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Healthy Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf (gluten-free + dairy-free!)

breakfastdairy freedessertgluten freegrain freehealthysnack

If there’s one thing you all love MORE than having dessert for breakfast in the form of green smoothies, it’s healthy versions of Starbuck’s baked goods. We’ve swooned over the healthy recreations of the Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf and Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars, which are gluten-free and dairy-free. But this healthy Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf recipe is one of my MOST requested recipes ever.

Dare I say, it also might be the best healthy Starbucks copycat recipe I’ve ever created. It’s packed with natural ingredients that have been studied to help skin glow, promote healthy weight, heart health, and more. This is the perfect healthy make-ahead breakfast for on-the-go mornings, for lazy Sundays in, or as crowd-favorite dessert to bring to a party!

healthy starbucks iced lemon loaf

healthy Starbucks Lemon Loaf ingredients

Like most of my healthy desserts and sweet treats, I designed this moist, zesty breakfast recipe to balance the blood sugar curve, so you eliminate that spike and crash after eating it. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ll LOVE this Healthier Together podcast episode with the Glucose Goddess! The key takeaways: science shows that paying attention to your blood sugar curve can give you energy, weight loss, glowing skin, hormone balance, and more. Basically, have your lemon cake and eat it too!

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Almond flour: it’s a nutrient-dense, grain-free flour that’s high in protein, vitamin E, fiber, healthy fats and low carb. Be sure to pack the almond flour in your measuring cup!
  • Baking powder: to give it a light, fluffy texture.
  • Baking soda: to help the bread rise!
  • Fine grain sea salt: don’t skip it.
  • Organic lemons: I highly recommend buying organic so you can have zest that’s chemical-free. If non-organic is what you’re working with, soak them in apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes and then rinse.
  • Eggs: cage-free and pasture-raised, preferably.
  • Maple syrup: my favorite antioxidant-rich and unrefined sweetener to use in baked goods is always pure maple syrup.
  • Avocado oil: this heart-healthy fat has received prescription drug status in France for it’s positive affects on arthritis!
  • Powdered sugar: ⁣just a dash per serving to give this recipe that authentic taste. If you’re not interested in eating powdered sugar but still want icing, you could melt coconut manna with maple syrup for icing consistency.
gluten-free starbucks iced lemon loaf

What makes this Starbucks Lemon Loaf copycat recipe good for you?

  • It’s a gluten-free and grain-free. We’re using almond flour instead of regular, gluten-free all purpose flour for a nutrient boost. We love almond flour because it’s simply ground-up almonds, so you get all of the original almond’s health benefits for cardiovascular health and blood sugar.
  • It’s packed with antioxidants for glowing skin. Because we’re using tons of lemon and lemon zest in this recipe, you’re getting loads of the antioxidants that are shown in research to promote skin health.
  • It’s dairy-free and heart-healthy. We skip dairy and use avocado oil in this recipe which is a very heart-healthy fat that’s reported to prevent and treat cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
  • It’s optionally refined sugar free. Just skip the homemade glaze and have the lemon loaf naked!

Tips for making this healthy Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipe

  • Wash your lemons. Ideally, I prefer to buy organic lemons, but if that’s not possible that’s totally fine, too. For non-organic lemons (or if you’re not sure), I’d recommend soaking them in water with a splash of apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
  • Use room temperature eggs. Room temperature eggs are better for baked goods than ones straight out of the fridge because they blend evenly into batters and help dough rise easily. To make your eggs room temp, just place them in a bowl of warm water for 3-5 minutes before using them.
  • Line your loaf pan. This step’s crucial to helping your baked loaf come out of the pan easily.
  • Glaze the loaf only once cooled. While it’s tempting to glaze your beautifully-baked masterpiece of a lemon loaf right away, wait until it’s cool to the touch so your glaze will stick and retain thickness.
healthy starbucks iced lemon loaf

The delicious, dairy-free icing

Sure, you can smear any old store-bought glaze over this lemon loaf recipe, but it wouldn’t be a true Healthy Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf if I hadn’t made a healthier icing, too. This healthy icing recipe is super easy to make and you’re going to want to put it on everything. Of course this glaze is completely optional, and you can make this healthy Starbucks recipe sans glaze for more of a healthy snack or gluten-free breakfast recipe—because who doesn’t want cake for breakfast every once in a while.

Here’s how to make the addictive lemon glaze:

  1. Simply juice the lemons you used for zest (if your lemons were huge or really juicy, start with the juice of 1).
  2. Then, stir the juice with enough powdered sugar to make a thick glaze.
  3. Once the loaf is cooled, top it with this two-ingredient icing and get ready to enjoy.

How to store this iced lemon loaf

Keep this healthy Iced Lemon Loaf fresh for 4-5 days by storing it in foil or plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

Watch my video for step by step instructions:

More healthy copycat recipes to try

Healthy Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf

Healthy Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

Grain-Free Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Healthy Chili’s Southwestern Egg Rolls

Enjoy, and tag me if you make this Healthy Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf on Instagram (@lizmoody)— I can’t wait to see!

Print
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Healthy Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf (gluten-free + dairy-free!)


