Glazed Lemon Bread

Prep 20 mins
Cook 50 mins
Total 1 hr 10 mins
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This easy, homemade Glazed Lemon Bread tastes even better than your favorite coffee shop treat! This soft, moist loaf cake is full of bright, fresh lemon flavor, baked to sunny perfection, and topped with a sweet, thin lemon glaze.

A Completely Crave-able Lemon Dessert!

There’s nothing like lemon, is there? I positively drool over treats like lemon bars, lemon curd, lemon pie, lemon cookies… they’re so refreshingly sweet and punchy, perfect for a hot summer day or early spring dessert. 

Loaf cakes are also pretty special, from basic banana bread to this glazed lemon bread loaf. If you’ve ever gone to a coffee shop and ordered a thick, soft slice with a thin layer of sugary glaze, you’ll know exactly what this recipe is about! Each bite is like a little piece of lemon heaven.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be tempted to hide this whole loaf and savor each slice yourself, in secret, while the kids are playing! Not that we would ever do that, right? Right? Right… 😉

From top left: Flour, white sugar, milk, oil, sour cream, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice.

Ingredients

This fresh, from-scratch treat is made with only simple and wholesome ingredients – which makes it a recipe you can feel great about serving! A glass of icy cold milk is the perfect addition to a thick slice of glazed lemon bread.

For the Lemon Bread

  • Flour: Regular, all-purpose flour is fine.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: For lightness.
  • Salt
  • Sugar: I use white granulated sugar. Raw sugar would also be fine.
  • Eggs: You’ll need three whole eggs, plus an extra yolk for added richness. 
  • Milk and Sour Cream: These help give the bread its tender crumb and a great flavor.
  • Oil: Oil is great in baked goods. It adds so much moisture while still keeping things light and fluffy. Use a neutral oil like vegetable oil – avoid strongly-flavored oils here.
  • Fresh Lemon: Two tablespoons of the juice, plus two tablespoons of zest. 

For the Lemon Glaze

  • Powdered Sugar: This dissolves so easily to make a sweet, runny glaze.
  • Lemon Juice: A little more lemon really adds to the flavor.
Side view of a cut lemon loaf cake, showing the interior texture of the crumb.

Is Lemon Zest the Same as Lemon Extract?

These two ingredients aren’t the same, but you can substitute them if needed. Lemon zest is the finely shredded, outer peel (only the yellow part) of a lemon, while lemon extract is made by soaking lemon zest in alcohol to make a lemon-flavored liquid. If you need to use extract in place of zest, use about half a tablespoon of extract for each full tablespoon of zest.

How to Make Glazed Lemon Bread

Making glazed lemon bread is a simple, straightforward process. This is a perfect recipe to make with kids, or as a beginning baker – it has just enough steps to be interesting, but is still very easy.

  1. Prep the Loaf Pan and the Oven. First, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350°F. Next, line a loaf pan with parchment paper (this makes it easy to remove the bread from the pan later) and spray the inside of the pan with baking spray. Set the pan aside while you make the batter.
  2. Combine the Dry Ingredients. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set this aside also.
  3. Combine the Wet Ingredients. In a separate, larger mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Make sure you whisk it well, until it is fully combined. 
  4. Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients Together. Add in the flour mixture to the bowl of wet ingredients, and stir just until the flour is incorporated. Don’t overmix at this point, or the lemon bread will be tough.
  5. Bake. Next, pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan, and smooth out the top – a spoon, rubber spatula, or offset spatula is helpful for this. Place the pan into the oven on the middle rack, and let it bake for 50 – 55 minutes. You’ll know the lemon bread is done when a toothpick comes out clean or with slightly moist crumbs. 
  6. Cool. Once the lemon bread is done, take it out of the oven, and set it on a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.
  7. Make and Add the Lemon Glaze. When the lemon bread is cool, whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl until a smooth glaze has formed. At this point, you can lift the lemon bread out of the loaf pan before glazing it, or you can leave it in the loaf pan. Pour the glaze onto the lemon bread, and let it stand for several minutes to allow the glaze to set up before slicing and serving.
  8. Enjoy!

Tips and Substitutions

Readers frequently ask about substituting ingredients and other baking matters, so feel free to check out these helpful tips for making glazed lemon bread. Enjoy!

  • Sour Cream Substitute: Plain yogurt can be substituted for the sour cream. 
  • Mixing Tip: Once you add the flour to the batter, do not over mix or the gluten will over develop, creating a rubbery and/or crumbly loaf.
  • Glaze Too Thin: If the glaze seems to thin, whisk in another tablespoon or 2 of powdered sugar to thicken it.
  • Glaze Too Thick: If the glaze seems too thick, whisk in more lemon juice, water, or milk to thin it out.
  • Less Lemon: Sometimes you want a sweeter glaze with less lemon. If that’s the case, you can achieve a lighter lemon taste by substituting half of the lemon juice with water or milk.
Overhead shot of glazed lemon bread, topped with slices of fresh lemon.

How to Store Glazed Lemon Bread

If you have leftovers, you can easily store this lemon bread. Place it in an airtight container or zip-top bag, and store it at room temperature for 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can I Freeze This?

Yes, loaf cakes and breads are great for freezing! Make sure the glazed lemon bread is completely cool, and then wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap and foil. Mark with the date, and store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw before serving.

Slices of glazed lemon bread on a small plate, next to the remainder of the loaf.

More Lovely Lemon Recipes

Yield: 10 Slices

Glazed Lemon Bread

Loaf cake with lemons and glaze.

Glazed Lemon Bread tastes like your favorite coffee shop treat! This soft, moist loaf cake is full of bright, fresh lemon flavor, baked to sunny perfection, and topped with a thin lemon glaze.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the Lemon Bread:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper for easy removal, and spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice until fully combined. Add in the flour mixture, and stir just until the flour is incorporated.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and smooth out the top. Place the pan into the oven on the middle rack to bake for 50 - 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with slightly moist crumbs. Once baked, remove the bread from the oven, and place it onto a cooling rack to cool.
  5. Lemon glaze: Whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl until a smooth glaze has formed. At this point, you can lift the lemon bread out of the loaf pan before glazing it, or you can leave it in the loaf pan. Pour the glaze onto the lemon bread, and let it stand for several minutes to allow the glaze to set up before slicing and serving.

Notes

Substitutions: 

  • Plain yogurt may be substituted for the sour cream. 
  • In the glaze only, milk or water may be substituted for part of the lemon juice, to give a lighter lemon flavor.

Tips:

  • Once the flour has been added to the batter, do not over mix or the gluten will over develop, creating a rubbery and/or crumbly loaf.
  • If the glaze seems to thin, whisk in another tablespoon or 2 of powdered sugar to thicken it.
  • If the glaze seems too thick, whisk in more lemon juice, water, or milk to thin it out.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 4g

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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