Lemon Loaf {Healthier Starbucks Copycat}

January 16, 2014

in Breads, Muffins, Cookies, Gluten Free, Healthy "MAKEOVERS", Kid Friendly, Recipes

Lemon Loaf Healthier Starbucks Copycat

Lemon loaf is one of those things that’s just plain good. I mean, how do you go wrong with a light, cakey loaf with a hint of lemon flavor and a sweet glaze?  Not sure why lemon loaf isn’t a recipe I had tried a healthy version of yet, but it was definitely time. My healthy Starbucks recipes are such a hit, that you requested more. So far under my belt, I’ve got healthy versions of their Pumpkin Scones, Gingerbread Loaf and Cranberry Bliss Bars. Lemon Loaf is another great addition to the list.

Lemon Loaf Healthier Starbucks Copycat 4

I played around with this recipe quite a bit.  The leavening agents in this recipe make a huge difference. If you skimp on the baking powder, the loaf won’t be as light and fluffy. It took me a couple tries to get the right amount.  I should note, that you should make sure that your baking powder is fresh. If you’re using old baking powder (old is over 1 year old), then it might not rise very well. I know this, as a girlfriend of mine tried the recipe, and she said hers didn’t rise that well, and we think that’s the culprit.

Lemon Loaf Healthier Starbucks Copycat Slice

Another thing to note about the recipe is the glaze. I used a new ingredient that I’m trying out called tagatose. NuNaturals sent it to me to test out, and I find its great in a glaze application. Texture is similar to white sugar, and not as strong of a taste as stevia.  Tagatose is a naturally-occurring sweetener found in milk, fruits and vegetables. It is 92% as sweet as sugar, low calorie (6 calories/serving), low GI (3 on the glycemic index), and low in carb.  Since you’d have to order it online, its not an absolute must, but just wanted to let  you know about it. I had to mix it with cornstarch to make it a proper glaze, but it worked pretty well.

Lemon Loaf Healthier Starbucks Copycat 2

I did try the glaze with stevia packets and cornstarch instead, it was ok, but didn’t taste quite as good.  Another option is just using regular icing sugar (aka confectioners sugar). 1/4 cup won’t make a huge different in the sugar content of the entire recipe.  I’d recommend going that route if you don’t have the tagatose.  So that’s an option too! I included the nutrition if you do an icing sugar glaze instead, and you’ll see that it doesn’t make that much of a difference.

Lemon Loaf Healthier Starbucks Copycat Slices

Lemon Loaf {Healthier Starbucks Copycat}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Light and delicious lemon loaf. A healthy version of the Starbucks Lemon Loaf. Gluten free and lower calorie.
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Yield: 12
For the loaf
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder (yes, 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1½ tsps baking soda
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted (or coconut oil or other oil)
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • ⅔ cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp stevia baking formula (or 16-17 packets, or any other dry non-sugar sweetener)
For the glaze Option 1
  • ¼ cup tagatose (get here - its an all natural sugar sub similar idea to stevia)
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • ½ tsp lemon extract
For the glaze Option 2 (different nutrition)
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • ½ tsp lemon extract
  • 1 Tbsp almond milk (or milk of choice) - enough to thin it out to make a thicker glaze
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in stand mixer or bowl (oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, stevia, salt).
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (lemon zest, lemon extract, melted butter, lemon juice, applesauce, eggs, greek yogurt).
  4. Add the wet to the dry, mix until combined. Pour into loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 min.
  5. For the glaze, mix together glaze ingredients and pour over cooled loaf. Cut into 12 slices.
  6. Store in fridge or freeze.
Nutrition (per 1 slice with icing sugar glaze) Calories: 120 Fat: 5.2 g (2.3 g saturated) Carbs: 17 g Fiber: 2 g Sugars: 4 g Sodium: 365 mg Protein: 5 g
Serving size: 1 slice (of 12 with tagatose glaze) Calories: 121 Fat: 5.2 g Saturated fat: 2.3 g Unsaturated fat: 1.4 g Carbs: 19 g Sugar: 0.9 g Sodium: 365 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 5 g


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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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  • Chantelle

    Is there another sweetener we could use such as coconut sugar or is there a specific reason to use this one?

    • Chantelle

      Sorry or could we use stevia for the glaze

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      Hi Chantelle! I use stevia to lower the overall sugar in the recipe. You can definitely use coconut sugar…the nutritional info will just change (will be higher in carbs and sugar).

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