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several slices of lemon bread stacked vertically, with the rest of the lemon loaf behind

Lemon Quick Bread Recipe

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5 from 1 review

This delightful Lemon Bread Recipe is a fresh and bright treat that promises a burst of lemon in every bite. Its moist, tender texture is achieved through a careful combination of ingredients and techniques. With a triple hit of lemon from zest, extract and juice, the bread is overflowing with tangy citrus flavor. And, toasted chopped pecans provide a satisfying crunch and balancing flavor.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cooling time: 50 mins
  • Cook Time: 55 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 (9 by 5-inch) loaf 1x


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons lemon extract (a 1-ounce bottle)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


  1. Bring all ingredients to room temperature. The amount of time needed will vary based on the temperature of your kitchen; I would allow 1 hour. for the butter, 30 minutes for the eggs, milk and lemons.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a medium mixing bowl (you will have sifted the flour twice). Set aside.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, then lemon extract and continue beating on medium speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl. Continue beating on medium speed for another minute or until the mixture is smooth (no lumps), light and airy.
  5. With the motor running, add eggs one at a time and continue beating until blended and the mixture looks like whipped cream.
  6. Add 1/3 of sifted flour mixture alternating with 1/3 of milk, just until all the flour and milk have been incorporated. Don’t overmix. With a spatula or spoon, stir in lemon zest and chopped pecans; again, don’t overmix.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. As soon as you place the bread in the oven, whisk together lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Let stand at room temperature while bread is baking, stirring occasionally.
  9. Cool bread in pan for 15 minutes. Before removing, using a skewer or ice pick, poke holes from the top and through the bread in several places (around 1/2 to 3/4 inches apart). Immediately spoon lemon mixture over the top. Let sit (in the pan) until lemon mixture is absorbed, around 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Remove bread from pan and place on a wire rack set inside a rimmed cookie sheet or on waxed paper to finish cooling. (The pan or waxed paper are to catch any lemon syrup that may drip out.)
  11. Once completely cool, wrap bread in foil or plastic wrap. This bread tastes best if you store it overnight, wrapped and at room temperature (or in the refrigerator), before serving.


High Altitude Adjustments:  No adjustments are necessary up to 7,500 feet. Above 7,500 feet:
1. After buttering and flouring the loaf pan, line it with parchment paper, then butter and flour the paper.
2. Reduce baking powder by 1/2 teaspoon.
3. Reduce cook time to 40 to 45 minutes; check at 35 minutes.

See post for ideas on variations as well as how to serve and store.


  • Author: From "A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®" by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: Quick breads
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 174
  • Sugar: 16.3 g
  • Sodium: 188.8 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 2.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 33.6 mg