Iced Lemon Loaf

This Iced Lemon Loaf recipe will present a super moist loaf with a subtle, yet noticeable lemon flavor. The icing on the top is a sweet lemon surprise that will put an accent on every bite you take.

Seriously, this is a wonderful recipe and this Iced Lemon Loaf is unbelievably moist. The freshly squeezed lemon juice and grated lemon zest make this recipe unique because all flavors come from a whole lemon, not lemon extract. I love this because the flavor is not overpowering. The subtle lemon flavor in the loaf and the stronger lemon flavor in the icing, make a perfectly balanced treat.

Iced Lemon Loaf Made to Perfection.

I have tried a few other recipes for iced lemon loaf with variations the included egg yolks, sour cream, and butter, however I have found that for this recipe, simple is best. Whole eggs, oil, and buttermilk, resulted in the most moist, dense, and flavorful outcome.

Lemon extract is also a very common ingredient in many lemon loaf recipes, however I think it’s best without. Lemon extract makes it too rich, and in my opinion, lemon desserts have to be balanced, not overly rich. Using the right amount of just lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice, I was able to get the most perfectly flavored lemon loaf with just the right amount of flavor. The lemon icing, on the other hand, is stronger and sweeter and makes a statement. With that being said, this iced lemon loaf is ever lemon lover’s dream.

Ingredients needed for the lemon (you probably have on hand):

  • lemon zest
  • lemon juice
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • all-purpose flour
  • granulated sugar
  • buttermilk
  • salt
  • eggs
  • canola or vegetable oil
  • confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice (for lemon icing)

Making the Lemon Loaf requires 5 main steps.

  1. Juicing and grating lemons.
  2. Whisking dry ingredients.
  3. Whipping wet ingredients.
  4. Combine wet ingredients with the dry.
  5. Baking.

To make the Lemon Icing:

  1. Mix lemon juice and sugar together until desired consistence is reached.

Making your own buttermilk.

This recipe calls for buttermilk instead of sour cream because I think it made the iced lemon loaf much more moist. you can make your buttermilk at home using 2 household ingredients: whole milk and lemon juice or vinegar. In this recipe, you need 3/4 cup of buttermilk. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup. Then, pour whole milk until you reach the 3/4 cup mark. Whisk and let sit for 5 minutes at room temperature. This will cause slight curdling in your milk, making buttermilk.

Baking to perfection.

The baking process is important in order to reach the perfectly moist outcome. Lemon loaf should not be baked at a high temperature. This type of loaf should be baked in a 9×5 loaf pan at 350F for 45 minutes, then cover it with aluminum foil for another 10 minutes or so. Because every oven is different, check for readiness at around 45 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, it is ready and does not need to be baked longer. If the lemon loaf has to bake it longer, make sure to cover the top so that it does not burn.

How to store Iced Lemon Loaf.

Store iced lemon loaf in an air tight container at room temperature. Storing in the refrigerator will cause it to dry out slightly.

Freezing instructions.

This is one of those desserts that just freezes beautifully. To freeze, wrap loaf with plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.

You can also freeze individual slices, just make sure you wrap each one with plastic wrap and place then in a freezer bag.

To thaw, place at room temperature over night.

Iced Lemon Loaf

This Iced Lemon Loaf recipe makes a super moist loaf with a subtle, yet noticeable lemon flavor topped with an accent lemon icing.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 1 loaf


  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt

Lemon Icing

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Zest and juice lemons, by zesting first, then juice. Set the required zest and juice aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, whisk eggs and granulated sugar for 2 minutes on high speed or until mixture has thickend but is still runny.
  • Add oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the eggs and sugar. Whisk until combined.
  • Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Once combined, add the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk and whisk.
  • Pour batter in a 9×5 non stick loaf pan. You can also spray with non-stick spray to ensure easy release.
  • Bake loaf for about 50 minutes, covering the top with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. After 45 minutes, check the the readiness by inserting a toothpick in the center the lemon loaf. If the toothpick comes out clean, the lemon loaf is ready.
  • Once baked, remove from oven and let the lemon loaf rest in loaf pan for about 1 hour. This will allow propper time for it to set before being released from the pan.

Lemon Icing

  • Mix confectioner's sugar and lemon juice. Mix until smooth. For a thinner consistency, add lemon juice, one teaspoon at a time.
  • Once lemon loaf has cooled completely, pour lemon icing over the top of the lemon loaf. Allow the icing to set for at least 1 hour before slicing.

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