Copycat Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake


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When I used to work at Starbucks, the lemon loaf was the most popular pastry. Everybody loved the moist texture, the bright lemon flavor, and the sweet iced frosting on top. It was hard to resist eating a piece on my breaks! I still frequent my local Starbucks every now and again, but I don’t want to pay $3.25 per slice. So when I really get the craving, I make a batch of this Copycat Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake recipe. It’s very nearly the same thing and costs way less. There is a secret ingredient that gives it the bright lemon flavor, so read on:

The Lemon Pound Cake

lemon pound cake

First, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

To a large bowl, add a package of yellow cake mix, a package of cook-n-serve lemon pudding mix (not instant), and 4 large eggs. The pudding is the secret ingredient that makes all the difference! Then add in an 8 oz container of sour cream (I used a light version) and 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Lastly, add in 1/3 cup of 2% milk and 1/3 cup of vegetable oil.

lemon pound cake

Use an electric mixer to blend everything together for at least 2 minutes.

lemon pound cake

Pour the batter into a bread loaf pan that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. I let the parchment paper hang out the sides so that I can easily lift the lemon pound cake out.

lemon pound cake

Bake the lemon pound cake at 350 degrees for an hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool on the counter for 20 minutes before attempting to lift it out of the pan. Once removed from the pan, let the lemon pound cake cool for about an hour and a half.

The Frosting

The lemon frosting is a cinch to make. All you need is 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. If you like frosting on the thinner side, add a 1/4 teaspoon more until you reach your desired consistency. I prefer it on the thicker side and sometimes I add a little bit of lemon zest to give it a real punch.

lemon pound cake

Drizzle it on top of the lemon pound cake. Make sure the loaf has cooled completely or the icing will drip right off the top.

lemon pound cake

Once the frosting has set, and you have licked the bits fallen on the counter, cut the lemon pound cake into one inch slices. You should get at least 8 pieces.

Lemon pound cake is perfect with a morning cup of coffee or tea. Like I said, it was the most popular treat ordered at Starbucks. I secretly used to wish there would be extra for me to take home at the end of the day. 😉

Couldn’t you see yourself making this for Easter, Mother’s Day, or a morning brunch? And because it keeps for 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature or up to 3 months in the freezer, you can make this lemon pound cake ahead of time and have it ready at a moment’s notice.

If you love everything else at Starbucks but your wallet doesn’t, check out my other copycat recipes for Black Tea Lemonade, Iced Vanilla Coffee, Cranberry Bliss Bars, and Banana Chocolate Muffins. Happy cooking y’all!

Copycat Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake

Heidi Davison
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Breakfast/Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 419 kcal


  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 4.3 oz package cook-n-serve lemon pudding not instant
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper on all sides, letting it hang over the edges.
  • Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  • Mix the first 7 ingredients in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out smooth.
  • Let cool for 20 minutes inside the pan and 1 1/2 hours outside the pan.
  • Mix the last 2 ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk until smooth.
  • Drizzle the lemon frosting over the cooled lemon pound cake.
  • Let the frosting set and then cut into 8 1 inch slices.


Lemon pound cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes.


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  • 5 stars
    This cake is perfect! Tastes even better than the Starbucks version. The lemon flavor is so intense and the pudding in the mix made it super moist. I will definitely be making it again soon!

    • This is definitely one of my favorites too! No need to wait in that line at Starbucks now!

  • I’ve never had Starbuck’s lemon pound cake, but this recipe is perfect and absolutely addictive! Thank you so much!

  • Yessss. I love SB’s lemon loaf. So glad to have a copycat recipe. Yours looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Thank you! If you are a lemon-lover, this cake is totally for you!

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