Lemon Blueberry Loaf (Super Moist With Big Flavor)

Moist, lemony and bursting with juicy blueberries, this lemon blueberry loaf is perfect for a tea, shower or brunch.

Here’s what one reader said: “I made this loaf for a refreshment needed for a meeting; I received so many compliments! The loaf was moist, kept its shape when I precut slices and had a beautiful presentation”.

Sliced lemon blueberry loaf on white plate.

My inspiration for this lemon blueberry loaf was to make something a bit lighter to serve after a big Thai meal.

I froze a few leftover slices after we devoured most of the loaf. Mostly to keep my husband from polishing them off. A few days later, I was looking for something to satisfy my after-dinner sweet tooth craving and pulled out the frozen slices.  Too impatient to wait until they defrosted, I microwaved them for 20 seconds and inadvertently discovered that lemon-blueberry loaf warmed-up is sublime!

The recipe below is a version of 3 recipes by Ina Garten, Jo Cooks and Nagi from TinEats with a couple of minor tweaks.

What to expect

No stand mixer or hand mixer is needed – just mix with a whisk – my kind of recipe!

The end result is a simple, delicious super moist loaf that is easy to make and full of blueberry and lemon flavor. Not super low cal, but not bad as desserts go. So grab a cup of coffee and get baking 🙂

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

blueberries, baking powder, sour cream, salt, sugar, flour, icing sugar, vanilla, lemons, eggs, butter.

Cake ingredients – We start with typical cake ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, oil and vanilla. We add sour cream for extra moistness, lemon zest and fresh blueberries.

Lemon syrup – this is optional for extra moisture and deeper lemon flavor. It’s just lemon juice mixed with a touch of sugar.

Glaze: A glaze of icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla adds a nice finish, but is also optional.

  • To make the loaf lighter (less calories):
    • Leave out the lemon syrup. Or alternatively, use the syrup and leave out the glaze.
    • Substitute Greek yogurt or plain lower-fat yogurt for the sour cream.
    • Replace half the oil with applesauce (but note the texture of the loaf will be denser).
    • Just eat half a slice 🙂
  • Blueberries: Try blackberries or raspberries instead of blueberries. Or leave out the blueberries – but you will then have to call it lemon loaf 🙂
  • Garnish the loaf with lemon zest if you like.

Step by step instructions

Flour, baking powder, salt in mixing bowl with whisk.
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (except sugar)
Wet ingredients mixed in large bowl with whisk.
Mix wet ingredients plus sugar in a separate medium bowl
Blueberries dusted in flour in bowl.
Dust blueberries with flour so they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake.
Blueberries mixed into batter in mixing bowl.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients then gently mix fresh blueberries into batter.
baked lemon blueberry loaf in loaf pan.
Bake in loaf pan
Baked lemon blueberry loaf on white plate. with glaze and lemon zest.
Add a lemon syrup and/or glaze if you like (see recipe instructions)
Sliced lemon blueberry loaf on white plate.
  1. To measure flour, scoop it into a measuring cup, then level if off with a knife. Don’t just dip the scoop into the flour as this packs it in too much.
  2. Don’t overmix the batter to avoid a dense loaf.
  3. Toss the blueberries in flour before adding them to the batter. This will prevent them for all sinking to the bottom.
  4. Loaf pans and doneness: Glass loaf pan don’t conduct heat as well so the loaf will take longer to bake than in a metal pan. Regardless of the pan type, insert a toothpick or cake tester in the loaf to check if it is done. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, your loaf is ready.
  5. If the glaze is too thick, add a bit more lemon juice or water. If it’s too thin, add a bit more icing sugar.
  6. The loaf is delicious warmed in the microwave for a few seconds.

Make Ahead

  • Store leftovers a sealed container or ziploc bag at room temperature or in the fridge.
  • The loaf also freezes well, well wrapped, for up to 3 months in the freezer. 

Troubleshooting FAQs

Why did my loaf sink in the middle?

