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Lemon Loaf (Starbucks Copycat)

May 25, 2013


My favorite coffee shop indulgence is Starbucks Lemon Loaf, followed closely by the lemon poppy seed cake at Caribou Coffee. Oh, Caribou Coffee… how much I miss you. I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to try and make a “copycat” version of the cake. The one that seemed the most promising used a boxed cake mix as its base. For some reason, this disturbed me. It’s not that I have anything against boxed cake mixes (I don’t) but I didn’t think it would work. I thought it would taste, well… like a boxed cake. Still, the directions were so simple (dump it all together, mix it up, throw it in a pan, slop some glaze on it) I thought it would be worth a try. I was thrilled when I tasted this! It did, indeed, taste very much like my beloved Starbucks lemon loaf. The only thing I didn’t get exactly right was the glaze. More on this later.

I’ve made my peace with the boxed cake mix. Though my favorite food bloggers and culinary heroes would never dream of it, I am not them, they are not me, so there. Here it is! The Lemon Loaf!  Oh, incidentally, the fact that this cake is in the shape of a loaf means, in my mind, it’s fair game for “breakfast food” with a cup of coffee.  Sometime I will try these as mini loaves just like I did with these!

Lemon Loaf (Starbucks Copycat Recipe) 

For the Cake:


1 box lemon cake mix

1 4.3 oz box lemon pudding (instant or regular… I used regular)

1/2 cup neutral flavored oil (canola or vegetable)

8 oz sour cream

4 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

6 T fresh lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Prepare 2 loaf pans by greasing with butter or spraying with cooking spray. (I don’t ever have cooking spray, so I greased with butter)

3. Mix together all the ingredients until well combined (1-2 minutes)

4. Divide the batter between the 2 loaf pans and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes until brown on top and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

5. Let cool at least 15 minutes before removing from the pan

6. Glaze (instructions below)

For the Glaze 


2 1/2  cups of powdered sugar

3-4 T lemon juice


Put the powdered sugar in a bowl and gradually add lemon juice, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the glaze is thick but still pourable (think of white glue). In my photo, you will see that I added too much lemon juice, and the glaze was too runny compared to the Starbucks version. The thinner glaze was still delicious, however, and some might prefer its thinner texture. Experiment with the sugar to lemon juice ratio to find your preference. It’s impossible to “wreck” even if it’s not as planned, it will taste amazing. Let the glaze fully harden before eating (Though it will be hard to resist!)

Source: Picky Palate 

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