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This delicious lemon lime loaf is perfectly moist with lots of citrus flavors and a thick layer of sweet lemony icing. It’s almost impossible to eat just one piece!
Table of contents
There are few desserts that walk the line between light and dense, but this lemon lime dessert is the best of both worlds. The cake itself isn't overly sweet and has a great citrus flavor.
The secret's in adding the icing in 2 or 3 layers so it builds up, and you get some with each bite. (That said, if you're more of a cake person than an icing person, you could always cut it back.)
How to make lemon lime loaf
This lemon lime loaf gets two thumbs for ease and deliciousness. With just 10 minutes of prep time, you can sit back and relax as your lemon lime loaf bakes and makes your house smell tantalizingly good!
For the lemon lime loaf:
- Preheat the oven and prepare your loaf tin
- Prepare the wet ingredients: In a large bowl or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and yogurt, lemon and lime zest, lemon juice and lime juice and combine.
- Prepare the dry ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Add it to the large bowl and beat the batter just until everything comes together.
- Bake: Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake it for 40-50 minutes.
- Let cool: Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before putting it on a wire rack.
For the icing:
- Combine the ingredients: In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar, lemon and lime juice, and a tiny pinch of sea salt.
- Layering the icing: Once the loaf is completely cool, pour ⅓ of the icing over top and let it drip down the sides. Wait for the icing to begin to harden, about 10 minutes, then pour over another ⅓. Once the second layer has begun to harden you can pour over the remaining icing.
- Add your zest: As soon as you pour the third layer of icing on the cake sprinkle the top with a little lemon and lime zest.
The full list of ingredients and recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
A few tips for the perfect lemon lime loaf
- Don't overbake the cake: If you overbake the cake you will have dry cake and no one wants that! Check it after 40 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, it's done. If there is batter left on the toothpick, it needs a little more time. This will also depend on the size of the loaf pan you're using. For this lemon lime loaf recipe, an 8×4″ pan was used. Recipe testers have also used a 9×5″ pan, however, you'll have to keep an eye on it for timing purposes.
- Only use FRESH lemon and lime juice: The bottled lemon and lime juices just aren't the same. The flavors are less concentrated which will result in muted flavors in the loaf. It also stands to mention that older lemons or limes won't cut it either. For optimal zest and zing that you want from this lemon lime loaf, use fresh lemon and lime juice.
- Layer the icing: if you've ever had or made a loaf and had the glaze sort of run all over the place, this is the answer you've been looking for! To build up a thick layer of icing, you will need to put it on in several layers. Let each layer dry before pouring over the next layer. Three layers should do the trick!
Delicious additions and substitutions
There are so many variations of this cake you can play with to find the flavor and balance that's just to your liking! Here are some variations that readers and bakers have tried and loved (based on actual comments from recipe testers):
- Fruit: You can absolutely add fruit to this lime lemon cake! Blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries are all nice additions to taste test.
- Icing: Depending on your tastes you may want to try the layering technique for the icing, OR some people have opted to forgo the glaze altogether and simply add more lemon zest, lime zest, or orange zest over the top. You can also add some powdered sugar over the top, too. The cake can stand alone without the icing, it's that good!
- Yogurt: This lemon lime cake recipe calls for plain yogurt, however, you can use flavored yogurt if that's what you have on hand. Lime yogurt, passionfruit yogurt, or vanilla yogurt (the list goes on) are all wonderful substitutions.
- Vegan or dairy-free: You can make this lemon lime loaf dairy-free by using a plant-based yogurt, like almond or coconut. You can take this further and make a completely vegan lemon lime cake by using dairy-free yogurt, vegan butter, and flax eggs as substitutions.
Can I freeze lemon lime loaf?
Cakes freeze well. Place the lemon lime loaf in an airtight container and into the freezer. It will last up to 3 months.
Can I use just lemon or just lime for this recipe?
Absolutely! You can use just lemon zest and lemon juice (or go all in on lime) just make sure you replace the ingredients you're eliminating. For example, if you choose to make a lemon loaf, replace the lime zest and lime juice with more lemon zest and juice.
How long will lemon lime loaf last?
It will last 2-3 days covered in the fridge before it starts to dry out.
Popular lemon lime recipes
- ½ cup salted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ⅔ cup plain yogurt
- Zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 pinch sea salt
- Lemon and lime zest (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the inside of a loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and yogurt, lemon and lime zest, and lemon and lime juice and beat until everything is thoroughly mixed, about 30 seconds.½ cup salted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 3 large eggs, ⅔ cup plain yogurt, Zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Add it to the large bowl and beat the batter just until everything comes together.1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake in for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully turning it out onto a cooling rack.
- In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar, lemon and lime juice, and a tiny pinch of sea salt. If you would like it a little thinner, you can add a small splash of water. If you prefer your icing a little thicker, you can add a touch more powdered sugar.1 ½ cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 pinch sea salt
- Once the loaf is completely cool, pour ⅓ of the icing over top and let it drip down the sides. Wait for the icing to begin to harden, about 10 minutes, then pour over another ⅓. Once the second layer has begun to harden you can pour over the remaining icing.
- As soon as you pour the third layer of icing on the cake sprinkle the top with a little lemon and lime zest.Lemon and lime zest
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
For more inspiration, check out all of our dessert recipes!