How to Make the Perfect Lemon Quick Bread at Home

This Lemon Quick Bread recipe is a delightful combination of tangy lemon and sweet, moist cake, perfect for any occasion.

Whether you want a loaf for an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of tea or breakfast on a busy morning, this easy winter baking recipe will definitely cheer you up.

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 and set aside.
    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. In a large mixing bowl, beat the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
    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 at a time, beating well after adding each one.
    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 flour, baking powder, and salt.
    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.
  • Combine mixtures. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the sugar mix, alternating with the milk. Stir until just mixed.
    "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. Put the batter into the loaf pan you prepared. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then move it to a wire rack to cool completely.
    A loaf pan filled with raw lemon bread batter, ready to be baked, next to a flower-patterned cloth and fresh lemons.
  • Make the glaze. While the bread is cooling, prepare the glaze. Mix the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Once the bread is slightly cooled but still warm, drizzle the glaze over the top. Let the bread cool completely before slicing and serving.
    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

When combining the dry and wet ingredients, mix until just combined. Overmixing can make the bread tough instead of light and tender.
Drizzle the glaze while the bread is still warm but not hot so the glaze soak in slightly, adding extra moisture and flavor to the bread.
Use fresh lemons for both the juice and the peel. Fresh lemon peel adds much flavor that bottled juice can’t beat.
Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before moving it to a wire rack to help it set and make it easier to take out of the pan.
Don’t open the oven while the bread bakes, or take it out before it’s ready; it will sink.
Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 78IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1mg

More Tips:

Remember to bring your eggs and milk to room temperature before mixing more easily into the batter for a smoother texture.

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

Instead of just 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.

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

If your bread becomes a bit dry, reheat slices in the microwave for about 10 seconds to help restore its moist, tender texture.

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.

Serving Suggestions

Lemon Quick Bread pairs well with fresh berries, whipped cream, lemon curd, vanilla ice cream, hot tea, or coffee.

About the Ingredients

You can make these ingredient swaps for this recipe:

  • Shortening: Instead of shortening, use the same amount of unsalted butter.
  • Granulated Sugar: Replace with an equal amount of light brown sugar for a slightly different flavor.
  • Milk: Almond milk or any preferred non-dairy milk is a good alternative.
  • Lemon Juice: Try using lime juice if you don’t have any lemon juice.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend instead of regular all-purpose flour.
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.

These changes might slightly alter the recipe, but you can try them to match your preferences or dietary requirements.

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Storage Instructions

Make sure the lemon bread is completely cool before you put it away. This stops water from building up in the container, making the bread wet.

After it’s cooled, wrap the bread in plastic or aluminum foil. This keeps it moist and fresh.

Put any extra lemon bread in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you want to keep it longer, put the bread in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Lemon bread can be frozen. Wrap the cooled bread tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and put it in a freezer bag. It will keep for up to three months.

To defrost, leave it at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.

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.

Enjoy this delightful Lemon Bread with its perfect blend of tangy and sweet flavors. It’s easy to make and sure to be a hit with family and friends.

I hope you enjoy this lemon bread as much as I do. It’s totally beginner-friendly, so give it a shot!

How to Make the Perfect Lemon Quick Bread at Home

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