Lemon Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze Recipe

Sometimes great food memories don’t happen in your own kitchen, they happen a block away at your best friend’s house.  One of my best friends is Kathy.  In our grade school years after class sometimes we’d go to each other’s house to goof around when we were supposed to be doing our homework…perhaps you can relate.

Now Kathy and I shared a great love of music and when we grew up there was no shortage of new bands with great hits.  Kathy would always buy the albums before anyone and she would have the lyrics memorized before the rest of us even knew the titles of the songs.  So in our “tweens” we would race to her house after school to listen to the latest release, especially when it was from the Beatles.

Another reason to race to Kathy’s house was if her grandmother was there.  Not that her grandmother was a fan of pop music, but because her Grandma K was one of the best cooks/bakers EVER!  My fondest memory is of her donuts.  She would have them ready to go right before we scrambled in the door…then plop, plop, in they went and  instantly came bobbing up in the bubbling pot like life preservers in a choppy sea.  Then deftly she’d whisk them out, douse them with sugar, and we’d enjoy the world’s best after-school snack…fresh, warm, homemade donuts and  a tall glass of cold milk.  We’d sit at her kitchen table and wallow in the yeasty, doughy, sugary goodness.  Then in our lovely sugar coma we’d listen to hmm…maybe Paul McCartney singing Yesterday.

And that brings us to this post…I know, it took long enough.  I was reading in a magazine recently that Paul’s oldest daughter, Mary has just come out with a cookbook called Food.  In the article she tells how the family converted to vegetarianism and that her mother, Linda Eastman, always made sure that they had simple, tasty meals that were long on flavor and short on fuss.  Mary seems to be following in her mother’s footsteps, not only because she’s a great cook, but because she is also a much admired professional photographer.  So reading that article made me think of her dad, which made me think of listening to the Beatles music at Kathy’s house, which of course made me think of donuts…have I lost you yet?

It’s obvious that Mary has many great food memories and recipes to share and I can’t wait to take a peek at her cookbook.   Her lemon cake recipe in the magazine reminded me of a loaf my mother used to make many years ago, so I pulled out my mother’s recipe and decided that this is what I’m going to be serving at Sunday’s supper for my family and friends.  It seems like the perfect ending to a Spring meal.


Lemon Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 - 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

A light lemon loaf perfect alone or with fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream.



1/2 cup unsalted room temperature butter (1 stick)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest (approximately zest from 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (approximate juice from 1 lemon)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup half and half or milk


1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a standard loaf pan.

In a large bowl, cream the room temperature butter and sugar together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla till frothy. Whisk in lemon juice and lemon zest.

Slowly beat the egg mixture into the butter mixture.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Then gradually fold the dry ingredients into the butter/egg mixture alternating with the half and half or milk till combined.

Bake for 40 - 45 minutes till golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

While loaf is baking prepare glaze.


In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Add optional lemon zest if you'd prefer more lemon flavor.

Place loaf on cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes then remove loaf from pan and spoon on glaze.




18 Responses to “Lemon Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze Recipe”

  1. 1

    Carol Sacks — Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 8:04 am

    Fun, evocative post and the photos are breathtaking, Susie! Just wonderful!

    • Susie replied: — March 24th, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

      Thanks Carol, I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post!

  2. 2

    Barbara | Creative Culinary — Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 9:26 am

    Lovely story Susie; it took me back to a different time right with you and memories of our neighbor next door who was the one who supplied my friends and I with special treats. This cake looks and sounds fabulous.

    • Susie replied: — March 24th, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment! My mother made lots of treats, but never homemade donuts. I was lucky to share my friend Kathy’s.

  3. 3

    Rita — Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    Looks delicious!
    I’ll give it a go some day very soon!

    • Susie replied: — March 24th, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

      Thanks so much for commenting…hope that you can make it soon!

  4. 4

    chris — Tuesday, April 2, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

    made this today! very good! added one extra tablespoon of lemon juice and also baked for an extra 5-10 minutes..50 minutes total. used no glaze, whipped cream or berries..because i had none. but, it is YUMMY! thanks for the recipe! p.s. are you on pinterest? would love to ‘pin’ to my list on there.

  5. 5

    Naomi — Tuesday, April 30, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    I am so wanting to make this recipe!! I just don’t think it will turn out as beautiful as your picture :) I was looking for an alternative to those mass-produced lemon cakes, because I just love lemon cake!!

    (Also, the story about the homemade donuts had me totally craving one… I wouldn’t even know where to start on that!)

    Thanks for a great post!!

    • Susie replied: — April 30th, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

      Go for it! No tricks to making it pretty…what you see is what it really looked like. The donuts now…that’s a whole different story, when I get enough gumption to try to make them, I’ll share with everyone. Thanks so much for your comment!

  6. 6

    Katharine — Friday, June 28, 2013 @ 12:05 am

    My 3 year old son has been waiting for our single lemon to ripen up on our tree. Finally picked it yesterday & I searched for a lemon cake recipe last night. You didn’t disappoint, lovely sponge. He doesn’t like icing normally which was lucky as we only had the one large lemon so didn’t add the drizzle. Recipe is printed & in my book waiting for our next lemon. (May have to buy a few & sneak them under the tree & pretend they grew really fast just so we don’t have to wait & enjoy this awesome lemon cake). He’s even phoned nana to tell her about his special lemon cake

    • Susie replied: — June 28th, 2013 @ 10:35 am

      It’s comments like these that put a smile on my face! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the recipe and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that your next lemon is harvested soon. Thanks for commenting.

  7. 7

    Marisa — Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 11:37 am

    Will this turn out much different if I use margarine instead of butter?

  8. 8

    Susan Kline — Wednesday, January 8, 2014 @ 11:18 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your childhood memories. We were lucky enough to live with our grandmother and never knew what would be waiting for us but since she was an excellent baker, it was always good! She also made doughnuts and cinnamon buns. Sooooo good!
    When she visited me in my own home, I decided to surprise her with home made doughnuts. She was quite pleased, but the funniest thing was that when I gave some to a friend who happened to know my grandmother was visiting, she didn’t believe that I made them, She thought my grandmother had and to this day (at least 40 years later), I think she still believes it!

    I have lemons and will be trying your loaf cake very soon. Thanks for sharing.

  9. 9

    Elizabeth — Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

    I have a Meyer lemon tree right outside my back door. I just went out and picked a couple of lemons to make this cake this afternoon! It will be a welcome treat on a dreary day! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

  10. 10

    Emma — Tuesday, March 4, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

    Hi there I just made the loaf above…tastes amazing but it didn’t seem to rise? It’s only about an inch thick ..any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Susie replied: — March 7th, 2014 @ 6:27 pm

      Thanks for you comment. This recipe does not make a tall loaf, but 1 inch is about the height of just the batter in the pan. The only ingredient that could have the potential to be past a freshness date would be the eggs…weather and altitude could have something to do with it as well.

  11. 11

    Jennifer — Friday, April 18, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

    I made this 3 times already. I love it! I used cake flour to make it ultra soft and silky and I put all of the glaze on to a nice crust. Lovely recipe!

  12. 12

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