found yours and it is better, not so dry. I had to substitute sour cream for the yogurt…turned out great. Thank you for the recipe.


Wow!!!! I usually stay away from copycat recipes that claim to be as good as or better than the original, because they usually don’t compare to the original. (In my opinion) However, this one far exceeded my expectations. I followed the recipe exactly and wouldn’t change a thing. Perfect luscious, lemony flavor that I love and crave from Starbucks. Thank you for passing this recipe along! It is a hit with everyone in my family.

Moni A.

This recipe was perfect! Starbucks’ lemon loaf is my favorite sweet on the go! So i wanted to share it with everyone but wasnt willing to buy 15 pieces from Starbucks! !!i made this one and it topped even theirs! I served it at a church function! Everyone loved it! I followed the recipe to the T, i am about to make it again but i only have regular ( vanilla activia) yogurt on hand. I saw another reviewer say she used regular yogurt and it came out great. i will let you know how it turns out for me. I’m hoping i don’t have to do a do over and go to the store to get real Greek yogurt. …we shall see! Look out for my update!

    Lil' Luna

    I love hearing the recipe turned out great!! Let me know how it goes with the regular vanilla yogurt. 😉

      Moni A.

      Did not go great using the regular yogurt. It is possible that i should have used more dry ingredients to compensate for the extra moisture…. it tasted ok, just never dried out while cooking. I did remake with Greek yogurt and had to use the foil method to keep the outside from burning while the center got a chance to cook. Do you think a water bath would help it cook more evenly?


Made this today! Was very moist and good! I think the frosting/icing was too lemony for me though. Perhaps next time, I’ll just make regular icing and add lemon zest for a touch of lemon flavor.

jill gavioli

Re: Starbucks Lemon Loaf
In the ingredients list of recipe for lemon juice is just show a square with cup next to it. Could you please tell me how much lemon juice to use.
Thank You.


Nice recipe! But is there anything I can use to substitute the instant pudding mix? Like cornstarch? Or can I leave it out?


    You can substitute the Instant Pudding (and it’d be healthier to do so if you just take a look at the ingredients of the instant pudding) with 40g of cornstarch, 50g of sugar and a tsp. (or more; just take in consideration you have to give lemon flavoring to 2 cups of milk/water) of lemon extract/lemon zest/lemon juice.


The best! This recipe is exactly what I was looking for. Everyone loved it. Definitely no need to change anything.
Thank you!


Wow! I made this recipe today and it was absolutely WONDERFUL! I love Starbucks’ version already and this is definitely better. My only change I had to do was put in a single-serve lemon flavored Greek yogurt because the store I was at didn’t have any plain ones. It did the trick and it was really, REALLY good! Thank you so much for a fantastic recipe.


Just made this yummy looking recipe. Not sure what happened but it came out dense, not light and airy, like cake. Disappointed 🙁


Hie there! Which flour do l use for the cake, all-purpose flour, cake flour or self raising flour


I made this today and it didn’t disappoint! It has sunk a bit and cracked in the middle but that’s just cosmetic issues and after covered with frosting you can’t see the imperfections. Thank you for sharing the recipe. A keeper for sure!


Any substitue for lemon pudding . We dont have it where i live only vanilla egg pudding 😕sorry for weird request


    This cake is amazing – I had problems with the top cracking and used a #7 Wilton flower nail which helped. But I also made it in my Zoirushi 2lb Breadmaker and it came out perfectly! As far as the Jello Instant Lemon Pudding – it does not exist in any store, however I found it online and shared the links below. I did try Jello Vanilla Instant pudding which worked and used more of the lemon juice in the cake.

    I love this recipe and thanks so much for sharing it!

    Amazon –

    or on

      Lil' Luna

      Thanks for posting those links! Vanilla is a great substitution, then adding more lemon juice:) Thanks so much for sharing…so happy you like it!

      Michelle Ficklin

      I made this and LOVED this! The lemon loaf came out perfectly, even better than Starbucks!! I don’t know what I did wrong with the frosting but it came out runny and “curdled”. I did soften the butter in the microwave so maybe that was it? I made it after I made the cake so it sat for an hour and a half or so as the cake cooled, maybe that was it? It still tasted great, but I couldn’t seem to make it creamy. Ideas?? Will definitely be making this again!!


