Categories: Cakes, My Baking & Cooking

My attempt to replicate Starbucks’s Lemon Loaf

Lemon Pound Cake

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Lemme get this out the way–I love Starbucks’s Lemon Loaf.

Lemon Pound Cake

For the past month, I’ve pondered if there’s a “copycat” recipe for it. I narrowed it down to 4 contenders. The first one was Starbucks’s Lemon Pound Cake w/Icing. Second was Lemon Lovers’ Pound Cake. Third was Golden Lemon Pound Cake. The last one was Sherry Yard’s Lemon Pound Cake. I reviewed each recipe’s ingredients and read all the reviews. I took a methodical approach—and chose the winner by process of elimination. LOL. I didn’t like the oil in the 1st recipe; the sour cream in the 2nd, and the 4 sticks of butter in the last recipe.

Lemon Pound Cake

And because I wanted a lemony flavor like Starbucks’s version, I increased the recipe’s lemon juice by 700% (yep, septupled) and also doubled it for the glaze. I also added 1 tablespoon of both vanilla and lemon extracts like one reviewer suggested.  The verdict:  Four people commented on it (at the party I brought it to).  Three out of 4 really enjoyed it: Two said that it tasted better than Starbucks’s Lemon Loaf.  The third person liked the icing.  Truthfully, it really doesn’t taste anything like Starbucks’s but the lemony, tangy homemade flavor is outta this world!

Lemon Pound Cake

My attempt to replicate Starbucks’s Lemon Loaf

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened–I used Land O’ Lakes
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • fresh lemon juice from 3 medium or large lemons, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract

*I used 3/4 cup milk + 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice. I waited 5 minutes before stirring.


  • Soften butter by letting it stand for 30-45 minutes at room temperature OR cut into chunks and allow to stand for 15 minutes at room temperature
  • Grate the lemon rinds of 2 lemons to produce 1 tablespoon of zest
  • Juice (extract the juice from) 3 lemons


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Continue beating, adding eggs one at a time, until well mixed.
  4. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk (dry, milk, dry, milk, dry) and mix to incorporate.
  5. Add lemon peel, 1/2 cup lemon juice, vanilla and lemon extracts. Beat until well mixed.
  6. Spread batter into greased and floured (or use nonstick cooking spray) 12-cup Bundt pan or 10-inch angelfood cake (tube) pan. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely before adding glaze.


  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-6 tablespoons buttermilk*

*I measured 6 tablespoons milk + not quite half a tablespoon of lemon juice. I waited 5 minutes before stirring.


Whisk powdered sugar, butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice together. Slowly add enough buttermilk to make a thin glaze (I didn’t use all the milk). Drizzle over cooled cake.

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2 comments for “My attempt to replicate Starbucks’s Lemon Loaf”

  1. I say try Sherry Yard’s version… she is THE QUEEN of yum!!!

    1 Posted by Cheryl | July 24, 2009, 10:18 pm
  2. This is a great replica of Starbuck’s Lemon Loaf. Check out this amazing Lemon Loaf Recipe on Mama Knows

    2 Posted by Jay Loves Cooking | July 16, 2010, 1:37 pm

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