iced lemon swirl loaf No trip to Starbucks is complete without a slice of their iced lemon poundcake. It’s tart, sweet, with a nice thick layer of glaze, and it’s the perfect complement to literally any drink – coffee, tea, etc.

Given that most of my cooking/eating/coffee happens at home these days, I sought to recreate their iconic lemon loaf with a fun spin. I also drastically reduced the sugar and oil in this loaf, so I could enjoy a slice with just a smiiiidge less guilt.

Making the loaf

IMG_9925To make this loaf, you’re going to start with a pretty standard cake batter recipe which you’ll split in half. Half will be flavored with lemon juice, zest, and extract which will give it that delicious tartness you’d expect from a lemony dessert. By adding a hint of yellow food coloring, it gets a bright yellow color as well (totally not necessary, but it makes me happy).

iced lemon swirl loafThe other half will get mixed with your jam of choice, which will give another layer of fruity sweetness and gives the loaf a fun swirled look. Again, you can use some food coloring here if you’d like (say you use a raspberry jam, add a few drops of red food coloring). I opted for a mixed berry jam that had chunks of berries in it, which I loved finding throughout this loaf.

To create this swirled cake, separate your batters into two bowls. Spray your 9×5 loaf pan, and put 3 teaspoon sized blobs of one batter down (with a little space in between). Then, put 3 teaspoons of the other batter in between them. Continue to layer your batters on top of each other so that you have a generally random pattern. Once you have use all of your batter, take a toothpick and swirl it all around – no real science here, just swirl until you have a pattern you like. Then, it’s ready to bake!


To add a bit more tart sweetness, I opted for a lemon glaze, which is made of powdered sugar, a bit of milk, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. You could also opt for a plain glaze, which is just powdered sugar + milk. If glaze isn’t your jam, try jam! Leave the loaf plain and spread a little jam on it when you serve it. Or, of course, eat it plain – it’s delicious. Light, fluffy, and totally satisfying.

Looking for some other mouth-puckering citrus treats?

Citrus is one of my favorite things to bake with – check out some of my other lemon/lime desserts:

Now let’s make a lemon swirl loaf!


  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 1/4 cup jam of choice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar + 1 tbsp milk + 1-2 tbsp lemon juice (until you have a runny consistency, may be a bit more)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, canola and add to dry mixture
  4. Split dry mixture into two bowls
  5. In one bowl, add lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract to batter (and food coloring, if desired)
  6. In other bowl, add 1/4 cup jam to batter and mix to combine (and add food coloring, if desired)
  7. Grease 9×5 loaf pan, and layer dollops of the batter throughout. Start with 3 tsp blobs of lemon batter, then dollop 3 tsp of the berry batter in between, and continue to layer the batters in a random pattern until you’ve used them all. Take a toothpick and swirl the batters around to create a swirled pattern.
  8. Bake for ~45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool completely before glazing. To make glaze, mix milk and lemon juice into powdered sugar until you have a smooth consistency that you can pour over the loaf.
  10. Pour glaze over cooled loaf on a cooling rack with a tray underneath to catch any excess glaze. Let glaze cool until hardened, store at room temperature for up to 4 days. Enjoy!

Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and/or tagging me on Instagram at @foodbythegram!

Note: There may be affiliate links throughout this post. When you shop through these links, I get a small percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you! I only recommend products I love, and I’m sure you’ll love them too. Thanks for the support!

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