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Starbucks Healthy Lemon Cake

Sweet frosted healthy lemon cake…

A soft and fluffy lemon cake from @choccoveredkt that literally melts in your mouth... this healthy Starbucks lemon cake makeover is completely irresistible: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/03/24/starbucks-lemon-cake-healthy/

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A soft and fluffy lemon cake that instantly melts as it touches your lips…

Sure, that irresistibly moist lemon cake from Starbucks is hard to resist. But with almost 500 calories, a staggering 9 grams saturated fat, and more than half the sugar limit you’re supposed to consume in an entire day, Starbucks’ famed lemon cake is not even close to a healthy breakfast!

To put things in perspective: You could actually eat seven frosted slices of today’s makeover healthy lemon cake and still not equal the calories and saturated fat in just one slice from Starbucks!

This recipe can be low-fat / low-sugar / whole-grain / under 100 calories per slice

Soft and MOIST lemon cake, just as good as Starbucks, without all the sugar and calories. (This recipe is really good for breakfast) https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/03/24/starbucks-lemon-cake-healthy/ @choccoveredkt

So you could save the Starbucks lemon cake for a rare special occasion… or you could eat this homemade healthy lemon cake every single day.

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And it’s so good you’ll probably want to do just that!

A soft and fluffy healthy lemon cake that melts in your mouth... Starbucks’ version has almost 500 calories and more than twice the sugar! Full recipe link: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/03/24/starbucks-lemon-cake-healthy/

A soft and fluffy lemon cake that literally melts in your mouth... this healthy Starbucks lemon cake makeover is completely irresistible! Recipe link: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/03/24/starbucks-lemon-cake-healthy/

pin-it

Healthy Lemon Cake

Starbucks Healthy Lemon Cake

Total Time: 25m
Yield: 8-10 slices
Print This Recipe 4.79/5

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup yogurt of choice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 tbsp oil OR more yogurt of choice if oil-free is desired (35g)
  • 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • zest one lemon
  • 1 cup spelt or white flour (or bob’s gf + 1/2 tsp xanthan) (130g)
  • scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup xylitol or sugar of choice (100g)
  • Optional Powdered Sugar Glaze: 1/4 cup powdered sugar or sugar-free powdered sugar + 1 tsp lemon juice.

Instructions

*2019 Update: This makes a small (8×5) loaf. For a larger loaf, be sure to try this Vegan Lemon Bread!

Starbucks lemon cake healthy makeover: Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×5 loaf pan, and set aside. In a bowl, whisk the first 5 ingredients. In a separate bowl, stir together all remaining ingredients. Pour wet into dry, and stir just until evenly mixed. Smooth into the loaf pan, and bake 25 minutes or until loaf has risen and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool, then spread the glaze on top if a glaze is desired. Glaze hardens when it cools, and you can refrigerate to expedite the process if you wish. For optimum freshness, store leftover lemon cake slices in the fridge or even in the freezer.

View Lemon Cake Nutrition Facts

 

 

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Published on March 24, 2015

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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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289 Comments

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  1. Catherin B. says

    Do I have to make an adjustment in the liquid depending on whether I use “regular” yogurt or the denser Greek yogurt? This would be nice after Easter dinner. Thanks.

      • Catherin B says

        Thanks, Katie! I wasn’t sure whether “yogurt of choice” included Greek-style. I will just use ordinary yogurt. I pre-ordered your cookbook and have already given one to a friend. Keep up the good work and friendly comments on your blog! You have quite a following.

      • Mary says

        I tried the greek yogurt and it worked fine. Didn’t need to add any extra liquid either. Can’t wait to try it.

        • Ann says

          Mine worked fine! And it tastes delicious! I have had the Starbucks one before, and I actually think this one is better! I would say that even if it weren’t healthy! It’s lighter and spongey and not as heavy or dense as the overly sweet Starbucks lemon cake, and the lemon flavor is perfect!

  2. Kathy Vondra says

    Why don’t you offer a print option for your recipes? They all look so yummy but it’s hard to remember the ones I like, so I would love to have the option to print the ones I would like to try.

    Thank you!

    • Chocolate Covered Katie says

      Unfortunately, the company who made the plugin I was using went out of business a few months after I began offering a print option. I’m working with a design team to completely change the site at the moment, but in the meantime you can always highlight just the recipe and right click. It should give you an option to print from there.

        • Lynda says

          Oh, hi,

          When you go to print it, after dragging to select what you want printed, after saying Print, you “should” get the option on the print page to print “selected” only. I guess that might depend on your printer.
          Hope that works for you.

  3. Sheri says

    Do you think this will work in an 8″ round and layer with fresh strawberries? I don’t have a loaf pan. This looks amazing! You are pure genius!

  4. Anita says

    I’m wondering why so little lemon in this cake? I love your recipes but Is it really only the zest of 1 lemon?
    For real lemon lovers I’m not sure if that is enough.

  5. Megan says

    Speaking of starbucks….
    Have you ever experimented with making chocolate covered coffee beans? I loooove these and want to try making them at home with your chocolate bar recipe. I wonder if the coffee beans should be prepped any special way, guess I’ll see 🙂

  6. Nicole {VeganShowOff.com} says

    Awesome! This was my absolute favorite treat from Starbucks before I became vegan! Had no clue about the calories/saturated fat though. Geesh along with the latte I used to get that combo certainly was far from healthy! Can’t wait to give this healthy version a try! Yummy!

  7. Lindsey @ Simply Lindsey says

    I love lemon cake, especially from Starbucks, so I will definitely be making this healthier recipe soon! Yum!!

  8. Caroline says

    This looks absolutely amazing! My husband loooooves the lemon cake from Starbucks so I’ll have to make this for him. I was wondering if you think using whole wheat pastry flour would work?