The loaf sinking in the middle may happen if the loaf is underbaked. Ensure you bake it until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and avoid opening the oven door.

Why is my loaf too dense?

Overmixing the batter can cause a dense loaf. Mix just until the ingredients are combined to avoid developing too much gluten.

Why is my loaf not rising properly

Ensure your baking powder is fresh. Also, properly whisk the oil and sugar to incorporate enough air into the batter.

Can I use frozen blueberries?

Yes, you can use frozen blueberries. Do not thaw them. Toss frozen blueberries in flour to prevent them from bleeding too much into the batter.

Why does the top of the lemon loaf crack?

The outside of the loaf cooks at a faster rate than the inside, so the inside of the cake continues to cook and rise, cracking the top crust. You can try lowering the temperature of the oven next time (especially if using a glass loaf pan), but the cracking is not a big deal with this loaf.

Sliced lemon blueberry loaf on white plate.

Other fruit based cakes you might like

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟with a comment in the recipe card below. Thanks so much!

Sliced lemon blueberry loaf on white plate.
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4.81 from 147 votes

Lemon Blueberry Loaf (Super Moist With Big Flavor)

Moist, lemony and bursting with juicy blueberries, this lemon blueberry loaf is perfect for a tea, shower or brunch.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

For Loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, Note 1
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain or Greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen), dusted in 1 tablespoon flour flour will prevent them from sinking to bottom of the pan

For Optional Lemon Syrup

  • juice of 1 lemon mixed with 2-3 teaspoons sugar

For Simple Lemon Glaze

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar also called confectioners sugar or powdered sugar
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • dash of pure vanilla extract
  • Optional Garnish: Lemon zest to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  • GET ORGANIZED: Preheat oven temperature to 350F/176.7C. Spray an 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch loaf pan (21 x 11 x 6 cm) with cooking spray (or grease with butter) and dust with flour. Zest one large lemon and set aside (and a zest a second lemon to sprinkle on the finished loaf if you like).
  • COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS: (except sugar) Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl.
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, Note 1, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • COMBINE WET INGREDIENTS AND SUGAR: In a medium separate bowl, whisk sour cream eggs, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and oil until smooth.
    1 cup sour cream, 1 cup sugar, 3 large eggs, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • COMBINE INGREDIENTS FROM BOTH BOWLS: Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and combine with whisk just until flour disappears. Don't overmix or the loaf will be dense. Gently fold in the blueberries dusted in flour with a spatula.
  • BAKE: Pour batter into greased/floured prepared pan. Bake on middle rack for about 50-70 minutes. A glass loaf pan will take longer than metal. Since ovens vary, start checking at 50 minutes. If toothpick or tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, it's done. Cool cake for 10 minutes on rack, then remove cake from loaf pan and place it on rack, top facing up, over a pan or cutting board (something to catch any drips if you are add the lemon syrup).
  • MAKE AND ADD LEMON SYRUP (OPTIONAL): For an even moister, more lemony loaf, poke holes in top of cake with tester or toothpick. Pour on lemon syrup to soak in. Let loaf cool completely on a wire rack.
  • MAKE AND ADD GLAZE: Mix together icing sugar and fresh lemon juice in a small bowl. After the loaf cools, drizzle glaze over cake. Sprinkle with lemon zest if desired. Slice and serve.

Video

Recipe Notes

  1. To measure flour: Scoop it into a measuring cup, then level if off with a knife. Don’t just dip the scoop into the flour as this packs it in too much.
  2. Variations
    • To reduce calories in the loaf.
      • The recipe has an option for a lemon syrup which adds extra moistness and lemon taste, but you can leave that step out if you want.  Or alternatively, use the syrup and leave out the glaze.
      • Substitute Greek yogurt or plain [lower fat] yogurt for the sour cream.
      • Replace half the oil with applesauce (but the loaf will be a little denser)
      • Just eat half a slice 🙂
    • Try blackberries or raspberries instead of blueberries.
    • Leave out the blueberries 
  3. Store, Freeze: Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge. It also freezes well, well wrapped in plastic wrap, tin foil or a ziplock bag, for up to 3 months. 
 
