Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake
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Coffee and Cake. It’s a classic and famous pairing of food and drink that is popular all over the world. It’s no surprise therefore that Starbucks went big on their Cake menu. Nothing better than ordering that Grande Latte with a side of cake to kick off your mornings! One of the most famous cakes at Starbucks is their Lemon Loaf Cake. This is our version of that popular cake, so let’s jump into this Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake recipe!

This recipe is inspired by a popular food blogger, Plated Cravings so we would encourage you all to check out their blog. They produce some amazing recipes that are simple and delicious!

While the dish is called a Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake, we can categorically confirm that it tastes so much better than what they’re serving at the coffee place. The sweet and sharp flavors of the cake are so pronounced in the Cake and the flavors complement each other so well. The cake is extremely moist and just melts in your mouth, yet has a beautiful golden-brown crust to keep the whole thing together

Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake better than Starbucks
We can categorically confirm this Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake is better than the one they serve in store!

The key to a perfect Lemon Loaf Cake is a generous amount of Lemon

It goes without saying that this Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake is going to have Lemon in it. Well, of course it does! The key to making this cake taste so good is to be generous with the Lemon portions. You want that sharp, acidic, Lemon hit to cut through the sweetness of the cake. it’s what brings so much flavor to the cake

You want to not only use the Lemon Juice, but also utilize the Lemon Zest in the cake. Lemon Zest adds a much stronger Lemon flavor than the Juice. It has an acidic, borderline bitterness to it, yet it is extremely palatable. Whenever you’re looking to really elevate the Lemon flavor in a dish, sweet or savory for that matter, we’d always recommend adding Lemon Zest

There’s not one, not two, but three application of Lemon to this cake!

Yep, it’s Lemony! We add Lemon to the cake in three ways, so you can’t escape the wonderful citrus flavor in this dish. First, Lemon is added to the cake batter, so each bite of that beautiful, moist cake will be filled with a wonderful Lemon flavor

The second application of Lemon is in a Lemon drizzle. A simple mixture of Lemon Juice (about 1 Lemons worth) and 3 tbsp. of Powdered Sugar. This syrup-like liquid is brushed straight onto the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven and is still warm. The Syrup will be absorbed into the cake, adding a sweet and acidic flavor to the cake

Lemon Loaf Cake Lemon Drizzle
To infuse even more Lemon flavor into the cake, a Lemon drizzle is poured over the freshly baked cake while it is still hot

The final Lemon application is the Icing. We add 1 ½ tbsp. of Lemon Juice with 1 tbsp. of Whole Milk and 1 cup of Powdered Sugar to create the icing. If you want even more Lemon flavor you can add a little bit of Lemon Zest to the icing to intensify that beautiful, acidic taste

Make sure the cake is cooled before adding the Lemon Icing

This is perhaps the biggest challenge when making cakes with icing. The waiting game. It is so tempting to dive straight into that cake and devour it as soon as it’s come out of the oven. The smell is so alluring, and by this point you’re probably starving!

Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait. The Icing will need to go onto the cake once it has cooled. This is to prevent the icing from simply melting away and dripping off the cake. So, we recommend waiting about 30 minutes after the Cake has come out of the oven before you apply the icing

Sorry! No shortcuts here. You just have to wait!

Lemon Loaf Cake Icing
Make sure you cool the cake before adding the icing so it won’t melt and fall off the cake!

This recipe requires Buttermilk, just make your own!

Buttermilk is one of the easiest ingredients to make at home, so there is no need to go out and spend extra cash on this ingredient. Buttermilk is literally just regular Whole Milk that has started to curdle. So, to make Buttermilk you only need to curdle the Milk yourself

This recipe requires ½ cup of Buttermilk so pour out ½ cup of regular Milk and squeeze in about ½ Lemon worth of juice. Let it sit for a few minutes to begin to curdle and you’ve instantly got Buttermilk. This is a far more economical approach for our Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake recipe, as you need both Buttermilk and Regular Milk for the dish. Save money and make your own!

Recipe Details

Servings

4 – 8 people

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

50 minutes

Total time

1 hour, 10 minutes

Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ cup of Buttermilk
  • ½ cup of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Lemons, Juice and Zest
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp. Salt

To make the Lemon Icing

  • 1 tbsp. Whole Milk
  • 1 cup of Powdered Sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Lemon Juice

Equipment needed: Stand Mixer with Paddle attachment

Instructions

  1. Combine the Flour, Baking Powder, Zest from 1 Lemon, and ½ tsp. of Salt. Once combined, set aside
  2. Cream the Butter and Sugar together by adding to your Stand Mixer and mixing on medium / high for about 5 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula so all of the ingredients combine
  3. Turn the mixer on low speed then add the Eggs, one at a time, then add the Vanilla Extract and the Juice of ½ a Lemon. Whisk for 1 – 2 minutes to combine
  4. Add a third of the previously made flour mixture along with half the Buttermilk. Mix to combine, and then add the second third of the Flour mixture and remaining Buttermilk. Once combined, add the remaining Flour and continue mixing until a smooth batter forms
  5. Scrape the batter into a tall sided, rectangular baking tray that has been greased with Butter. Bake for 50 minutes at 350F until cooked. You can check the doneness by doing the toothpick trick (insert toothpick and once it comes out clean, it’s cooked)
  6. While the cake is baking, combine the Juice of 1 Lemon with 3 tbsp. of Powdered Sugar to create a Lemon Drizzle. This is to be brushed over the cake once it’s cooked, while still warm
  7. Remove Loaf from Oven and turn out on an elevated wire rack over a large sheet pan. Brush the Lemon Drizzle over the top and sides of the cake, then allow to cool for about 30 minutes before adding the Icing

To make the Lemon Icing

  1. Combine Milk, Powdered, Sugar, and Lemon Juice into a small bowl and mix well. Generously pour Icing over the top of the cake, so that some slightly drip down the sides. You can eat immediately or leave for 10 minutes for the icing to cool

Recipe Notes

  • We recommend making your own Buttermilk instead of buying some from the store. Simply squeeze the juice of ½ Lemon into ½ cup of Whole Milk. Let it sit for a few minutes and you’ve got Buttermilk
  • Add half the Milk first when creating the Lemon Icing and mix well to combine to check the thickness. Add a little more Milk until you reach the desired thickness

We think it goes without saying this Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake tastes far superior to the original. The Lemon flavor is intense, yet not overpowering and is balanced out with the overall sweetness of the Cake. The texture of the cake is awesome too: Light and moist

Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake Coffee
To complete the Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake experience make your own homemade Grande or Venti Coffee!

So, make your own homemade Grande Latte or Cappuccino and enjoy this beautiful cake for morning tea. It’s also great as an after-dinner treat! We’ve enjoyed this cake for several days after we made it too, it lasts pretty well. Just wrap it tightly in cling film and it’ll keep for 5+ days easily

For more wonderful Desserts, check out our page here. If you’re looking for more sweet recipes why not try some of these great dishes out:

Happy Cooking!

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