Iced Lemon Loaf Cake

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Brighten up these cold winter days with this super simple and sweet Iced Lemon Loaf Cake! Think, a tender and moist cake infused with lemon juice and zest for a delicious winter treat. Though, the goodness doesn’t stop there. This cake is finished with our easy-to-make 2 ingredient lemon glaze for that extra pop of lemon in every bite! The best part? This cake is made in two bowls, pretty much no-fail, and effortlessly pretty. Every bite is sweet, lemon-y, and just SO. GOOD. Truly better than any coffee shop. Enjoy alongside your favorite cup of coffee at brunch, as an afternoon snack, or even dessert all winter long!

iced loaf cake on parchment paper with slice laying in front with a knife beside, white flowers around, and lemons behind on marble surface with stack of plates and empty glasses behind.

About The Recipe

Honestly, it’s hard to have the midweek blues when you have this delicious cake around! When you think about it, it’s kind of like having some edible sunshine, you know? The cake itself is bright yellow, full of bright lemon flavor, and is perfectly sweet.

I mean, if that doesn’t sound like happiness, I don’t know what does!

We were inspired to make this loaf cake after seeing that each January, our Lemon and Sour Cream Bundt Cake was the one recipe you all went back to again and again!

Though, when we were developing this recipe, we wanted to make something even easier for you all to make this winter. It’s made in only two bowls, requires minimal ingredients, and uses one special ingredient that gives this cake the most amazing texture…yogurt!

Yep. You read that right. Yogurt.

We thought it would be fun to use plain full fat greek yogurt in this cake. It’s not only a healthier option than using something like sour cream, but it gives this cake the perfect texture. Honestly, it’s so tender and delicious!

angled shot from the side of lemon loaf with two slices laying in front.

Whether you’re looking for a simple dessert or a sweet treat for brunch, this lemon loaf is the perfect bake to enjoy all year long.

Reasons You Will Love This Iced Lemon Loaf Cake

  • So much better than Starbucks!
  • Uses greek yogurt instead of sour cream for an extra dose of protein and probiotics!
  • Easy to make and only used two bowls.
  • Tender, moist, and full of lemon flavor.
  • Goes perfectly with a cup of coffee!
  • A slice of cake the whole family will love.
overhead shot of loaf cake with three slices laying in front with knife beside and lemons around.

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Cake:

  • All-Purpose Flour – No fancy flours needed for this cake! All-purpose flour gives this cake the perfect texture.
  • Granulated Sugar – Adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this cake, as well as keeping it moist and allowing it to brown to a gorgeous golden brown color.
  • Baking Powder – Provides lift when the cake goes into the oven.
  • Baking Soda – We added baking soda in addition to baking powder, as this cake is acidic due to the addition of lemon and yogurt. Baking soda helps give this cake an extra bit of lift!
  • Salt – Just a dash to enhance the flavor and lightly cut some of the sweetness.
  • Lemon Zest – Fresh lemon zest helps add a little bit of flavor to this cake!
  • Greek Yogurt – Our secret ingredient! A full fat plain greek yogurt not only adds extra protein and probiotics, but it also adds richness to this cake. So delicious!
  • Vegetable Oil – A neutral flavored oil such-as vegetable oil gives this cake a wonderful texture and keeps it moist.
  • Large Eggs – Be sure to use large eggs for this recipe!
  • Lemon Juice – Adds just the right amount of lemon flavor to the cake.
lemon juice, flour, sugar, lemon zest, oil, eggs, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and yogurt on marble surface.

For The Icing:

  • Powdered Sugar – Remember to sift your powdered sugar for a smooth icing!
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice gives the most amount of flavor and allows this icing to really pack a punch!
powdered sugar and lemon juice in two glass bowls on marble surface.

How To Make This Iced Lemon Loaf Cake

Step 1: Make the cake batter

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.

In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, oil, eggs, and lemon juice until smooth.

Combine wet and dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Step 2: Bake

Spoon the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Let the cake cool in pan for 5-10 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack.

baked loaf cake on cooling rack.