      • Amy says

        Maybe your flour was off? That happened to me one time, I used wholemeal spelt for a CCK chocolate cake and it did not rise at all and was dense and horrible! Not the recipe but the flour. Wholemeal tends to go bad quicker than white flour because it’s still got the ‘germ’ around it. White flour is much more stable and keeps far longer than wholemeal, which is what they started producing it, to have a flour with a longer shelf life.

      • Vanessa says

        I used half regular whole wheat and half regular all purpose flour and didn’t have to change/add anything else for it to turn out delicious and moist! I did put the zest of 2 lemons in this one (instead of 1), as I like lemony flavors and also added poppy seed at the end, just mixed in with the batter. I’ve experimented with a lot of recipes (for example the healthy banana bread) and if I apply the half and half adjustment it’s always a success. If the batter turns out to be a bit on the dry side, as whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid, I add 1/3 cup of whatever liquid is used in the recipe. Hope this was helpful!

  9. Alysa says

    Lemon!! My absolute favorite! Sadly, I am out of vegan yogurt, is there anything that I can replace it with without ruining the texture to much?

    • Ariane Newell says

      I could not wait to get the yogurt. I used vegan mayo and added more lemon peel for the missing yogurt tartness. Delicious.

  10. Leslie says

    I love all things lemon and this is no exception! I’m tying to watch what I eat so if I can slim it in anyway, it’s going in my mouth. Haha. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Kate says

    Will be making this in the near future!
    I am assuming that you used plain yogurt. If I used sweetened yogurt do you think I can reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe?

    • Diane says

      I’m not Katie, but the yogurt I used when I made this is not unsweetened and I didn’t change anything about the recipe and it worked out really well. The texture was perfect, and it didn’t even need the glaze or any type of icing. It was sweet enough on its own. So you might even end up with a lower sugar result due to the fact that the sweetness from the yogurt allows you to not use the glaze. The cake was really good just by itself.

  12. stefanie says

    OMG thank you soooo much !!! I’ve looked every where for a vegan cake and who other than the best vegan blogger in the world could take on the task. Again thank you so very very much!

  13. Jen says

    Does this recipe have to be refrigerated after baking (due to the yogurt)? My brother loves all things lemon, and I would love to make this and mail it to him 🙂

  14. Melina says

    Some time ago I found some xylitol in the store and was so excited to make your recipes that make use of it! I tried two different recipes and I found it extremely bitter and strangely it would somewhat burn my mouth, almost like something unpleasantly spicy but without the flavor of spicy foods. I was so disappointed. Could it be my brand? What brand xylitol are you using?

    • Anon says

      Wow not sure if this is the same thing but a small percentage of people get a bitter taste in their mouth when consuming artificial sweeteners.

    • Natasha Hammond says

      I have tried multiple brands of xylitol and never experienced this.. perhaps there is something in it that you are sensitive to? For me, xylitol tastes very sweet and has a slight cooling sensation, which is why I think it gets used in gum and toothpastes sometimes.

    • Ariane Newell says

      I believe it was Katie (or another vegan chef blogger) who explained once about mixing it up if you use artificial sweeteners. Try using part sweetener with something natural. On this cake I used 1/4 c erythritol and 5 blended dates. It affects the color somewhat but the sweetness was perfect. I didn’t even have the glaze.

    • Beth H says

      I don’t get any bitterness after having xylitol, but something that may help? I use Monk Fruit to replace sugar/xylitol, to me, it tastes just like sugar!
      Can’t wait to try this recipe tonight! My husband loves lemon and I’m going to make this for his 40th bday tomorrow!

  15. Sharon says

    Katie,
    Can we substitute anything for the yogurt that is not milk or yogurt? Would a thick cashew cream work?
    Sharon

      • Sharon says

        Hi, Katherine B. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this recipe substitution. I have a milk allergy so most yogurts are off limits. This will help me tremendously.

        • Katherine B says

          No problem! I’m vegan, so I don’t do dairy yogurts either. They do sell some cultured non-dairy yogurts like coconut and almondmilk varieties (SoDelicious brand) or soy (Trader Joe’s or WholeSoy,) but they are a little expensive. Hope you like this cashew-based one!

          • Sharon says

            I have just mixed it all up in my blender. I will try Katie’s lemon cake tomorrow! I can’t. I did not have applesauce but one of the reviewers said she didn’t add it and the yogurt was fine. So I left the applesauce out. It blended into the silkiest, prettiest yogurt I have ever had. I have had to stop myself from just eating it until I can use it in Katie’s recipe, lol. I am going to keep that stuff around. Thank you, again. I can’t wait to use this in all the recipes that require yogurt. I am not sure it would in something that is not a dessert, but it should definitely work in any dessert. I will know tomorrow!

  16. Veronika says

    Katie, I’m so glad you’re posting so many recipes that can easily be made low fat and oil free. I know all about healthy fats, but I was diagnosed with gallstones last year, so I avoid oil like the devil. But of course I still indulge in occasional healthy treats, and lemon-based desserts are my absolute favourite. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I will try it ASAP!

  17. Faigy says

    Has anyone tried subbing almond flour or coconut flour for the spelt? If so, how did it come out? What measurements did you use to replace the spelt? Thanks!

    • Marcie says

      If you want to sub coconut flour you will have to up the liquid significantly as coconut flour absorbs A LOT of liquid. Most non-vegan recipes that use it usually have a ratio of something like 1/2 C coconut flour to 8 eggs, so I am not sure how it would work out.