        Hi Michelle – I had the same problem at first. But butter needs to be soft by letting it sit out at room temp for a few minutes. It needs to be pliable not too soft or runny. Definitely no microwave. After I mix the icing I put it in the refrigerator for about 10-15 mins so that it is spreadable and not pourable. Make sure your cake is COMPLETELY cooled. Ice the cake and put it in the refrigerator to set the icing completely. I then cut it into individual slices and cover each slice with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator until I serve it. I personally love it cold, but a lot of people like it at room temperature. In any event, this is what worked for me! Everyone raves about the icing and the moistness of the cake! I can’t even eat the one at Starbucks anymore!

        Pat Hand

        I had the same problem with the frosting being super runny. I followed the measurements exactly and the butter was room tempature. The cake part is great! Top did not split.

      Dawn Hulce

      We found instant lemon at Walmart. Maybe a seasonal product? We are making it for 4H project right now. Will post what ribbon she gets.


I made this and it came out horribly soggy and egg-y in the middle. I stopped in the middle of cooking to make sure I had instant lemon pudding (those of you looking–Jell-o makes it, and it costs more) after almost using cook-and-serve, but this still came out soggy in the middle after at least an hour and ten minutes at 350.

To be fair, I used sour cream over Greek yogurt. I also subbed a quarter cup of butter for oil (then added oil to come to 1/2 cup fat) but if anything I worried this would come out drier subbing butter for corn oil. Didn’t add the additional 2 Tbsp butter because I forgot but something tells me it would have come out even worse.

What am I missing?

    Deborah C.

    I would suggest trying the recipe with the ingredients as listed and not substituting. I made it and it came out perfect.


First time poster here. But I’m such a big believer in giving credit where it’s due. I’ve made this recipe twice now. It is absolutely AMAZING!! It is pretty lemony and it gets a little less so the second day. But it was excellent and now my family is requesting it on special occasions. In fact, they agree that this version is FAR better than Starbucks! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Lil' Luna

    Happy to hear your family loves it!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Deborah C.

I have tried for years to find a good lemon cake recipe that did not include a boxed lemon cake mix. This cake did not disappoint. It was very moist and the icing was scrumptious. My family loved it. I baked it on Saturday and it was gone by Sunday night. This was my first time visiting this web site but I will definitely try other recipes from Lil Luna.

    Lil' Luna

    Thank you so much Deborah!! I’m so glad you liked it!


I just got a loaf of the lemon bread out of the oven. The house smells heavenly. My only problem was I’m glad I checked at 45 minutes because it was over baked (very brown) and the middle sank way before the 45 minutes 🙁 I used all fresh ingredients, checked the date on my baking powder, soda etc its all good so not sure what happened with the raise, but hoping it didnt over bake and dry it out, on the inside. Still need to make the icing. Crossing fingers it taste as good as it smells. Thanks for the recipe.
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    Lil' Luna

    I love the smell of fresh baked bread!!! Not sure what could have happened. How did it taste?


OMG. YUUUUMMMMEEE! Is all I have to say.
And thank you for the recipe.

    Lil' Luna

    LOL:) Does that mean you tried it? I hope so!! Thanks for letting me know!


This cake is so tasty!!! I loved the cake part the most. The frosting was a little to lemony for me. But still totally good. My whole family loved it. Thanks

    Lil' Luna

    So happy your family loved it!! I love finding recipes the whole family enjoys!! Thanks for letting me know!


this was amazing! made it last night and followed the recipe exactly. LOVE it, thank you so much!

    Lil' Luna

    Yay…I’m so happy to hear that!! Thanks for letting me know!

Renea Crapse

What type of flour should I use for this recipe?

    Lil' Luna

    I’m thinking all purpose flour (otherwise she may have noted if it were a special flour), but really not sure. You can ask Erin at Delightful E Made for the specific flour, if you want to make certain. I wish I knew?!

Nancy Torregrosa

I’m going to make it for Mother’s Day, thank you so much! Star bucks lemon cake is my favorite. I’m truly grateful 💕

    Lil' Luna

    How did it turn out? I love anything with lemon in it! I hope you had a great Mother’s Day!

Christy M

First time here. I’d seen this last week because my Cousin had pinned it. I made it today. It’s fairly easy, but it takes awhile. I tried it out on the family. They liked it. I think this recipe is a keeper.