The nutritional information is an estimate and includes the lemon syrup and glaze. 

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 189IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

Lemon Blueberry loaf, originally published in 2018, has been updated for our readers.

4.81 from 147 votes (121 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




90 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this loaf before; in the oven yet again. Absolutely super moist & fantastic. I added blanched almonds to mine, just to use them up.

      1. Hi Jenn, I haven’t tried muffins with this recipe yet so you will have to experiment a bit. My suggestion is to to heat the oven to 375°F (190°C) for standard-sized muffins or 350°F (175°C) for larger-sized muffins. I would also use muffin liners (or you can grease the tins). Then bake them for approximately 18-20 minutes for standard-sized muffins or 20-25 minutes for larger-sized muffins. Check a little before though as oven temps are never perfectly calibrated. I hope that helps. I’d love to know how they turn out if you try them. I think muffins are a great idea for this recipe!

  2. Confused, the written recipe says zest from one lemon but your instructions further down under the category “get organized” section it says 2 of them

    1. Sorry for the confusion. The recipe also calls for optional extra zest to sprinkle on at the end (which needs an extra lemon), but you’re right, the instruction may be confusing. I’ll try to make that clearer. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  3. 5 stars
    I have been trying different blueberry lemon recipes for over 5 years to recreate something that I bought at our local farmers’ market. This recipe has the same flavors, but the syrup/glaze in this recipe is the Viola! that I have been looking for. Poking holes after it is baked & pouring the syrup/glaze over the cooled loaf makes the lemon and blueberries burst with flavors! I also love not using a mixing or blender! It is one that will be made on a weekly basis.

    Thank you for creating this delicious recipe!

  4. The ingredients picture shows butter?? My loaf is still in the oven. I hope it didn’t need the butter.

    1. Good catch Marcella! There is no butter in the recipe. My bad. I’ll have to reshoot the ingredient picture. Thanks for letting me know. Hope you like the loaf 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    10/10!!
    Thank you for sharing your delicious recipe!! I made it 3 times now and it turned out amazing every single time!

    With lots of love,
    Toronto, Canada

  6. 5 stars
    By far and away the BEST blueberry loaf I’ve made. Moist, not too sweet, lovely hint of lemon. Ticked all the boxes. Thank you for this delicious recipe.

  7. I made this a few weeks ago and everyone LOVED it. My mother asked me to make this again for Easter. As I text this…it’s in the oven getting ready for tomorrow. God Bless.

    1. Hi Susan, Converting pan sizes can be a little tricky. Here is a good article on how to convert your pans by Taste of Hone. Typically a standard loaf pan will convert to 3 mini loaf pans. I don’t know the size and material of your pans which will both affect time and temperature. So it’s best to read the article. If you want to wing it, keep a very close eye on the time (two pans will take less time) and do a cake tester test to see if they are done. Hope that helps.

  8. 4 stars
    Easy to follow recipe and instructions. I’m not sure what happened but my cake wasn’t done when I pulled it out of the oven at 50, 60 and 70 minutes. The sides were done but the middle was definitely still raw. I covered the cake with foil, put it back in the oven and baked for an additional 20-30 minutes after 70 minutes and that seemed to help cook the middle. I’m baking this cake for a friend and haven’t tasted it yet. I hope it isn’t dry. I want to try this recipe again because it’s bothering me that the middle was undercooked after 60mins.

    1. Sorry to hear about the loaf taking so long to bake. I am wondering why since I and so many others have been successful with this recipe. There are three things that come to mind. 1) your oven temperature is off (this is very common – a cheap oven thermometer can help you determine if you’re oven is heating to the right temperature), 2) you live in a high altitude area in which case you would need to adjust (increase) the oven temperature a bit. And 3) one of your measurements changed the flour to liquid ratio by mistake. Do you think any of these apply? I hope your friend enjoyed the loaf despite the challenges.