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Best Lemon Bread Recipe: A Delightful, Lemony Treat

Lemon Bread is a great breakfast bread, a delicious dessert, or whatever you want it to be.

It is one of those easy loaf recipes you can whip up in minutes for an impromptu guest who stops by unexpectedly or just for an after-school snack for the kids.

The citrusy flavor blends perfectly with a cup of coffee or a glass of ice-cold milk.

If this is your first time making bread, this is the best lemon bread recipe you can start with.

lemon bread recipe

All you need are some lemons and a few items that you probably already have in your pantry such as flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

It does not take long to make, and it cooks in less than an hour. 

Lemon Bread Recipe: An Easy Recipe That You’ll Love

This quick bread recipe makes a loaf of lemon bread with the perfect balance of tangy fresh citrus and sweet sugary glaze. 

This is a great recipe to make the next time you are craving lemon desserts or just want something different than chocolate or banana bread.

Lemon Bread Recipe

However, if you have some ripe bananas on hand, make this irresistible chocolate banana bread recipe, a real treat with a scoop of chocolate chip vanilla ice cream on top.

Do you have zucchini instead?

Try this delicious gluten free zucchini bread.

You can serve it as a dessert or as an indulgent breakfast!

Ingredients Needed

These are the main ingredients you need for this recipe.

Scroll down to our printable recipe card for the step-by-step directions and measurements. 

For the Bread:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Butter: Softened to room temperature.
  • Sugar: Granulated white sugar.
  • Large eggs
  • Mayo or sour cream
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Lemon extract or zest
  • Juice of one lemon

Simple Lemon Glaze:

  • Powdered sugar: Or confectioners’ sugar.
  • Lemon juice: Use fresh juice for best results. 
  • Milk: Low-fat milk will work, but whole milk works best.

How To Cook This Lemon Bread From Scratch?

Preheat: To start, preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan, and line with parchment paper. 

Sift: Meanwhile, sift together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter: Then, beat sugar and butter on low speed for one to two minutes in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer.

Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to get all the batter combined.

Wet ingredients: Mix in the wet ingredients before adding the flour mixture.

Stir until just combined. 

Spread: Spread batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly.

Bake: Last, bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until it is golden brown and passes the toothpick test.

Move the lemon cake to a wire rack to cool.  

To make the glaze: Add powdered sugar and milk to a small bowl and stir a little bit.

Then, add the milk one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you like. 

Serve: Finally, spread the sweet lemon glaze on top of the bread and serve with zest on the side.

Recipe variations:

Go Greek: Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream in this easy recipe.

It also adds protein and vitamins to this glazed lemon bread recipe.

Blueberries: Make lemon blueberry bread by adding a cup of blueberries to the mix.

Toss them in two tablespoons of flour first so they do not sink to the bottom. 

Other berries: You could try blackberry lemon bread using the same idea.

Extract: Give this lemon loaf cake recipe extra citrus flavor by adding a bit of lime or orange extract. 

Infused: Give a flavor that rocks by adding infused vodka to your lemon bread.

Chocolate: Alternatively, chocolate lovers would appreciate a handful of chocolate chips in the batter. 

No gluten: You can make this delicious bread gluten-free using coconut, rice, or almond flour. 

How to serve:

You can serve this sweet bread for breakfast, dessert, or snack any time of day.

This easy lemon bread recipe makes it simple to enjoy the best lemon loaf you have ever had.

It goes great with a hot cup of coffee, a hot cocoa with cacao powder, or a cold drink like apple cider, lemon juice lemonade or strawberry lemon water.

You could also try one of these great serving ideas!

  • Try this warm loaf with a dollop of whipped cream for a creamier taste.
  • Are you having coffee or tea with your best friends? For a more festive look, add some colorful sprinkles to the top. 
  • This is the perfect recipe for special occasions, but you can serve it any time of the year since it is so fast and easy to make. 
  • Poke holes and drizzle lemon syrup over the top for a tangy, sweet poke bread. 

This delicious bread also goes great with a scoop of black ice cream or vanilla ice cream on top.

lemon bread recipe

Lemon Bread Recipe: Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my bread so dense?

