9 July 2011

Lemon Drizzle Cake

This cake is the ugly duckling of the bakery world. It may not be much of a looker, but one taste and you will be convinced it is the most beautiful thing you have ever created :)

Those of you that have visited my blog previously will know I suffer from the inability to get straight to the point, its called rambling disorder and I am probably the worst case they have seen this decade. But with this recipe for once im stumped with what to say, im not really sure where to start! I don't think any words will adequately get across quite how stupendous it is.

This cake was my ticket to winning first prize at a local show (woo!) and is deservedly the top rated recipe on BBC GoodFood with over 760 ratings. It is originally a Tana Ramsay creation (wife of the infamous Gordon Ramsay and an excellent baker in her own right), and with just a few alterations has become my go-to cake for gifting and every day munching, and has been for a fair few years

You will probably think I say I 'love' things far too much, I love coconut, lime, berries, oats, ginger, fudge, chocolate, curry, nuts, pom bears, muesli, honey, apples, hot cross buns, english muffins, PASTRY, gosh i love pastry, shall I go on? :) You may think im fickle in my use of the word love, but really there isnt any other way to describe it, I. Love. Food. But one thing I love more than most is lemon. And this, well this is alllllll lemon my friends, if you are like me and lust after that fresh intense citrusy blanket of yum then you should just stop reading now and go bake this beauty.

The best thing about this recipe, ok not the best thing, the best thing is how awesome it tastes, but a GREAT thing is how freakin' EASY it is, just 5 ingredients. Thats it. 5 every day measly ingredients mingle together to create an oh-so moist, prize winning stunner of a cake, sometimes simple really is best. The gorgeous zingy drizzle that is poured on the warm cake seeps its way into every little bit of spongey lemony goodness. Do you really need any more reasons to bake this cake!?

Ok just one more reason, the aroma that will fill your house whilst its baking? Well thats happening right now in this household (yes its in the oven as i speak and no, I cant wait!), let me tell you, its second to none
Sadly a little burnt over bronzed, but still just as yummy so all's good!
Im just going to give you the recipe now, its amazing, im yet to find anyone that doesnt sing its praises and ask for more. If you want to impress that certain someone in your life, bake them this (although they may not like the side of you that is revealed as you refuse to share that last slice :) )
Lemon Drizzle Cake
Adapted from Tana Ramsay

For the Cake
225g margarine or softened unsalted butter
190g caster sugar
4 large eggs
finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
225g self-raising flour

For the Drizzle
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
85g caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C and line an 8 x 21cm loaf tin with baking parchment

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy

Add the eggs one by one, mixing slowly but thoroughly after each addition

Sift in the flour and add the zest, mix until completely incorporated

Spoon into loaf tin, level top, and bake for 50-60 minutes*

While cake is cooling in its tin, prick it all over with a skewer

Mix together the juice and caster sugar for the drizzle (I like to pour a little of the straight lemon juice over the cake first then mix in the sugar with the remainder)

Pour/spoon the drizzle over the cake while still warm**

Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve***

Is best after a decent amount of 'soaking' time, and will keep well due to the moisture provided by the oh-so delicious drizzle, but it won't, 'cos it will have disappeared by the end of the day

This cake does rise like a beast, more so in the middle, so has a rather rustic domed appearance but once you taste it you won't mind :) My tin is slightly smaller than the specified so maybe a slighttllyy larger tin might help with this, but im not going to mess with flavour perfection!

*You may wish to cover the top of the cake with a bit of parchment to stop it from over-browning during the last 10 minutes
**Tana Ramsay's cake has a crisp sugary topping from the drizzle, however this is something that has never occurred with my cakes (or in the majority of the other reviews). I do not see this as a problem though as I prefer the result given when the drizzle soaks into the cake completely
***I tend to leave, and cut, the cake in the tin until its all gobbled up so no syrup goes to waste. You may find there is a slight pool of lemony syrup at the bottom of the tin if you remove it, this is normal dont worry! You can dispose of it if you wish...or shlurrpp it up with a straw. yum.

          Print and be Merry

Nadine in Switzerland followed the above recipe to produce her own absolutely beautiful lemon drizzle cake and kindly allowed me to share a photo with you :) please click to enlarge it


  1. I adore all things lemon, so this just went on my baking list! Thanks.

  2. Sometimes it´s sad to only have three eggs and one lemon left...
    So I also thought about making a smaller version of your lemon cake today...but there is a cherry cake that has/wants/needs to be baked today instead.
    I will try it next week.

    Just know that you are on my "favourite and regular to read- blog list" now.
    Thank you again,


  3. I'm off to the supermarket tomorrow to buy lemons. I can't wait to try this. If everyone in the world has tried it and loved it - it's gotta have my name on it.

    This sounds fantastic.

  4. @Barefeet In The Kitchen Thank you so much for your comment, your blog is so lovely and the amount of recipes ive bookmarked is a little silly..those almond bars are calling my name!

    Nadine, I am touched that you are considering making this and hope that if you do you will be very happy with it indeed :) I cant believe that you have put me on your favourite blog list! I never imagined when i started this blog that I might get regular followers, you have made my day thank you :)

    @Maureen Woo! If you make it please let me know how it turns out for you! You would be the first person i know of to try out something ive posted (please dont let this put you off...haha) and that would be so amazing :) I hope it turns out just as you would like, just a tip, make sure you check on it after 45minutes as ovens do vary and to see if you would like to cover it (I let mine get a little over browned this time unfortunately!)
    ps I plan on making your Moroccan chicken verrrryyyy soon, my mum requested a curry today but yours is the next project :)

  5. I love citrus desserts. This cake loaf looks simple and delicious. I love your enthusiasm for it too.

  6. Hi Sasha, Love your blog!! I just scrolled through thinking, "I want to bake that, and that, and THAT!" Pretty much everything I saw. Delicious.

    And thank you for your comment about the salmon on my blog.

    Have a lovely day!


  7. Hey Sasha - Did you try the blueberry cake with raspberries? Let me know if you score. Cheers, Felicia

  8. Lovely blog...you're making very hungry! Lemon is defeintely one of my fave flavours.
    cheers from Canada!

  9. Without a doubt a lemon cake is delicious and a perennial favorite! I think it is up there with shortbread cookies!

  10. I love recipes from BBC Good Food too. The texture of your lemon cake is perfectly light, smooth and moist. Just lovely!

  11. I love anything citrus! You can never go wrong with a lemon cake and this looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I have always been a big fan of lemon breads - and this one sounds fantastic! Perfect for a brunch get-together. :)

  13. Mmm I love lemon-flavored sweets and it's been ages since I've made a loaf cake. How irresistible!

  14. I'm so with you on this.. ugly duckling looking cake but the satisfaction.. it's OOH LA LA!

    Whenever i'm down, all i need is a few slices of ugly looking butter cake!

  15. @Ginny Thank you for that lovely personal comment Ginny! So kind of you. Hope you had a great day also :)

    Oh just thank you to everyone, all your comments make my day an entirely better one :)