Lemon Loaf

This zingy lemon loaf made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, and sour cream is lightly brushed with a lemon syrup then drizzled with a lemon glaze. I always love making loafs of bread this time of year and handing them out as gifts for the neighbors and friends. This lemon loaf is always a favorite. :)  Bursting with lemony flavor, this melt in your mouth lemon loaf will leave you begging for more. It takes a lot of self decipline to eat just one slice, trust me-it is amazing! Serve a slice of this moist loaf with a cup of tea and start your morning off right.

Lemon Loaf

This zingy lemon loaf made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, and sour cream is lightly brushed with a lemon syrup then drizzled with a lemon glaze.

Yield: 2 9x5 loaves


For the Lemon Loaf:
1½ cups cake flour
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2¼ cups sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup grated lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Lemon Syrup:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
For the Lemon Glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
In a medium bowl, sift together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed combine sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. With the mixer still running, drizzle the butter into the bowl. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Remove bowl from mixer.
Sprinkle in the flour mixture over the batter, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
Remove loaves to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves. Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely.
To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

28 Responses to “Lemon Loaf”

  1. #
    Rhiannon George — December 8, 2010 @ 7:16 am

    That looks absolutly gorgeous!

  2. #
    jm — December 8, 2010 @ 8:26 am

    i love lemon loaf and yours looks delicious! :)

  3. #
    HappyWhenNotHungry — December 8, 2010 @ 9:44 am

    This looks amazing! I love lemon anything, so will definitely have to try. Great photos too!

  4. #
    briarrose — December 8, 2010 @ 9:53 am

    Beautiful and yummy. I love a good lemon bread….it always makes me think of summer which makes a nice pick me up in cold weather. 😉

  5. #
    Pretty. Good. Food. — December 8, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

    Mmmmm, this looks so good! My mouth is watering just looking at the photos!

  6. #
    Mariko — December 9, 2010 @ 4:17 am

    I can just feel this tangy coolness in my mouth. Perfect.

  7. #
    kerry — December 9, 2010 @ 8:00 am

    This is also known as New York baker Bill Yosses’ Lemon Cake. Martha Stewart has been featuring it for years. That said, it takes awhile, but is totally worth the effort.

  8. #
    Stephanie — December 9, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    That looks like my idea of heaven. Definitely going on my Saturday morning baking list :)

  9. #
    Miss — December 9, 2010 @ 10:55 pm

    Love lemon, and I really want this right now!

  10. #
    Jenn@eatcakefordinner — December 12, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

    I could never eat only one slice! I absolutely love lemon bread. I have been wanting to get the Baked cookbook. I have seen a bunch of different recipes from it that sound delicious.

  11. #
    Shelbi — December 17, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

    This is on my Christmas baking list!!!! Thanks for posting!

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  14. #
    netflixandnutella — January 8, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

    I just made this! it didn’t turn out as well for me…it tasted great it just caved in because it didn’t cook through all the way. I used a bundt pan instead though which could be the issue. here is my blog post about it! thanks for the recipe!


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  22. #
    Linda — May 6, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

    Just baked these and they look and smell amazing! Thanks for sharing:) I’ll let you know how they taste.

  23. #
    Margie — February 7, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    I just made this yesterday! It is so delicious! My husband said its dangerously good!

    • Christina replied: — February 19th, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

      Thanks so much for letting me know how the loaf turned out for you Margie! I agree with your husband…the loaf is dangerously good! 😉

  24. #
    Sue V. — March 23, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    This looks FANTASTIC! My wedding cake was lemon! Such a great flavor!
    Can’t wait to try. :)

  25. #
    maureen — June 6, 2013 @ 12:53 am

    Thank you for this delicious recipe! Made it for a teacher appreciation luncheon tomorrow and I sneaked a taste…. delicious! I’ll be using this recipe again.

  26. #
    judy — January 12, 2014 @ 1:00 am

    made this tonight, my critics all loved it

    • Christina replied: — January 13th, 2014 @ 9:40 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the lemon loaf! I make this one all the time this time of year…It is one of my husbands favorites! Thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out for you! :)

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