    Lil' Luna

    Thanks for checking out Lilluna!! That bread is so good!! I love anything lemon. Come visit again!

Elda Garza

It sounds too delicious, I will try it and let you know how it come out. I wonder how will taste adding coconut.
Thanks a million for sharing the recipe.

    Lil' Luna

    I’m sure coconut would taste so good in there!! I love coconut. Let me know if you try it. I’d love to hear how the coconut tastes!


Don’t let the stars deceive you, the website would not allow me to rate this recipe 1 star. Made this tonight. Followed the recipe to a T, and it all came out completely wrong. Icing came out extremely runny. Middle caved in, raw batter even after 55 minutes, while I had to cover the outside edges with aluminum foil to prevent it from burning. Would not recommend. Extremely disappointed.

    Lil' Luna

    I’m sorry that it didn’t work for you. I’m not sure what could have made it turn out that way. I will pass this on to my contributor. Thanks.

Peggy Starkey

I made two of these last night, sent one to my family and we are hooked. Oh my gosh it is fantastic if anybody loves lemon this is the recipe for you. The recipe is right on. I went right by the recipe time and it came out perfect. Thank you

    Lil' Luna

    Thank you so much for letting me know!! So, glad you guys liked it!!

Claudia martinez

Hi! This looks amazing! I have been looking for a tasty lemon cake and I think this is it! Question….I need to make a round cake, and cover it with fondant, will this recipe work for that?
Thanks a lot in advance!!!!!

    Lil' Luna

    I wish I knew. This was a guest post, but you could check out DelightfulEMade and ask Erin, who made this. She would be able to answer that better than I could. Hope you find what you need 🙂 It is delicious though!!


Yes! Thank you, it’s delicious!


Hi I’ve tried to make this twice and I’m having problems getting it to fully cook in the center. Please help!

    Lil' Luna

    I’m sorry you’re having problems!! I know every oven is different, so it may need to cook longer than what it says. This was one of my contributors post, so if you keep having the same issues, you could try sending her a message or comment on her blog at DelightfulEMade. Hope that helps!! Good luck!


Hi, are you using fresh lemon juice (that you pressed from lemon), or store bought (like in a bottle)?

    Lil' Luna

    It looks like it is fresh from a lemon. I’m sure if you just used lemon juice from a bottle, it would be ok. Hope that helps!!


When making starbucks lemon loaf, do you make the instant pudding first. Or just use the dry pudding powder to dry ingredients?

    Lil' Luna

    You just add the dry mix to other ingredients. It is in step 2 of the instructions. Hope you like it!! Thanks for stopping by!


Is that any way it can be done without lemon pudding mix? It doesn’t exist in my country (we only have vanilla, chocolate and caramel pudding mix) and I really want to try this cake…


Thank you!!!
Was considering using limoncello instead of lemon flavoring – was wondering if you’ve tried that? (My neighbor makes it, and it’s awesome!!)


    Lil' Luna

    I have not! I’d love to know if you try that and what you think!!

Sarah Husseini

If i were to use yellow cake mix, which of the ingredients you listed would that substitute?

Also, im lactose intolerant. What can i sub yogurt for?


Can i substitute splenda for ur sugar or any other suggestions would be appreciated. thnx

    Lil' Luna

    Of course!! Whatever you like to use in place of sugar will work just fine 🙂


Id love to try this but live in colorado s we often have our cakes not turn out as well. I am typically good at baking but my last lemon pound cake completely shriveled and caved in horribly, any suggestions what to add or leave out fr high altitude? Thank you!! 🙂

    Lil' Luna

    I don’t know too much about cooking in higher altitude, other than you will probably need to cook things longer. I would maybe use google for more tips. Sorry, I don’t know more. Good luck!!


      Actually I made the cake today and as im 7000 ft above sea level I figured it has enough wet and dry ingredients to not having to worry about the atitude, anyways google search revealed I should use less baking power and bake at a higher temerature and all that jazz, luna I can tell you this recipe is even good for high altitude, didnt crack didnt get too dry came out perfect other than a light crusty crust since I did go ahead and raised the temp but the cake wasnt done at 45 min, but at 55 it was. So yeah next time I use the temp as stated in the recipe and dont worry about high altitude since your recipe is good for it as is 🙂


        Sorry my tablet keeps cutting some letters out while typing haha hope you still understood everything 🙂

        Lil' Luna

        Oh, thank you so much!! I’m so glad to hear that is wasn’t affected by the altitude! Thanks for letting me know and others!!


