Lemon drizzle cake

Lemon drizzle cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(1421 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (1741)

JenS's picture

Lovely light cake from this recipe. I made three for our church fair, but the second one collapsed as I cooked it as instructed for 50 mins. Skewer was coming out clean, but the middle was still soggy. The other two were successful because I cooked them for about 75mins. My husband was happy though, as I cut around the soggy bits and he got to eat it (So did I) Scrumptious!

ameliacooks's picture

Wow my first attempt at making a lemon drizzle cake and it went down really well with all my family!

I took the advice from the comment below and added in the additional juice from half a lemon into the cake mix for extra lemon-y-ness!!

The cake is huge!!

mumof51970's picture

Followed recipe too the instructions, same loaf tin, oven temperature, and it turned out great. will make it again. I didn't get the same topping as advertised so will try icing sugar next time.

bardez's picture

Lovely cake, which always seems to vanish quickly.
I used to buy a "just add eggs" type kit, but the other half said he prefers this cake.
I use juice from half a lemon in the mix (so 2 lemons in total, save waste) and the zest from both in the mix.
Very lemony and yummy.

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.


Questions (21)

L.J's picture

does anyone have any idea about icing this? if i wanted to make it in to more of a birthday cake, i want to add on the glaze, but then would i ice over the top - any help would be greatly apprecaite.....i am WAY out of my depth!!!!! x

jule955's picture

Hi L.J,

I usually do that with my lemon drizzle - bake it in two round tins, drizzle both cakes and sandwich them with icing. I use the icing recipe from the link below. It makes enough to ice the top of the cake as well, but not quite enough to do the sides too. Everybody so far has loved it, but I'd be careful not to use too much of it; I drizzle my cakes a lot more than the Good Food recipe suggests, so the sweetness of the icing really balances out the sharpness of the lemon. But it might make the whole thing too sweet if you go with the original cake recipe.

genty01's picture

How do you freeze this? Should I put the drizzle on when I defrost it or does that freeze OK as well? Thank you

genty01's picture

I want to make two of these and freeze them for a party. Do I freeze without the drizzle or will the drizzle freeze OK as well? Thanks.

demri1's picture

Stupid question, but if I'm planning on doubling the size, can I use a round cake tin instead of a loaf tin?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for your question. When altering the quantities of a cake there is no excat formula for scaling up tin size or cooking time. For best results, make two loaf cakes instead. 

millid02's picture

Hi all I just made this cake again but this time I melted sugar with lemon juice for topping.
I think this may have been wrong as it didn't form a crust. What do others do regarding this. Many thanks in anticipation. Christine

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for your question, there is no need to melt the sugar, just mix with the lemon juice. Thanks.

goodfoodteam's picture

Flour is always plain unless otherwise stated, this will be why the cake sank in the middle.

mellymak's picture

The recipe doesn't specify whether or not we must use self-raising flour, but I did. In SA, normally the recipes do specify this, maybe its a UK thing that this is just assumed. Was I supposed to use self-raising? I also added 5ml of baking powder.

The cake was delicious but the middle of the cake was not cooked and it sank in the middle. I did test the cake and the skewer seemed shiney rather than wet. I wasn't sure if it still needed to be cooked further so I waited an extra 10mins. I was nervous to leave it any longer as it was going very dark on the outside. Did this happen because I used to much raising agent?

bardez's picture

Recipe says "225g self-raising flour"

Nightbaker's picture

Make sure you whisk the butter/marg, sugar and eggs well. Don't forget to sift in the self raising flour before folding in to the mix. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45min at 160 fan. Check with skewer in the middle of the cake at 40min. If it sticks it aint ready. As soon as it doesn't stick it's ready.

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: 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?


