I’m back at it with the copycat recipes! I received excellent feedback from my last copycat recipe. This one is an end of summer special. A delicious lemon loaf cake heavily inspired by Starbucks. Some might say that it is identical, aside from the absence of animal secretions.
When life gives you lemons, make a lemon cake.
I used to order a slice of this cake with each visit to Starbucks. I don’t know how to describe this other than fresh and pleasant. It is something that you will always be in the mood to eat. Even though some substitutions are necessary, this is simple to make. Fresh lemons add so much character to cakes without overpowering the other components. I only have good things to say about this recipe!
What you will need?
I always like to include this section because I want people to know what they are getting into before they see the recipe card. Luckily, this recipe calls for fairly standard baking ingredients. Check out my kitchen essentials page for more!
- Mixing bowls.
- Wooden spoons or rubber spatulas.
- Standard-sized loaf pan.
- Aluminum foil.
- Unbleached flour.
- Ground flaxseed.
- Cane sugar.
- Soy milk.
- Apple cider vinegar.
- Vegan-friendly margarine.
- Lemons (just go ahead and buy a bag).
- Baking powder.
- Powdered sugar.
- Vanilla extract.
See the recipe card below for the details.
What makes this special?
The base of this recipe is a basic cake batter. Lemon juice and lemon zest are added to transform this into a lemon dream. Veganizing this is easy. The egg substitute is a flax egg. This involves mixing ground flaxseed with water. I have two dairy substitute recommendations. I suggest vegan buttermilk or non-dairy yogurt. You can make vegan buttermilk by adding 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to soy milk. This only works with soy milk because of the protein content. The other option is a non-dairy yogurt, which is the easier (but more expensive) option. Yogurt and buttermilk, whether vegan or not, will add extra lift to the cake as well as a tang. This is technically a cake, but it is baked in a loaf pan. I’ve been using loaf and cake interchangeably, but this is much sweeter than a quickbread.
Cautions and Tips
In one of my trials, I apparently used expired baking powder. This made the cake sink. Make sure your baking powder is fresh. Also, when baking cakes, do NOT open the oven door. This is what causes cakes to fall apart or sink. With this cake, you don’t want to overmix it either. You want the texture to be light and if you mix it too much, it will become dense and more like a bread.
This cake tends to brown on the top faster. I tented foil over the top when the cake had about 10 minutes left. This allowed the middle to fully cook without the top burning. I always use a toothpick to check if the center is baked completely. My last bit of advice is to let the loaf completely cool before spreading the icing on. I’ve made the mistake of icing a cake that was still warm and it turned into an absolute mess!
Starbucks Copycat Lemon Loaf (V)
For the Cake Batter
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed + 7 tbsp watter
- 1 cup cane sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt see notes for substitutions
- 1/2 cup melted vegan butter
- zest of 3 lemons (3-4 tbsp)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Icing/Glaze
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan with vegan butter and flour or you can use parchment paper.
- Combine flaxseed with water and set aside until it becomes a gel-like consistency. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat together the vegan butter, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Incorporate the yogurt and flax egg into the mixture.
- Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Stir until JUST combined. You don't need to overmix this. Pour into the loaf pan and smooth the top to make sure that it is even.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the middle is fully baked (check by using a toothpick). If the cake is browning too quickly tent foil over the pan. I did this step around the 40-minute mark.
- Leave the cake in the pan for about 5 minutes and then place it on a cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before icing.
- To make the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until your desired consistency is achieved. Drizzle it onto the cake and serve with more lemon slices. Enjoy!
- This recipe was adapted from Country Cook.
- You can substitute soy milk + 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in place of non-dairy yogurt.
- I haven’t tried this with gluten-free flours, so I can’t recommend any.
- Try to use ripe lemons for this!
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! I apologize for the late post. I have a new job and I am adjusting to the new hours. If you decide to make this, please let me know in the comments and feel free to leave a rating. Happy baking!
*This site uses affiliate links, see the disclaimer & content policy for details. I am working on a new logo; if you are a graphic designer or creative person, please email me and maybe we can work together.