Breakfast/ Sweet

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Let’s get our Lemon Loaf On!

I have a confession, I love lemon loaf!

This recipe is the home version of the Sour Cream Lemon Loaf that we made at Sweet IRB Bakery.  This version is so tender, moist and full of lemon flavor.  The key to the recipe is the lemon emulsion and sour cream, used both in the loaf and the glaze.

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

What’s on the Inside?

The main ingredients for the lemon loaf are eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, sour cream, lemon emulsion and self-rising flour.   The glaze is made with sour cream (versus milk/water), lemon emulsion and powdered sugar.

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Ingredient Notes

A few notes on the ingredients before we get started.

  • Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature.  Using cold sour cream will give you lumps in the batter.   Cold eggs will not incorporate in with the flour as well as room temperature eggs.
  • Lemon Emulsion vs Real Lemon Juice vs Extract. The recipe calls for Lemon Emulsion.  My favorite brand is LorAnn’s Natural Lemon Baking Emulsion (see shopping list at end of the post for purchasing info).  Extract can be substituted for the emulsion, just make sure it is pure lemon extract.   If you prefer to use fresh squeezed Lemon, the taste will yield a more mild and subtle lemon flavor.
  • Self-Rising Flour? You will find that most of my recipes call for self-rising flour.  Specifically, either Martha White or White Lily.  These two brands of flour are soft winter wheat flour that contain less protein.  Self-Rising Flour makes some of the most tender pastries, breads and biscuits you will ever taste.  If you don’t have access to either of these, King Author Self-Rising Flour is another great choice.   I have also made this recipe with Pillsbury and Gold Medal Self-Rising.
Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Sour Cream and Sour Cream

Both the recipe for the loaf and for the glaze contain Sour Cream.  There are times I think I should buy stock in sour cream as much as I bake with this ingredient.  I love what sour cream adds to a cake or a quick bread recipe.

The glaze in this recipe uses sour cream as the liquid along with the lemon emulsion and powdered sugar.

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Recipe Notes:

This is a one bowl recipe.  Use a bowl larger enough to hold all the ingredients.  A whisk or wooden spoon is all you need to incorporate the ingredients.   I never, ever use a mixer for quick bread or muffins.

When it’s time to add the flour, I use a sieve to give one last “sifting”.  I used to own a big sifter, but never used it.  My go to sifter is the sieve.

Now, gently fold the flour into the wet mixture.  The goal is to just incorporate the flour into the mixture.  The key is to not over mix this mixture.  No more than 10/12 folds.  I always use my whisk, I find it helps keep me from over mixing the batter.   The mixture will look lumpy and that’s okay.  Lumpy batter is exactly what you want to see.

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Into the Oven the Loaf Goes

Prepare the loaf pan by using Pan Grease (recipe to be posted) or grease/flour the pan.  It is best to bake the loaf in the center to the bottom of the oven.   This will prevent the top from browning too quickly.

After about 40 minutes, check the loaf.  If the top is beginning to get brown, place a piece of aluminum foil over until finished baking.   The loaf will test done when the center is set and springs back when touched.

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Beep, Beep, Beep: All Done

Remove the loaf from the oven and let cool in the pan while you make the glaze.   After you’ve finished the glaze, remove the loaf from the pan and place it top-side up.  The lemon loaf should still be warm.

Poke holes all along the top of the still warm loaf.  Slowly spread the glaze along the top of the loaf.  You want to make sure some of the glaze soaks into the holes.   I use a shallow plastic container for this part, so I can catch any of the glaze on the bottom and spoon back on the top.

Don’t forget to save some of the glaze to top the sliced lemon loaf.

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Okay, Let’s have Lemon Loaf!

Most of the time I can’t wait till the loaf cools, so I like to eat it warm.  To keep the loaf fresh, keep in a sealed container and slice when needed.    This is another recipe that freezes extremely well either as slices or the entire loaf.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Sour Cream Lemon Loaf!  I think I’ll go have some of the left over from the photo session!


Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 to 8 Servings Cooking Time: 1 hour


  • For the Sour Cream Lemon Loaf:
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon emulsion flavoring
  • 1 ½ cups of sifted self-rising flour (preferably Martha White or White Lily brand)
  • For the Glaze:
  • ¼ cup of sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Emulsion (or to taste)
  • 2 to 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar (more or less depending on how thick you like glaze)
  • Other Items Needed:
  • Loaf Pan
  • Pan Grease
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Aluminum foil



Step 1: Sour Cream Lemon Loaf


Move a rack in the oven to the middle of the oven. The lemon loaf needs to be baked at the center or lower in the oven.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Prepare loaf pan with pan grease. Alternatively, you can grease and flour the pans.


In a large mixing bowl, add eggs and whisk for about a minute.


Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar and continue to whisk.


Add the canola oil and whisk.


Add Sour Cream and whisk well.


Add Lemon Emulsion and whisk.


Sprinkle the flour over the top of the wet ingredients. Using either a whisk or wooden spoon, fold in the flour. Do not over mix. Mix only until the flour is incorporate. The mixture will look lumpy.


Move the mixture into the prepared loaf pan.


Bake in the center of the over at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.


Cover the loaf with aluminum foil and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until the center of the loaf is just set. Be careful to not over bake the loaf.


Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan, while you make the glaze.


Step 2: Make the Sour Cream Lemon Glaze


In a bowl, whisk the sour cream, lemon juice and salt.


Sift the powdered sugar and add to the mixture. The glaze will begin to form.


Add as much powdered sugar to get the consistence of glaze that you like.


Step 3: Glaze the Loaf


Remove the loaf (still warm) and carefully move to a plate or plastic container.


Poke holes in the top of the loaf with either a straw, butter knife or skewer.


Pour glaze over the loaf, slowly to allow the glaze to soak into the loaf. Make sure the loaf is still warm.


Allow to completely cool (or not, I love to have warm lemon loaf)


Reserve extra glaze to top slices once cut.

Lemon Loaf with Sour Cream Glaze

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