Lemon Loaf Cake

This eggless lemon loaf cake is light, tangy, and moist, with a super delicious 3-ingredient glaze!

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I first had a slice of a lemon loaf at Starbucks. I knew then this would be one of those things I will come back for often! Light as a feather, moist to a fault, delicately tangy and a great companion with a hot cup of mint or lavender tea! Of course those were the days when I wasn’t as much of an obsessive baker so I happily continued my haunts at Starbucks for a few years till I finally decided to try making it one day. My gain was Starbucks loss! This is one of those recipes I started making eggfree quite early for my family. Given their natural preference for non-chocolate desserts, citrus and other tea cakes have always been a hit at our home! So I’ve been making this cake for a few years now. This lemon loaf cake is just like the one I ate at Starbucks but without eggs.


And the best part? It needs only simple pantry ingredients.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Yogurt
  • Vanilla
  • Lemon
  • Milk

Nothing fancy here. Let me take you quickly through the steps before you jump into the detailed recipe. You start by taking some softened butter and sugar and beating them together till you have a pale and light mix.

Butter lemon cake

Next goes in yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice. A zester is best for getting out only the outer yellow part of the lemon. However if you don’t have one, you could use a grater. Just ensure you don’t add the whole peel (the white part) because it can make the cake bitter. The lemons we get here in India are relatively small and you’ll get about 13-15 ml juice out of one. So I juice about 3.5-4 lemons plus the zest of two to attain the correct balance of citrus. However you could also do 3-3.5 lemons if you prefer it less tangy!

lemon zest

In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. There is no salt to be added to the batter since I’ve used regular salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt too. Now we start adding this flour mix to the butter alternating with milk. Use a whisk to combine everything. The most important thing about this recipe is to NOT OVERMIX IT. Eggfree cakes are delicate to handle and don’t require heavy beating/mixing. Doing that changes their texture and makes them very dense, hard, and in most situations unpalatable. The best thing to do is to mix just till the last streaks of flour disappear and then stop. 

Batter lemon loaf

This cake batter is quite thick. Almost scoop-able. Transfer it to a pan lined with parchment paper. I’ve used a 8×4 inch loaf pan. You could use upto a 9*5 inch as well. You can also make this in a round or square pan. However do keep in mind that baking in a loaf pan takes longer because the surface area exposed to heat is smaller and the loaf needs time to cook through in the center. It will take between 50-55 minutes in a loaf and between 30-35 minutes in any other kind of pan. Either way the result will be delicious! 

Lemon cake Batter

I bake in an OTG with only the lower rod on. And then switch to upper+lower mode after 40 minutes. This helps the top to acquire the right color. If baking in a convection, bake at the same temperature but for a shorter time. To check if the cake is done, carefully take out the pan only when the last 5-7 minutes are left and insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If there’s any batter stuck to the toothpick, continue to bake. 

Baked Lemon loaf

Let the cake cool completely before taking it out of the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or alternatively make this amazing glaze that you may just feel like eating on its own!

It needs only 3 ingredients

• Icing Sugar
• Milk
• Lemon Juice

You add the milk to the sugar and mix. Then add the lemon juice and adjust as per the taste and consistency you want! That’s it. Spoon over your cooled cake and allow it to dry a bit. If you’re that patient, that is. We aren’t. We start slicing and eating the cake with large spoons of the glaze directly on top as soon as it’s possible to! It’s that’s good!

lemon loaf slices.

But I’ll let you find out on your own! Leave a comment on this blog if you try this! Or find me on Instagram for a shout-out!

If you liked this recipe, here are some other tea cakes that may interest you as well

Mango Semolina Cake
Semolina Cake
Coffee Cinnamon Cake
Pear and Walnut Cake
Banana Walnut Bread

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Eggless Lemon Loaf Cake

This eggless lemon loaf cake is light, tangy, and moist, with a super delicious 3-ingredient glaze!
Makes: One 8*4 inch loaf
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins


  • 1+¾ cups All-purpose Flour (250g)
  • 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ cup Butter (113 gms)
  • cup Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • ¼ cup Yogurt
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice (3-4 lemons)
  • Zest of two lemons

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 2-3 tsp Lemon Juice



  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree C. Grease or line a loaf pan with parchment.
  • Mix the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda and keep aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat together softened butter and sugar till it is light and fluffy.
  • Add yogurt, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix well. If the mixture looks curdled, its fine.
  • Next, start adding the flour and milk alternately to the wet ingredients and whisking together. DO NOT over-mix this batter. Stop as soon as all the ingredients are combined.
  • Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 50-55 minutes or untill a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool.
  • For the glaze – Sieve the icing sugar in a bowl and add the milk. Mix well. Start adding lemon juice 1 tsp at a time and adjust as per taste. Pour or drizzle over the cooled cake.


For measurements and conversions, do refer the ready reckoner for a quick handy guide! 
PS. The original recipe did not have any yogurt. However, we felt that adding just 1/4 cup of yogurt gave a better crumb and stability to the cake and thus have updated the recipe.

