I am so excited to share this recipe with you, you have no idea! Whenever I go to Starbucks, I just have to have their Lemon Loaf Cake. It has a very pronounced lemony flavor, super moist, fluffy yet dense, almost bread pudding-like consistency and a delicious white glaze.
I have been trying to figure out what it’s made of for a looong time. I actually went online, searched for recipes and looked closely at their pictures to see if the texture resembles that of the Starbucks original Lemon Loaf Cake. I have tried at least 3 recipes that looked like they were going to be a close replica, all to just be disappointed in the end.
One major flaw all those recipes shared was that they were not moist inside. I figured that may be, the cake just needs to be soaked with something really. So I tried to soak the cake with lemon syrup. It only made the outside somewhat moist. I tried to use a special syringe to insert the syrup all the way into the middle, but that produced spots of moistness and still nothing like so sought after Starbucks Lemon Cake.
Another thing that all those other cake had a problem achieving, was that very lemony flavor, without the sourness that comes with it. The addition of the lemon did not produce the correct flavor profile. I was really frustrated as there usually is not a recipe I am not able to reproduce, at least close to the original. I have seen a recipe that used Yellow Cake Mix and pudding all along but closed the page as soon as I saw that it used a store-bought Mix. I just don’t like using something that comes from a box if I am going to go through the trouble of making it at home. But, when all of those other recipes did not work, I decided that I had nothing to loose, so I was going to try it.
I can not tell you how happy I am that I did! While I would rather use all natural ingredients that do not include a box of a store bought mix, I am able to get past that fact ONLY because this recipe produces an amazing, exact copy of the Starbucks Lemon Cake Loaf! The lemony-ness in this cake comes from the artificial lemon flavoring in the Lemon Pudding, but you can use plain Pudding and add 2-3 teaspoons of lemon emulsion & 2-3 drops of the lemon oil to achieve the same taste. I made my own version of what I think the glaze should look and taste like, but the rest of the recipe comes from Picky-Palate.com, this recipe is truly a God-sent.
Without further ado, here it is -
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 5.1 ounce instant or cook and serve Lemon pudding mix (can be replaced with instant vanilla pudding & 2 tsp lemon emulsion)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2-3 lemons)
- ½ stick butter, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon emulsion/extract
- Turn oven to 350F. Line 2 loaf pans with foil & spray with non stick spray, or butter and flour the pans. Set aside.
- Combine all the wet ingredients and whisk until well combined.
- Place all dry ingredients in a bowl, add about 1 cup of wet ingredients, beat with a mixer !on low speed! for about 15 seconds, then add the rest of the ingredients and beat on low speed for another 15-20 seconds. DO NOT over beat, or your cake will deflate.
- Divide batter evenly between two loaf pans.
- Place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden in color or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let rest in the pan for 5 minutes, before removing and allowing to cool on a cooling rack.
- Beat butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice & lemon emulsion until smooth and supple.
- Spread evenly on top of both cakes.
- Allow the glaze to harden up before slicing.
- This recipe can be used to make a cake, cupcakes or even small individual squares like I did using a brownie square pan (see link to picture below the post).
UPD: Changed the instructions a bit to prevent cake deflating. Please read the recipe carefully.