      • Debbie says

        I just tried this with coconut flour. I increased the yogurt an extra 1/4 cup (I used a half cup originally and left out the oil, so 3/4 cup total) and some extra lemon juice that I didn’t measure. I had juiced 4 lemons, took out the 2 teaspoons needed for glaze (I doubled the glaze) and used the rest. The cake came out a little more crumbly than with regular flour but it works and it’s delicious! I used coconut yogurt.

    • Karen says

      I did! 2/3 cup almond flour and 1/3 cup spelt worked out beautifully. I think you could replace all of it with almond and it would still be fine. 🙂 Coconut is more tricky.

      5/5

      5/5

  18. Ann says

    I just pulled mine from the oven and it is so delicious! I like it even better than the Starbucks version! It’s much lighter and not sickly sweet.

  19. Stacey says

    I made this today using plain greek yogurt, sucanat and a combination of spelt, oat and wh. wheat flours. It is absolutely fabulous! Unfortunately I’ve eaten half of the loaf which, I imagine, defeats the purpose. It really is amazing though!!

  20. Jordyn Senger says

    Just made this and ate a piece and it’s AWESOME! I would make this again in a heartbeat! I doubled the recipe to make two loaves, but they came out only about an inch high lol. Next time I’ll triple it to get two loaves so they’re a bit bigger 🙂
    Also I made mine with Greek yogurt and didn’t change the measurements, and I think they came out just fine! Like I said, just kinda small.

    • Denisse says

      Hi!!! I just made one recipe and the loaf hardly rose. Is that how it is supposed to be because Katie’s pictures seem so thick and large yet mine is uber small. Kind of like a tart. Tastes amazing though!

      4/5

      4/5

  21. Lucia says

    Katie! This recipe is sooooo good! I know you were just using it as a comparison and didn’t really mean we should eat seven slices, but I kinda want to 😉
    Don’t worry, I only had three so far 😉
    I can’t believe how deliciously this recipe came out for so few calories. I’m on a strict diet, and finding your site has been helpful more than I can even tell you. And my family thanks you too, because I can now make recipes we can all enjoy. This bread was a hit with the whole family 🙂

  22. Andrea says

    WOW is all I can say after tasting this recipe. Its not often that a recipe will leave me speechless, but this one did.

    After trying it plain, I don’t even think it needs a glaze at all! It is so good even by itself!

    If anyone reading this isn’t sure if they should try this lemon cake because they’re not into healthy food or low calorie desserts, MAKE THIS NOW! Even my husband asked for seconds and he is the farthest thing from a health food nut and usually will decline the healthier desserts I make.

  23. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says

    Katie – I work a Starbucks and try my best to avoid the pastry case. I usually succeed; however, the lemon cake is usually whispering my name from the corner of my eye. This makeover is perfectly adapted. If you like making french presses, try the lemon cake with Kenya coffee. The acid in the coffee mellows out the intensity of the cake. 😀

  24. emily says

    Just served this for breakfast, and I can say it’s one of the top 10 recipes we’ve made from your site, along with the cookie dough dip, zucchini brownies, breakfast cupcakes, fudgey pudding cake, and others. We’re slowly making our way through your blog. I think it’s safe to say we love CCK recipes! 😉

  25. Lauren says

    I just made this and it’s so delicious! Light and just the right amount of lemon. I swirled in some cherry preserves before baking it, it was a good addition 🙂

  26. Anna says

    This is delicious!! I’m not normally a big fan of lemony desserts, but I loved this! Didn’t bother making the glaze. It’s so yummy it doesn’t need the glaze!

  27. Karin M says

    After a particularly challenging day I found this recipe in my inbox. I immediately pulled out a lemon and got to work. The recipe is so simple after a rough day, and so crazy good. I pulled it from the oven when it still needed probably a couple more minutes, glazed it right away and ate some warm. Oh. My. Stars. I struggled to contain my selfish joy when my son said the sweet/tart just wasn’t for him. (It’s all mine!!!)

  28. Hilary says

    I used to eat that Starbucks lemon cake all the time- it was so good! Now it’s just too sweet and a calorie bomb. Made this tonight and it was amazing!

  29. Laura says

    Katie, I’ve been meaning to say thank you so much for including a gluten free option with all your newer recipes! It does not go unappreciated!!

  30. Heather says

    The bread looks amazing! Do you think you could use coconut flour in this? If so how much would you use instead of the gluten free mix~

    Thank you!

  31. Heather says

    Oh my stars this is good! I went out today to Poundland and bought a loaf pan for £1 just to try this and it did not disappoint. I used wholemeal spelt flour and it came out lovely. I also added 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds because i happened to have some. Bliss! Thank you! I have just ordered your cookbook and cannot wait to try more recipes! Cheers!

    • J says

      I am a huge lemon poppyseed lover so I wish I had read this before I made mine. Mine was delicious but I only imagine it would even be better with the addition of poppyseeds, if that’s even possible!

      I guess now I have an excuse to make another one 😉

  32. Laura says

    I made this cake today using Greek yogurt and it was amazing!! So tasty, moist and the perfect amount of tart. I’m about to go out and get more lemons to make another loaf!

  33. Ryan C says

    I just made this today, and it was delightful (as was the scent in my kitchen after baking it)!! I had never tried Starbucks’ version, mainly due to the nutritional info, but I am sure that this is far superior. I had completely forgotten to buy the Xylitol at the store, so I had to use some organic cane sugar, but I will definitely try to make it all the more healthy next time!! 🙂

  34. Rachel says

    I made this cake for a party last night and it turned out great! I used a little more yogurt (1/2 c) and a little less oil (2.5 T) than the recipe called for, plus doubled the glaze so I could get a good drizzle over the whole cake. I’m typically a good cook and not so great baker, but this cake was so easy, anyone could make it! Will definitely be making this again.

