This lemon loaf is about as simple as baking gets! It has a sweet lemon flavor topped with a sweet-tart drizzle. The batter is ready for the oven in 15 minutes and it is made with yogurt which makes it so tender and delicious. Even the crumbs will disappear.
I few years ago I was on a girls weekend and happened to try the famous Starbucks Lemon Loaf. It was very good – lemony and by bakery standards a great treat. But frankly it just does not compare to my homemade lemon loaf cake. Sorry Starbucks, you lost this round.
How to Make Lemon Loaf At Home
Lemon Loaf is an easy, fail-proof baking recipe for people new to baking or who have been baking for years!
The recipe is simple. Mix the dry ingredients. Rub sugar and lemon zest together (which makes your fingers smell AMAZING!) Add the wet ingredients. Stir and bake! Use the delicious drizzle to glaze the cooled cake. I think that is about as simple as baking gets! You don’t even have to cream anything!
This lemon loaf recipe is sometimes also called lemon loaf cake, yogurt cake or lemon yogurt cake. The first version I ever saw was called French Yogurt Cake and was billed as a beginning baking recipe. I made it for my in-laws at a Graduation Brunch for my husband and it was a huge hit.
How to Zest a Lemon
The only skill that might be new to you is zesting a lemon! Thankfully this is easy to do. I suggest this Microplane zester. Just gently rub the lemon down the microplane to remove the zest (yellow part) off of the pith (white part) of the lemon peel.
More Recipes for Lemon Lovers
I consider myself a SERIOUS true blue lemon lover. I pretty much always have fresh lemons around. One of my favorite treats to offer visitors is fresh squeezed lemonade. And if I’m having a cocktail chances are good is a Lemondrop Martini! If this sounds like you check out some of my other lemon loving recipes…
- Lemonade Icebox Pie with Golden Oreo crust
- Mixed Berry Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
- Secret Ingredient Lemon Snowflake Cookies
- The Perfect Lemon Drop Martini
Drizzled Lemon Loaf
For The Cake
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsps. finely grated lemon zest from 1-2 lemons Meyer Lemons preferable
- ¾ cup whole-milk Greek yogurt I use cheap brand of Honey Greek Yogurt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla
For The Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- zest from one lemon
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Coat a standard loaf pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Dust with flour. Tap out excess.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Using your fingers rub 1 cups sugar with 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest from a Meyer Lemon in a large bowl until sugar is moist. Dump unto flour mixture
- To flour mixture add yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and vanilla; stir to blend.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 45 - 50 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert unto rack. Let cool completely.
- Whisk together ingredients for the glaze and drizzle over loaf.
This post was originally published in April of 2016. It was updated for content and clarity.
This looks amazing! We are having a family party this weekend and this recipe is definitely making an appearance. I love lemon desserts in the summer, they are perfectly tangy and sweet. Thanks for sharing!
I’m with you – nothing more excellent than lemon in the summer! I hope it turned out well for you.
The Better Baker
Hi There Mama M! I’m wild about quick breads and this one looks mighty tasty. So glad you shared with us at Weekend Potluck. Congrats on receiving most clicks at last week’s party for your TX Roadhouse Rolls. Oh my!
Thank you! I was so touched to be featured. It was a very difficult week and this made me smile.
Saw it and tried it immediately since I have all the ingredients. So easy to make and yet so delicious. Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe. The best part is the cake is shared between a dozen of us….so a dozen kudos to you.
Awe, thanks! I am so glad you enjoyed it! Lemon is just SO yummy.
My daughter is getting married in 6 weeks. I’m looking for ideas to make and freeze. Can I bake these and freeze for 1 week? And how would be the best way to wrap, if it is possible. I want to make food to put in the rooms for the bridesmaids and groomsmen and need ideas. I will have a house full of people and I’m the matron of honor. Do you have any ideas of what I could make for my guests at my house for meals?
I want to be a great host – but I know I will have very limited time, so if I could freeze food – I think its the only way to make it possible. I need your expertise 🙂
Thanks for asking! I think this would freeze well for a week. I would freeze it before glazing and then put the glaze on afterwords. That will help too if you have some crumbs come off during freezing. I would wrap in plastic wrap and then bag in a ziplock. In general I don’t like to freeze baked goods but ones with a high moisture content usually do well for short periods.
Now let’s talk weddings. You are the mother of the bride, the matron of honor, and you have house guests. I’m just going to tell you honestly from my experience what I think and then you can make of it what you will. I’ve gotten married and I’ve done entire weddings for friends (like cake, flowers, coordination, etc) and even the simplest event can get to be a lot fast.
I’m guessing the most important part of this all is that your daughter is getting married. This is one day – a moment in your life together you have probably both looked forward to and have some hopes and expectations around. I’m guessing you are close since you are also standing up for her. Whatever you decide to do as a hostess I would encourage you to not be so tired or so busy that you miss the experience of this moment. You won’t ever have it back again nor will your daughter. One of my biggest wedding regrets is my mother folding handmade fans right up until the ceremony – of course in the shuffle they never even got handed out… I got few moments with my mom on that busy day and I wish things had been simpler so I could have had more.
In your shoes I would cater / Costco cater any part of this I could. Buying things like simple roll up sandwiches, take and bake pizza from Papa Murphies, frozen dinners from Costco can give you a lot of freedom of time without breaking your budget. I know it is a joy to make homemade food for times like these but it can also be the straw that makes you crazy. I would opt for high quality simple food I could lay out and serve over making everything.
In terms of having food for the people getting dressed simple is good. The few times I’ve dressed for weddings I didn’t like anything messy but was grateful for practical food. Things like meat and cheese with breads or crackers or nuts. Plenty of cold water! The day gets busy and high protein snacks are a win.
If you are really looking for meals to make and freeze consider Taco Balls or my special homemade spaghetti sauce. Taco balls can be frozen before the sauce topping goes on. Spaghetti sauce can be made in a large batch ahead, frozen and then served with high quality pasta and bagged salad. My sauce recipe is something special you would get a lot of compliments on. The taco balls are popular but less classy!
Good luck with all the things on your plate and best wishes for a special day for you and your daughter! I hope this is the beginning of an amazing partnership she will find great joy in for the rest of her life!