Lighter lemon drizzle cake

Lighter lemon drizzle cake

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(25 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 40 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Cuts into 12 slices

Angela Nilsen gives one of our site's most popular cakes the ultimate healthy makeover by reducing fat

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
243
protein
4.7g
carbs
35.4g
fat
10.2g
saturates
1.4g
fibre
0.9g
sugar
21.5g
salt
0.34g

Ingredients

  • 75ml rapeseed oil, plus extra for the tin
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 50g polenta
  • finely grated zest 2 lemons
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 225g natural yogurt

For the lemon syrup

  • 85g caster sugar
  • juice 2 lemon (about 5 tbsp)

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Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lightly oil a 20cm round x 5cm deep cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. For the cake, put the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and polenta in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and sugar, then make a dip in the centre. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then stir in the yogurt. Tip this mixture along with the oil into the dip (see step-by-step number 1), then briefly and gently stir with a large metal spoon so everything is just combined, without overmixing.
  2. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the top (step 2). Bake for 40 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil for the final 5-10 mins if it starts to brown too quickly.
  3. While the cake cooks, make the lemon syrup. Tip the caster sugar into a small saucepan with the lemon juice and 75ml water. Heat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat, boil for 4 mins until slightly reduced and syrupy, then remove from the heat.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool briefly in the tin. While it is still warm, turn it out of the tin, peel off the lining paper and sit the cake on a wire rack set over a baking tray or similar. Use a skewer to make lots of small holes all over the top of the cake (step 3). Slowly spoon over half the lemon syrup (step 4) and let it soak in. Spoon over the rest in the same way, brushing the edges and sides of the cake too with the last of the syrup.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2012

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Comments

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piggybits's picture

Looked nice, smelled nice... but no, didn't taste nice, ended up on the bird table.. Easy recipe but would rather not have any cake at all than eat this one.

dirtgirl's picture

Have just made this very easy Drizzle cake, using lemons from my tree. I used Fine Polenta as years ago I made the mistake of using Traditional Polenta in a cake and ended up with an awful gritty cake. I did substitute EVOO instead of the rapeseed oil after reading comments from others, plus reduced amount of water in final syrup. A great end result, we served it with thick cream, so much for saving on calories!!

LittleDave212's picture

Hi everyone! I am a baking god, so I know when a recipe is good or not.... And I can tell you this recipe is GREAT!!!! I was the most popular guy at the tea party, due to my wonderful wonderful lemon cake! Get cooking!!!!!!!!!!

The frenchie's picture

This cake was really easy to make, it turned out very tasty but I didn't really like the gritty side of it due to the polenta.. I don't know if it was intentional or not.

raspberry's picture
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I make this with about 5 lemons and reduce by boiling for the drizzle as I like an intense tangy flavour. For a low fat recipe it is first rate.

patricia211151's picture

I made this for tea in the garden with a friend yesterday and was slightly disappointed that it turned out a bit rubbery and not light and spongy (no doubt due to the polenta and oil).....however we both appreciated that it was a low fat treat and really enjoyed the great lemony flavour. Next time I would not boil the syrup but leave it crunchy

jaywin's picture
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Have made this completely jummy cake a number of times now. Last time changed flour to gluten free for my sister. Took bit longer to cook but was lovely and light and very very moreish (if there's such a word) have tried it with orange as well. Jum. Definitely a big family favourite now. Tried it last year and did the alternate method this year. Thanks Angela for another great recipe.

suziq123's picture
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My guests all agreed this was a really tasty cake. I replaced the oil for coconut oil. It had a mild coconutty taste but was still really lemony. I agree that the syrup didn't look that syrupy but if was still nice. I don't think I used enough. Next time I will use up all the syrup and keep pouring. Would like to try out less sugar next time though.

alice24's picture
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Fantastic cake :) I did it as a tray bake and slightly reduced the cooking time to 25 minutes, but it came out wonderfully. Really moist and lemony. Will definitely do again!

gardener27's picture
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This recipe is amazing. My birthday is in early February and I wanted a low fat cake to celebrate. I wasn't sure what to expect but it turned out very well. Everyone was impressed. I even used 0% yogurt and it turned out just fine. Well done Angela.

dwalstow3's picture

I've recently baked this recipe and taken it to my local 'Clandestine Cake Club'. This months theme was 'Low fat delights' as we all like to attempt that 'new start' in January. This cake was a hit as it was one of few cakes that tasted like a normal cake rather than a low fat cake. I will be keeping the recipe as one of my favourites!

silverfox61's picture
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I used gluten free self- raising flour instead and made sure that the lemon syrup was quite thick, it is absolutely delicious. I shall be adding this recipie to my Gluten Free cake list.

missferreira's picture

when i read the ingredients i thought adding polenta was very unusual however the cake was one of the nicest ones i've made, it had a grainy lemony taste -delicious!

tinx100's picture
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On a reluctant diet so decided to try this and I'm really happy! Lovely, moist with a great texture. I added the juice of half a lemon to the batter mix and it was delicious. If only all diet/lighter food tasted this good.........

mudmaid's picture

This was excellent - disappeared over one evening. My son adores lemon drizzle cake and will eat the whole cake if I don't pay attention. Thus, I can't really make it often if it has 225 g of butter and 225 g of sugar. This is lovely and moist; reminds me of a wonderful (high fat) recipe I used to do with corn meal and lots of butter and lemon and also 2-3 cups of berries. The texture was the same, but there was TONS of fat. Might try this with added berries or chopped stone fruit. My family liked it almost as much as the high-fat version

jodieblue's picture
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Made this exactly as stated in the recipe, with 0% fat yoghurt - absolutely delicious!

rachel_r's picture
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Just another comment, after this cake had been kept for a few days, it went mouldy! Not sure if it should have been kept in the fridge? Ended up throwing half of it away.

weroniq24's picture
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Absolutely amazing! I made it gluten free and lacto free and I must say that it is one of the best cakes I had!!! It has a light fluffy texture, moist and just delicious. Thank you very much. You inspired me a lot;)

dandares's picture

I've made this a couple of times and I've found that by adding the water to the the lemon syrup, it makes too much liquid, even though it does reduce a little in the pan. Now I just make the syrup by adding the 85g caster sugar to the lemon juice in a bowl as per the full fat receipe on this site and spooning it over the cake. It's no less fattening, I've just omitted the water.

tariqs's picture
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Just made this cake after wanting to for ages and at last able to find polenta. It was very disappointing as the rapeseed oil was overpowering in taste and smell .I should have known when I was measuring it out but thought the recipe had been tested so went ahead . The texture was good but can't believe the strong smell wasn't noticed in the testing . Will have to throw the cake away .

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