Overmixing is the leading cause of dense bread. If you want your loaf to be light and fluffy, stir the dry and wet ingredients together with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Also, do not melt your butter.

Just soften it by leaving it out of the fridge for an hour before using. 

How much juice is in one lemon?

A medium lemon has about two tablespoons of juice.

A large one will give you about three tablespoons.

If you are trying to get ¼ cup juice, you will need two or three medium or two large lemons.

This can also depend on how you juice your lemon.

If you use a juice press, you will get more than if you were just to squeeze it by hand. 

What is the difference between lemon juice, zest, and extract?

Lemon zest comes from shaving the yellow peel off the outside of the fruit.

The juice is made from fresh lemon juice, but it is more acidic and less concentrated than extract.

So, you will need to use two tablespoons of juice to get the flavor of one teaspoon of zest.

The lemon extract comes from soaking the peel in alcohol, which gives it the same flavor as zest for lemon recipes. 

lemon bread recipe

How to store leftovers:

Store: Be sure to store your bread in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for best results. 

Freeze: Slice and store in the freezer in individual serving bags for up to three months. 

Thaw: Put your bread in the fridge overnight to thaw if you plan on serving it the next day. 

Reheat: There is no need to reheat. That being said, if you like warm bread, zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds. 

Recipe Tips

  • To perform the toothpick test, stick a wooden toothpick into the center of the bread and remove it.

If it comes out clean, it is done. It is okay if it has a moist crumb or two, but if it is covered in wet batter, cook for another few minutes. 

If you have one, you could also use a cake tester instead of a toothpick.

  • If the sides and top of the bread are getting too brown, make an aluminum foil tent over it.
  • Juice from fresh fruit gives this lemon loaf recipe its bright lemon flavor that lemon lovers enjoy.

However, it is okay to use prepared juice if you cannot find any fresh ones.

  • Make sure you use the bread pan of the right size.

This recipe is for a standard loaf pan, which is 9×5 inches.

If you use a smaller pan, you may add a few minutes to the cooking time.

  • Want to make this bread in a hurry?

Try using lemon cake mix instead of the bread ingredients, and just add sour cream or Greek yogurt, olive oil or vegetable oil, and eggs before baking.

More delicious dessert here!

lemon bread recipe


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Yield: 8 slices

Lemon Bread Recipe

Lemon Bread Recipe

Easy lemon bread recipe that everyone will love! If you want to make lemon bread, try this quick and easy recipe.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup mayo or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
  • Juice of one lemon

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper so it has handles on the side for easy loaf removal.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  4. In a large mixing bowl using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer,  beat butter and sugar until creamy 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add in the eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, zest, mayo or sour cream and whisk just until combined. 
  6. Add in the flour mixture and mix until combined and smooth, so not overmix. 
  7. Add the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top using a spatula. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes clean. 
  8. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, after that remove the bread and place it on a wire rack to fully cool.
  9. In a small bowl add the glaze ingredients, adding the milk 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until smooth. Spread on top of the cooled bread and garnish with lemon zest.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 341mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 1gSugar: 39gProtein: 5g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 7th of October 2023

How much zest in the bread batter?


Saturday 7th of October 2023

I use 1 teaspoon of zest. :)


Monday 20th of March 2023

I made these in to cupcakes and used rice flour because I have celiac. The batter is so fluffy like mousse. Anything with sour cream is always a favorite! So glad I found this page. Lots of gorgeous recipes I can’t wait to try.


Tuesday 21st of March 2023

Thank you so much for your kind comment :) I'm glad you like the lemon bread :)


Friday 23rd of September 2022

This lemon bread looks delicious , perfect treat any day.


Wednesday 21st of September 2022

Glad to have a recipe for just lemon bread. This is such an easy recipe and I love how you drizzle the icing on top.


Wednesday 21st of September 2022

Love it!! So flavorful. So tender and so gone fast. Everyone loves it, and I will make it again this weekend for my dinner party. I would have never thought to use mayo. Thank you for the recipe and all the fantastic instructions to follow. I am not a baker.

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