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This Glazed Lemon Bread is soft, moist, and bursting with buttery lemon flavor. Though this quick bread is outstanding on its own, the lemon glaze adds extra lemon flavor for an incredible-tasting quick bread.
This homemade glazed lemon bread tastes like the lemon loaf at Starbucks. Now you can enjoy the bright citrusy cake bread anytime you like.
When I want something sweet but don’t want to feel like I’m overly indulging, lemon desserts come to the rescue! This glazed lemon cake is light and flavorful, but some of my other favorites include lemon bars, creamy lemon pie, and lemon cookies.
This glazed lemon bread is similar to a lemon pound cake but lighter and softer. It’s just bursting with lemon flavor. The cake gets its citrus kick from both lemon juice and lemon zest and then the icing on the cake (literally) has lemon juice too.
I love using lemon zest to add extra lemon flavor to baked goods. I have a few tricks for zesting citrus fruit. The Cliff Notes version is – use a microplane grater and make sure you just zest the top layer of the skin, don’t get into the bitter white pith.
The other secret ingredient in this recipe is the sour cream. Greek yogurt can be used in its place if you don’t have sour cream, or want to make this cake a little bit lighter. The sour cream adds moisture and lightness and a little bit of tangy flavor that makes all the difference.
What I love about sweet breads is that they are super versatile. They can be served at breakfast with coffee, as an afternoon snack with tea or with ice cream, or as a part of a dessert tray after dinner.
- TASTE: Lemony and delightful
- TEXTURE: Soft and moist
- EASE: Easy
- TIME: Just over an hour
What You’ll Need
- Butter: Unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Sugar: This recipe calls for white granulated sugar for the cake and confectioners sugar for the glaze.
- Eggs: Add moisture and a little bit of richness.
- Lemon: Lemon zest from a lemon, fresh lemon juice for the cake, and a bit of extra lemon juice for the glaze.
- Vanilla extract: Use high-quality pure vanilla or make homemade vanilla extract.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is what I tested this recipe with, but you could sub 1:1 gluten-free baking flour if you follow a gluten-free diet.
- Leavening: This recipe uses both baking soda and baking powder
- Sour cream: For moisture and tang.
- Microplane zester
How to Make Glazed Lemon Bread
This lemon bread is an easy bread to make for an afternoon snack, but bright and sweet enough to serve as dessert. To start, preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray the inside of a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place a wide strip of parchment paper along the width of the bottom of the loaf pan, and up the long sides.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture followed by the sour cream then the remaining flour mixture, beating just until incorporated.
- Bake. Scrape into prepared pan and level batter. Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Make the glaze. Add confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice to a small bowl, adding enough lemon juice to make a thick spreadable glaze.
- Glaze the cake. Place a baking tray under the cooling rack to catch any drips and spoon glaze slowly over the top of the loaf, allowing it to drip down the sides a bit. Let sit until the glaze is set.
In many of my recipes, ingredients are called for to be at room temperature. This lemon bread recipe, like many others, will be better if the butter, eggs and sour cream are at room temperature. If they are too cold, they won’t emulsify (blend together) as well.
Tips For Success
- Sour Cream: Plain yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream.
- Lemon: Use lemon juice from a lemon, not from a bottle or a squeezy plastic lemon.
- Make sure the lemon bread is cooled completely before glazing it. If it is too warm the glaze will melt.
- Follow my tips to learn how to properly zest a lemon.
Storage & Freezing
- Store the bread in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- This bread will also freeze well for 2-3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature before serving.
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