Every now and then Josh and I will get Glazed Lemon Cake (Lemon Loaf) from Starbucks. We love glazed lemon cake, and while it’s good, I’m always thinking I can make this way better. So I did. Homemade always wins! It tends to taste like real food… and look so pretty too.
It has one ingredient that makes a big difference in cakes/quick breads… sour cream. Sour cream, just like buttermilk, adds moisture and softness that milk never does. So don’t substitute, ladies.
Make sure you use fresh lemon juice with this recipe. Bottled lemon juice isn’t the same. Also, be sure to chop the lemon zest very fine. It will intensify the lemon flavor, and also rid the cake of long stringy bits of, well, lemon peel.
I also have one other ingredient that makes this glazed lemon cake extra lemony wonderful – Lemon Juice Powder. This is an optional ingredient, but I recommend it if you really want some extra lemon zing.
(Better Than Starbucks) Glazed Lemon Cake
This recipe makes one 8″ x 5″ loaf cake.You may be tempted to skip the step of lining the loaf pan with parchment and just throwing some extra grease in the pan. Let me save you a little grief. It makes a huge difference, so line the pan! The cake will simply lift out of the pan. This is especially important once you soak the cake in the sweet and sticky lemony syrup. Don’t skip that step either. If you want a GOOD glazed lemon cake, go all the way.
Prepare your pan. Grease generously with non-stick cooking spray, or brush with soft butter and flour. Tap out the excess flour. Cut a piece if parchment paper to fit the pan long-wise, with a 3 or so inches of overhang on each side.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until combined:
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt
2 1/2 tbsp. King Arthur Flour Lemon Juice Powder (optional)
Set aside. In your mixing bowl, combine:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon zest, finely chopped
Cream until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add 4 large eggs, one at a time, beating a little after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
Now add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Blend until almost combined and then add 1/2 of the sour cream mixture. Blend until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, blend again and then add the remaining 1/2 of the sour cream mixture. End with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture and blend until combined.
Pour batter into your prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts to get overly brown before the center is done baking, cover the cake loosely with a piece of foil to prevent further browning.
While the cake is baking, make your lemon syrup. This will be poured over the cake as soon as it’s finished baking. In a small sauce pan, combine:
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Poke holes in baked cake with a knife. Pour warm syrup evenly over the top of the cake.
Let sit for one hour. I know. It’s a long hard wait.
Lift the cake from the pan using the parchment paper. Cool cake completely. Top with fresh lemon glaze…
Fresh Lemon Glaze
In a small bowl, combine:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Whisk together until smooth, no lumps. You want a glaze that is thick enough to stay on the cake and dry to a glossy finish, not really drippy. Adjust the lemon juice and powdered sugar accordingly.
Oh so yummy…
Does this recipe get you excited to do some baking? Then you will LOVE making our Funnel Cake recipe for July 4th! Give them a try…