Join the Conversation

  1. Will definitely try this one too….have already tried ladi pav n ur date n almont truffles both wer yumm….thank u so much

    1. Hi Janki, Glad to know the recipes turned out well for you. hope you try this one too!

  2. Which baking powder u r using? Somehow I felt in other Bakes, weikifield double action baking powder goes a little overpowering. Pls suggest if I need to reduce weikifield baking powder quantity.

    1. Please mention quantity of all Ingreadiants used in this receipe????

      1. Hi Pradnya, please scroll down to the recipe card for all the ingredient quantities

    2. Hi Rashmi, if using double action baking powder, you need to add only half the quantity mentioned in each recipe since I use regular baking powder

      1. Which brand of baking powder do you use ?

        1. Hi Tejal, I use Weikfield double action baking powder.

  3. Won’t milk curdle because of the lemon?

    1. Hi Nikita, yes it does essentially making buttermilk which is great for cakes!

  4. Hii can I replace Butter with oil?

    1. Hi Yokta, I would not suggest doing that in this recipe.

  5. Nupur Jalan says:

    Hi Pooja. This is an an easy one to follow. Thank you. Also if we wish to use egg … How many and what liquid does it replace ?

    1. Hi Nupur, I have not tried this recipe with eggs and I (mostly) bake only egg-free now, so honestly I won’t know.

  6. Please upload the proper measurements for the cake recipes in derails,

    1. Hi Gloria, the recipe with measurements and all other details are in the post itself. If it isn’t appearing for you, it may be a browser compatibility issue. Do try on another one. Thanks

    2. I never managed to make the glaze as the cake all but vanished! Lovely flavour! Added two pinches of turmeric hesitantly, but it gave a sunshine colour to the cake. Thank you for the recipe

      1. Hi Nisha, so happy to hear you’ll loved it! A pinch of turmeric does give it a more beautiful colour ☺️

  7. Hi!! I tried this lemon cake recipe twice and it turned out great, but my cake was slightly under cooked. Like from the center it was a little undercooked though the tooth pic came out clean and the top was brown. What could be the reason? Your inputs will help?

    1. Hi Kavya, it helps to check the cake right in the center and all the way to the bottom because even though the top browns and the sides cook faster, the center takes longer to cook fully.

  8. Hi just tried the lemon loaf it was awesome but I think becoz of the lemon zest it became slightly bitter but otherwise it was just awesome .my family loved it thank u !

    1. Hi Pooja, when adding lemon zest you need to ensure you add only the outer peel and no part of the rind which can make your cake bitter. A microplane zester is very helpful for that purpose. Glad to know your family loved the cake anyway

  9. Hi tried the lemon loaf it was delicious my family loved it just one small doubt can I avoid the lemon zest as that is giving a slightly bitter taste

    1. Hi Kripa, when using zest be careful to only use the thin outer peel and not the white part – the rind which is what can make your cake bitter. However you can skip it entirely too if you wish

      1. Hi I wanted to know do u have any fruit cake recipe eggless

  10. Hey followed the recipe to the T but my cake sank in the middle… could you help me with why ?? Also does a cold lemon juice cause this problem??

    1. Hi Tanvi, the cold lemon juice should not cause sinking but as a thumbrule, always use room temperature ingredients. The cake sinks in the middle if you open the oven door during baking or if it’s taken out too early. Use the toothpick test to confirm if it’s baked in the center.

  11. Hey! This is the first lemon cake recipe that has actually worked for me! Thank you so much! All you’re recipes are fail proof.
    Just wanted to know if we can replace castor sugar with powdered sugar in this recipe?

    1. Hi Manasvi, thank you so much for your kind words. You can use powdered sugar however reduce the qty by 2 tbsp.

  12. Shilpa kejriwal says:

    Hey pooja
    Today I tried ur lemon tea cake. But the center of my cake had bent inside. Like little flatter in d center. Rest the taste was aumazing and it wasn’t under cooked. Plz help

    1. Hi Shilpa! I am glad you tried the recipe. The cake usually sinks in the middle if you open the oven door during baking. could that be the reason?

  13. I simply want to say I am just newbie to blogging and seriously liked your page. Probably I’m going to bookmark your website . You really have perfect articles. Cheers for revealing your web site.

    1. Hello Dong Pardon! Thankyou so much for your kind words.

  14. Sheetal Nayyar says:

    Hi Pooja,
    Do you use unsalted butter or salted for this recipe? Do let me know. Thank you in advance!

    1. Hello sheetal I’ve used salted amul butter.

  15. So u use 3/4 tsp baking powder as u used double action baking powder

  16. Why can’t we use oil instead of butter in this recipe?

    1. Hi Sukhmani, you can replace butter with oil, but the taste of the cake will change than what is intended. It tastes better with butter

  17. HI, I have do not have an OTG. Can I bake this in Microwave Convection Mode? What would be the recommended settings?

  18. Will this recipe work as it is for cup cakes?

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