Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Day 2 – Lemon Loaf


It may (or may not) come as a surprise to you, but when it comes to baked goods, I am a firm believer in “You can’t go wrong with lemon.” Or maybe more broadly, citrus.

But mostly, lemon. When I go shopping at Target I somehow can’t resist the pull of the not-quite Starbucks, Starbucks’ lemon pound cake. It’s wonderful with a good punch of lemon flavor echoed in the glaze on top. I rationalize this as my grocery shopping treat because I hate grocery shopping and I go grocery shopping once a week because we spend less money on food that way. To most this will seem counterintuitive, but for my family it’s the honest to goddess truth.

The thing is, though? I suspect the foundation of this treat is sugar, that’s been doused in sugar, and then topped with sugar. At least that’s what I assume reading the many recipes. I’m thinking it’s a good thing I limit myself to once every two weeks at the most.

The other collection of recipes online appear to be doused in extra (natural) flavoring additives or boxed pudding mix which is in the end the same thing and probably isn’t all that far off the Starbucks recipe mark.

None of the box mixes at the grocery store seemed like they’d fit the bill (unpronounceable ingredients aside) so I decided to mush a few recipes together and came up with my own recipe. It’s not the same by any stretch of the imagination – the texture/crumb is off and there’s no glaze – but for me these are acceptable trade-offs. The flavor profile, though, is just about spot on.

Lemon Loaf

Yield: 1 loaf (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 or 6-cup equivalent)

Inspired by Bill Yosses


3 lemons, zested and segmented

2 sticks of butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour loaf pan (or use all in one spray).
  2. Zest the lemons, set aside. Cut off the pith and then segment lemons into a small bowl being sure to catch the juice and squeeze out any of the juice remaining around the membrane (tutorial here). If there’s any lemon pulp left on the pith I also like to squeeze that over the bowl so that I can catch as much juice as possible.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Add zest and vanilla. Mix briefly to combine. Add in lemon segments and juice. Mix to break up lemons and incorporate the juice.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix as little as possible – just so that the flour has been incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake 65-75 minutes or until raised in the center and toothpick comes out clean (a few crumbs are ok).
  6. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then remove loaf from pan and place on cooling rack.

Next time I make this I’m going to cut the butter a bit just for kicks.


14 thoughts on “Day 2 – Lemon Loaf

  1. om nom nom

  2. Yum yum! You can bake for me any day!

  3. This sounds delicious. In my mind, there’s nothing better than a nice thick slice of lemon loaf and lovely cup of tea. It’s a perfect afternoon snack.

  4. I have three files of recipes centered around a specific ingredient and I will be long dead before I even make a fraction of them. But every time I see one, I copy it or clip it. Lemon (you are right on this one), ginger and cornmeal. Mostly desserts that have ginger in them and baked goods with cornmeal (no grits or mush!). Do I have a sweet tooth or what!

    • That sounds like quite the recipe collection! I also love ginger (especially when paired with molasses) in baked goods. The other place ginger tends to show up is in my chicken soup – especially important this time of year. Nothing wrong with a sweet tooth – I loved that orange sweet roll recipe you posted earlier this year.

  5. Oh boy! I’ve been meaning to look up a recipe for a lemon loaf after splurging on the Starbuck’s version more than once. It looks delicious. Thank you for sharing!!

    • It’s not exactly like it, but having had the Starbucks one after the one I made, I like mine much better. I think the lemon flavor is more pronounced whereas the lemon in the Starbucks one now seems a bit fake tasting.

      If you try it, you’ll have to let me know how you like it or if you run into problems. I’d love feedback from someone else.

  6. This looks absolutely amazing. Hope I get down to making it someday.