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Lemon Drizzle Cake - Revisited.

25 June 2020 2 comments

Today's post, I'll admit, is a bit of an afterthought.

I shared my recipe for one of my favourite cakes, the lemon drizzle, just over four years ago. And whilst it's not changed too much, I made a lemon drizzle cake the other day and the little tweaks and baking tips I've learnt along the way have made it even better. So much so that I really think it's worth noting this all down in a revisited recipe - if even just for my own benefit?!

You're welcome to look back at the original recipe but I'll just set things out from scratch here.


170g caster sugar
160g butter (add a pinch of salt to cake batter if using unsalted butter)
3 large eggs
170g self raising flour
2 large lemons, or 3 small
120g icing sugar


I'm going to try and add as much detail here as I can. There aren't many ingredients so the result is more dependent on what you do with them.

Preheat an oven to 170C
- I use an oven thermometer as ours runs almost annoyingly hot and 170 centigrade really does seem to be the sweet spot.

Line a 2lb (??? I'm pretty certain it's 2lb and not 1) loaf tin with greaseproof
- I use these liners which makes life easier, or you could use a silicone loaf pan.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl for between 4-5 minutes.
- make sure that your butter is soft and squidgy. I've found this video helpful for visuals on how your butter should be.
- I also use a handheld mixer on medium-high for this bit.
- it should be pale, light and fluffy by the time you've finished.
- I've tried whizzing up granulated sugar in a food processor if you're in a pinch, it's fine but caster works best.

Add the lemon zest.
- I zest it straight into the bowl.
- I also add it now because we don't have the best micrograter and I prefer the zest to get battered around a bit with the mixer to release the oils.
- no need to mix after this stage, just go straight onto the eggs.
- you can add the zest of both lemons here but I feel it changes the flavour and I personally prefer the lighter, fresher taste of lemon juice rather than zest. I'll leave it up to you!

Slowly add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, plus zest.
- my cake mixtures always seem to curdle when adding the eggs in at this point (cold kitchen?) so I personally lightly whisk my eggs in a small bowl and microwave them on a very low setting until they're just about luke warm (270 watts for maybe a minute). Esp handy if you keep your eggs in the fridge for shelf life.
- I add the egg in about 3-4 stages, whisking well in between to create air/a light mixture.

Add the flour.
- for this part of the recipe I refer to the castella cake method of agitating the flour as little as possible - it's this that results in the fluffiest cake texture. I sift it in, in three lots, using the hand mixer for 12-15 seconds per lot.

Decant the batter into your lined loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 45-55 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- I check mine after 45, it's usually done but sometimes it needs another 5 mins.
- I leave it in the tin to cool a little before the drizzle part.

For the drizzle:
- whisk the 120g icing sugar and juice of 2 lemons in a small bowl, it should be whitish in colour so add more sugar if it's more transparent.
- the cake frankly looks better using a smaller utensil to poke holes for the syrup *but* using something with around a 0.5cm diameter (I use a metal chopstick) tastes best.
- I leave the cake to cool in the tin for around 10 minutes then pour over the syrup.

Et voila!

Such a delightfully even, light, squishy sponge bursting with fresh sherbet-y lemon flavour.

A little update on a classic favourite.