Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

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Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake features a moist lemon quick bread studded with fresh blueberries. We top it with a buttery crumble and tangy lemon glaze for a treat that belongs on all of your breakfast, brunch, and spring shower menus!

If you enjoy this recipe, be sure to also check out our Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake.

Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

Overhead view of Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake with a slice off the end.

Is it cake? Is it a loaf? A Bread? The answer is yes.

This gorgeous lemon blueberry number is everything you love about a cake in bread form.

Something possessed my body when I was coming up with this one (maybe it was the rising pollen counts?), because I just wanted to add more and more and MORE bright spring flavors.

It began with a simple, beautiful lemon quick bread. Lemon is my favorite spring time flavor, be it in a Lemon Bundt Cake or Lemon Raspberry Bars. Why not a loaf cake, too?

I found some gorgeous plump and juicy blueberries at the market, so of course those had to go in.

I decided to add a sprinkling of poppyseeds, because these Lemon Raspberry Jam Muffins were just so darn good.

Then, I covered it all in a buttery streusel topping (For texture! And crunch!), and finally, because I simply cannot leave well enough alone, I drizzled it all with a sweet and tangy lemon glaze.

The result is a springtime dream: a cake/loaf (cloaf??) that is tangy and subtly sweet thanks to the blueberries and buttermilk, with bursts of bright, puckery citrus and golden, buttery crumbs that stick to the corners of your lips with each bite.

Pair it with a morning cup of coffee or serve it as an after dinner dessert. Either way, this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Bread deserves a permanent spot in your recipe collection!

Two slices of lemon blueberry bread with crumb topping.

Key Ingredients + Substitutions

  • Pantry staples like flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder, and powdered sugar.
  • Vegetable oil– I prefer vegetable oil over butter for this bread. It gives it a lovely moist but light crumb. You can use canola or vegetable oil as well.
  • Lemons– Fresh lemon zest and juice are both used to give this loaf cake layers of lemon flavor. Use this zester to scrape just the yellow portions of the lemon away, leaving the bitter pith behind.
  • Buttermilk– We use buttermilk to add moisture and flavor to many of our recipes, including the Best Chocolate Bundt Cake. If you have extra, here are more ways to use leftover buttermilk.
  • Eggs– You’ll need two large eggs for this recipe.
  • Poppyseeds– These are totally optional, but really lovely. Find them in the spices section of your grocery store.
  • Butter– Melted salted butter combines with flour and sugar to make the super easy crumb topping. If you don’t have salted butter, just add a pinch of salt.
Bowls with dry ingredients, blueberries, buttermilk, eggs, powdered sugar, oil, and lemons.

How to Make Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

Step 1: Prep. Preheat the oven and make a parchment paper sling.

Step 2: Combine ingredients. Mix sugar, oil, lemon zest, and juice in one large mixing bowl. Whisk eggs and buttermilk in another bowl. In a third bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.

Step 3: Stir together. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture.

Lemon poppyseed bread batter in a bowl.

Step 4: Toss. Toss together blueberries and flour, then stir this mixture into the batter. Pour into the prepared pan.

Blueberries being stirred into a lemon batter.

Step 5: Make the crumbs. Stir together flour, butter, and sugar, then use your fingers to clump until crumbs form. Sprinkle over the batter.

Lemon blueberry streusel bread about to go into the oven.

Step 6: Bake. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Freshly baked lemon blueberry quick bread in a pan with a parchment paper sling.

Step 7: Make the glaze. Whisk together lemon juice, powdered sugar, and milk, then drizzle over the bread.

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions

  • This cake keeps well, wrapped in saran wrap and stored at room temperature, for about 5 days.
  • Serve the cake at room temperature, or warm it up in the microwave for about 15 seconds (<<my favorite way to eat it!)
  • To freeze lemon blueberry bread, leave off the glaze, then double wrap the bread in saran wrap then foil. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight at room temperature, then glaze and serve as usual!
Overhead shot of lemon blueberry loaf with streusel topping and lemon glaze, on a cooling rack.

FAQs

Can you use frozen blueberries in loaf cake?

Technically, yes, but you have to be VERY gentle or you’ll end up with a purple cake. Frozen blueberries tend to bleed a lot into recipes, so I usually don’t recommend using them. That said, if you don’t mind it turning your batter bluish purple, go for it!

How do you keep blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the pan?

Toss fruits with flour before stirring them into batter to keep them from all sinking to the bottom.

What’s a good substitute for buttermilk?

For this recipe, my preferred substitute is sour cream thinned with a few Tablespoons of milk. So pour about ⅔ cup of sour cream into a measuring cup, then add milk to get to ¾ cup and stir well.

Freshly baked lemon blueberry loaf cake on a cooling rack.

More Easy Quick Bread Recipes To Enjoy

I love making loaf cakes. They’re usually easy to make, quick, and the perfect anytime treat. Here are a few more of our favorites.

Two slices of lemon bread with blueberries on a white plate.
Two slices of lemon blueberry bread with crumb topping.

Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake features a bright and citrusy lemon poppyseed quick bread, dotted with blueberries and topped with buttery crumble and a lemon glaze. Perfect for breakfast, snack, or dessert!

Ingredients

For the bread:

  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds, optional
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

For the crumbs:

  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter, melted

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper to the length of the bottom of the pan. Spray the pan with cooking spray, then lay in the parchment so it hangs over the edges on the long side. Spray again on top of the parchment.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, lemon zest, and juice until thoroughly combined. 
  3. In a large glass measuring cup, beat together the buttermilk and eggs.
  4. In a third bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and poppy seeds.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, stirring gently and scraping the bowl as needed.
  6. Toss the blueberries with the 2 Tablespoons of flour then gently fold them into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. To make the crumbs, combine the flour, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Whisk or use your fingers to mix the ingredients together until fine crumbs form. Spread the crumbs on top of the batter.
  8. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for at least 10 minutes. To release, run a knife around the short edges of the loaf pan and lift using the parchment overhang on the sides. Allow the cake to mostly cool before glazing.
  9. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk until the consistency is smooth and pourable (add more milk if needed). Pour the glaze over the cake and serve.

Notes

  • The bread will keep well wrapped in saran wrap, at room temperature, for about 5 days.
  • Serve at room temperature or warm slices for 15 seconds in the microwave before serving.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 412Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 685mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 1gSugar: 52gProtein: 4g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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