  35. Caterina says

    This cake looks so yummy, I would like to try it out as soon as possible!
    Since I’m from Europe, could you please add the converted-in-grams measurements please? 🙂

  36. J says

    I just posted a picture of my results to instagram. This cake turned out so well, and I agree with another person who commented that it is better than the Starbucks version. It really really is! 🙂 Great job, Katie!

  37. Kelly says

    I tried this recipe and it was a flop. I don’t blame the recipe…I live at high altitude, and I’ve about decided to give up baking 🙁 I’ll try it again and maybe add a “chia egg” and/or baking powder(?). Ugh! I love Colorado, but baking here is the pits!

    • CCK helper says

      What flour did you use? And what size loaf pan? I’ve never baked in high altitudes but hear it can be a pain!

      • Kelly says

        I used Bob’s all purpose flour and a 5 x 8 loaf pan. I also cut the baking soda in half and increased the temp to 375 degrees (for high altitude baking). Maybe I should pretend I’m not at altitude and just follow the recipe and see how it works…;) Thanks for your help!

        • Katie says

          Hey I know this is kind of late, but I live in Colorado as well, after moving from Texas, and what I usually do is up the oven temperature 15-25 degrees (just depending on how hot it is already; I’d do this one at 375) and I never mess with the amount of baking soda. If there is a significant amount of baking powder, I might decrease it by 1/8 tsp per tsp of baking powder. Sometimes decreasing the sugar by just a bit, or increasing liquids by a tablespoon or two also helps. I hope this helps you or at least someone else reading it! 🙂

  38. Lisette says

    Wow, this was really lemony! I liked the tartness, but my family thought it was a little too sour. If I wanted to tinker the recipe to make it sweeter, should I add more sugar, or use less lemon juice, or both? Also, was it supposed to rise very much? My loaf was almost flat, but it still tasted great.
    Thanks for the recipe, Katie! As always, this was so good I could hardly believe it is healthy. (And you are really good at food photography, by the way!)

    • CCK helper says

      Use more sugar if you wish for it to be sweeter, although I found this one plenty sweet! What size loaf pan did you use?

    • Martina says

      I agree. Too sour for my taste. (I don’t know how it supposed to be since I’ve never been to Starbucks). Next time I’m trying with 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup water instead. Maybe depends on what kind of lemons you use – our homegrown are small and very sour.

  39. R says

    Your Are Awesome Katie! Every “unique” desert recipe I’ve tried to locate through Pinterest, keeps referring me to your amazing collection. Thank You Keep Up The great work!
    (Wow: Strawberry Lemon Cake Healthy Make-Over, No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie ….and the list of your recipes keeps growing-on! : )

  40. Caitlin says

    I am eating two slices of this moist lemon cake just out of the oven as I type this, and I can honestly say it’s one of the best recipes I’ve ever made from a blog. I’m just hoping it’s not all gone by tomorrow! 😉

  41. Christine says

    This cake is really good! I frosted it with coconut butter and it was delicious! I bought your cookbook a couple weeks ago and can’t stop baking! Every recipe I have tried has been incredible! Thanks so much for sharing them 🙂

  42. Melissa says

    I made this for Easter and it was a big success! I really regret not making two loaves. Happy Easter, Katie and thank you for putting all of these delicious recipes out there for us! 🙂

  43. Ilana says

    This recipe is a keeper!

    I served it to guests for Easter brunch this morning and it received rave reviews. Usually with blogs I might find one or two recipes I want to try, but with yours I’ve already bookmarked so many. And everything I’ve made has been terrific!

  44. Tina says

    Made this for Easter brunch and it was excellent! I used vanilla greek yogurt and it turned out great without the need for added liquid. Will definitely be making this again and again!!

  45. Angie says

    This is my fifth or sixth time making the recipe now, so I figured it was probably high time I left a comment about it on the page thanking you for the delicious recipe. I don’t usually have success with recipes I’ve tried from other blogs, but yours never fails me. Thanks for yet another successful recipe!

  46. Michelle says

    I cannot believe how good this is! I’ve only had the lemon cake from Starbucks a few times (normally I am more of a drinks girl at Starbucks). But I can say with assurance that this one is way better! The fact that it’s so much lower in calories and sugar is just icing on the cake. The lemon cake 😉 😉

  47. sarah says

    I made this yesterday and it was absolutely delicious! I used muscovado sugar which made the cake brown in color (and didn’t look like lemon cake at all..lol), but you know how looks could be decieving. Everyone in the family loved it! Definitely won’t be the last time I’m making this. Thank you!

  48. Nicole Buesen says

    So I tried seeing if someone else already asked, but my question is in regards to the nutritional information. It says 49grams is a serving size, but I’m not sure if that’s when the cake has been sliced into 8 or 10 slices. Has anyone had a chance to figure this out? My scale doesn’t like me when I try to figure grams.
    Thanks

    • Katy says

      Hi Nicole,

      I’m not 200% sure, but I believe the nutrition is based on 8 slices. You can always enter the ingredients into an online (free) nutrition calculator and see what matches your serving size best.

      Hope this helps!

  49. Katy says

    This is SO good! I just made it with whole wheat flour and light and fluffy texture was not compromised at all. I will definitely have to store it in the freezer, otherwise it’s all going to disappear before lunch 🙂

  50. debbi staats says

    I wonder …for those of us with dairy allergies…if you could substitute almond or coconut yogurt for the yogurt (or even coconut cream????)..I am really new to this “a whole bunch of food allergies” life! just looking for some options and this looks delish!!! thanks so much for any thoughts out there! (oh no eggs either 🙂
    Debbi

  51. kaytee says

    Mmmm I made this with coconut yogurt and coconut oil, and the combination with the lemon is fantastic. Thanks for another great recipe. (Also for some reason my cat wants to eat this cake. Not sure why as I didn’t think a cat would like lemon. Maybe he likes coconut?! Anyway, he’s not getting any 😀 )

  52. Diana says

    This cake was incredibly delicious, but it didn’t rise very much. I used a 8.5×4.5 pan. Could adding more baking soda or baking powder work to keep it from being so flat?

