Perfectly Lemony Lemon Bread

Perfectly Lemony Lemon Bread is tart and sweet and finished off with a fantastic glaze! This easy lemon bread is extra moist and lemony thanks to a simple lemon syrup. Delicious with breakfast, as a snack or even dessert! Love lemon desserts? Try this Lemon Bundt Cake or these Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies!

best lemon bread on white plate with text overlay

Lemon Bread

Lemon is such a perfect flavor to enjoy anytime of year, but it’s sunny color is extra special as we head into spring. 

This pretty lemon bread would be perfect for a ladies brunch, or simply to enjoy for a special weekend breakfast. It’s also sweet enough thanks to a simple lemon glaze to do double duty as dessert.

This lemon bread is a staple in our home year round because that bright lemon flavor is perfect no matter the season! 

lemon loaf side by side collage

Makes Two Loaves

This recipe makes two loaves and freezes well, so you can enjoy one when you make it, and enjoy the other loaf at a later date.  This bread takes a bit of time to prepare, and requires at least 4 fresh lemons, but it is just as good (maybe better) the next day, so feel free to make it the day before you plan to serve it.

This recipe is also perfect for sharing with friends and family because it makes two delicious loaves of lemon bread.

As with most food, the presentation is my favorite part!  I baked one large loaf (9″x5″), but then used the remaining batter to make two smaller loaves in some pretty paper baking pans, perfect for sharing with friends and neighbors. 

I wrapped a piece of parchment paper around the small loaves (when the glaze had set), and then tied the paper with perfectly matched twine.  Easy and beautiful!

What You’ll Need

This easy lemon bread doesn’t have any surprise ingredients, in fact, I’m guessing you’ll most if not all of these items in your pantry right now.

Here’s the lemon bread ingredients:

  • cake flour – this bread recipe calls for half cake flour and half all purpose flour. If you don’t have cake flour on hand, you can make your own! Check out this post on how to substitute all purpose flour for cake flour.
  • all purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs – you’ll need these to be at room temperature. This recipe calls for 8 eggs but if you just want to make one loaf, you can half the recipe and use 4.
  • lemon zest – lots of it for amazing lemon flavor!
  • lemon juice – same as with the lemon zest, the lemon juice needs to be fresh and provides that extra lemony flavor in this bread.
  • unsalted butter – the butter will be melted so there is no reason to bring to room temperature. I use unsalted in this recipe but if you only have salted on hand, reduce the salt called for by half.
  • sour cream – full fat is best and needs to be at room temperature.
  • vanilla extract – use the real stuff here – so much better!

For the lemon syrup:

You’ll just need two ingredients:

  • fresh lemon juice
  • granulated sugar

For the lemon glaze:

You’ll just need two ingredients:

  • confectioners’ sugar
  • fresh lemon juice

lemon bread recipe with full loaf and slices of lemon bread on white background

How To Make Lemon Bread 

Follow these easy step-by-step instructions for the most delicious bread ever!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. 
  2. Spray sides and bottom of pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Line bottom of pans with parchment paper and spray the paper as well.
  3. Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
  4. Blend the sugar, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until combined. 
  5. Slowly add the melted butter, while mixing. 
  6. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined. 
  7. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, one third at a time, until all the flour is combined.  
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. 
  9. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325*F and bake another 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. 
  10. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

Next, Make the Lemon Syrup

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. 
  2. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and invert the baked and (mostly) cooled loaves onto the pan. 
  4. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves.
  5. Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. 
  6. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

Finally, Make the Lemon Glaze

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. 
  2. Pour the glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. 
  3. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

slice of lemon bread cut in half with fresh lemon slices on the side on a white plate with yellow placemat underneath

How To Store Lemon Bread

Lemon Bread can be stored two ways:

  • If you plan to make ahead of time, skip the glaze and wrap the loaves in two layers of plastic wrap and frozen, for up to 6 weeks.
  • The glazed loaves will keep for up to 3 days, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Tips for the BEST Lemon Bread

  • Have all refrigerated items at room temperature including the eggs and sour cream.
  • Pre-measure all ingredients.
  • Use half cake flour and half all purpose flour as indicated. Check out this post on how to substitute all purpose flour for cake flour if you don’t have cake flour on hand.
  • Don’t skip the lemon syrup and lemon glaze – they add so much lemon flavor!

More Lemon Favorites

  1. Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
  2. Homemade Lemon Curd
  3. Lemon Tea Cookies
  4. Raspberry Lemon Muffins
  5. Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

How to Make Lemon Bread

The BEST Lemon Bread

Perfectly Lemony Lemon Bread is tart and sweet and finished off with a mouthwatering glaze! This easy lemon bread is extra moist and lemony thanks to a simple lemon syrup. Delicious with breakfast, as a snack or even dessert!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24
Calories 309 kcal

Ingredients
 

For the Lemon Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 8 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup grated lemon zest from about 4 lemons
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups unsalted butter 4 sticks, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Lemon Syrup

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Lemon Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions
 

Making the Lemon Cakes

  • Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray sides and bottom of pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper and spray the paper as well.
  • Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
  • Blend the sugar, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until combined. Slowly add the melted butter, while mixing. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, one third at a time, until all the flour is combined. Do not overmix.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325*F and bake another 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

Lemon Syrup

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and invert the baked and (mostly) cooled loaves onto the pan. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves.
  • Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 30 minutes.
  • (The soaked, but unglazed loaves will keep well, wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and frozen, for up to 6 weeks.)

Lemon Glaze

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. If the mixture is too stiff, add up to another 2 tablespoons lemon juice (a little at a time) and whisk again. Pour the glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.
  • The glazed loaves will keep for up to 3 days, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 4gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 171mgPotassium: 58mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 582IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg
Keyword lemon bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

If you love lemon, you MUST try this delicious homemade Lemon Bread!

56 comments

  1. I just made it !! it is amazing! love it ! I used all purpose flour for the 3cups and is really good !! 🙂

  2. Hi Gloria !!
    Im going to try this fabulous recipe, but I have a question regarding the cake flour, what is the difference with the all purpose? I live in Mexico so I look for it but didnt find anything like that.

    Any suggestions?
    Is difficult to find also the yellow lemons here, but finally find them !!! 🙂

  3. Made this for a Super Bowl party and it was great. The only complaint I got was that the white icing was tooo sour and lemony. Mostly everyone loved it.

  4. So Pretty and looks delicious…

  5. Oh my!!! Glory!!! I love Lemon Bread and this sounds deli… I must confess: I found this pic via Pinterest and thought it was from MS, when I read it was yours I jumped up and down… Glory, your food styling is AWESOME!

  6. I am a new lover of all things lemon, and this looks fantastic… your presentation is beautiful! I am going to have to try this for sure 🙂

  7. wow they look so lemony and yummy! love the refreshing yellow color!

  8. Mmmm, I love coming to your blog, Glory! You sure know how to get my mouth watering. LOL These loaves are perfect wrapped in lemondrop twine!

  9. wow these look good!! love it, I'm sort if into everything lemony right now! so I'm drooling over your loaves.

  10. Ohhhhhh BOY that looks good!
    And of course love that twine!!!

    -Tifany
    http://inkblotsbytrd.blogspot.com

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