Lemon Bread with Cream Cheese Lemon Glaze
This Lemon Bread is the best lemon loaf on the planet!This Lemon Bread is crazy tender, packed with three types of lemon in three places – the bread, the syrup and the tantalizing Cream Cheese Lemon Glaze.  I don’t know if you can handle this level of lemon deliciousness – but I think you should try.  This Lemon Bread recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and citrus so you can devour it for breakfast, dessert or a snack.  This Lemon Bread recipe is moist without being oily, soft, without being springy,  made with pantry friendly ingredients and is freezer friendly!  It is also easily adaptable to Lemon Blueberry Bread, Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, Lemon Pistachio Bread and Lemon Almond Bread – because you are going tot wan to devour this lemon bread any way you can!
Servings Prep Time
1loaf 20minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
1loaf 20minutes
Cook Time
Lemon Bread Recipe | Carlsbad Cravings
Lemon Loaf
  • 1 1/2cups all-purpose flour
  • 2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2teaspoon salt
  • 1cup full fat sour creamat room temperature*
  • 1cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggsat room temperature
  • 1tablespoon pure lemon extract
  • 1tablespoon grated lemon zest(2 lemons)
  • 1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2cup Vegetable oil
Lemon Syrup
  • 1/3cup sugar
  • 1/4cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cream Cheese Lemon Glaze
  • 2oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1cup + 2-4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 2tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1teaspoon lemon extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom of 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2 – inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease with nonstick cooking spray WITH FLOUR IN IT (or grease and flour pan).
  2. Lemon Loaf: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, eggs, lemon extract, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter until its fully incorporated without overmixing.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean, adding foil to cover the top of the loaf the last 10 minutes of baking if necessary.
  4. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then carefully transfer to a baking rack over a sheet pan (for easy clean up after cream cheese drizzle).
  5. Lemon Syrup: Meanwhile, while cake is cooling, cook 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. While the cake is still warm, poke holes or slits all over the loaf and pour this Lemon Syrup over the cake and allow it to soak in.
  6. Cream Cheese Lemon Glaze: In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until soft and very creamy. Beat in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and lemon extract. Taste and add additional sugar if you like a sweeter glaze. If you want a thinner glaze, mix in additional lemon juice or milk if desired. I like to pour a layer of Glaze all over the cake, let it set then drizzle another layer then use the remaining glaze on individual slices OR you can drizzle Glaze all over the cake. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

*May sub light sour cream or light Greek yogurt and will still be delicious but full fat sour cream is best.


  • I take out the sour cream and eggs 30-60 minutes before starting. Room temperature ingredients mix more easily which results in a lighter texture and prevents you from over-mixing.
  • Sometimes lemon recipes will indicate juice from one lemon. An average lemon will provide you with about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, so for this Lemon Bread recipe, you will need 2 lemons (6 tablespoons).
  • Lemon zest is an ingredient in this recipe. This is the bright yellow outer layer of the lemon peel. Use a micro-plane or a box grater for grating. Make sure you only stop grating at the yellow part as the white under part (pith) is extremely bitter.
  • Don’t use lemon oil and lemon extract interchangeably – they are NOT the same.  We want lemon extract for this Lemon Bread recipe.
  • Do not overmix or this will make a tough, dense Lemon Bread.
  • Ensure your oven is preheated to the right temperature and the rack is placed in the middle of the oven.
  • I suggest using a wooden skewer, or long toothpick to test the bread doneness. If you find that your loaf is still not done, but browning on the top, you can always place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top and make sure that most of the heat is coming from the bottom.


  1. Once the glaze is completely set, wrap the Lemon Bread tightly in plastic wrap.
  2. Store Lemon Bread at room temperature for up to five days.
  3. After three days, you may want to place the Lemon Bread in the refrigerator to prolong its life.  Lemon Bread can keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.


  1. Once the glaze is completely set, wrap the Lemon Bread tightly in plastic wrap, at least 2 layers worth to prevent freezer burn.
  2. Freeze Lemon Bread for up to three months.
  3. To thaw, unwrap bread so the condensation does not make it soggy and let sit at room temperature overnight.

Lemon Blueberry Bread

  • Add 1 cup (150 grams) blueberries + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour to a medium bowl.  Toss the blueberries with the flour.  This helps the berries not to sink to the bottom of the bread but to stay evenly dispersed.
  • Next, fold the blueberries into the batter after you have already combined the wet and dry ingredients.
  • Bake according to directions and proceed with the recipe as outlined.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

  • Add ½ tablespoon poppy seeds with the dry ingredients.
  • You may also add about ½ teaspoon poppy seeds to the glaze as well.


  • Gently fold in ½ cup slivered almonds to the batter before baking.
  • You can also add 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the glaze, or frosting.


  • Stir in 3/4 cup shelled salted pistachios to the batter before baking.
  • You can also purchase shelled pistachios if you want to save time – and you nails!


Simply go to the recipe card under servings, change it to 1.5 servings.  Technology is so rad!  This will make approximately 22 muffins.  Follow the same instructions for mixing and pour into lightly greased cupcake liners.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-28 minutes OR until toothpick comes out clean.