    • Amy says

      I had the same problem–I have looked everywhere trying to buy an 8 x 5 but it doesn’t seem to exist! The closest I could find was 8.5 x 4.5 and the cake is very flat…plus it took 41 minutes to cook. Anybody have a source for the proper size pan?

  53. Rachel says

    Just in case anybody was wondering, I just experimented by smoothing one tablespoon of batter into each of 24 mini muffin tins and they came out beautifully. I now have perfect little lemon cakes for a Game of Thrones party. ^^

  54. Jessica says

    I just made this recipe to the letter in the exact size pan recommended with all the exact ingredients. It tastes delicious but it didn’t rise so my whole cake is only like 1 1/2 inches tall. I wish I knew what happened

  55. Will says

    I saw your post on facebook and realized I never gave feedback after trying this cake a few months ago for the first time. Since then, I have made it twice more. I guess that means it’s good! Haha.

    Really though, I love the recipe! Haven’t been to Starbucks in years, but this satisfies any craving I have for lemony desserts, and I can’t imagine Starbucks version being any better than this!

  56. Kaitlin says

    This was really yummy! My best friend shared it on facebook this morning and I have the day off from work. Sounds crazy that someone would want to spend her day off on a hot summer day in front of a hot oven, but that’s what I did! And the results were sooooo worth it!

  57. Debbie says

    I’m getting tired of having my mouth banded shut after a softball shattered my face (and major reconstructive surgery), and the diet that goes with it. I can’t chew anything at all. Period. When you wrote that this cake melts in your mouth I decided to try it – and it does! This beats all the soup and mashed potatoes I’ve been sustaining on right now. This cake is amazing even if your mouth isn’t shut and you’re not on a crazy soft food / liquid diet! This cake is so yummy. I’ve made a few of your recipes for this crazy time in my life and you have some that have truly helped me get through this ordeal. Tomorrow I’m trying the Peanut Butter Breakfast Pudding, even though all of it will have to go in the blender. Thanks Katie! You help people in ways you don’t even know 😉

  58. Sarah says

    You have made three very happy kids this morning when I served them this recipe for breakfast along with eggs and fresh fruit. Not to mention one very happy mom! 🙂 We love your recipes, Katie!

  59. Kerri Murphy says

    I made this with a mixture of real and bottled lemon juice and it was SO good! It would probably be best with pure lemon but you go with what you got. I’m making it again, this time with real lemon, bottled lemon, bottled lime and a dash of lemon soda and will see how it turns out. If the batter on the spoon is any indication then this is gonna be yumm

  60. Heidi says

    My husband loves the original Starbucks cake, so this was a winner in our house! The only thing is that it came out a little flat. Is that normal or maybe I did something wrong. I did use whole wheat flour because I didn’t have spelt. Could that have made the difference? It still tasted delicious though and will definitely make it again!

    • Gina says

      Whole Wheat flour is much more dens than spelt flour. Read Katie’s FAQ page. It says you are free to substitute flours but at your own risk, and she does not recommend whole wheat because of its densness.

  61. Gina says

    I’ve made this twice, once with half all purpose flour and half spelt, and once full spelt. Both times were delicious!

  62. Esther says

    I only had one small lemon so I added in a large orange to fill the 1/2 lemon juice and only used the lemon for the zest. It’s delicious! A yummy citrus-y cake with a mainly lemon flavor. I also used greek yogurt and didn’t add any extra liquid. I made this for my family for breakfast and it was definitely a favorite! I’m also always recommending your recipes to my highschool friends, thanks Katie!! <3

  63. Laurie says

    Katie,
    Do you have GF version of this recipe? If not, do you think this recipe will work using coconut yogurt and gluten free all purpose flour? I enjoy your recipes, and I’d love to try this one. Love lemon cake!

  64. Shanna says

    I have tried a number of your recipes with great success and am excited to make this! Living in the Seattle area, I’m always tempted by Starbucks’ lemon cake and now can indulge in a healthy way. Thanks for sharing!

    Have you tackled a healthy version of the Starbucks pumpkin loaf?

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      There is a Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf in her cookbook if you have it. It is one of my favorite recipes in the book! (I’m not affiliated with the book, just a fan)

  65. Karen Doll says

    Hi Katie,

    Love, love, love your healthy makeover recipes!! When I bake, I always bake it low fat. I just tried making your Lemon Cake and for some odd reason, it didn’t rise well. It’s only a few inches tall. I rechecked the recipe and I did follow everything exactly? Can you help me figure out what went wrong?
    Thanks a bunch,
    Karen

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      It’s actually not supposed to be super tall, but it does rise some. Did you use the correct size pan?

  66. Candice says

    I’m looking for a healthy lemon cake for my daughter’s 5th birthday. Will this work, or is it too crumbly?

    5/5

    5/5

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      It is very light and moist, not at all crumbly! Maybe try doubling the recipe for a cake pan? If you try something, be sure to report back. This is one of my favorites 🙂

  67. lovetobake says

    I used an 8 x 4.5 glass loaf pan and maybe I needed to bake it for much longer but it came out “mushy”. The flavor was great though. I didn’t use oil and used the extra yougurt.
    It may need 45 minutes to bake?! Did anyone else have this trouble?

