Easy Lemon Bread is moist, full of lemon flavor and made with only five ingredients! This lemon bread recipe has bright lemon flavor & a sweet-tart lemon glaze that everyone loves!
How to make the easiest lemon bread ever!
Lemon Bread is made with lemon pudding, a lemon cake mix, oil, water and eggs. That’s it! All of the ingredients are mixed together and then divided in half to make two delicious loaves of bread perfect for lemon lovers. The bread has a lovely tender crumb that’s even better the next day.
I know some of you are going to look at the ingredients and realized that there is a cake mix listed. Wait a second, is this lemon dessert a cake or bread? Yes, there is cake mix and pudding in the recipe, so the bread ends up being pretty sweet and a little bit cake-like. But let’s be honest. Aren’t most quick breads pretty much like cake anyways?
Banana bread, zucchini bread….all of these recipes are a little bit more like dessert than bread, but hey, if you put it in a loaf pan, you can call it bread. And doesn’t it just make you feel better to say that you ate 5 slices of bread than half of a cake? If it’s bread, you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner and not feel bad about it. Sounds good to me!
Lemon Bread tips
There are a couple of tips that will help you to get the perfect lemon quick bread every time!
- Make sure to use the right bread pans! The recipe for this quick bread is written for two regular sized bread pans which are 9.5″X5″. You can use three smaller pans if you’d like, just adjust the cooking time to about 45 minutes.
- I don’t like to use glass pans. For some reason, my bread never cooks very well. If you use non-stick pans, you won’t want to use any cooking spray, but if you are not using non-stick pans, make sure to use a baking spray like this one or line the pans with parchment paper so your bread doesn’t get stuck to the pan! There is nothing worse than making a beautiful loaf of bread and having the whole thing fall apart when you try to get it neatly out of the pan!
- Make sure to test the middle of the bread at the end of the cooking time – I like to use one of these for that! If your bread is still gooey in the middle, bake for a few more minutes. If the edges and the top are starting to look too brown and the middle isn’t done yet, go ahead and put some foil over the bread for the last few minutes of baking until the bread is done in the center. This will prevent the outside from burning, but still allow the middle to cook all the way through.
What is the Best Bread Pan?
I bake a lot of bread and the pans I prefer are either ceramic, glass or cast iron. These pans will bake bread more evenly and release the bread more easily after baking. I don’t like using dark or nonstick pans because the bread cooks unevenly. It darkens on the outside before the bread is cooked on the inside, so the coloring is uneven. Read more about which bread pan is the best here!
Ingredients in Lemon Loaf recipe
Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy recipe:
- lemon cake mix- the mix contains most of the dry ingredients you’ll need for the bread like all purpose flour or cake flour, a teaspoon salt, and some type of leavening agent like baking soda or baking powder
- instant lemon pudding – adds great lemony flavor and a soft texture to the bread
- vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
- cold water
- 4 large eggs- room temperature eggs preferably (you can cheat a bit and set the whole eggs in warm water for a few minutes to bring them up to room temp!)
Step-by Step Instructions for making Sunshiny-Sweet Lemon Bread
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer for about 3-4 minutes.
Pour into 2 loaf pans that have been greased and floured, or you can do what I do and use a baking spray like this one.
Bake at 350° for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Leave in pans for a few minutes before removing the loaves and placing on a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve – enjoy!
Is there a glaze on lemon bread?
You can make a powdered sugar glaze if you want, but I actually prefer this bread without it. The bread is sweet enough without it and I like not having sticky fingers – it makes it easier to sneak bites without any evidence! My kids devour this every time I make it and it’s the perfect treat for lunches or after school.
How to make a sweet lemon glaze
Mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with about 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh or bottled) in a small bowl. Drizzle over the top of the bread after you have removed it from the bread pan. The drizzle can be added while the bread is warm or after it has cooled. You can top the bread with fresh grated lemon zest too, for a stronger lemon flavor if you’d like! I also love adding in 1/4 tsp vanilla extract to the glaze. Lemon zest is just grated lemon peel, for anyone wondering!
Can I use Lemon Oil?
Yes, you can also add some lemon essential oil to this bread and/or the lemon glaze if you’d like. Lemon essential oil gives the bread a fresh lemon flavor without actually using fresh lemons! Just add 2-3 drops to the batter and 1-2 drops to the glaze.
AVOID SUNKEN BREAD
The easiest and best way to avoid sunken bread is to use a cooking thermometer to check the inside of the loaf. Fully cooked bread will register 200°F on a thermometer. My all-time favorite thermometer is the Thermapen. It’s super fast and incredibly durable. Another great cooking thermometer is the ThermoPop which is a more basic version that works just as well!
EASY LEMON BREAD
- 1 pkg. lemon cake mix 16.5 oz
- 1 pkg. instant lemon pudding mix 3.4 oz
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- 1 cup cold water
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer for about 3-4 minutes.
- Pour into 2 loaf pans that have been greased and floured, or you can do what I do and use a baking spray like this one.
- Bake at 350° for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Leave in pans for a few minutes before removing the loaves and placing on a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve – enjoy!
Simple Lemon Glaze
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Drizzle on top of the bread once it has cooled for at least 15-20 minutes, or even after it is completely cooled so that the glaze doesn't completely melt on the hot bread!
Like Lemon Recipes? Try some of these fresh lemon recipes!
