Lemon Bread with Lemon Mascarpone Icing

I am very much a “lemon girl”, and I am always looking for new sweets to make with the juicy yellow orbs. In the past, I’ve posted about lemon cake, lemon curd and lemon frozen yogurt, lemon tart, and lemon pie; today, I want to share a lemon bread.

This quick bread is adapted from the lemon cake I linked to above. I’ve made that cake many times and it’s great…I wasn’t at all trying to improve on it. What I was trying to do was make it a bit more lemony and a bit less sweet. I accomplished this by upping the amount of lemon juice and zest, plus I cut down the sugar in the bread itself and used an icing that’s made from mascarpone cheese: it’s creamy, but not sugary.

Though I always use Meyer lemons for lemon desserts if I can find them, they’ve been absent from local markets this winter, so I used regular organic lemons here. I feel it’s very important to use organic lemons whenever you’re incorporating the zest into a recipe, as that’s where the residue from any chemicals used in the growing process will linger. If you can’t find organic lemons, use a reliable produce rinse to thoroughly clean your fruit. If you do have access to Meyer lemons, by all means use them.

Like my favorite lemon cake, this lemon bread is made with olive oil. Don’t worry about the olive oil adding a funky flavor- it doesn’t. It does impart a wonderful, moist texture, though. If you’d like to use melted organic butter in place of the olive oil, that’s fine, too.

I strongly suggest you try the mascarpone icing- watch out: it’s so yummy you might find yourself spooning it into your mouth- but you can certainly leave the bread “naked”, if you prefer…it’s delicious that way, as well.

olive oil lemon bread

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lemon olive oil bread

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Lemon Bread with Lemon Mascarpone Icing


For the bread:

  • *1 1/2 cups organic all purpose, unbleached flour
  • *2 teaspoons baking powder
  • *pinch of sea salt
  • *2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
  • *1 tablespoon organic lemon zest
  • *1/2 cup plain organic yogurt
  • *3/4 cup demerara sugar
  • *4 eggs preferably organic and free-range
  • *1/2 cup fruity olive oil

For the syrup:

  • *1/4 cup demerara sugar
  • *1/4 cup warm water
  • *2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
  • *1 tablespoon organic lemon zest

For the icing:

  • *1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • *2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
  • *1 tablespoon organic lemon zest
  • *1 tablespoon demerara sugar plus more to taste, if desired


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub the inside of a standard loaf pan all over with olive oil.
  • 2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add lemon juice and zest and mix well.
  • 3. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs and olive oil. Whisk well to combine. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk again to combine
  • 4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. I suggest you start checking after 40 minutes: you do not want to overbake the bread.
  • 5. Cool the bread for 5 minutes, then carefully remove it from the pan. Prick the top of the bread all over with a cake tester, whisk the syrup ingredients together, and then drizzle the syrup all over the bread. Some of the syrup will go into the whole, and some may run over the sides of the bread...it's all good.
  • 6. Allow the bread to cool for another 30 minutes (or wrap and store overnight), then stir the icing ingredients together. Using a offset spatula or a knife, cover the top of the cake with the icing. You can serve the cake immediately, or put in the refrigerator for a bit to "set" the icing.

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21 thoughts on “Lemon Bread with Lemon Mascarpone Icing”

  1. I made two loaves of this bread last weekend to take home with me while on Spring Break. It was a major hit! My father (who rarely asks for dessert) gave me strict instructions to bake another loaf before I leave for school again. Thank you soo much for this recipe!! I have a feeling I will be baking this bread for years to come :)

  2. What is the difference between cake and bread here? Would you eat this sliced with butter or is it just a bread because it’s more savoury? (Just for future research interest!)

    Anyhoo, whatever the name, I have to make it! Sounds like exactly up my alley, not too sweet and deliciously lemony!

  3. This made me realize that it’s been over a year since I made lemon cake, and that must be remedied. This is so scrumptious, Winnie, and for me e mascarpone icing is a must. Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Lovely! I love lemon, too… Especially this time of year. It just brings so much brightness to the cold dreary weather! Love the look of this bread.

  5. Mmmm I also love everything lemon – all the time. But few things beat a simple lemon cake. Except lemon cake (bread) with this fabulous icing! I have this bookmarked. Gorgeous!

  6. this sounds like a winner! i am such a fan of olive oil cakes, especially of the citrus variety. and that is the sweetest cast iron teapot i’ve ever seen :)

  7. This looks lovely. I have been buying up citrus lately, especially Meyer lemons and cara cara oranges. I’m a big fan of lemon and this looks perfect for a snack with a cup of tea.

  8. My grandma ALWAYS makes lemon bread. Hers has gluten so I can’t eat it. I’ve never tried to make one grain free. I should, lemon bread is just fabulous!

  9. This bread looks lovely! Great tip about using only organic lemons especially when making the zest. I bet that mascarpone frosting was heavenly.

  10. Delicious!! I too adore cooking with lemons and am always looking for ways to use their juice and zest for an extra kick to a dish or as the star of dish.

  11. I used to make a lemon and olive oil cake years ago but it’s been neglected recently. this has reminded me that I must get it out again! I love the idea of the mascarpone icing as well.