Kirbie's Cravings

4 Ingredient Lemon Bread (No Butter or Oil)

This easy lemon bread is perfect for brunch or dessert. It doesn’t need any butter or oil but you won’t be able to tell. The bread is sweet, fragrant and a little tart from the citrus. It’s an easy one-bowl recipe that doesn’t even require a mixer.
a loaf of lemon bread with two slices cut off.

Spring is here, which means warmer weather and more opportunities for weekend brunch. This bright lemon bread is the perfect way to welcome in the new season and to serve at brunch. I love that this bread only takes a few minutes to prepare and then it’s ready to be baked. It has a lovely fragrant lemon scent from the lemon zest, and a touch of tartness from the lemon juice. You can enjoy it as is or add a lemon drizzle over the bread.


  • Lemon
  • Eggs
  • Condensed Milk
  • Self-Rising Flour

Lemon: You will need fresh lemons to make this bread. The bread uses fresh squeezed lemon juice and zest from approximately 1 medium lemon. If you want to make the glaze you will need an additional lemon.

Condensed Milk: This recipe uses full fat sweetened condensed milk. The milk provides sweetness for the bread, helps bind the bread together and replaces the need for butter or oil.

Self-Rising Flour: This bread is made with self-rising flour, which already has baking powder and salt added to it. If you do not have self-rising flour on hand, you can make your own by whisking together all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. The exact amounts are listed in the notes of the recipe card.
two slices of lemon bread.

Lemon Bread Texture

This lemon bread has a texture that is somewhere in between regular bread and a quick bread. It does have a very tight crumb from the condensed milk, so it’s not as fluffy as a classic quick bread. I like that the bread is sturdy enough that you can even add some spread onto it. It also goes great with coffee or tea.
overhead shot of the bread.

More Easy Bread Recipes

4 Ingredient Lemon Bread

Servings: 12 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
This easy lemon bread doesn't require any butter or oil. It is sweet, fragrant and a little tart. It's perfect for brunch.
4.50 from 28 votes


  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) lemon juice + 2 tsp lemon zest approximately 1 medium lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 (14 oz) can (397g) full fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ¼ cups (156 g) self-rising flour (see note regarding amount needed)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Add lemon juice, zest, eggs and condensed milk to a large bowl. Whisk until eggs are fully incorporated and batter is uniform. Add in flour. Whisk until flour is fully incorporated. If you find any pockets of flour, the best way to break them up is to rapidly run your whisk in a back and forth motion rather than just stirring in a circular pattern.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until bread is done. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick and it should come out mostly clean. Let bread cool fully in pan before removing. If adding icing, wait until bread is fully cooled before drizzling it on top.



  • Self-rising flour amount. There are 2 main kinds of self-rising flour sold in the US. One that is a low protein (2 grams per 1/4 cup serving) flour and one that has a regular amount of protein (3 grams per 1/4 cup). Brands like King Arthur Flour and White Lily make a low protein self-rising flour.
  • I used White Lily's self-rising flour* to make this recipe which has a lower amount of protein. If you are using a self-rising flour with a regular amount of protein, for every 1 cup of self-rising flour used, you will need to remove 2 tbsp of it and replace with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. Or you can use the homemade self-rising flour mixture below.
  • *This product link is an affiliate link. This means I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
  • To make your own self-rising flour, add 1 cup and 1.5 tbsp all purpose flour, 2.5 tbsp cornstarch, 1 and 7/8 teaspoons baking powder and 5/16 tsp salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until evenly combined. Make sure your all purpose flour contains a regular amount of protein (3 grams per 1/4 cup). The reason for adding the cornstarch is to reduce the protein in the flour.
  • Lemon Drizzle: For the lemon drizzle on top, I whisked together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Add milk as needed to thin out icing to desired consistency.
  • You will need approximately one medium lemon to produce 1/4 cup (2 oz) of lemon juice and 2 tsp of lemon zest. 2 ounces refers to the volume.
  • Condensed milk is usually sold in 14 oz cans. 14 oz refers to the net weight. One can contains 1 1/4 cups condensed milk or 397 grams. Because condensed milk is so sticky, make sure you scrape the sides of the can with a spatula to get all the condensed milk out of the can.
  • Nutrition estimate does not include lemon drizzle.


