Gluten Free Lemon Loaf Cake (A Starbuck’s Copycat Recipe)

This Gluten Free Lemon Loaf Cake is a citrusy explosion, and I imagine it’s just as good, if not better, than the original!

slices of gluten free lemon loaf cake on white rectangular platter with whole lemons in the background.

I’ve always wanted to try Starbuck’s lemon loaf, but they’ve never offered it gluten free. And I have my doubts they ever will (although things could change in the future). Until then, I decided to give it a go myself. I’m not sure if this tastes exactly like it, but it doesn’t matter because this is the most incredible lemon pound cake ever!

What You’ll Need to make lemon loaf cake

ingredients weighed out and labeled in individual bowls on granite countertop.
  • Butter
  • Shortening — the addition of shortening in this recipe results in a softer texture than we would achieve with all butter.
  • Lemon zest and juice — please, please use fresh lemon juice and zest. Nothing compares and if you use artificial, your cakes will taste artificial.
  • Kim’s gluten free all purpose flour blend — a store bought blend may be substituted, but hasn’t been tested.

How to Make Lemon Loaf

  1. Cream butter and shortening with granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Once all eggs have been added, scape down sides of bowl.
  3. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, followed by the lemon juice, until all ingredients have been added.
  4. Remove from the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to mix in any remaining bits of flour.
  5. Pour into two prepared 8 1/2 by 4-inch loaf pans and bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Whisk powdered sugar with remaining lemon juice and zest and spread over top of loaf. Allow icing to set before serving.

Lemon Loaf Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use lemon extract instead of lemon juice/zest?

I would not advise using lemon extract in lemon loaf cake because of the artificial taste that it imparts. There is plenty of fresh lemon flavor in this cake, but if it’s still not enough for your tastes, add double the amount of lemon zest in with the sugar.

Can I Double the Recipe and Bake it in a Bundt Pan?

No need to double the recipe, but yes, you absolutely can bake lemon loaf cake in a Bundt pan! I LOVE this recipe in a Bundt, and it works fantastically. Bake at the same temperature, but the baking time may differ, depending on the size of your Bundt pan. Begin checking at 45 minutes.

How Long Does This Loaf Cake Last?

Gluten free lemon loaf cake is a great recipe for make ahead! You can bake it, slice it, and keep individual pieces in the freezer for 3-4 months (well wrapped). It will also keep at room temperature, well covered, for 4-5 days, or in the fridge for up to a week.

more gluten free lemon recipes

slice of lemon loaf cake on a white decorative plate with fork cutting through.

It’s citrus season, so there’s no better time to make this Gluten Free Lemon Loaf Cake. Cut yourself a slice of this tangy citrusy loaf to brighten your day!

slices of gluten free lemon loaf cake on white rectangular platter with whole lemons in the background.

Gluten Free Lemon Loaf Cake (A Starbuck’s Copycat Recipe)

This Gluten Free Lemon Loaf Cake is a citrusy explosion, and I imagine it's just as good, if not better, than the original!
Print Recipe
CourseBreakfast, Dessert
CuisineAmerican
KeywordGluten Free, lemon loaf cake, starbucks copycat
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Servings2 loaves or one Bundt cake
AuthorKim

Ingredients

  • cups (350g) Kim's gluten free all purpose flour blend (a store bought blend may work, but hasn't been tested)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (226g) butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (95g) vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • cups (300ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

Glaze

  • 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar
  • 6-8 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease two 8½ by 4-inch loaf pans and line them with parchment paper, overhanging on opposite sides (for easy removal of loaf cakes).
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In another medium bowl, rub lemon zest into granulated sugar until well combined and fragrant. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), combine butter and shortening until smooth. Add granulated sugar and cream for about two minutes at medium speed.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating for about 30 seconds after each addition.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  • With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture with milk, ending in flour mixture.  Add lemon juice at the end and mix just until combined.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and allow cakes to cool in pans for 15 minutes before lifting out to cool completely on a wire rack.

Make Glaze

  • Whisk all glaze ingredients (starting with the minimal amount of heavy cream) together in a small bowl. If more cream is needed to thin out for spreading, add one tablespoon at a time. Spread over cooled loaf cakes and serve.

Notes

Recipe can be made in a Bundt pan that’s been well greased and floured.  Begin checking for doneness at 45 minutes, but depending on the size of your Bundt pan it may take longer to bake.  Test with toothpick for doneness (a few moist crumbs clinging to toothpick).  

Adapted from Chef Lindsey Farr’s Lemon Pound Cake



11 thoughts on “Gluten Free Lemon Loaf Cake (A Starbuck’s Copycat Recipe)”

  • In step 3 it mentions adding sugar and cream – but there’s no cream in the cake ingredients list. Is there an ingredient missing? I only see heavy cream for the glaze.
    I’d love to make this tomorrow so hope to hear back!
    Thanks 🙂

  • Hi Kim,
    What can I use as a substitution for vegetable shortening? You use crisco which we don’t have here. Could I use margarine? Thanks.

  • This is DELISH! I did it in a Bundt pan and cooked it 70 min at 325, it was a tiny bit under, I’d say it could have baked 5 more min to get to that perfectly crumbly consistency, but I didn’t want to burn it and did not want it to be dry. 70 min got it to a spongy consistency that is so yummy!

  • Amazing! Halved the recipe because my waistline didn’t need two loaves. Used Bob’s Redmill 1to1 flour and doubled the amount of zest for extra lemon flavor.
    *It did take an hour to finish baking.
    Thank you for another great recipe, Kim!

  • I had an issue with the oven not to temperature of 325F, left in longer and testing with toothpick. Took out of oven when touching the loaf cake when it was spongy and toothpick came out clean. My question- is a separation of loaf cake from sides of bunt pan normal with sides of bunt pan have a coating of the loaf cake? There isn’t any browning (crust) on the loaf cake taking it out of the pan, it’s yellow! New baker! Thanks

  • This was *so* delicous!! I served it to friends for dessert at a dinner party. Everybody raved and went back for seconds. You could absolutely not tell that it was gluten-free – all you can say for certain is that it’s delicious! Thanks Kim!!

  • I had an issue with the oven not to temperature of 325F, left in longer and testing with toothpick. Took out of oven when touching the loaf cake when it was spongy and toothpick came out clean. My question- is a separation of loaf cake from sides of bunt pan normal with sides of bunt pan have a coating of the loaf cake? There isn’t any browning (crust) on the loaf cake taking it out of the pan, it’s yellow! New baker! As it turned out, it tastes great, just don’t know why it separated from sides.
    Thanks
    Dan

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