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      As it mentions on Katie’s FAQ page, climate and oven temperature (or a non calibrated oven if you haven’t calibrated yours) can mean variations in baking time. Just bake a little longer and you should be good to go. Or I just calibrated my own oven and can’t recommend it highly enough. It has made a world of difference in my baking!

  68. Val says

    I’ve made this as cupcakes twice now, and both times I’ve had trouble with it rising. I’ve followed the recipe exactly (although I’ve used Greek style yogurt both times.) Any idea what might be going wrong?

    Tasted delicious either way though!

    4/5

    4/5

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      It’s not meant to be cupcakes. Bread is denser than cupcakes, especially cake breads. This is why your cupcakes did not rise; the recipe is not meant to be cupcakes.

  69. Sue says

    I made this with Arrowhead Mills GF flour, mostly coconut yogurt (I made up the difference with dairy) and coconut palm sugar. It tasted great but the texture was more like pudding than cake. Maybe it was the flour. I plan on experimenting with different flours, maybe adding a little coconut flour to absorb some of the moisture.

    4/5

    4/5

  70. Iga says

    Hi, it looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing. Is the result will be fine if I don’t use yogurt? What’s for substitute? Thank you!

  71. Jana says

    Although I am not familiar with the Starbucks original, I made it cos it just looks perfect. And I must admit that the result was so surprisingly moist, dense, yet fluffy and full of flavor. Will definitely be doing this again.
    Thank you for all your recipes, Katie, the ones I’ve tried were always amazing!

    5/5

    5/5

  72. april says

    hi, I am going to make this tonight….. but all I have is a 5×9 loaf pan, no 8…. hope it will work out all right.

    5/5

    5/5

  73. Christina says

    Hi, sorry to be a pain, but I’m based in the UK.
    By baking soda do you mean baking powder or bicarbonate soda?
    (Baking powder is bicarbonate soda plus cream of tartar)

  74. Sam (my friends call me Samta!) says

    Hello and hugs from the UK – you are a celebrity in our house and my wife squeals when I get your awesome cookbook out because she know something delicious is heading her way – thank you for all the time you spend on perfecting these recipes for us all!

    I was VERY excited to see this recipe as my Mum loves the Starbucks lemon cake and I am delighted to be able to now make a healthier one for her as a surprise! I have just taken it out of the oven and it smells delicious but it has not risen at all and is as ‘flat’ as when it went it – please can you advise what I could add more of or do differently please? I am very aware that the loaf tin was 0.5 inches longer and 0.5 inches thinner than you stated, and that you also said this was very important to use the right size, but that is all I had. I am wondering whether there is some thing else apart from the slight tin size difference that I could do next time so it works out ‘higher’ and looks less like a slice of think bread! Thanks SO much, any help gratefully absorbed – you are a total legend! x

  75. Sarah says

    Making this now, I’m confused. You say 3 and a half tablespoons of oil. That adds 49 grams of fat to the recipe according to my vegetable oil bottle. That adds 6 grams of fat to each slice of you cut the loaf into 8 slices. Your nutrition facts say each slice has less than 1 gram of fat. Did you not use oil?

  76. Victoria says

    I love anything lemon, esp Starbucks lemon loaf! But I agree with previous poster that this healthy version actually tastes even better -amazing! It is much more lemony, with a great sweet and sour combo that the sbux version doesn’t have. It is very dense and doesn’t taste lower fat at all (I made with the regular amount of oil and sugar). I don’t think the icing was necessary but was a nice extra for not that much add’l sugar and calories. I actually multiplied all ingredients by 1.5 and made in a 8×8 square pan. I did have to cook it a bit longer though. I think it would also be easy to triple the recipe and put in a 13x 9″ pan

    5/5

    5/5

  77. giulia says

    Hi! I’d love to try this recipe, but I’ve only have a 10×4 loaf pan..can you tell me the ingredients conversion for this measure?

    5/5

    5/5

  78. Denisse says

    Hi Katie! I just made it and it tastes BOMB but it is very flat. I followed the recipe to a T and I was wondering if you doubled your recipe for your pictures??

    5/5

    5/5

  79. susan says

    I am hoping the glaze will make cake what I thought it might be, it was lacking something. I do appreciate the attempt at a healthier cake.

  80. Anj says

    I made this loaf yesterday. I am an excellent baker but this did not turn out very good. I followed the recipe to the letter. The loaf only rose about an inch. It didn’t have that nice loafy texture to it. It was more kind of gummy yet baked all the way through. I chose not to put the glaze on it but perhaps it would have saved this loaf. I’m extremely disappointed.

  81. Jessica says

    This looks delicious but I am so upset. I cooked this recipe twice, and both times it stayed raw in the centre. I left it on almost twice as much both times. Why did this happen?

  82. Jessica says

    Hi; this looks delicious but I am so upset. I followed the recipe to the letter TWICE and both times it came out raw in the middle. I left it on for almost twice the supposed duration. Why is this happening?

  83. Nina says

    Hi Katie! Love your blog! I was wondering if it was at all possible to substitute lemon curd for the lemon juice? I have a big jar I need to use up! I have a sneaking suspicion that the yogurt would need to be decreased, but I would like your expert opinion!! (Pretty please??)

  84. JenJen says

    I tried this using some honey instead of the sugar.. I also used natural yoghurt. To make up the dry ingredients since I skipped sugar, I crunched up some toasted coconut flakes and put them through.
    This resulted in a dense / soft cake, this would be a good dessert option… great flavour

  85. Leeron says

    I’m so excited to try this but for some reason can’t find an exact 8 by 5 loaf pan anywhere! I found 8 by 4 or a 9 by 5. Would these work you think?