  • Author: Liz Moody

Ingredients

Scale

For the lemon loaf: 

  • 2 cups almond flour⁣
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder⁣
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda⁣
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt ⁣
  • Zest of 1.5 organic lemons
  • 4 eggs⁣
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup ⁣
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil ⁣

For the glaze: 

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar 
  • Lemon juice from zested lemons

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9X5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest, eggs, maple syrup, and avocado oil and whisk together until a smooth batter is formed.
  3. Pour the batter into the parchment-lined loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Start checking at the 45 minute mark. 
  4. Add the powdered sugar to a small bowl. Whisk in lemon juice one teaspoon at a time until you get a thick icing. Once glaze consistency, add in remaining 1/2 lemon’s worth of zest.
  5. Once bread is completely cooled, pour the glaze over the lemon loaf. Cut it into slices and serve!

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Comments

Let me know what you think!

Recipe rating
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    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Monique,

      I think that would work, but I can’t guarantee since I haven’t personally tried it.

      xo, Liz

  1. Kelly says:

    Do you have the nutritional breakdown for your recipe?

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Kelly,

      We don’t count our macros here, but this recipe is designed with wholesome ingredients to help attain a broad spectrum of health goals!

      xo, Liz

  2. Brandie says:

    I’m a big sweets person and have been trying to find healthier recipes to bake at home rather than buying out because everything is always so high in calories. I’m so thankful I found this recipe because this is the one. I just couldn’t wait, so I sampled a small slice before it was completely cooled to apply the glaze; and let me tell you, I definitely debated even adding the glaze because it stands so well alone. I’m looking forward to trying some of your other recipes!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Brandie,

      I’m right there with you about the sweets, and I’m so glad this recipe was it for you! If you loved this recipe, I have a feeling you’ll love the Healthy Starbucks Coffee Cake too.

      xo, Liz

      1. Liz Moody says:

        Hey Monique,

        I think that would work, but I can’t guarantee since I haven’t personally tried it.

        xo, Liz

  3. sakina says:

    please can you tell me liz can i use egg replacer instead of eggs as i dont eats eggs many thanks sakina

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Sakina,

      I haven’t personally tried any egg substitutes in this recipe, but I’d recommend using a flax egg in this recipe if you’re not able to have eggs. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  4. Laurel says:

    The taste is great. I used Agave Syrup and Olive Oil. It only rose to 2” and the center had a big dip. Is this common? I followed the recipe and used the loaf pan size indicated. Should I try it in a smaller loaf pan?

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Laurel,

      I haven’t tried subbing ingredients like agave syrup and olive oil, so I’d say that’s why it didn’t bake correctly. For best results, I recommend following the recipe exactly!

      xo, Liz

  5. Kim says:

    Can’t wait to try this! Can you use olive oil or coconut oil instead of avocado oil for this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Kim,

      You can swap olive oil for the avocado oil, but it will change the flavor. I also wouldn’t advise using coconut oil in this recipe.

      xo, Liz

  6. mary anne templin says:

    I want to substitute all purpose flour for the almond flour when making your starbucks iced lemon loaf dessert. What other substitutes are necessary when exchanging the flours? I do not have a gluten problem.

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Mary Anne,

      I haven’t tried it so I can’t guarantee anything! I know oat flour works 1:1 but can’t suggest any other substitutions.

      xo, Liz

  7. catherine says:

    If I don’t have almond flour, can I sub regular all-purpose flour? What amount of all-purpose flour? Thanks!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Catherine,

      I know oat flour works 1:1, but I haven’t tried it with all purpose flour, so I can’t guarantee anything!

      xo, Liz

  8. Bea says:

    It is delicious. I even put in less maple syrup, and it turned out great. And so easy to make!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Bea,

      I’m happy to hear you love the recipe! Thank you for sharing.

      xo, Liz

  9. Carol says:

    can i use oat flour instead of almond? would it change the nutrition or consistency?

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Carol,

      Yes you can use oat flour 1:1 in this recipe!

      xo, Liz

      1. Afsana Ahmed says:

        I don’t have a loaf pan – can I use a muffin pan?

        1. Liz Moody says:

          Hey Afsana,

          I haven’t tried this recipe in a muffin pan, so I can’t promise anything, but the bake time would probably be different.

          xo, Liz

        2. Liz Moody says:

          Hey Afsana,

          I haven’t tried this recipe in a muffin pan, so I can’t promise anything, but the bake time would probably be different.

  10. Gale says:

    Could I substitute honey for maple syrup?

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Gale,

      I think that would work! I haven’t personally tried it, but usually you can substitute honey for maple syrup in baking recipes it will just taste a little different. But should still be delicious!

      xo, Liz

  11. Tracy says:

    I have IBS and cannot use avocado oil, what other oil would you recommend. Would Coconut oil work?

