This Gluten Free Lemon Loaf Cake is a citrusy explosion, and I imagine it’s just as good, if not better, than the original!
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
- 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
- Cream butter and shortening with granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Once all eggs have been added, scape down sides of bowl.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, followed by the lemon juice, until all ingredients have been added.
- Remove from the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to mix in any remaining bits of flour.
- 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.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
- 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
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.
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.
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
- Lemon meringue pie
- Amazing grilled lemon butter shrimp
- Perfect lemon bars
- Violet lemonade (a Disney copycat recipe)
- Lemon basil potato salad
- Lemon cream pie
- Lemon drop cupcakes
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!
Gluten Free Lemon Loaf Cake (A Starbuck’s Copycat Recipe)
- 2½ 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
- 1¼ cups (300ml) whole milk, at room temperature
- 6 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar
- 6-8 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 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.
- 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.
Adapted from Chef Lindsey Farr’s Lemon Pound Cake
18 thoughts on “Gluten Free Lemon Loaf Cake (A Starbuck’s Copycat Recipe)”
Followed to a ‘T’, using your AP Gluten free flour blend. Both loaves completely sunk in the middle, almost to the bottom of the loaf pan. Very disappointed.
I’m so sorry you had this problem! I’m not sure why this would happen other than you didn’t bake the loaves long enough. That’s the only thing I can think of.
i made the cake and it was a lot of oil when the cake was in the oven , was like frying, The butter and shortening is right the measurement?
Kim, Love your recipes!!!! I have made this three times and absolutely loved it every time. However, I have made in a tube pan and every time, it caves in. I even had a technician to come out and check my oven to make sure it was heating correctly. Any thoughts there? Don’t misunderstand, not one crumb went to waste. We loved it fallen. Almost concerned we won’t like as much it hasn’t fallen. LOL! But anything worth doing is worth doing right! Guidance oh great one! ALSO! A lot of your recipes call for butter, which I am all for. However, I am assuming this unsalted butter. Would that be correct? All this baking is new to me. HELP!
Hi, Cynthia! That’s actually kinda normal if it falls a little in the center. Mine does, too, especially when I bake it in a loaf pan. I get a center “line” where it dips and it doesn’t change the consistency of the cake or anything. But if you want to try baking it a teeny bit longer, you might be able to prevent that. However, if you go too far you’ll end up with a dry cake. I know most cooks and chefs use unsalted butter, but I prefer to use salted. It’s never too salty for me personally and no one I’ve ever made anything for has no problems with it either.
Thank you!!!! That makes me feel so much better! It is good to know I not a total flop at baking these. LOL! But they are sooooo good! Thank you for sharing your gift. I so appreciate it!!!!
Really good. For some reason mine came out with a 3 inch rise which deflated after I poked it with a toothpick. It added a crunch to the top which is very desirable to me since I didn’t plan on glazing. I also accidentally put 6 tbsp of zest and I will do that every time!
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.
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! Thanks
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!
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!
What can I use as a substitution for vegetable shortening? You use crisco which we don’t have here. Could I use margarine? Thanks.
Ooh, I want to know this too!
Yes, you should be able to use margarine or any vegan style butter without issue 😊
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!
Oh, haha! No, I’m sorry. What I meant here is to “cream” as a verb, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I apologize for not being more clear.
Thank you! That makes sense now 🙂