Lemon Bread Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 servings

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This easy Lemon Bread recipe is packed with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and a mouth-watering sweet lemon glaze on top — this one is for all the lemon lovers out there! It’s the perfect sweet treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee in the morning or for dessert.

Overhead view of lemon bread loaf topped with glaze and lemon slices.

This is the BEST lemon loaf I’ve made, and it’s such an easy recipe to follow!

Filled with fresh lemon flavor, it’s got a great moist crumb and can be easily customized to suit your preference for sweet or tangy flavors.

This loaf of lemon bread is even better than the Starbucks Lemon Loaf, and I don’t say that lightly!

Just in case you aren’t aware, I LOVE lemons. They have such a unique, tangy flavor that cuts through the sweetness of traditional baked goods.

It’s perfect for brunches or afternoon tea, just like my Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake recipe.

It’s a versatile recipe that I know will become a new favorite! It’s also the perfect recipe to batch bake and store some in the freezer for later.

If you love this lemon bread recipe, you’ll also love my Orange Cranberry Bread, this Cinnamon Apple Bread, and this classic Banana Nut Bread.

For more lemon desserts, try my Lemon Blueberry Angel Food Cake Roll, this amazing Lemon Lush Dessert, and my Greek Yogurt Lemon Bundt Cake.

Ingredients Needed:

This homemade lemon bread is super easy to make! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.

Top view of ingredients in glass bowls on grey surface.
  • Oil – Vegetable oil or canola oil will work well, but any kind of oil can be used. I have not tested this recipe with any other kind of fat. The oil keeps it very moist!
  • Sugar – white granulated sugar is perfect for this recipe.
  • Eggs – help the bread to rise and binds ingredients together.
  • Yogurt – I have used 0% Plain Greek Yogurt, but you can swap this for full-fat sour cream. You can use a lower-fat, non-Greek yogurt, but keep in mind that a thinner yogurt will result in a wetter loaf.
  • Lemon Juice – get fresh lemons that you juice yourself for the best flavor.
  • Vanilla – vanilla extract gives the bread a subtle warm flavor that melds so well with the citrusy lemon.
  • Flour – I’ve only tested this recipe with all-purpose flour, but you should be able to swap some or all of the flour with whole wheat without any problems. 100% whole wheat flour will result in a denser loaf. You can use Gluten-Free flour if you like, as long as it acts like normal flour in bread.
  • Baking Powder – helps the bread to rise quickly!
  • Salt – use kosher salt to enhance all the flavors in this loaf.
  • Lemon Zest – you’ll need fresh lemons for lemon juice anyway, but we’re going to use the lemon zest as well for an amazing citrus tang!
  • Powdered Sugar – this is the base of the simple lemon glaze that will go on top of your lemon cake.
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How to Make Lemon Bread

This homemade lemon bread is super easy to make! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.

Lemon Bread

This homemade lemon bread is super easy to make! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.

  1. Mix oil and sugar. In a large bowl whisk together the oil and sugar.
  2. Add wet ingredients. Add eggs, yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
  3. Combine. Whisk until fully combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.
  5. Stir. Stir until just combined to make a thick batter — don’t overmix or it could make your bread tough!
  6. Bake. Spread the batter into a loaf pan and bake until golden. Allow the loaf to cool while you make the lemon glaze, then drizzle the glaze over the loaf before serving.

Lemon Bread FAQs

Should you use bottled or fresh lemon?

Fresh lemons are always the way to go to give you the best bright lemon flavor possible, especially when something is mainly flavored with lemon! We’ll be using lemon juice and the zest from lemons anyway, so it’s worth getting good-quality lemons that are ripe.

How do you zest a lemon?

You can zest a lemon super easily with tools you’ll already have in your kitchen. Use a microplane grater or the small side of a multiple-sided cheese grater. You can even use a potato peeler in a pinch, though it can be a bit trickier, then slice the zest smaller if it comes off in bigger lemon peel chunks.

How do I store lemon bread?

Store this lemon bread in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days or in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Allow it to cool completely to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.

Can I freeze lemon bread?