Your lemon loaf recipe is AMAZING. I love it. Easy to make, and so delicious to eat! Thank you!

    Lil' Luna

    I wish I could take credit, but I’ll pass it on! Thanks for stopping by and trying a recipe!!


Did you use all purpose flour or something else? ????


Can you bake this loaf in a bundt pan instead while receiving the same final products as you would if you baked it in a loaf pan?


Can you use this recipe but bake it in a bundt pan and receive the same final product as you would if you baked it in a loaf pan?

    Lil' Luna

    I wish I knew! This is from a contributor, Erin at Delightful E Made.. If you’d like to ask her, there is her info. She will be able to answer that question. Hope that helps!!


hi there
I want to try baking your above recipe lemon cake but I couldn’t find lemon pudding you mention in your recipe all what I found is lemon filling for pie and dessert mix from Dr aokter is that work or not anyway I love in Canada and the grocery store doesn’t carry instant lemon pudding

    Lil' Luna

    Here is the contributors info, if you’d like to ask her. Her name is Erin at She may know of substitutes, since it is her recipe. Hope that helps and you find an answer!


Is Greek yogurt optional ?


What is “Lemon pudding mix” and is it needed for??

    Lil' Luna

    It’s the instant pudding dry vanilla, chocolate. This is a contributors recipe, so I wish I could say. You could ask her, Erin at Hope that helps!!


To find a recipe that is PERFECT is a home run!!
This recipe is a HOME RUN!
10 Stars

    Lil' Luna

    You’re too sweet…I’ll pass that along! Thanks so much!!


I made this exactly how you said turned out GREAT it was so moist and good. I tried it cause my dad loves lemon so wanted to do something different and OMG!!!! Since I wasn’t going to be giving it to him for a couple I had to get it out my house took it to work and it lasted 20 to 30 min at the most if that long that was just when I went back to the break room and the foil was in the trash. :))))) Thanks so much for sharing he is going to love this.

    Lil' Luna

    Haha!! I’m glad it was a hit!! Thank you for letting me know and I’ll pass that along to my contributor!!

Nicole Nelson

Make sure to cream the butter and sugar. Not explicitly written but makes all the difference! Had to start over after glopping everything together and butter, though softened, did not break down at all. This is probably due more to my lack of baking knowledge than faulty directions! Can’t wait to see how it turns out! Looking beautiful so far.

    Lil' Luna

    Sorry for the gloppy mess! I hope the 2nd time around, it came out great!!

Sandi Woodman

I made the loaf and it tastes great but it sank in the middle🤔 I followed recipes to the tee and even left it in a little longer. Any idea what was the problem. I do live st 8,000 feet.

    Lil' Luna

    So sorry!! I know things usually need to cook longer, I thought at higher elevation. This is Erin at, recipe, so if you’d like to ask her, she may know and have tips. Hope that helps and thanks for giving it a try!!

Mary donald

I enjoy your recipes I cannot bake the recipes are so easy to read and their step by step I also enjoy looking at the pictures upside down pineapple cupcakes delicious

    Lil' Luna

    Oh, thank you so much! I hope you’ve found some to try 🙂 Thank you for letting me know!


My family and friends enjoyed it!

    Lil' Luna

    Yay! Thank you for making it and for letting us know you all liked it 🙂


Had to add an extra 10 minutes to the bake time. Middle was still a little too moist, even with the extra bake time. The flavor was was amazing though! I wás thinking maybe a bunt pan would work better. Also maybe add some blueberries! I’m definitely going to try this again with a different pan and some blueberries!

    Lil' Luna

    Glad you liked it!! I will pass that along to my contributor! Thanks so much!


      Made it again with blueberries and it was great! One quick question, will this recipe work with oranges instead of lemons?
      Again thanks for this recipe, my family, friends and neighbors thank you too😊!

        Lil' Luna

        That’s great!! I’m sure orange would taste great, as well, but I personally haven’t tried it. This is Erin at recipe, if you’d like to ask her. Hope that helps! Good luck!

Starlee Carew

I love Starbuck’s Lemon Loaf, but not anymore, ‘cuz THIS recipe is “Way More Better Than Starbucks Lemon Loaf!!!!”

