Lemon Bread

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Lemon Bread

star rating (30) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This bread is a treat for anyone who loves the fresh, bright taste of citrus. Made doubly moist by the lemon-sugar glaze applied after it comes out of the oven, it's reminiscent of poke cake (remember that?). It's sweet enough to serve for dessert, yet tart enough to go well in a brunch breadbasket with other muffins and breads.

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (2 ounces) fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup (6 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt
1/2 teaspoon lemon oil OR 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar

For the bread: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar till thoroughly combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix the buttermilk or yogurt with the lemon juice and lemon oil, and set aside. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture. Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, and poke it all over with a cake tester, ice pick, or other long, thin tool.

For the glaze: Five minutes before the bread is done, whisk together the glaze ingredients, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and while the cake is hot drizzle it gradually with the glaze, stopping periodically to allow it to soak in. Set the bread aside, and let it cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove it from the pan, and allow it to cool completely before slicing. Yield: 1 loaf.


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  • star rating 04/11/2015
  • Mary from Louisville, CO
  • I live at 5300 feet and made this recipe following the high altitude adjustments recommenced on the King Arthur website. The bread failed to rise and remained doughy after 50 minutes of baking time. I used yogurt in the recipe rather than buttermilk, and used a glass pan. I made pumpkin bread last week with the same leavening and it turned out fine. Are all the variations in a given recipe tested for high altitude?
    While we do recommend the chart on our site as accurate for the changes to make when baking at high altitude, we don't actually have any facility at high altitude to test each variation of a recipe. We do highly recommend contacting the Colorado State Extension office for first-hand assistance. MJR @ KAF
  • star rating 07/27/2014
  • Jen from San Francisco, CA
  • My two sons love this bread and request it all the time. I am a novice baker, and I found this recipe was easy to follow. I add a bit of vanilla to the batter and the glaze, and I need to bake it slightly longer than 50 min. The glaze does run down the sides a bit, so I glaze in stages to give it time to sink in. It tastes best after sitting for a day.
  • star rating 06/24/2014
  • Jeanie from Asheville, NC
  • Followed the recipe to a T. Added a cup of blueberries. Used KA all purpose flour. This is a bread as stated, not a cake. This is the 3rd time I've made it and each time success! I pour into two loaf pans and they rise just fine. Am a lemon head and this hits the spot! Am actually making it right now and my house smells so good, can't wait to eat it!
  • star rating 12/05/2013
  • Mandy from Northern VA
  • This tasted sooooo yummy..even when the only yogurt I had was strawberry banana and accidentally put cornstarch instead of baking powder in it (yeah someone was messing with my baking stuff!) So it was my fault it was flat...can't wait to try it when it's fluffy!
  • star rating 06/06/2013
  • Kristina from Indianapolis, IN
  • Just cooled off enough to eat. Delicious and even better than a certain coffee shop's lemon loaf.
  • star rating 02/24/2013
  • Amy from Fairfield, CT
  • My low rating could be largely due to my own recipe alterations. It was still good and lemony, but just not fantastic. Based on another review I halved the sugar, and replaced, just 1/4 of the flour with white whole wheat. I also used 6 little pans instead of one large pan. I found the bread to be quite dense and a bit doughy, even though the tester came out clean and the cake was pulling away from the edges when I took it out of the oven. I was hoping for a light lemon loaf, but again the problem could have been my alterations. I might try again without any alterations.
    Thanks for your post, Amy - especially as it relates to your recipe adaptations. We're firm believers that when you take a recipe out for the original test drive in your kitchen that it's best to make it as written/published the first time. Check the flavor/texture as it suits your family preferences - then make your alterations (and make notes!)during your second bake. We also know our wonderful customer/bakers rely on other bakers/their reviews to do this for them so they dive right into baking the recipe with changes. We hope you give this recipe another test drive as written! Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 02/17/2013
  • Linda from Brisbane Qld Australia
  • Beautiful and moist with a lovely texture. make sure to read the recipe and follow as written. I did not ice the cake and it did not need it i felt. spoon the lemon syrup on slowly and let it go down the holes put in top of cake. just yummy
  • star rating 01/21/2013
  • JAM from NC
  • This is a delicious, really easy bread. I made three small loaves with the recipe, cutting baking time to 40 minutes. Fabulous little gifts for friends who all asked for the recipe.
  • star rating 12/13/2012
  • Bonnie from Le Roy, NY
  • Nothing but trouble with this recipe. First the recipe card left out the lemon juice that goes into the batter then...well it sure doesn't look like your picture. Only rose up part way and more in the middle which cracked but worse the lemon glaze slid off the top and didn't go in the holes even after making them bigger. Really I've been cooking and baking for many years. In hindsight it seems confectioner sugar and lemon juice would be better suited for a glaze this would be forever sticky. This cake or bread or whatever you choose to call it is doughy - just did not rise enough and the edges are quite brown. Disappointed in NY
    We are sorry to hear of the difficulty. Please call our hotline if you would like to troubleshoot.
  • star rating 11/28/2012
  • gtmoors from KAF Community
  • I'm a Lemon Lover .... and this Tasty Bread is just the fix for me ! Very Moist and Zesty
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