Yes! You can freeze individual slices of this lemon bread or the whole loaf.
To freeze slices, simply slice the loaf and wrap the slices individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Then store the slices in a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Take the slices out as you need them, letting them come to room temperature before serving them. You can heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to speed this up if you like!
If you freeze the whole loaf, wrap it in plastic wrap or store it in a container in the freezer. Defrost overnight on the counter and slice once it is soft.

loaf of lemon bread with two pieces sliced on grey surface.

Tips and Notes

  • Pan type. The citrus makes lemon bread brown more quickly than other types of quick bread. I recommend using a light-colored loaf pan or a glass pan rather than a dark non-stick one. If it is browning too quickly, you can tent the top with foil at the 30-minute mark.
  • Pan size. A larger pan will bake more quickly. I prefer to use a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan for this recipe as it bakes in about 40 minutes and therefore doesn’t brown as much on the edges. An 8 x 4 inch loaf pan will work just fine, but you may need 50-60 minutes of baking time. It will yield a taller loaf.

Lemon Bread Variations

  • Different Citrus. You can use different citrus fruits in this recipe. Try oranges, grapefruit or limes, for a flavorful twist.
  • Berries. You can add fresh blueberries or chopped strawberries to this recipe without changing the recipe! Aim for about 1 cup. If using frozen berries, don’t defrost them before adding them in, and keep in mind it may need a longer bake time.
  • Chocolate. Add some white chocolate chips to the cake batter for added sweetness, or drizzle some melted white chocolate on top for a fancy finish.
  • Frosting. Use a cream cheese frosting or a sweeter sugar frosting for the top of the bread for a sweeter finish.
two slices of lemon bread on a white plate with lemons around it.

Serving Suggestions

We love having lemon bread with a hot cup of coffee for a sweet breakfast treat. Freezing individual slices of this bread makes it super handy to quickly defrost and enjoy as a snack whenever you like too.

If you want something and want to know How to Make Cold Brew Coffee then I’ve got you covered. This lemon loaf also tastes great with my Caramel Frappuccino, or you can try this Easy Frappe reicpe when summer hits!

Serve this glazed lemon bread warm with a scoop of Coffee Ice Cream for a decadent dessert twist on the classic lemon and coffee combination!

More Quick Bread Recipes and Desserts To Try

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Lemon Bread recipe

5 from 12 votes
This easy Lemon Bread recipe is the perfect sweet treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee in the morning or for dessert. Packed with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and a mouth-watering sweet lemon glaze on top, this one is for all the lemon lovers out there!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Bread and Baked Goods
Servings 12 servings
Calories 212cal

Ingredients

Lemon Bread

  • ¼ cup canola oil 50 grams
  • 1 cup sugar 200g
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup plain 0% Greek yogurt 180 grams
  • ¼ cup lemon juice 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 227 grams fluffed and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • zest of 2 lemons or 3, if you like things tangy!

Lemon Glaze

  • ½ cup powdered icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

Lemon Loaf

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease an 8×4″ (or 9×5″) loaf pan (I recommend glass or light-colored as it will darken more quickly in a nonstick pan).
  • In a large bowl whisk together the oil and sugar on with a hand mixer on low speed. Add the wet ingredients of eggs, yogurt, juice, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
  • Now add in the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest and stir just until combined.
  • Spread batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-55 minutes (a larger pan will bake more quickly), covering loosely with foil after 30 minutes or when top is golden, until a toothpick in the bread comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
  • Cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

Lemon Glaze

  • Gradually stir lemon juice into the powdered icing sugar until desired consistency is reached — you may not need all of the lemon juice!
  • Drizzle over the loaf before serving.

Notes

Storage
  • Store: Store this lemon bread in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. Allow it to cool completely to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.
Freeze:
  • To freeze slices – simply slice the loaf and wrap the slices individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Then store the slices in a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Take the slices out as you need them, letting them come to room temperature before serving them. You can heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to speed this up if you like!
  • To freeze the whole loaf – wrap it in plastic wrap or store it in a container in the freezer. Defrost overnight on the counter and slice once it is soft.
 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 212cal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords lemon bread, lemon loaf

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. The Recipe Rebel says

    I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Marleen. The method, timing, and ingredients have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Diane! I’ve only tested the recipe out in bread form. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

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