  86. Maddie says

    I made these last night with real sugar and coconut oil. They are so rich and fluffy and taste SO much better than Starbucks. Everyone in my house loved them. Thanks for all the great recipes Katie!

  87. Jessica says

    There are many posts here about the cake not rising/being raw/dense on the inside from multiple people. Why are these comments being ignored?? I believe these people are seeking advice. Is anyone going to answer?

  88. Alexa C says

    Was dying to try this, been vegan for nearly a year and was looking for a vegan version of one o fly favorite desserts. I did’n’t have any vegan yogurt on hand, so i blended silken tofu to a yogurt-like consistency and it worked just fine. Loved it!

  89. Sophie says

    This looks perfect for Slimming World members! Could I use agave instead of sugar or would that be too much liquid? Can’t wait to make this! 😀

    • Julie Dove says

      If you changed the sugar amount, that’s really not following the recipe at all and unfortunately it makes sense that it wouldn’t turn out. I definitely recommend following the recipe if you want it to turn out well, especially the first time making a recipe so you can see what it is supposed to turn out like.

  90. Bakingfailure says

    My cake turned out really lemony (too sour) and it was dense. I pre-heated the oven and I used a fork to mix the ingredients together, being careful not to overmix the batter. The only thing I did different was I removed 20g of sugar and added a drop of stevia instead. The batter was rather liquidy. Is there anything I did wrong, or was cutting down on the sugar so detrimental? I reduced the sugar since I saw that the alternative was xylitol, so I figured the sugar could be substituted.

    • Julie Dove says

      Unfortunately Katie really can’t vouch for a recipe if substitutions are made. If you’re replacing sugar with stevia, it’s not only going to affect the taste but also the density, baking time, and texture, more than you might think.

  91. Mel says

    I needed to make a dairy-free cake and couldn’t use a soy substitute for the yoghurt either, so I used unsweetened applesauce instead and it worked a treat.

  92. Jessica Nuttall says

    I used oat flour instead of white or gf flour, and I don’t think the cake turned out well. It was very dense. Definitely going to try with white flour next time!

  93. Hana says

    I halfed the amount of lemon juice and decreased the amount of sugar to 1/3 of a cup and it turned out amazing! Unbelievably fluffy and light. This recipe’s definitely going to stick.

  94. Kat says

    I’ve made this in a loaf pan with bottled lemon juice and there was a slight bitter flavor.
    Today I wanted to try my mini donut maker with all fresh squeezed lemon juice. The flavor was really good, no bitterness; however my mini donut maker was way too hot and burned them, or they were too tender to remove in one piece if in for less time.
    Great recipe overall! Just don’t use bottled lemon juice!

  95. Anna says

    This looks yum! Is it possible to use maple syrup instead of sugar? Since it’s more liquid, do you know how would you adjust the quantities?

  96. Lauren says

    I used an 8 inch round pan and it came out pretty good, and fluffy. I imagine it would be fluffier if I had the right size loaf pan. It tasted like a sponge cake, thanks for the recipe.

  97. Preya says

    Made this and it’s great. Did double the recipe ( had to squeeze a lot of lemons! ) Found it a little denser than other cakes I make without eggs. Can u add eggs to solve this and does doubling the recipe make it trickier? Thanks

  98. Gloria says

    Sounds delish and I want to make this. My question is if I use sweetened yogurt, do I decrease the amount of sugar? If so, how much? If I use regular unsweetened sugar, can I decrease the sugar by
    1/4 cup? I will have to use regular white sugar.
    Thanks!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Keep the sugar the same. It will be delicious still and will hold its shape because the sugar adds the right amount of bulk.

  99. Jessica says

    I love the flavor of these but the texture wasn’t right. I’m wondering if it’s the Pamela’s GF Flour? I added xanthun gum and kept everything else the same. Anyone have experience with Pamela’s vs Bob’s?

    And Katie: I see you use spelt often. Why do you like it?

  100. Suzie C says

    I just made this last night, and unfortunately it didn’t turn out fluffy and light, but very dense and almost rubbery.
    I used stevia (the baking type stevia, which is a cup for cup substitution. I used 1/2 cup, and the cake is still edible, but it only rose about 1 1/2″ high, then collapsed as it cooled to about 3/4″ or 1″ high.
    I used plain unsweetened coconut milk yogurt, and I also used organic white wheat flour.
    I’m assuming the stevia was the problem, and also I’m thinking I over stirred it when mixing–I could see the batter deflate some.
    Based on all the success comments, I’m determined to try it again!
    I’ve never purchased Xylitol, so I’ll need to look for it and try it with that next time.
    I’m curious if other people who had success used a different sweetener, or if they used Xylitol.
    I’ll report back when I try it again.
    In the meantime, Katie, can you comment about my using stevia? I did use the oil instead of extra yogurt, as it doesn’t specify how much extra yogurt to use. Everything else I used was according to the recipe exactly, including the size of the pan.

  101. Sino says

    Today I’ve baked this cake. I’ve doubled the ingredients because my baking pan is larger than a 8×5 loaf pan. Therefore, I’ve used 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (and zest of 2 lemons) and 200g sugar. However, I’ve ended up with an extremely sour cake (8-9 out of 10 according to our sourness scale :-)). Even the glazing couldn’t save it! I do not know if this is normal, but I am afraid there must be a mistake in the recipe.

  102. Hafsa says

    Looking forward to trying this, but do you think I could substitute the spelt flour for almond flour ?

  103. Analia says

    Hi Katie,

    I’ve tried the gluten free version several times and no luck! I always get the same results, it looks great on the outside but it’s pure gum in the inside… I use the exact amount of xanthan gum.
    At first I thought it could be the silicone mold so I tried again with a Pyrex.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!!!!!