I’ve made it many, many (too many!!) times and always end up gifting some (note the word “some”!) to others and EVERY TIME I make it . . . it turns out perfectly!! I always make 3 loaves at a time, because it never lasts long! This recipe is PERFECTION!!

If I could rate this recipe 10 out if 5, I would!!! IT IS ABSOLUTELY THE BEST!!!!!!!!

Thank you for sharing, Erin!

I make 3 loaves at a time, because of the “hurting” buy because it us so darn good

    Lil' Luna

    You are so nice!! Thanks so much for sharing this and I’ll pass this along! So, glad you LOVE it 🙂


Honestly, with all these comments, can’t wait to try this recipe, many thanks for bringing this up here!

    Lil' Luna

    You’re welcome!!! It sure is a favorite! Hope you like it 🙂 Thank you!


I could not found Lmon Pudding Mix in my city…..
Are there any alternatives?

    Lil' Luna

    I would say maybe just vanilla, but this recipe is from Erin at If, you like to ask her & maybe she has tried it with other pudding mixes. Hope that helps!! Good luck!


I currently have a loaf baking away in the oven! I couldn’t find lemon pudding mix at my local grocery store, so I opted for vanilla instead! Fingers crossed this is as delicious as it sounds.

    Lil' Luna

    I’d love to know what you think!! Enjoy 🙂 Thank you!


Most people are addicted to Starbucks for the coffee, for me it’s this cake! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    Lil' Luna

    They have some amazing ones! Hope you’ll give this a try! I’d love to know what you think!

Bharat Ratna winners

One of my favourite loaf and they are so easily made and cheep too.
Bharat Ratna winners recently posted..Complete list of Bharat Ratna Awardees from 1952 to 2016My Profile


Hi, do you use fan or conventional static oven?
Thanks for sharing!


Outstanding! I have not tried the Startbucks lemon loaf but why would I when this recipe was a hit. It is a fresh lemon flavor, moist, and delicious. The frosting is tangy but good. Only thing I could tell someone before they make it: Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. I used two smaller loaf pan, divided the batter in two, and they fit perfectly.Enjoy! Thank you for the great recipe!

    Lil' Luna

    Thank you so much for sharing, Marlen! I will pass this along to my contributor!!


Hi! I made this cake/loaf today. 1. Used only a small rect of parchment (& used oil spray) on bottom of heavier metal loaf pan. Worked gr8! 2. Did not have lemon extract…used lots of zest (btw, snip yr zest to small segments for use with mixer.) 3. Only found Cook n Serve lemon pudding. Used it anyway. 4. Baked at 325 for 1hr 30 mins. Learnd fm baker aunt that this helps more even rise. Pls test yr cake after 1hr 15 for doneness (clean toothpick or skewer) Then every 15 mins after till done. Every oven is different. I cant seem to rate this recipe…but id give it a 4 1/2!

    Lil' Luna

    Thank you so much for giving it a try and for letting us all know!! So, glad it turned out!


Made this for husband’s birthday today. He loves lemon. Turned out amazing. I had all the ingredients on hand which was great. The only thing I changed was I cut the oil to 1/3 of a cup and only used 1 cup of icing sugar for the icing and added a tablespoon of milk. Baked for 55 minutes and came out perfect. No issues with cracking or undone middle. I do always bake in the middle of the oven. Tastes very much like Starbucks. Thank you for the great recipe.

    Lil' Luna

    I’m so happy to hear that!! I’m glad you found ways to change the recipe to fit your liking. Thank you for sharing!!

Jean Park

What do you mean by lemon pudding mix?
This sound absolutely amazing, and I’d love to try it!
Don’t want to mess up by using wrong thing.
I live in u.k. so would need to know if it’s a cake mix,or a dessert mix of some kind that you use,(one that you make up with milk)

    Lil' Luna

    Yes, it is one you mix with milk and it’s like a custard consistency. You can usually find it in the baking aisle. Not sure if you have jello there or other pudding, but hopefully, you can find it. Let me know!


Spot on. You didn’t lie saying it was better than Starbucks. It’s like crack I got up in the middle of the night to sneak another slice.
Absolutely delicious next time I’ll make 2 at a time.


Has anyone tried to make this as a bundt???? Is it enough batter? Does it cook ok?


