Lemon Quick Bread

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Seems like just your basic lemon loaf, but it’s so good. The shortening keeps it moist longer than butter, and pouring the glaze on while the loaf is still warm helps it soak up lots of lemon flavor.

We like to double this recipe and freeze one for later. It’s perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of tea, or (shhhhh!) breakfast on a busy morning.

A lemon recipe to cheer you up when you need an easy winter baking recipe.

Close-up of a lemon bread loaf with clean slices, showcasing the delicate crumb and shiny glaze, accompanied by lemon halves and a blue-patterned cloth.

Lemon Bread

A perfect blend of tangy lemon and sweet, moist cake.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Serving Size 10 slices

Ingredients 

For the Bread

  • ½ cup shortening such as Crisco
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions 

  • Prep. Preheat oven to 350℉. Generously spray a 9×5 or 8×4 loaf pan with nonstick spray.
    An empty, greased loaf pan next to fresh lemons and a decorative blue and white cloth, set up for pouring in lemon bread batter.
  • Beat sugar and shortening. Start by beating the shortening and sugar in a big mixing bowl until it becomes fluffy and light.
    A bowl of crumbly, dry ingredients with lemon zest, ready to be mixed into a batter, highlighting the initial steps of making lemon bread.
  • Add eggs. Add the eggs one by one, ensuring each is well mixed before adding the next.
    An electric mixer in a bowl containing a creamy, pale yellow batter, indicative of a mixture of sugar, shortening, and eggs, with ingredients in the background.
  • Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking powder, flour, and salt. Gradually add this dry mixture into the creamed mix, alternating with the milk, and blend well.
    A bowl with dry ingredients including flour, baking powder, and a mound of sugar ready for mixing, with lemons on the side emphasizing the citrus component.
  • Add milk and dry ingredients. Add flour mixture into the creamed sugar and shortening, alternating with the milk.
    "Two bowls during different stages of batter preparation for lemon bread, one with wet ingredients and one with the batter after dry ingredients have been mixed in.
  • Add lemon. Add the lemon zest and juice. Use a spatula to make sure everything is well-incorporated.
    A bowl with a well-mixed, smooth lemon bread batter, a wooden spoon resting inside, ready to be poured into a loaf pan.
  • Bake. Bake for 50-60 minutes. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Once baked, let the bread sit on a wire cooling rack.
    A loaf pan filled with raw lemon bread batter, ready to be baked, next to a flower-patterned cloth and fresh lemons.
  • Make glaze. While the bread is still warm, prepare the glaze by combining the icing sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Drizzle glaze over the loaf.
    Lemon bread in a loaf pan fresh from the oven, drizzled with a white glaze, next to a bowl of extra glaze and a spoon.
  • Cool. Allow the bread to cool down completely in the pan before removing and serving.
    A fully baked lemon bread in a loaf pan, golden brown on top, cooled and ready to slice, with halved lemons beside it for garnish.

Notes

Don’t open your oven while it bakes or take it down. before it’s done; it will collapse.

I hope you love this lemon bread. It’s easy enough for beginners.

Side view of sliced lemon bread on parchment paper, revealing its airy texture and glazed crust, with lemon halves on a rustic wooden board in the background.

🥣 important tools and ingredients

  • Shortening (such as Crisco). Found in the baking aisle, shortening is crucial for this recipe as it gives the bread its tender, moist texture. If unavailable, unsalted butter can be a substitute, though it may slightly alter the flavor and texture.
  • Lemon Zest and Juice. Fresh lemons are essential for this recipe’s vibrant, citrusy flavor. They provide a fresher, more natural lemon taste than bottled juice or dried zest.
  • All-Purpose Flour. A staple in the baking aisle, all-purpose flour forms the foundation of the bread, offering the right structure and softness. For a healthier option, half of it can be replaced with whole wheat flour, though this will change the texture.
Ingredients for lemon bread neatly arranged on a marble countertop, including lemons, milk, sugar, and flour, ready for preparation, with a touch of purple flowers for decoration.
  • Loaf Pan. A 9×5 or 8×4 loaf pan is essential; the size ensures the bread bakes evenly and rises correctly.
  • Mixing Bowls. You need separate bowls for wet and dry ingredients. This ensures proper mixing and even combination without overmixing.
  • Electric Mixer. An electric mixer is ideal for creaming the sugar and shortening together until fluffy. This is key for the bread’s texture. If you don’t have one, a whisk and some elbow grease can also do the job, but it will require more effort.

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Let’s move on to some handy tips and tricks to ensure your lemon bread turns out perfectly every time.

✨ Tips for the best lemon bread

Room Temperature Ingredients. Ensure your eggs and milk are at room temperature before you start. This helps them blend more smoothly into the batter, resulting in a more uniform texture.

Zesting Lemons. When zesting lemons, only grate the outer yellow layer. Avoid the white pith underneath, which can be bitter. Using a fine grater or zester can make this easier and more effective.

Checking for Doneness. Instead of solely relying on time, use the toothpick test. Insert a toothpick into the center of the bread; if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, it’s done. Ovens can vary, so this helps prevent over or under-baking.

Glaze Consistency. If your glaze is too thick, add lemon juice a teaspoon at a time until it reaches a pourable consistency. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar gradually.

🥫 Storage and make ahead instructions

Room Temperature Storage:

  1. Cool Completely: Allow the lemon bread to cool entirely before storing. This prevents condensation inside the container, which can make the bread soggy.
  2. Wrap Tightly: Once cooled, wrap the bread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This helps to keep the bread moist and fresh.
  3. Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Keep the wrapped bread in a cool, dry area, away from direct sunlight or heat. It should stay fresh for about 3 to 4 days.

Freezing Instructions:

  1. Cool and Slice (Optional): Allow the bread to cool completely. You can slice the bread before freezing, which allows you to defrost individual slices as needed.
  2. Wrap Securely: Wrap the bread or individual slices in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil or place them in a freezer bag. Double wrapping helps prevent freezer burn.
  3. Label and Freeze: Label the package with the date. Lemon bread can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  4. Thawing: To thaw, leave it in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours. If you’ve frozen individual slices, you can also toast them directly from the freezer for a quick treat.

❤️ More quick breads you’ll love

Quick bread is the perfect alternative to cereal and expensive snack foods. Here are some of our favorites:

Try my Apple Cinnamon Loaf for a cozy, autumn-inspired treat. The warm spices and sweet apples intertwine to create a comforting, homey flavor. It’s perfect for chilly mornings.

Enjoy the delightful blend of chocolate chips and moist cake in Chocolate Chip Quick Bread. It’s a perfect treat when you crave something sweet and satisfying.

Brighten up your day with the fresh and fruity taste of our Strawberry Quick Bread. It’s a simple yet irresistible recipe. It brings the sweet essence of strawberries to your table in a quick and easy way.

Get ready to add a slice of joy to your day with this wonderful recipe.

Overhead view of a lemon bread loaf with several slices cut, displaying a moist interior with a golden-brown crust, garnished with lemon halves on a wooden surface.
Lemon Quick Bread
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