Home Cakes (Copycat) Gluten Free Starbucks Lemon Loaf
Sliced lemon load cake on a white cutting board.

(Copycat) Gluten Free Starbucks Lemon Loaf

by tw

The Starbucks lemon loaf cake has something of a cult following, IYKYK.  If you’ve missed grabbing a slice with your morning coffee since going gluten free, don’t worry I’ve got you covered.  This copycat recipe is so moist and delicious.  It is bursting with lemon flavor and that icing…

Why You'll Love Lemon Loaf Cake

  • It doesn’t cost $3+ per slice.
  • It’s so moist.
  • It’s a lemon lover’s dream.
  • It uses real ingredients, no hard to pronounce chemicals.
  • It’s gluten free and dairy free!
Ingredients for iced lemon load on a marble table.


Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour – I use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Flour Blend in all of my recipes.  You can use the flour blend of your choice just make sure it has xanthan gum.  Different flour blends may produce different results.  For the best outcome, weigh your flour.

Baking Powder – This leavening agent will help the cake come out soft and fluffy. 



Vegan Butter & Oil – This recipe uses a combination of butter and oil.  The butter provides the richness of pound cake while the oil allows for more moisture to be used, resulting in a nice moist cake.  If you’re not dairy free, you can use regular butter in the same measure.

Eggs – The eggs provide structure for the loaf.  I haven’t tried egg replacements with this recipe.  If you do, let me know how it works in the comments.

Vanilla – To provide some sweetness.

Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice – The star of the recipe.  No lemon extract is used here.  You’ll need 2 lemons for the cake and icing.

Vegan Sour Cream – The sour cream helps keep the loaf moist.  If your stores don’t carry vegan sour cream, you can substitute dairy free yogurt or even milk.  It might change the end result slightly, but it will still be delicious.  If you’re not dairy free, just use regular sour cream.

Powdered Sugar

Step by step instructions for making a lemon loaf cake.

How to Make an Iced Lemon Loaf

  • Step 1 – Combine your lemon zest with the sugar.  Use your fingers to rub the sugar and zest together.  This imparts the oil from the lemon rind into the sugar making for a stronger lemon flavor.
  • Step 2 – Once your sugar is thoroughly mixed with the lemon, it will be light yellow in color.
  • Step 3 – Combine the butter, oil and lemon sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Step 4 – Add the vanilla and lemon juice.  Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing for a minute between each addition.
  • Step 5 – Add half of the dry ingredients, followed by the sour cream.  Then add the remaining dry ingredients.
  • Step 6 – Spread the batter into a lined loaf pan and bake!
A sliced loaf of lemon cake on a marble cutting board.

How Do You Make Lemon Icing?

The icing on this cake makes it extra delicious.  It’s sweet and filled with lemon flavor. 

Lemon icing is so easy to make.  You combine powdered sugar and lemon juice and stir together until smooth.  The icing will seem very thick, but that’s what you want to get that copycat Starbucks lemon loaf cake. 

Pour the thick lemon icing on top of the cooled cake and spread just to the edges with an offset spatula.  It will naturally run down the sides a bit, but it should be thick enough to dry to the touch within about 30 minutes.

Closeup of slices of lemon loaf cake on a white cutting board.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! When you’re making a cake, you are trying to create an emulsion between the fat and eggs.  You want the ingredients to combine effortlessly, so the air bubbles can be whipped in resulting in a light cake.

This iced lemon loaf should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.  It will last 3-4 days. 

If you don’t have a stand mixer, a handheld mixer will do fine.  You will want to use an electric mixer of some sort though to make sure you get enough air into the batter for it to rise.

I don’t think this cake will work without eggs (or using an egg substitute).  It relies on the eggs for structure and lift and there are a lot of them in the recipe.

If you need an egg free or vegan version, I’d recommend looking for a recipe that’s been written for vegan baking.

Pin for gluten free lemon loaf.

If you're looking for more lemon bakes, check out these great recipes!

Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Streusel

Gluten Free Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

Gluten Free Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake

Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

To pin this recipe for later, click the save button on any image in this post or the recipe card.  Please tag me @wellfedbaker on Instagram if you make this recipe! 

Closeup of slices of lemon loaf cake on a white cutting board.

(Copycat) Gluten Free Starbucks Lemon Loaf

If you have ever wished you could grab a slice of that delicious Starbucks lemon loaf, you're going to love this lemon gluten free copycat recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 428kcal


For the cake

  • 1 ½ C Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend I use Bob's Red Mill
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ C Vegan Butter room temperature
  • ¼ C Olive Oil substitute with melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 Eggs room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • ½ C Vegan Sour Cream room temperature

For the icing

  • 1 ½ C Powdered Sugar sifted
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice


For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
    1 1/2 C Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend, 2 tsp Baking Powder, 1/2 tsp Salt
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers to impart the oils into the sugar. The sugar should turn a light yellow color.
    1 C Sugar, 2 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • Add the lemon sugar, butter and oil to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
    1/4 C Vegan Butter, 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Mix for 30 seconds.
    1 tsp Vanilla, 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 60 seconds between each addition. Scrape down the bowl.
    3 Eggs
  • Turn the mixer to the lowest speed. Add half of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Then add the remaining flour mixture. Stir until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
    1/2 C Vegan Sour Cream
  • Spread the batter into your prepared pan. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes of until top springs back when gently poked. If top begins to brown too quickly, lay a piece of aluminum foil over the top and continue to bake.
  • Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove from the pan and continue to cool on a wire rack. Cool completely before adding the lemon icing.

For the icing

  • In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Stir until it is smooth. It will be a little thicker than expected.
    1 1/2 C Powdered Sugar, 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Pour the lemon icing on the top of the cake and use a knife to push it just to the edges. A little will spill over and run down the sides.
  • Allow the icing to dry for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Nutrition Facts
(Copycat) Gluten Free Starbucks Lemon Loaf
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @wellfedbaker or tag #wellfedbaker!

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Accept