Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Recipe

Starbucks offers delicious dessert and snack items, including cakes, muffins, and cookies. Their Lemon Loaf is one of my favorites because it’s perfect lemon flavors offer pleasing aromas and tangy-sweet lemon flavors. It’s rich and moist and topped with a perfect layer of lemon frosting. One slice sometimes isn’t enough. Well not to worry because today we’re sharing a Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipe, so you can make an entire loaf and enjoy as much as you want.

This recipe varies a bit from some others. Greek yogurt is used to make the cake moister, and oil is used instead of butter. For the lemon flavor, you’ll combine lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon extract, and even lemon pudding. It might sound like a lot of lemons, but it’s just the perfect amount for both the cake and the frosting.

The frosting can be mixed while the cake is baking, and your kitchen will smell heavenly. It only takes about an hour with prep and bake time, which is about the same amount of time it takes to bake other specialty dessert bread – and oh so worth it.

You could serve the lemon loaf warm, but it’s better if it’s refrigerated first so that the frosting has time to set. About 5 to 10 minutes should be enough.

copycat starbucks lemon loaf

Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Recipe

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Servings 10
Calories 432 kcal


For the Loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3.4 oz instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon, zest

For the Frosting

  • 3 tbsp butter, soft but not melted
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon extract


For the Lemon Loaf

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 5 x 9" loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper. Spray the pan and parchment paper with non-stick baking spray, and then set it aside.
  • 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, cooking oil, and yogurt. Mix until all of the ingredients are combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, occasionally scraping 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 the center is fully set. You can poke the center of the loaf with a toothpick to make sure it's crumb-free.
  • After baking, let the lemon loaf 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 parchment paper from the bottom. Cool the loaf completely on a cooling rack.

For the Frosting

  • Combine the butter, lemon juice, and lemon extract with a mixer. Gradually add the powdered sugar, and beat until smooth and creamy. Evenly spread the frosting over the top of the loaf. 
  • Refrigerate the lemon loaf to let the frosting set completely before slicing.


  • Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.

If you really like this copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipe, check out this Starbucks Banana Bread recipe – one of my other favorite recipes.

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