- Lemon Cake Mix Cookies Recipe
- Lemon Ice Box Pie Recipe
- Lemon Sugar Cookies
- Easy Lemon Raspberry Truffles
- Lemon Butter Bars Recipe
- Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake
- Lemon Poke Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Quick Bread Recipe
- Lemon Raspberry Fruit Pizza
- Lemon Drop Glazed Mini Cupcakes
- Lemon Butter Cookies
What kind of oil is best in lemon bread?
The recipe also calls for vegetable oil, but I actually usually use coconut oil (melted of course!) because it adds a lighter taste to the bread, plus as you can see, I’m all about making my “bread” as healthy as possible. Cue the cake mix and the lemon pudding. Both of these ingredients add the perfect amount of lemon flavor and they just make this recipe so easy to make!
You can also use a light olive oil. I find that EVOO adds a strange tangy flavor, so aim for light instead.
More amazing sweet breads recipes that we love:
- Sweet Coconut Quick Bread
- Pineapple Quick Bread recipe
- Best Zucchini Bread recipe
- Yogurt Banana Bread recipe
- Dutch Apple Quick Bread
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quick Bread
- Caramel Banana Nut Bread
- Best Ever Pumpkin Bread
- Lemon Buttermilk Quick Bread
- Caramel Apple Quick Bread
- Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread
- Peppermint Chocolate Quick Bread
- Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
- Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread
Easy Lemon Bread is moist, full of lemon flavor and made with only five ingredients! This lemon bread recipe has bright lemon flavor & a sweet tart lemon glaze that everyone loves!
Mike licavoli says
I’m planning on making a lemon Bundt cake as a pot luck for a Xmas gathering. This recipe for cake and glaze will do well!
Gloria Gingrich says
Can you share your experience with making it in a bundt pan. Cook time. I havent made the recipe yet but would like to try using a bundt pan.
I am unable to print any of your recipes–I’d rather look them up one at a time
I’m sorry to hear that you’re unable to print these recipes but we do offer two easily accessible “print recipe” options on this page as well as on our other recipe pages. You can also save our recipes to your social media accounts or email them to yourself so that you can find them more easily later.
Marianne DeLano says
Ree, you can also print to pdf for most files.
Is this recipe for one 9.5 x 5 load pan of for two?
You will need two bread loaf pans 🙂
I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but it looks delicious! Maybe I’ll try adding poppy seeds
Nina Cooper says
My favorite lemon recipe is lemon artichoke piccata chicken. Yummy never never any.
Sounds delicious Nina!
CJ Burton-Fox says
My family loves this lemon loaf. It’s a good thing it bakes 2 loafs, I could be glazing the second loaf and the first has been eaten up😊.
A sure sign of a family favorite! Glad you all enjoyed it!
Bonnie Jelinek says
My favorite lemon recipe to make, as of now, is lemon bundt cake. Like yours, but the jello product is jello rather than pudding. Just gifted it to a neighbor for a late birthday greeting.
You have a bunch of goodies to try.
Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks. BONNIE j
I love lemon bundt cake as well Bonnie!
Lynn Robinson says
making it soon…sounds amazing!
Hope you enjoy it Lynn!
This is the same recipe that used to be on the side of the DH lemon cake mix box for “lemon pound cake”. It is delicious.
So glad you like it 🙂
I haven’t made this yet but I can’t wait to gather the ingredients and try it. It sounds SO good! I love lemon baked goods.
It’s one of my favorites Fay! I hope you enjoy it!
I love all things lemon! I make lemon cookies with cake mix as well. Love your recipes!
I love lemon cake mix cookies! Thanks so much Michele!
Lisa Ann Imes says
Delish! Daughter loves lemon, this is a keeper!
Thank you Lisa!
Mary K. says
This Lemon Bread is dangerous! I make it and it teases me constantly—“Come eat me, Mary!” And I do….
Wonderful, easy recipe that is VERY hard to resist….
Donna J Bingamaman says
This looks so good. I make a lot of your recipes and love them all!
Thank you so much Donna! I hope you enjoy this one as well!
I have not tried this yet but will for company this week. since I love lemon and every receipe I have tried with you has been great. Thank you.
Made this today and was so moist and lemony. Love it and also love lemon butter cookies. Love to pucker up.
We love everything lemon too! So glad you enjoyed the bread!
Can this be frozen?
Yes this bread can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. I recommend not adding the glaze until after the bread has thawed because it will sweat and dissolve as the bread thaws so it wont look as pretty as it could if the glaze was added after freezing/thawing
Looking forward to making the lemon bread. Can you add raspberry jam or jelly to it as you layer the mix into the pan to give raspberry streaks throughout it? If so would you cook it longer?
That sounds like a delicious idea, to streak some jam throughout the bread. If you do this, use no more than 1/4 cup of jam and the baking time shouldn’t need to be extended (maybe by a minute or two, at most).
Melinda Fernie says
I’m a bit confused. At the beginning it says “this recipe is written for a regular sized bread pan 9x5x5 but then you say to use two loaf pans….🤷♀️🤷♀️🤷♀️🤷♀️
Sorry about that! It should be fixed now, but the recipe is definitely for 2 loaf pans.
Phyllis byer says
I made this receipe but put in one pan how long should I bake for
Im not sure how long to bake in one pan, but it will take longer to cook than if you were to have divided the loaf into two pans. Im guessing it will take closer to an hour or a little longer to finish up
Terrie Peterson says
You say you don’t like a glass loaf pan yet the glass loaf pan is #1 in the ‘which bread pan is best’ article. I’m confused 😕
Sorry- this post was written by Nellie before I (Jessica) did an extensive bread pan testing/ comparison. It was eye opening and I’ve been updating posts since then! I’ll get this one updated!