Lemon drizzle cake

Lemon drizzle cake

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(1450 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 45 mins


Cuts into 10 slices

It's difficult not to demolish this classic by Tana Ramsay in just one sitting, so why not make two at once?

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal399
  • fat21g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs50g
  • sugars33g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.3g
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  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • finely grated zest 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 225g self-raising flour

For the drizzle topping

  • juice 1½ lemons



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 85g caster sugar


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Beat together 225g softened unsalted butter and 225g caster sugar until pale and creamy, then add 4 eggs, one at a time, slowly mixing through. Sift in 225g flour, then add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and mix until well combined. Line a loaf tin (8 x 21cm) with greaseproof paper, then spoon in the mixture and level the top with a spoon.

  2. Bake for 45-50 mins until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. While the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the juice of 1 1/2 lemons and 85g caster sugar to make the drizzle. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the drizzle – the juice will sink in and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping. Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve. Will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

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Comments (1757)

princeazam's picture

I followed the recipe exactly and the cake was truly delicious. Very moist, lovely lemon flavour and beautiful soft sponge. The recipe is very easy.

The second time I made this was also delicious. I haven't been able to make the toppling really crisp - perhaps more sugar is required for the final drizzle step? Anyway, this doesn't stop the cake being yummy.

Lаwrence's picture

this c8k gav me faith in ht ejueasuc chruisat in the light

claudia21's picture

OK, I've worked out why cakes are burning on the outside and soggy in the middle. The temperatures are wrong in the recipe as someone else has pointed out. It should read 180C normal oven and 160C for a fan oven. Personally, I still think the temperatures are too high. This is a victoria sponge mixture which should cook on 160C in a normal oven, no higher, especially as it is a big cake and not done in a sandwich tin. I have done this and it has turned out perfectly. Also, the tin size is far too small for the amount of mixture. Go with the large 2lb bread tin or split into two 1lb tins. That way you won't have cake mix burning on the bottom of your oven. For extra precaution I double lined the tin with baking paper and have no burnt edges. Now for the drizzle bit and going with the reviews, I think it's got to be two lemons!

Pspmx4's picture

Love this recipe, everyone cannot get enough of it!! For the 'drizzle' I recommend using granulated sugar as opposed to caster sugar as this works much better.

Forget the bad review, this is the best lemon drizzle cake I've ever made and it's dead easy!!!

west1871's picture

Made around 6 times now. Always comes out perfect, use a 2Ib loaf tin though its much better using Stork spread and not butter as comes out soft and lighter.
The icing never looks like the pic but you get a lovely sugary texture to it anyway.

kooxie's picture

I've made this cake three times now and each time it has come out just perfect. It does need a slightly longer cooking time I have found but I have a dodgy right hand side to my oven. My whole family loves this and any gathering I am always requested to bake and bring this along.

littlejones's picture

I followed this recipe exactly and it turned out OK. After 50 minutes, it was cooked at the sides but raw in the middle. I covered it with foil and it went back in for another 15-20 mins, checking every 5 minutes, and for the last 10 mins I cut a hole in the foil to expose just the undercooked bit. The middle of the cake is nice and moist but I feel it's overcooked at the sides. I used a silicone loaf tin, which sounds like it was lucky as the silicone sides stretched and all the mixture stayed in the tin. I like the flavour of the cake but it would be even better if it was a bit more tangy. The cake was nice and my friends seemed to enjoy it but I will try a different recipe next time.

janjee's picture

I made this the other day but it came out rather heavy and dry, not sure why as I followed the recipe. The icing didn't come out like the photo either, maybe I will add a bit of milk next time.

akumi123's picture

awful....... just awful! I am always making cakes, so i have a lot of experience, and in all my years of baking i have never seen a recipe so awful. it sank and lots more. you need to add one more egg and more butter and less flour. it does taste nice though. Thanks for ruining my day!

Tashkent's picture

Talk about first world problems! Tastes just fine.

Lille Kage Hus's picture

Very easy recipe and a really delicious and moist cake. I added a teaspoon of Lemon Extract as I really like a good strong lemon flavour and also topped with some lemon flavoured thinned down royal icing.

parfaiteprincess's picture

Really nice although the bottom of the cake was not infused with the drizzle and I missed poppy seeds. More drizzle or a bit of juice in the mixture and two tbs of poppy seeds to make it look better?