  104. Amber says

    I’d like to note, USE THE CORRECT SIZE PAN!! I never read a recipe through to the very end and I should have. Wrong size pan will yield you a one inch loaf. I have 3 9×5 loaf pans, why do I have 3 9x5s!?!???

  105. Natasha says

    Just tried this and something went horribly wrong – it didn’t rise and the inside turned into an almost jelly texture… I used Greek yogurt and all purpose flour, would that have made a difference? 🙁

    • Jason Sanford says

      Maybe it was because greek yogurt is much thicker than regular yogurt and maybe was too dense and weighed it down?

  106. Michelle M says

    I am following the Weight Watchers Freestyle program and love that you give the points in the nutritional facts, but I do have one question? Are the facts and points for this recipe based off you using the xylitol or the sugar and does it included the glaze?

  107. Renee says

    Mine did not turn out well at all. The “cake” part was a gummy like texture, very chewy. I used 1/4c. greek yogurt + 3.5 tbsp. option, since I didn’t have the zest of a lemon I used just a little more lemon juice, white sugar & flour.. I really love lemon desserts and would like to try again. Any advice??

    • Jason Sanford says

      You might try Bob’s gf all purpose gluten free flour. I haven’t tried it here so can’t say if it will work, but I’ve had a lot of success using that flour in other recipes and I know Katie has as well.

  108. Veronica Duchenne says

    This was excellent!!! I added some chopped dried pears and some fun sprinkles on top. I will be putting these in my son’s lunch. Thank you!

  109. Rosemary Martin says

    I don’t know if I already said this, but I doubled the cake and added fresh blueberries. My hubby and I couldn’t get enough of this cake! He took some to a coworker and even though he’s not vegan, YUM!

  110. alaina says

    I just made this – absolute incredible! I added poppy seeds and used Oat flour. It did not rise at all – any suggestions as to what went wrong?! Would love to make again!

  111. Kristen says

    I really enjoyed this but it came out really small, it only filled the pan maybe half way. Should I double the recipe to make a full loaf? Would I double the baking time also?

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hmm you could definitely do that! I’d maybe look in on it after 30 minutes without opening the oven. Most loaves with 2 cups flour cook I think for around 30-45.

  112. Elle says

    Tried this – the inside remained quite gooey even after baking an extra 20 mins and checking in between. I feel like there’s not enough flour to actually hold everything together and make it cake-y in texture? Not sure what I did wrong. I used greek yogurt.

    • Jason Sanford says

      You never know unless you experiment! If you do end up trying something (maybe coconut cream, silken tofu, etc), definitely be sure to report back!
      Jason

  113. xx says

    Hi Katie!!
    I’ve been recently trying to lose weight, and your recipes are so so amazing and low in calories! I made half of this recipe into 12 tiny cupcakes – they were 20 calories each and tasted so good. Thank you for uploading great recipes ❤️

  114. Lisa Moran says

    Hi Katie,
    I’ve never tried one of your recipes before & I tried your lemon cake, replacing apple sauce for oil & it was a complete flop, it had a jelly like consistency & had to throw it out. ?
    I followed the recipe accurately, any tips??
    Thank you, Lisa Moran.

    Regards,
    Lisa
    Sent from my iPhone

  115. Chinoiseries says

    Loved these, thanks for the recipe! I used Greek yogurt, added 2 tsp poppy seed, used sugar not xylitol, omitted the lemon peel (no organic lemons) and made 6 regular-sized muffins. Perfect, tangy, sweet enough. Will definitely make again.

  116. Alexandra says

    This recipe did not turn out edible. I bake a lot, so I’m not a beginner. Exact measurements were used. I just used a GF flour by Pamelas. It was totally raw still at 25 minutes. It was still raw at 50 minutes. It just is totally inedible. Sad I wasted food and money 🙁

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi, Pamela’s flour is not listed as an ingredient option here. (And there’s no way this small serving recipe would not be burnt in an oven for 50 minutes.) Did you mean to leave your comment on this post or a different post?
      Jason

  117. sharon says

    I was SOOOO disappointed wiyh this. My “loaf” came out less than 1 inch high? It tasted really lemony (which I love) Could I successfully add eggs? I am not a vegan

  118. Amanda says

    I LOVE this cake with other flours I’ve used! But have you tried this with almond flour? Do you think it would be ok?

  119. K says

    Hi,
    I did not have success with this lemon cake.
    It did not rise hardly at all I did not substitute any ingredients.
    It was very dense and unappetizing.
    Next time I will add an egg.
    Just wanted to give some feedback.
    Thanks

  120. Krista says

    This unfortunately didn’t rise much. Ended up being about an inch. I had it in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. However, it still tasted absolutely amazing. Perfect lemon taste but not overpowering and not too sweet either. My mom said it was the best lemon cake she ever had 👍🏼

  121. Safa says

    Ugh, normally I love the recipes on this site. This one sadly did not work. Similar to what others said, it is just completely undercooked in the middle even well past the 25 minute mark. No matter what I tried, I could not get it to be a right texture. The flavors are good, but the texture is really bordering on the edge of non-edible.

  122. LuAnn Carson says

    This lemon loaf is so good. I mixed lemon juice and powdered monk fruit for a thick tart lemon glaze. Yum!! No one knew it was healthy. Thanks for all of your delicious recipes!

  123. Peggy says

    Where can I purchase an 8″ x 5″ Loaf Pan. I live in Rochester, NY and have not been able to find this size.

    Thank you

  124. Tonia says

    Hello Katie !

    I just tried this recipe and although it is super yummy and delicious in flavour terms, the cake turned out very flat . It didn’t raise at all while in the oven.. I used Greek yogurt and white flour. What do you think i did wrong? Thanks!

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