Step 3: Make the icing

In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.

Pour over cooled cake.

iced loaf cake on cooling rack.

Choosing The Right Lemon & How To Get The Most Juice From It

It may sound a bit odd, but I promise there is actually a trick to this!

  • First things first, when you’re at the store, don’t go for the larger lemons. I know it’s tempting, but generally… that size yields in quite a bit of rind. Not juice.
  • Pick them up! Use that scale you see by the other fruits. See what’s heavier. The heavier the lemon, the more more juice it’ll have.
  • Squeeze it gently. A thinner rind will have some give to it, whereas a thicker rind will be about as hard as a rock.

So, now that you have the perfect lemons, what’s the best way to get the most amount of juice? Using room temperature lemons! But, that’s not all. From there, roll them onto the counter until they’re super soft and squishy! This will yield the most amount of juice. Especially if you’re using a citrus juicer!

How To Zest A Lemon

The best way to zest a lemon is with a zester! Though, if you don’t have one, a very fine cheese grater will do, but it’s really worth investing in a zester, as it’s a great tool to have. From there, thoroughly wash your lemon and dry it with a towel.

Now, you’re ready to zest! Hold the zester at an angle over a plate (just in case some falls off!) and push/pull your lemon until you reach the white of the rind. Once you see white, stop zesting and rotate the lemon! Continue as you did before and repeat until the entire lemon has been zested.

Depending on the size of your lemons, you may need more than one lemon.

close up of sliced lemon loaf on parchment paper.

How To Store

Once this loaf is cooled, you will need to keep it in a zip top bag and in the fridge! It’s a very moist loaf and won’t last very long if left at room temperature. You can also freeze this loaf as a whole or in individual slices. Just be sure to wrap the slices in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer safe container or zip top bag!

Substitutions

  • If desired, you can use sour cream instead of yogurt.
  • To make this recipe dairy-free, use your favorite unsweetened/plain plant-based yogurt.
  • This recipe can be made vegan if unsweetened/plain plant-based yogurt and your favorite vegan egg substitute are used. We like to use aquafaba!

Looking for more recipes like this? Here are a few you may like: Lemon and Sour Cream Pound Cake, Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake, Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

overhead shot of six slices of cake on parchment apper with flower sand lemons around, a stack of plates, and a knife beside.

Expert Tips

  • Check the expiration date on your baking soda and baking powder.
  • Remember to preheat your oven.
  • Be careful to not over-mix your cake batter!
  • This cake batter is pretty thick! It’s best to used a rubber spatula to spoon it into your loaf pan.
  • Let the cake cool completely before icing.

When you make these Cinnamon Roll Muffins with Vanilla Icing, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

lemon loaf cake on parchment paper with slice laying in front with lemon halves behind, white flowers around, and stack of plates.

Iced Lemon Loaf Cake

Traci
The perfect Iced Lemon Loaf Cake! Tender, moist, full of lemon flavor, and so much better than any coffee shop. Every bite will leave you wanting more!
4.50 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 408 kcal

Ingredients
 

Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • cups full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1⅛ cups vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice

Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

Cake

  • Heat oven to 350 °F.
  • Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
  • In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, oil, eggs, and lemon juice until smooth.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Spoon into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until cake tests done.
  • Let the cake cool in pan for 5-10 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack.

Icing

  • In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
  • Pour over cooled cake.

Notes

Substituions:
  • If desired, you can use sour cream instead of yogurt.
  • To make this recipe dairy-free, use your favorite unsweetened/plain plant-based yogurt.
  • This recipe can be made vegan if unsweetened/plain plant-based yogurt and your favorite vegan egg substitute are used. We like to use aquafaba!
 
Expert Tips:
  • Check the expiration date on your baking soda and baking powder.
  • Remember to preheat your oven.
  • Be careful to not over-mix your cake batter!
  • This cake batter is pretty thick! It’s best to used a rubber spatula to spoon it into your loaf pan.
  • Let the cake cool completely before icing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 408kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 6gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 252mgPotassium: 78mgFiber: 1gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 69IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

– Still Hungry? –

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