A bright and sweet lemon bread with a zingy lemon-ginger glaze. This is an easy quick bread recipe bursting with lemon flavor, and it’s better than any coffee shop lemon bread. Make it for breakfast, brunch, or as a snack cake.
Lemon Loaf Recipe
If we’re being honest, lemon bread is really just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast. I’m happy to acknowledge this truth, and I recognize that maybe it’s not the sort of breakfast to indulge in every day. But for a weekend or holiday, a homemade lemon quick bread topped with a lemon-ginger glaze is a great way to kick off a special celebratory brunch or breakfast.
The bread itself is straightforward, with simple ingredients plus plenty of fresh lemon zest. But it’s the glaze that gives the bread a flavor punch – it’s a combination of fresh lemon juice with a touch of ginger paste, so it’s zingy and bright.
It reminds me of a certain lemon bread you can get at a coffee shop, but better because it’s homemade. Add your own frothy coffee for extra bonus points.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Kosher salt
- Melted unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs
- Lemon zest
- Glaze: It’s optional but highly recommended. It’s a simple mix of powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice, and ginger paste. If you don’t like ginger, you can leave it out and just make a lemon glaze.
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9×5″ loaf pan by buttering the bottom and sides of the pan. Add a tablespoon of flour and, rotating the pan, move it around the pan so that it coats the butter. Tap the excess flour out of the pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the butter, sugar, eggs, zest, and milk.
Add the dry ingredients in a few batches to the wet ingredients. Stir between each addition until just combined.
Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the lemon bread for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
Leave the bread in the pan to cool for about 30 minutes and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the bread is cooled to room temperature, mix the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl. Drizzle or brush the glaze onto the bread in a few batches, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next one.
Tips for the Best Lemon Bread
- Plan to make and bake it a day in advance so that the bread has time to cool completely. This also allows the flavors to fully develop.
- I used a two-bowl method to prepare the batter. I like to whisk all the dry ingredients and mix the wet ones separately before combining the two. This ensures the batter isn’t overworked, which can lead to a tougher crumb.
- In one of the tests I did for this recipe, I prepared a loaf pan with a generous coating of regular cooking spray. When I tried to transfer the loaf from the pan to a baking rack, the bottom stuck to the pan, which wasn’t the end of the world but didn’t make for a pretty finished loaf. So, I recommend the old “butter and flour” method for preparing the pan. The loaf slides out in one whole piece.
- Because ovens are different, I recommend checking the bread early so it doesn’t overbake.
- There are two ways to glaze the bread: either pour the glaze over the top of the bread and watch it run down the sides, which leaves you with more glaze on the counter than the bread, or apply the glaze in batches. Having tried both ways, I can say with confidence that you will get a nice layer of glaze if you practice patience and drizzle it on in layers. You can also brush it on with a pastry brush.
So, here’s to having cake for breakfast. This lemon bread is a wonderful way to treat yourself.
Happy Baking 🍋
More Quick Bread Recipes to Try
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Lemon Bread with Lemon-Ginger Glaze
This lemon bread has a bright citrus flavor and an extra zing from a touch of ginger paste in the glaze. It’s great treat for breakfast or brunch.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 slices 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 tsp ginger paste (see note)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9x5x3″ loaf pan (1.5 quarts) by applying a thin layer of butter on the inside of the pan. Add a tablespoon of flour and, rotating the pan, move it around the pan so that it coats the butter. Tap excess flour out of the pan.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the butter, sugar, eggs, zest, and milk in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones in a few batches, stirring in between until the batter is just combined.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake the bread for 30 to 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely.
- To make the glaze, combine the sugar, lemon juice, and ginger in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the top and sides of the bread with glaze. Let it dry before adding another layer. Repeat several times until you’ve used all the glaze. Let the glaze fully set before wrapping the bread in plastic wrap until you are ready to serve it.
Loaf pan prep: I don’t recommend using cooking spray to prepare the pan. The bread may not release well even once it’s cooled. The butter and flour method ensures the bread won’t stick.
Measuring: Stir the flour in the container before lightly spooning it into a measuring cup and leveling it off. Don’t scoop it out with the measuring cup – you will end up with too much flour.
Glaze: Look for tubes of ginger paste near the herbs in the produce department, or you can substitute the same amount of freshly grated ginger. If you don’t like ginger, you can leave it out and just make a lemon glaze.
Make-ahead: You can serve it once it’s cooled to room temperature, but I think it tastes even better if you make it a day in advance. Once it’s cooled and glazed, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature until you’re ready to serve it.
Storage: It will keep at room temperature for two to three days. I like to wrap the whole loaf in plastic wrap and then slice off pieces as I want them.
Freezing: You can freeze the whole loaf (wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in a freezer bag) or slice it and individually wrap the slices and then store them in a freezer bag. It will keep for a couple of months.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 370
- Sugar: 38.4g
- Sodium: 489.8mg
- Fat: 13.3g
- Saturated Fat: 7.8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4.7g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 59g
- Fiber: 0.7g
- Protein: 4.9g
- Cholesterol: 78.2mg
Keywords: lemon bread recipe, glazed lemon bread. lemon quick bread
The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.
Post updated from the archives. First published in August 2009.