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 169kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 193mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 18g, NET CARBS: 27

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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Recipe Rating

118 comments on “4 Ingredient Lemon Bread (No Butter or Oil)”

  1. I just made this loaf. I had no self raising flour, so made my own. Now the loaf did not raise very much, still tastes good, but next time will use self raising flour. Nice, easy recipe that you do not need a cook book to follow instructions. Adding the drizzle icing made it taste amazing.

    • We’re glad you enjoyed it! If it didn’t rise much you might want to check that your baking powder is not expired.

  2. turned into weird wet but not wet “bread” after 3 days. the loaf was okay at first, tasted okay, still had an odd texture that was more like eating dough. yesterday (day 3) the bread was starting to break down i think(?), because it had a bunch of liquid under it that wasn’t the glaze, and was quite hard to the touch. idk what happened but this is honestly a really bad alternative recipe unless you know it’ll get eaten RIGHT AWAY :(. the glaze it still good though lol

  3. Nasty. Waste of ingredients. This ended up in the trash.

    • We’re sorry you didn’t enjoy it – sounds like something might have gone wrong. Many of our readers have made it and loved it.

  4. Hi thanks I am going through make the lemon recipe and some More I like what I’m seeing again thank you?

  5. Fantastic – great for new bakers and kids. I highly recommend this amazing receipt.

  6. Yuck! I don’t often throw homemade baked goods out but this lemon bread went straight to the garbage. It’s awful!

    • We’re sorry you didn’t enjoy it – can you share a little more about why you didn’t? Lots of readers have made it and loved it.

  7. Looking forward to making this lemon bread!
    Having to get a new stove!

  8. I waited until today, Father’s Day and Juneteenth Celebration so my husband would have a special dessert on His Day.
    I “went to the mat” making this! I added to the flour like recipe says if I had no self rising flour,was shocked I had no sweetened condensed milk so I made that as well, then got to the good part of mixing to make my cake! I am a gadget collector so I had my lemon juice squeezer and my choice of zesters which made all that a snap. My loaf is out of the oven, looks so tasty even my trademark cracker is there. Once cooled I will put the drizzle on and have No doubt it will taste heavenly! I subscribed so more goodies will come for me to try on my husband! Thank you and I will let you know how wonderful it was.

  9. I just made my 5th loaf!  I’m not a baker and this is so easy and delicious. I make it at least once a month.  I like to put sliced strawberries over a slice.  Delicious! 

  10. ?? ? 

  11. Will let you know, just put in the oven.  I am so we excited. Thanks for sharing! 

  12. I’m about to make this but I don’t have a bread pan I’m going to try and use my Dutch oven. Any tips or advice?

  13. Just made this for the second time. Love how easy it is, and made of just 4 ingredients I generally have on hand. Most challenge part of this recipe has been waiting patiently while it cools! Thank you for sharing!!!

  14. I made this Lemon bread Gluten Free making self rising flour with Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour, It turned out great I did not put the drizzle on top which made a great breakfast bread that  was not too sweet. I will be experimenting with blue berries. Thank you so much for all of your simple recipes with few ingredients. I have tried many and have not been disappointed.

    • Thank you for your nice comment!

      • I made this recipe again , and then I made another batch with fresh orange juice and orange rind, this time I made the drizzle glaze with the orange. What a treat and it was gluten free everything I make from your recipes is gluten free. Thank you again for all you recipes.

      • Thanks for sharing that! We’re so glad you’re enjoying the recipe.

    • What did you use to make it self rising and how much?

      • We include the instructions for making self-rising flour in the notes section of the recipe card.

  15. Just made this today and we love it. A little denser than I was expecting, but good moist texture and great flavor. A keeper. Do you have any recommendations for storing? It will take us several days to polish it off. Thanks. 

    • It should keep well for a day or so at room temperature or you can store it in the refrigerator.

  16. Super Simple. Not very lemony for my tastes, so will try it again, double up on the lemon zest for sure, maybe some lemon extract w/ the lemon juice too. But, it came out very nicely the first try! I did make the glaze, though I used only about 1/2 to 2/3’s the amount of powdered sugar.

