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Cake Mix Lemon Loaf (Starbucks Copycat)

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This sweet, dense cake mix Lemon Loaf is very easy to make quick bread and tastes every bit as delicious as Starbuck’s version.

lemon loaf in front of lemons

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After I shared my Starbucks copycat Pumpkin Spice Latte recently and shared that I’m totally intimidated walking into a Starbucks I got a ton of messages and emails from readers that felt the same! I had a few people ask me if I knew a knockoff recipe for their famous Lemon Loaf. 

You ask and I answer! This lemon quick bread is fast and delicious thanks to adding cake mix and pudding mix to the recipe. The result is tons of sweet, tart flavor with just 15 minutes of prep time!


  • butter or yellow cake mix
  • instant lemon pudding
  • eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • milk
  • lemon juice
  • sour cream
  • powdered sugar

Step by step

  1. Grab two bowls: in one combine the cake and pudding mixes, in the other the eggs, oil, milk, lemon juice, and sour cream.
  2. Add half of the liquid mixture to the dry and stir until just blended (about 10 seconds).
  3. Add the remaining wet ingredients and stir until just blended, no more than 30 seconds. (Don’t overstir is the point I’m trying to make!)
  4. Add batter to a prepped pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Allow the loaf to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile blend powdered sugar, milk, and lemon juice on high speed with your mixer until smooth.
  6. Top the loaf with icing and allow to set a few minutes before serving.


How do I keep the bread from sinking after I take it out of the oven?

The reason bread sinks after baking is because it wasn’t quite fully cooked. The best way to ensure it is cooked is to use a thermometer to ensure the base of the loaf reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit. I use this thermometer and it works great and is very affordable. (affiliate link)

Do I have to use the glaze?

Absolutely not! I actually prefer my bread unglazed while my husband likes it glazed. Make it whichever way you prefer.

How do I store leftovers?

Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator up to 3 days.


  • for even more lemon taste, use lemon cake mix instead of yellow or butter
  • bake the bread in a bundt pan by reducing the cooking time to about 40-45 minutes
  • make mini loaves by reducing the cooking time to about 25 minutes
  • use lemon extract instead of lemon juice in the glaze
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A close up of lemon loaf in front of lemons and a blue and white checkered cloth

Cake Mix Lemon Loaf (Starbucks Copycat)


This sweet, dense cake mix Lemon Loaf is very easy to make quick bread and tastes every bit as delicious as Starbuck’s version.


Units Scale
  • 1 box Golden Butter or Yellow Cake mix
  • 1 5 oz box instant lemon pudding
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • juice of 3 lemons (~56 tbsp)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Juice of one lemon (~1 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream or milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray pans with nonstick spray-2 loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans
  3. In a large bowl mix cake and pudding mixes.
  4. In another bowl mix eggs, oil, milk, lemon juice and sour cream until well blended.
  5. Add half of liquid mixture to dry ingredients and mix for 10 seconds.
  6. Add remaining liquid and stir until just blended-no more than 30 seconds.
  8. Add batter to pans and bake for 25 minutes for mini loaves and 35 minutes for regular loaves. Toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf should come out clean.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan before cooling on wire rack.
  10. To make icing blend powdered cugar, heavy cream and lemon juice on high speed until smooth.
  11. Ice loaves and allow to set before serving.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 318
  • Sugar: 23 g
  • Sodium: 212 mg
  • Fat: 17.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.3 g
  • Protein: 4.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 86.1 mg

Keywords: starbucks lemon loaf

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  1. Followed recipe exactly as printed. Lemon cake mix, fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. I would not call cake dense. And I found the flavor too “eggy”

  2. I LOVE the Starbucks lemon bread! If I get a pastry there, it’s almost always that! This looks divine!

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