Bengma's picture

Do you know when you were first learning to add in maths and John had 5 slices of cake and Jack had 2 slices and you wondered, why does John need 5 slices of cake!?!

This cake is why

Class 142's picture

Very nice tasting cake! Went down a treat for all the family after our meal.

chloe2007's picture

Just made this cake and i'm so happy with the outcome! Perfect sponge and it is delicious! After reading some of the comments on here about tins, i decided to use the same tin i would normally use to make a cheesecake and it was perfect! I added extra lemon juice for the topping to give it that extra zing! I will definitely use this recipe again- especially as the cake as nearly been eaten by family already!

jenniferhillman's picture

This was really easy to make and quite delicious. I followed the instructions but found at 160 it slightly burnt round the edges. 2nd attempt turned temperature down to 140 (fan) for 50 mins came out perfect. Will definitely make again.

robinmckenzie2@gmail.com's picture

Top tip: get an over thermometer.

The dial on your oven (astoundingly!) almost never tells you the correct temperature. Invest in a decent (£10-£15) oven thermometer, and you can bake with confidence.

It's almost criminal (in my mind, at least) that oven manufacturers are able to produce ovens that are so wildly inaccurate in their temperature dials. Revolution, I say!

But seriously, every serious cook / baker has an over thermometer, so come join the illuminati :)

katyr24's picture

Delicious! I often make cakes that don't turn out so good... But this was a winner!

Najaah Salam 786's picture

Love this recipe. Made it for friends and it turned out amazing. I added a bit of Vanilla to the batter as well because I thought the mix tasted a bit too strong of lemon but the taste was fantastic. I also put the cake in a bundt cake tin instead of a loaf tin. The cake came out so soft and fluffy and went down really well with friends and family.

Rosina M's picture

What size tin did you use and would I cook for same length of time.


Questions (29)

angie120's picture

Add I bit of cornflour to the lemon and sugar. This will thicken it

claramac3009's picture

Great cake to make though my drizzle doesn't 'frost' like the picture shows. Anyone know why?

goodfoodteam's picture

The drizzle should frost, make sure you are using the correct sugar, and ice the cake when it is still warm but not too hot, thanks.

claramac3009's picture

Ahhhh - may be its because its too hot when I ice it. Will try later. Thanks!

C Glasgow's picture

I made the mixture in my Kitchen Aid. The cake turned out darker on the outside than the picture and split at the top - is my oven too hot? I used a silicone loaf tin - would this affect the result? I applied the drizzle but the result was a pretty wet dense madeira type cake. It's in the bin...

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Claire. It does sound like your oven may be a little too hot, check the temperature with an oven thermometer and take a look at our cake tips here for more details: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-make-cake-top-10-problems-fixed Thanks.

colleen48's picture

I'm really confused - there was a totally different recipe for lemon drizzle cake that I had saved in my favourites - it had ground almonds in it. I signed it today to look through my favourites to find that my real favourite lemon drizzle cake has been replaced by this one! And the one I wanted is nowhere to be found on this site! Cany anyone tell me why this happens?

zzze's picture

How is the drizzle made and applied to form a crispy frosting?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, as the drizzle cools the sugar hardens and creates a crisp, glazed topping, thanks.


Tips (28)

alissajrobinson's picture

I baked this in a cake pan rather than a loaf tin, then double glazed it. I let the first glaze sink into the hot cake completely, then once it was cooled, I combined 3 tbsp icing sugar with the juice of 1/2 lemon and spread the icing over the top. It looked and tasted delicious - and not overly sweet like I feared it might.

hazelmcn's picture

Pour lemon/sugar mixture on the loaf when it is hot - mine really crisped up that way. And as others say - add a little extra rind and juice!

Ponderer's picture

Since 1 and 1/2 lemons are used for the drizzle I add the other half lemons juice to the cake mix. Both times I've cooked this it's won approval from others. Stayed moist for a few days aswell. Also took a tip from elsewhere and used demerara for the drizzle.

Purpleyoga's picture

Image this with poppy seeds and 2 lemons as per comments below. Delicious

camalamaruun's picture

if u put the naked lemon in the microwave for 30 second you get nearly double the amount of juice

ladynellington's picture

Double the lemon rind and juice (3 lemons) and 100g sugar for topping for more fresh, lemony zing.

tashynadarling's picture

Use large eggs, add extra zest (and juice of half a lemon) for an extra lemony kick!