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

Comments, questions and tips

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Comments

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rachel_r's picture
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Very nice cake. It maybe could have done with a bit more lemon and could have been a bit stickier on the top. I used sunflower oil instead of rapeseed oil.

unsinkable1's picture
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Lovely and light. Used sunflower oil as didn't have rapeseed. Polenta adds a nice touch of texture.

hendley's picture

I made this cake expecting my husband would not like it as it was low calorie. he loved the cake even the texture.

bluebox11's picture
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Excellent cake and so easy to make. The texture and flavour are amazing. There did seem to be an excess of syrup, so I used half and then the rest on the next one ( it has been very popular!). It freezes really well too.
Nobody would guess this was low fat. This will be the only lemon drizzle recipe for me now.

adrienne317's picture
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I have made this cake several times and it has turned out perfectly every time. The best thing is not needing a food mixer to make it. I added 2 teaspoons of powdered ginger to the last batch, which went very well with the lemon. My lads also love this as a dessert with home made lemon custard. I am planning to try this recipe with orange zest and juice. My family and work colleagues have all loved it.

peggoty's picture
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I have been searching for a lower fat recipe for ages. This one ticked all the boxes. I too used a loaf tin and it turned out perfectly, even the cooking times. The only change I made was to the lemon syrup, I just let the sugar disolve in the lemon juice on it's own while the cake was baking and drizzled it over while the cake was still warm...Perfect!

ambertuesday's picture
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I made this yesterday and was impressed with it. It did take alot longer to cook though. Will make again but think I will do as Margaret did and cut down on the amount of sugar I use. I used sunflower oil as it was that or olive oil in the cupboard!

charlottejane2's picture
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I too have made this cake. There seemed to be an excessive amount of lemon syrup, but I persevered and dribbled it onto the cake over several minutes. The top was lovely - very tangy, but I was a bit disappointed in the flavour of the cake, considering how much liquid I had poured into it. You`d have to make sure you had a portion of top "skin" with each bite of cake to get the full flavour. Having said that, there was no shortage of takers when I offered it round & sadly there is now none left!

rach_roberts's picture
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I made this cake yesterday. Everyone who has tried it thinks it's delicious, I'll definitely be making it again! Next time I think I may add a thin layer of lemon icing on top, undoes some of the low fat/calories recipe but I think it'd be nice! Good recipe.

cooking4grandma's picture
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Delicious!! I made this cake using sunflower oil & cut down the sugar to 100g for the cake and 60g for the syrup. Will definitely make again

easydoesit's picture

I tried to buy polenta today from Tescos and Sainsburys and they both only sold 'ready made' polenta. Do you think I could substitute polenta with semolina? Thanks.

willow_tree's picture

Hi Val - olive oil might give the cake a rather odd flavour, but I reckon that sunflower oil would be fine.

valmcintyre's picture

Hi
I don't like rapeseed oil. Does anyone know if can I use olive or sunflower oil instead?

karensharples's picture
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I don't normally make cakes, but I made this yesterday and couldn't believe how easy this recipe was. It turned out exactly the same as the picture and was so tasty, you wouldn't guess that it was low fat. I served it with cream or ice cream and everybody asked for seconds. Would definitely make it again...

jennylmd's picture
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I finally found a recipe for a lemon drizzle cake that is low fat. It seems quite easy to make, and I fancy lemon and icing sugar frosting or low fat cream cheese with icing sugar and lemon juice for a topping. Can't wait to try it.

phoenix3's picture
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Made this cake tonight, it is delicious, I will be making this again. Well done Angela, another great recipe.

vivaves's picture
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Pretty impressed with this cake - lovely sweet and sharp lemony flavour and the polenta gave it a coarse texture, which I like. I do think I'd be able to tell that it was low fat compared with a standard lemon drizzle recipe, but that's not to detract from its good points - it will be a regular for the household cake tin from now on. I am wondering whether I could use the basic recipe and adapt it for a pineapple upside-down cake...

balck777's picture
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Lovely cake. Really moist and tasty, and no-one could guess it was low fat. I made it as a loaf cake instead of round, so I had to increase the baking time by 5-10 mins. Instead of the syrup topping I made lemon icing (icing sugar and lemon juice), thereby undoing some of the healthiness of the cake. Worth it though, because that icing is one of my favourite things.
All in all, very successful and I will definitely make again.

vfinney's picture
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Turned out really well, although mine was considerably thinner to say the tin i used was only 3cm bigger?

My only vice is that the syrup didnt become vert syrupy? But that could just be me.

Overall very impressed, will make again

kiwisaver's picture

I made this cake today with light olive oil, as I do for any baking or cooking that calls for any kind of vegetable oils. I didn't have any ground almonds so used 25g more each of flour and polenta, I struggled with getting syrup to soak in the top, so I turned it over and put some in the bottom too and brushed all over. It was lovely and although I just ate a rather large piece, I could very easily eat another! I'm sure that orange would be just as nice too!

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