  17. We made this in England. It took longer to cook on a gas oven. Not had a chance to cut it as it is cooling.

  18. I like it and will give it a try

  19. What is lemon zest ?

    • It’s the yellow part of the peel that you can shave off using a zester or rasp.

    • Lemon zest
      Is the peel of the lemon without the white pith underneath. Grated lemon zest or the zest of any citrus fruit can be used to flavour sweet and savoury recipes.

  20. I made lemon bread without oil or butter but i fail it didn.t get agood cloaf

    • We’re sorry to hear that! Can you share a little more about what went wrong? Did you make any substitutions?

  21. Looks wonderful and easy! However, I’d like to know if anyone has made them with gluten-free flour?

  22. Am trying this 4 ingredients Lemon ? Bread this weekend it sounds amazing wl take photos of my bread am so excited about this recipe. ?

  23. This was pretty easy to make, though zesting and squeezing the lemon takes some time. Mine came out holding together very nicely, not leaving any crumbs. It was a little chewier than I expected, more like a heavy bread than a cake. It was tasty, though I think I will try to double the lemon zest next time to give it more flavor. I would prefer to call this Lemon Bread rather than lemon cake. It’s a keeper!

  24. Like it so much is good some of the recipe no butter on it thanks for sharing .

  25. Very tasty lemon bread.  

  26. I love baking and I’m interested on experiencing new receipt every day.

  27. Looking forward to making it

  28. Looks yummy

  29. This bread was so good! It was soft and moist inside. Great easy recipe!

  30. What a unique recipe.  I made this and wasn’t sure how it would turn out but wow was I surprised.  It was very good and the flavor and texture reminded me of a cheesecake.  Loved it!  Will be making again for sure.  Thank you for sharing.

  31. I love simple baking
    Thank you

  32. We never needed these simple, amazing recipes more the right now!!!! Thanx

  33. thank u sis

  34. Thank you, the best icing and bread in this galaxy! Thanks, again for sharing a sunshine receipe for the palate!

  35. Would this recipe work if I added blueberries?

  36. This is a wonderful recipe! Enjoyed it so much almost didn’t have time to take a picture!

  37. Made this with lime instead of lemon as limes I had in house. It turned out great. Wonderful flavor. Will do the next with lemon. Sure it is delicious just as the lime is.

  38. Can whole wheat flour be used instead of white?

  39. hiw many grams in weight is a slice. I use this kind if stuff to treat my sugar lows but need to keep my net carbs at 20.

  40. What changes would you suggest to make the lemon bread gluten free?

    • You could try a cupforcup GF flour – just make sure it’s self rising or make your own following the tip in the recipe. We haven’t tested it this way, so let us know how it works for you.

  41. Me encantó

  42. I would like to reduce the sugar content of this recipe. Can i use less condensed milk and still make it work well?

    • it will likely make your bread dry. You can probably reduce the sugar content but you would need to do more than just reduce the condensed milk. For example you may need to add some oil, water, etc. Without testing it, I don’t know exactly the changes that would need to be made.

  43. Can’t wait to make this. Looks easy.

  44. Lovely recipe.

  45. I will be making this bread but I think I would use limes in stead of lemon.

  46. Excellent

  47. This is looks amazing. Do you have to use self rising flour or can I use all purpose with baking soda?

    • Please review the notes in the recipe card at the end of the post – we explain how to make self rising flour.

  48. Turned out perfect! Ans so simple 🙂

  49. Just love what I’ve seen,thankx

  50. Beautiful, tasty & simple recipes. Not a big money spender.

  51. Planning my pantry restock to make simple recipes! Looks like fun for me, without much experience in the kitchen.

  52. I am interested in recipes that are simple and easy to make, aside from less time preparing.

    Thank you

  53. I’ll try this one
    Thank u looking very good

  54. Im going to try this limon bread

  55. Brilliant ideas love it

  56. Can you sub non dairy milk and gluten free flour?

  57. Thank you so much for these nice recipes, appreciate it very much.

  58. I like it thank u

  59. I will try this recipe, sounds and looks wonderful