I’ve used this recipe several times with consistently great results. It is my go-to for breakfast pitch ins. Doubling the recipe had no ill effects. If you’re having troubles, examine your process. Check your oven temperature. Double check your substitutions. Because this recipe, when followed, really delivers. Lemon heaven.

    Lil' Luna

    Thanks so much for sharing that!! Hope that will help some 🙂

Geri B

This recipe was amazing easy.
My husband who doesn’t like lemon flavor cake or anything else fell in love with this recipe. This lemons loaf is definitely better than Starbucks . I use to buy it this loaf is definitely better. I thank you for creating this recipe it is the best.

    Lil' Luna

    So glad your hubby liked it!! I don’t know how anyone could not like it?! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


This is my go to lemon bread recipe, it is phenomenal. I’ve made it in a bread loaf as well as in an 8×8 and it always turns out fabulous. The icing is spot-on to Starbucks! I’ve used vanilla Greek yogurt as well as Lemon Greek yougurt and it turns out amazing every time!

    Lil' Luna

    So happy to hear!! Thanks for sharing those ideas to change it up! Thanks!


Thank you so much for the excellent recipe. I agree with the other baker’s that this recipe is indeed better than Starbuck’s! I find Starbuck’s Lemon Loaf too oily. I’ll be making this again!


This lemon recipe is the best I ever try.
Thanks with all my heart…and tummy.


Hi! Could we make the lemon loaf in a bundt pan with similar results? Thanks!


Recipe looks amazing and I’m so keep to try it! But a quick question – I’m from the UK, does anyone know what sort of thing I’m looking for that would be like the lemon pudding mix? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    Lil' Luna

    You could always google a homemade version 🙂 It is amazing & hope you find what you need!


Thank you, thank you – Love your Lemon Loaf recipe! I’ve baked this many times now. The first time I followed the recipe exactly, but it was a little sweet for my taste (maybe because of the amount of sugar in the instant pudding mix). I cut the sugar to 3/4 cup and it is perfect. I bake mine in four mini loaf pans now and it only takes 25 – 30 minutes! And it freezes well, in fact it tastes pretty good frozen ’cause who can wait for it to thaw?!!!

    Lil' Luna

    Yay!! I’m glad they freeze well! Thank you so much for letting us all know!

Kris R

I made this yesterday and it is wonderful. I couldn’t find any lemon pudding so I substituted vanilla and added a bit more lemon extract. Turned out as delicious as the pictures look. The icing is amazing as well and should be used! Moist and dense with a beautiful lemon flavor. I will be making this again and again!

    Lil' Luna

    I love to hear that! Thank you so much for sharing what you did.


      Hi. I have not yet tried your cake recipe but I did try the icing on a different lemon loaf cake that i made. I bought a slice of Starbucks’ lemon loaf cake and compared the icing to yours. While your icing is certainly delicious, it is not like Starbucks which does not contain butter. I tasted both side by side and the “mouthfeel” I get from Starbucks’ icing is that it does not contain butter. Plus the pure whiteness of the icing indicates the absence of butter. I think that skipping the butter may get you closer. Also, your icing is very runny (flows all over the sides of the cake unlike the Starbucks’ cake which has icing only on the top). As suggested by you in your comments, it should be refrigerated for a few minutes so it is less runny. You may want to add this to your instructions. Nonetheless, your icing is really tasty. I will soon make your cake and let you know how mine turns out. Thanks. Regine


        I meant to say that icing should be refrigerated before it is spread or poured on top of the cake. I will try to make your cake tonight and give you my feedback.

        Lil' Luna

        Thanks & I’ll pass this along to my contributor, whose recipe it is.


I made this Lemon Loaf cake it was very moist. All I can say it was so good.
All the flavor just right. I did put a little lemon zest in the icing mix.
I took it to work & it got gone in 30 mintues.This will be one cake that I will make again. Starbucks I will be saving a few $$$$$$.

    Lil' Luna

    So, glad it was a hit!! Love finding recipes like that! Thanks so much!

susan armstrong

I used the exact ingredients, the right-sized pan and the exact oven temperature. I baked it for 75 minutes and it tested done. 2/3 of the cake was horribly under- done and had to be thrown out. I was able to salvage a bit at both ends. So annoying! I figure baking it for close to 2 hours at a slightly lower temperature might work.

