Monday, 29 April 2013

Lemon Cake - Starbucks Style??

I am usually not a big fan of copycat recipes. My experience with them has most of the times been very disappointing as they seldom really duplicate the original. But I am quite a visual eater as well - if something looks incredible I just can't wait to actually get it in my mouth. So when I saw this gorgeous picture of Lemon Cake while wasting away another morning browsing the internet a few days ago, my mouth started to water by itself and I knew that I had to try it out.

I have never tasted the original Starbucks lemon cake so cant really compare whether this recipe is a close version or not but would I be making it again? You bet! It was the best lemon cake Ive tasted in my life to date. Super moist, soft, full of lemon flavour with just enough icing to make you "mmmm" out loud.

As per usual, I made a few changes to accomodate what was on hand, so if you want to view the original recipe, just click the link provided above! One recommendation though: do use lemon extract or something similar ( I used Zitronensäure) as it is the key ingredient to bring the beautiful citrus flavour to the forefront. Also, to avoid experiencing collapsed centres, try securing the baking pan with foil packs. You wont be getting the traditional domed-shaped loaf that we all are usually accustomed to but I believe, a smooth level top is better for icing than a cracked one.

Copycat Starbucks lemon cake recipe

Starbucks Lemon Cake


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temp
1 cup fine granulated sugar
2 tbs softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pkt Zitronensäure (powdered citric acid) / 2 tsp lemon extract
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup oil
zest of one and half lemon
Pinch of yellow food colouring

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbs whole milk
1/4 tsp Zitronensäure / 1/2 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease and line a loaf pan with baking paper. For a smooth top of the cake, wrap the outer sides with foil packs as shown in here.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add in salt as well.

In a seperate bowl, beat sugar, butter, food colouring, vanilla, citric acid and oil until combined and creamy.  Start adding the eggs one by one and continue beating. Scrap several times to ensure youve got complete incorporation. Pour in the lemon juice and beat for another minute. Add the dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula. Add the lemon zest as well.

Best Lemon Cake recipe ever

Pour into the prepared baking pan and give the pan a quick spinning motion on the counter to remove air bubbles. This will also help the batter to distribute evenly.

Bake for 45-50 min until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

How to make starbucks lemon cake

Prepare the glaze by whisking together all the ingredients until combined. Pour over the cake and enjoy...

best lemon cake ever

Ans yes...if you ever happen to try this recipe, do drop a comment here. I´d love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I want a slice of this right now! It looks so incredibly moist.

  2. Oh yay! You're blogging again :)

  3. Just wanna bite into this - looks awesome!! Well done! One question - lemon extract and lemon juice is the same?

    1. Thank you dear "Anonymous":) Lemon extract is a conentrated oil taken from the peels of lemon. You can find it in the baking section near almond/vanilla extract/essence etc.

  4. Can we bake in aluminium foil boxes tht are used as takeaway boxes??

    1. I havent done that myself but dont see a problem in it.

  5. Looks sooo incredibly good!!

  6. how much of lemon juice should we add?

  7. I made this earlier today and it is amazing! Very easy to make. The foil packs work great, the top of the loaf was nice and flat.

  8. I made this cake last night and it has to be the best lemon cake Ive ever tasted!!!Came out exactly like the foto. Tastes fabulous and easy to make. Im definitely making it again. Thanks for sharing! xoxo Martina

  9. Where do you buy the zitronensaure powdered citric acid? How big are the packs?

    1. Zitronensäure ist available in small sachets at grocery stores like Real, Edeka (in Germany, ofcourse). Really sorry for the super late reply, hope you were able to find any.

  10. i tired this but the glaze always comes out little for me, and its kinda stiff. i bought a bag of citirc acid i wasnt sure how much to add but i think i added too much because the cake gave an bitter after taste? any ideas why? thanks!

  11. oh it doesnt taste bitter actually haha, but the consistancy for my glaze is never right and its always little that comes out? other then that its tastes awesome!! thank you

    1. hmmmn, it always comes out perfect for me. cant really tell what could be wrong with yours. Have you tried adding more milk to get the right consistancy? Also, pour the icing directly over the cake and let it set or itll thicken otherwise and you wont be able to spread it.

  12. I made this cake last Night, though, i didnt use the citric acid! Still, I must say, I love the consistency of the cake it really is soft and moist. Not dry at all. It has a very strong citrus flavor without being sour, but next time I will use a little less lemon juice. I baked it as a bundt cake and it needed less then 45 minutes. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Thank you for the feedback Sohana.Im glad you liked it!