Kirbie's Cravings

4 Ingredient Lemon Loaf

This lemon loaf cake is just four ingredients and is an easy one-bowl recipe. The batter takes only about five minutes to prepare and you don’t need to juice any lemons to make the cake. The cake is very soft, tender and moist. It is a quick and easy cake to make for brunch, afternoon tea or dessert.
a slice lemon loaf.

This is my current favorite lemon cake to make. I love that the crumb is so soft and light. The cake is also eggless making it a good option for when you’re out of eggs or serving it to people who can’t consume eggs.


  • Self-Rising Flour
  • Sugar
  • Lemonade
  • Butter

Self-rising flour: Self-rising flour is flour that is already mixed with baking powder and salt so you don’t need to add those ingredients to the cake. I like to always keep self-rising flour in my pantry because it saves a few steps and time.

Sugar: The cake is sweetened with regular granulated white sugar.

Lemonade: The lemon flavor in this cake comes from the lemonade. I used store-bought lemonade. No need to juice lemons for this recipe! Lemonade is used as the main liquid in this cake. It helps keep the cake moist and also provides a nice lemon flavor to the cake without any tartness.

Butter: Butter helps gives this cake a nice soft and tender crumb as well as adding the needed fat for this cake. If you need a dairy-free substitute for butter, you can try substituting with vegetable oil. Some people find the taste of the vegetable oil to be too strong, though I’ve never had an issue with it. However, I generally make this cake with butter just in case.

How to Make Lemon Loaf Cake

The flour and sugar are first whisked together. You then run the whisk rapidly through the dry ingredients a few times to break up any flour clumps. This will allow you to easily mix the batter. The lemonade and butter are then added in and mixed in with a whisk until you have a smooth uniform batter. The batter is then poured into a loaf pan and ready to be baked.

You can serve the cake plain or top it with a lemon glaze. My easy lemon glaze is just lemon juice, zest and powdered sugar.
three slices of lemon cake.

Cake Taste

This cake has a noticeable lemon flavor but it’s not sour or tart. If you want a zestier lemon flavor, I recommend adding the lemon glaze or add some fresh lemon zest into the cake batter.

The cake is sweet but not too sweet. Adding the glaze will also make the cake sweeter if you prefer something sweeter.

Lemon Loaf Texture

This cake has a very light, soft and moist crumb. However, because there are no eggs, the cake is not quite as sturdy as your typical lemon loaf cake so you don’t want to make the loaf cake too tall. Adding eggs will make the crumb of the cake more dense though so I think this cake works best eggless to maintain the light crumb.
a glazed lemon loaf with slices cut off.

More Lemon Recipes

4 Ingredient Lemon Loaf

Servings: 10 slices
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
This lemon loaf is an easy one-bowl recipe that is just 4 ingredients. The cake comes out light, soft and moist.


  • 1 3/4 cups (222 g) self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup (146 g) granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup (8 oz/237 ml) lemonade
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter melted


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Add flour and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until evenly combined. Then perform a quick sift of your mixture by running your whisk rapidly back and forth through the flour until there are no visible lumps of flour. Do not actually sift the flour in (through a sifter or a mesh strainer). The goal is just to do a quick sift to break up any clumps so that you can easily mix the batter without overmixing it.
  • Add in lemonade and butter. Whisk until your batter is smooth and no flour lumps remain. 
  • Add batter to your prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the edges of the cake are lightly browned and toothpick inserted comes out clean.


  • This cake does not bake up that high. Each slice will be about 2 inches in height if baked in an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with slanted edges. A pan with slanted edges measures 8 x 4 on the top but is less around the base (around 7.5 x 3.5 inches). If you have a pan with straight edges your cake will bake up shorter. 
  • I don't recommend increasing the amounts to get a taller cake. The recipe as is will rise almost to the top of the cake pan. If you increase the ingredient amounts and the cake rises above the pan, the batter that bakes above the edge of the pan will actually spread more to the side of the pan instead of baking up (like a muffin top).
  • You can also bake in an 9 x 5 pan but your cake will be very short and you will need to cut down on baking time. 
  • I used Simply Lemonade. I don't recommend using low-sugar lemonade as your cake may not be sweet enough.
  • The reason for doing a quick sift of the dry ingredients is to allow you to easily mix the batter. If you don't do a quick sift first, you may end up with some lumps of flour in your batter that are difficult to break up with just a whisk or you have to mix the batter much longer to try to get those lumps out which results in the batter being overmixed. 
  • To properly measure flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level off with a knife. Do not directly dip the measuring cup into the flour because this results in too much flour. Use this method of measuring whether you are measuring self-rising flour or measuring all purpose flour to make your own self-rising flour.
  • Self-Rising Flour: To make your own self-rising flour, whisk together 2 cups all purpose flour, 3 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to a bowl. Measure out 1 3/4 cups for the recipe.
  • Lemon Glaze: Add 1 cup of powdered sugar to a medium bowl. Whisk in 1 tbsp of lemon juice. If you find the glaze too thick you can add in a little more lemon juice to thin it out but I found 1 tbsp to be just right. You can also stir in 1 tsp of fresh lemon zest to the glaze or add the zest after glazing the cake. I added the zest on top after glazing the loaf.
  • Estimated nutrition does not include glaze.


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 176kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 247mg, Sugar: 17g, NET CARBS: 33

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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2 comments on “4 Ingredient Lemon Loaf”

  1. What brand of lemonade did you used?