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Tracy,

      I’d recommend subbing the avocado oil for olive oil!

      xo, Liz

  12. Shelby says:

    Oh. My. Goodness! This is the most moist bread I have ever baked! 10/10 will make again!! *drool*
    Do you know what the nutrition facts are? I guess I could do the math myself lol I cut mine into 8 thick slices

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Shelby,

      I’m so glad you loved the recipe! We don’t count macros here, but the recipe is very intentionally designed to balance the blood sugar curve and promote well-being.

      xo, Liz

  13. terry Bullock says:

    Just l0ve for using your creative talents (calling) to create these and other masterful receipes.

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Terry,

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you love the recipes.

      xo, Liz

  14. Pamela A Tremblay says:

    I am allergic to Almonds. what are my other choices for flour to use?

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Pamela,

      You can substitute the almond flour for oat flour 1:1 in this recipe! I hope you enjoy it.

      xo, Liz

  15. Sylvia says:

    Wow! This recipe is so good! It’s moist and the icing is great! I will be making this again soon!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Sylvia,

      I’m so glad you love the recipe!

      xo, Liz

  16. Anita says:

    Is this recipe good for diabetics? Also do you have the nutrition info? Thank you

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Anita,

      Yes! To make this recipe more diabetic friendly, I’d recommend just skipping the icing. It tastes equally amazing without it. This recipe is designed to be blood sugar balancing because it’s lower in carbs and incorporates healthy fats and fiber from the almond flour with the natural sweetener. But if you want to make it even MORE blood sugar balancing, I’d recommend having a green starter like a vegetable or even some protein before eating a slice of the lemon loaf! This will help lower the glucose spike. Check out my Healthier Together Podcast episode with the Glucose Goddess for more science hacks for blood sugar!

      xo, Liz

  17. Kelly white says:

    Love this recipe! Should I store it in a container in the fridge or leave it out on the counter?

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Kelly,

      This recipe will stay fresh for 4-5 days covered in the fridge. So glad you love it!

      xo, Liz

  18. Allison J says:

    Love this recipe! I baked it for only 30 min and it was almost burnt haha. So maybe check it at 30 min. But it is very good and I will make it again!

  19. Margaret says:

    Delicious! Reminds me of lemon macaroons I’ve made before, but way less work!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Margaret,

      I’m so glad you love the recipe.

      xo, Liz

  20. Tessa says:

    SO moist and flavorful and delicious!! Definitely a make-again! Mine was done after 45 min in the oven, and I only needed 1/2 a lemon for the glaze because my lemons were really juicy. I also subbed olive oil for the avocado oil.

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Tessa, I’m so glad you liked it and plan to make again!! Thanks for leaving a few notes for other readers! xo, Liz

      1. Julia says:

        I want to make this recipe! I can’t find the nutrition info anywhere. Do you have that?
        Ex- how much sugar per slice?

        1. Liz Moody says:

          Hey Julia,

          We don’t measure macros here, however this recipe is designed to support stable blood sugar because it’s paired with healthy fats, protein, and fiber. If you’re concerned about the sugar, I’d recommend skipping the powdered sugar frosting! It’s just as delicious without.

          xo, Liz

  21. Katie says:

    This recipe is amazing! The ingredients are so simple, yet the loaf turns out moist and decadent. It’s not too sweet, but the glaze gives it just the right amount of sweetness (I used powdered monk fruit sugar instead of regular powdered sugar). This recipe is 10/10. So impressed! 🙂

  22. Kaj says:

    I have made this recipe 3x! It’s so good! Thanks for the recipe, it sure is a keeper. 😊

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Kaj, I’m SO glad you like the lemon loaf! I totally agree it’s a keeper 🙂 xo, Liz

  23. Kaj says:

    I have made this recipe 3x! Even my picky husband likes it. It’s so good! Thanks for the recipe, it sure is a keeper. 😊

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Kaj, I love to hear that! My husband, Zack, loves it, too! xo, Liz

    2. Tara says:

      My kid is allergic to tree nuts- what could I substitute?

      1. Liz Moody says:

        Hi Tara!

        You can easily swap the almond flour for oat flour and the avocado oil for olive oil 1:1 in this recipe! I hope you and your son love it.

        xo, Liz

  24. Molly Hentges says:

    This turned out amazing! I definitely will be making again 🙂

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Molly, I’m so glad!! This is definitely a recipe I make over and over again. It’s so perfect for spring/summer, too. xo, Liz

  25. Isabel says:

    Made the lemon loaf two Saturday’s in a row 🙂 (for Easter brunch and then for fun). It’s so delicious!!!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      I totally agree! Such a great idea—sounds like a delicious Easter brunch! xo, Liz

  26. tessa says:

    Hi,
    Can I leave the maple syrup out? ’cause i don’t have it at home. Thanks!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      It will be less sweet, but yes! Let me know how you like it! xo, Liz

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Christine, That’s great—I’m so glad! xo, Liz

  27. Amanda says:

    I made this recipe! It was so good. Just like the Starbucks lemon loaf but without that sugar crash afterwards. Also no one would know it’s grain free 🙂

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Amanda, So glad you liked it! xo, Liz

      1. Linda irvin says:

        What is the carb count on the lemon loaf with icing

        1. Liz Moody says:

          Hey Linda,

          We don’t count macros here. But this recipe does use almond flour which is extremely low carb!

          xo, Liz