Lemon Glazed Loaf Cake Recipe

Have you ever seen a loaf or pound cake with a nice symmetrical crack down the top and wondered how to achieve that affect? Recipe developer Eric Ngo is sharing the secret with us in this recipe for a light, lovely, summer-perfect lemon loaf perfect for fans of the one sold by Starbucks. His "special technique," he says, involves "adding the butter in the middle of the cake batter to have the cake open in the middle." As you will see in the photos below, a thin strip of butter is placed atop the batter in the pan, and when the cake comes out of the oven — voilà! The loaf will have a picture-perfect crack.

You can either bake this recipe as a standard loaf cake complete with crack or opt for a variant version. As Ngo tells us, "I did two formats," the other one consisting of individual-sized mini-cakes baked in a silicon cube mold. These little cube cakes are super cute and would make the perfect addition to any afternoon tea party.

Gather the ingredients for the lemon glazed loaf cake

This lemon cake could actually be considered a lemon/lime cake, as it uses the zest and juice of both fruits. Additional ingredients used in the cake include eggs, granulated sugar, heavy cream, salt, baking powder, flour, and butter, while for the glaze you'll need powdered sugar.

Make the cake batter

Start by preheating the oven to 400 F, then zest and juice the citrus fruit. Keep the lemon and lime juice separate for now as you'll be dividing the lemon juice. Reserve a small strip (or several strips) of the butter, enough to extend about 8 inches.

Cream the remaining butter with the sugar and zest, then beat in the eggs until you have a smooth mixture. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until your batter is nice and smooth. Pour the batter into a standard-sized loaf pan (Ngo notes that the one he uses is 9x5 ½ inches) that you've lined with parchment paper. If you use the cube-shaped silicon molds he suggests as an alternate, there's no need for the paper.

Bake the cake

Arrange the butter strip(s) right down the center of the batter to mark the spot where the crack will go, then bake the cake for 15 minutes (or 10 minutes for the cube molds). Lower the temperature to 350 F, then bake the cake (either size) for another 30 minutes. Let the cake sit and cool for 15 minutes.

Glaze the cake

Mix ½ of the lemon juice with the powdered sugar to make a glaze for the cake. Once the cake has cooled, brush it with the remaining lemon juice and the lime juice, then drizzle it with the glaze. If you've made the mini cube cakes, you can dip each one into the glaze instead of drizzling.

Ngo also suggests, "If you want to settle the glaze on the cake and have a slight crispy texture to it after glazing, you can put it back in the oven at 400 F for 2 minutes." You might want to use some additional lemon and/or lime zest or perhaps some candied lemon peel to garnish the cake, as well. If you store it in an airtight container, it should last for about 5 days.

Lemon Glazed Loaf Cake Recipe
5 from 36 ratings
This lemon glazed loaf cake is rich, buttery, and bursting with citrusy flavors.
Prep Time
Cook Time
loaf cake with lemon glaze
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 lime
  • 1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Zest the lemon and lime, then squeeze out the juice (keep the two types separate for now).
  3. Reserve a small strip (or several strips) of butter totaling about 8 inches long.
  4. Cream the remaining butter with the sugar and zest.
  5. Beat the eggs and cream with the butter/sugar mixture until smooth.
  6. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until smooth.
  7. Pour the batter into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper (if using a silicon pan, no need for the paper).
  8. Arrange the reserved butter down the center of the cake batter.
  9. Bake the cake for 15 minutes (just 10 minutes for cube-shaped mini cakes), then lower the temperature to 350 F for another 30 minutes.
  10. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes.
  11. Mix the powdered sugar with ½ of the lemon juice to make the glaze.
  12. Brush the remaining lemon juice, along with the lime juice, over the top of the cake.
  13. Pour the glaze over the cake or, if you've made smaller cakes, dip each one into it.
  14. If desired, garnish the cake with additional lemon and/or lime zest or candied lemon peel.
Calories per Serving 580
Total Fat 30.5 g
Saturated Fat 18.1 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 207.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 71.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Total Sugars 44.2 g
Sodium 420.4 mg
Protein 8.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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