Enjoy a Burst of Citrus With This Healthier Lemon Loaf

Enjoy a Burst of Citrus With This Healthier Lemon Loaf

If you’ve ever tried the Starbucks lemon loaf, you’re probably aware of how deliciously addicting it can be. Moist, slightly tart, and rich, lemon loaf cakes make for a delicious snack or dessert that’s bursting with lemony, citrusy goodness.

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But if you’ve ever looked up the nutritional content of a Starbucks lemon loaf, you’re likely in for a rude awakening. The coffee shop favorite comes loaded with 470 calories, 9 grams of saturated fat, 68 carbs, and a whopping 42 grams of sugar! That’s not exactly a small afternoon nibble.

So what’s a person to do? If you’re craving a lemon loaf that won’t sour your weight loss and health goals, you’re going to love trying our healthier lemon loaf cake recipe. With a few smart swaps, we were able to make a lighter loaf that still has all your favorite tangy and sweet flavors, but without all the extra calories and sugar.

Healthier Lemon Loaf Recipe - front view

Our recipe is bursting with fresh lemon zest, spiced with ground cardamom, and sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup and applesauce. We also made it gluten-free by using a combo of almond flour and tapioca flour! All together, our gluten-free lemon loaf only has 121 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, 13 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of sugar per serving.

Enjoy this healthier recipe that’s got a fraction of the calories and sugar, but still has all of the flavor you know and love. This recipe makes enough for 10 servings, so there’s plenty of goodness to share!


Healthier Lemon Loaf Recipe - front view
4.22 from 14 votes

Healthier Lemon Loaf

Enjoy this healthier lemon loaf recipe that's got a fraction of the calories and sugar, but still has all of the flavor you know and love. 

Course Dessert
Keyword lemon loaf
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 121 kcal


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. finely grated lemon peel (lemon zest)
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt or Himalayan salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

  2. Lightly coat 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with spray; set aside.

  3. Separate egg yolks from egg whites; place in separate medium mixing bowls. Use a whisk or hand mixer to beat egg whites until soft peaks form; set aside.

  4. Finely grate lemon peel; set aside.

  5. Combine egg yolks, lemon zest, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl; mix well. Set aside.

  6. Combine almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Set aside.

  7. Pour egg mixture into almond flour mixture; mix until a smooth batter forms.

  8. Gently fold egg whites into batter.

  9. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

  10. Cool for 5 minutes; turn loaf out onto cooling rack. Let cool completely before cutting into ten equal slices.

Recipe Notes

The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Healthier Lemon Loaf
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 121 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 126mg5%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 4g8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Craving even more? You can check out all of our healthy and delicious recipes here! From breakfast to lunch to dinner and dessert, we’ve got you covered.

Healthier Lemon Loaf Recipe - slices

Photography by Meghan Hensley