    Kristyn Merkley

    I am sorry it didn’t turn out. I wish I knew why? So, you lowered the temp? Are you at higher altitude? I appreciate you giving it a try, though! I’m sorry I couldn’t help you!

      susan armstrong

      I meant that next time (because I love the flavour) I will try lowering the temperature, and bake it a lot longer. I am not at a higher altitude. Thank you for replying so quickly!


I made this, and it was so good that I immediately made it again! Delicious! I did find the loaf quite large, so opted to use two smaller loaf pans. I still got one mini loaf as well as the 2 smaller ones! (that made a nice snack for the chef!). Great recipe, easy to follow. I ran out of plain yoghurt, so used some Lime Greek Yoghurt that I had, and also had to sub the lemon pudding for a vanilla pudding. (This was during the second time I made it). It still turned out fabulous! The lime yoghurt really gave a nice tang! Great recipe!

    Kristyn Merkley

    I am so glad to hear that!! Those substitutions sound great! Thank you so much for sharing that!


Recipes look terrrific!


Can’t wait to try this, It looks delicious l love anything lemon!!! Yummy😋


Ridiculous was my husband’s response. This is so delicious and yummy, and I work for SB. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Can this be made in a Bundt pan? Anyone have any advice on making it in Bundt pan?


I made this for the first time tonight. I brought it as a potluck dish. It was a hit! Thank you for sharing this scrumptious recipe! The name holds true, “Better Than Starbucks Loaf!” I look forward to trying more of your recipes. 🙂

    Kristyn Merkley

    Love to hear that!! Thank you & I’d love to know what other recipes you try 🙂


This recipe is sooo good. Everyone that tries it loves it!

Sally Legaspi

I love lemon cakes! I haven’t tried your recipe but it sure looks delicious! My mouth is watering now, I’ve got to try it soon!

Susan Gregg

I made this lemon loaf yesterday. It was/is incredible. Definitely better than Starbucks. I didn’t have lemon extract so just used a little extra zest. I can’t imagine it could be better with the extract. I used parchment paper on the bottom of the loaf pan. It came out perfect!


What would be the substitution for thy instant lemon pudding? I couldn’t find any at the nearby groceries and super market

    Kristyn Merkley

    If I couldn’t find lemon, then I would just use vanilla or white chocolate 🙂


Soooo good! Made this for Easter brunch and it was a hit! My husband said this is tied with my blueberry muffins for his favorite thing I’ve ever baked for him!

    Kristyn Merkley

    Wow..that’s a nice compliment! I’m glad he liked them! Thank you for letting me know!


Is the lemon pudding regular one or the sugar free one? As there is sugar in the cake aswell


I just made three loaves for my boyfriend’s family as well as my family. I cannot tell you how many compliments I got. Everyone was telling me how it tastes waaaay better than anything store bought, his mom even said it’s better than starbucks 😉 . Overall Success! Thanks so much for the receipe !


Can I use vegitable instead of cooking oil


I made this today! I’m a Starbucks lemon loaf addict and am so happy I found this recipe. It NAILS the flavor and texture! This is a fantastic copycat! Will make it forever more. Thanks!


This is seriously better than Starbucks lemon pound cake!! It is delicious, tons of lemon flavor, moist and the icing is perfection. I followed the recipe exactly. Wouldn’t change a thing! Thanks!!


This lemon loaf looks so amazingly delicious and I can’t wait to try it out I love Starbucks lemon loaf loaf so this will be awesome!


Since I’ve discovered this I’ve made it about 5 times!! I just recently made it again and it is such an incredible recipe! All my friends and family (who were lucky enough to get some from me!) were raving about how delicious, moist, and extremely flavorful this is. I saw someone else’s comment about using vanilla greek yogurt instead of the plain so maybe I’ll try that the next time I make it! Definitely a recipe I’ll keep making for years to come!

    Kristyn Merkley

    Good to hear 🙂 I am happy you like it!! Hope you like it with the other yogurt. Thank you for sharing!

Jitka K

Tried this 2 weeks ago. I didn’t make the lemon frosting cause we don’t like it so much and also I think it would be so lemon taste in total but it depends on how much lemon taste you like and you want. The cake was moist, I made the dough exactly from recipe and for me it was little too much lemon, next time I would add little less. But husband liked it, me too and for next time I know I should add less lemon.
Thanks for recipe!
Love from Turkey xx

    Kristyn Merkley

    You are so welcome. Yes, it is totally a preference. You can always add less. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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