Tips (23)

vembley's picture

Use a large tin. I made this cake for the second time, and forgot that the tin is too small. Whilst it it lovely, the dimension of the tin are clearly wrong. Perhaps they should be inches not centimetres? The cake is lovely, but I would recommend checking the cake 10 or 15 minutes before the end as you may want to cover it in foil to stop the top browning too much. Even though I used a larger tin, the cake rose well over the top which then makes it tricky to pour the lemon and sugar mix over to. Lovely recipe, just needs to be in a bigger tin!

dazhuntley's picture

My advice, for what it's worth; Use LARGE eggs. For the drizzle, do 3 lemons with 120g sugar, punch 2 dozen holes deep into the cake with your skewer. Don't focus on the 'topping' focus on getting as much of that juice down the holes as possible. The topping comes from what won't go down. Moist, juicy, heavenly cake every time.

alexandervchan's picture

Delicious, just use a bigger tin...

Hilarygypsy's picture

Delicious every time - really soak the cake with drizzle, made with granulated for extra crunch! I make a separate topping with icing sugar and more lemon juice, mixed to a thick pouring consistency to spread over cake when cool, on a rack, and allow to gently pour down sides. Have also mixed lemon juice with lime juice. First cake to go at the Macmillan coffee morning!

Pumpkineater84's picture

Ignore my last tip just tried and its gorgeous only thing I would do differently next time I would make another 1/3 of the drizzle topping and make holes ever so slightly larger so drizzle distributes deeper into the cake this is really good recipe

Pumpkineater84's picture

Also just thought I bet this would be gorgeous with limoncello in mix or mixed with some of the topping? And might try this again substituting the lemons with grapefruit it could be gross but might be nice

Pumpkineater84's picture

Whatever size tin you use good to always put the tin on a baking sheet or traybake tin I have had dreaded overspill of cake mix in oven before and it takes forever to clean oven never again! Cake took 65 mins in my oven at 160 fan after 50 mins covered with foil and re checked every 5mins looks great loing forward to trying it when it cools down

vicki_mh's picture

I've adapted this for a lemony sandwich. Add 2tsp of baking powder to the batter then split between 2 20cm sandwich tins. I also always use the zest of 2 lemons in mine for a stronger lemon taste. Sandwich with whipped up mascarpone (or cream if you prefer) and lemon curd, and pour over the lemon/sugar mix as usual.

Nightbaker's picture

Made this cake several times and never failed. Just soaked last one in lemon liqueur, not tried it yet. I use loaf tin liners from Morrison's, no messing around greasing or cutting up baking paper etc

love.orange123's picture

So simple and yet such a lovely treat. :)

I don't have a scale so I was forced to use cup measurements. For the cake you can use 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of flour, 4 eggs and the zest of two lemons (I love a strong lemony taste!)

Nightbaker's picture

Bake 2 cakes in 21cm x 10cm loaf tins. Same instructions as per with the following changes - mix is for 2 cakes: 300gm baking marg, 250gm caster sugar, 3 eggs, 300gm self raising flour, rind from 2 lemons and juice from half lemon. 160c fan assisted. 45 - 50 mins, test with skewer. Cakes have always split but no problem. Add juice from lemons to caster sugar for moist drizzle or icing sugar for crisp topping. Never fails.

angie120's picture

One lemon = 3 tablespoons if you don't have any lemon just add I bit of the juice to the mix

dhanisha_j's picture

After reading the reviews I attempted to make this last night. It was the easiest recipe to follow and the cake turned out PERFECT! The sponge was so soft and moist, it went down like a treat. I made a few changes:
* Bakes in a 9inch round tin
* Put 1 and 3/4 of lemon zest in the cake mix
* Used 1/4 to cover the top of the cake for decoration
* Put 1/2 lemon juice into the mix.
* Baked at 160 fan for 40 minutes
* Poured the lemon syrup on the cake whilst it was hot.

Definitely a winner!!!

princesspuppet's picture

I add lemon liquor to mine to give it a real kick.

amatuercakes's picture

Used lemon juice from a bottle instead of lemons! Didn't add lemon into the actual cake mix, aside from a little lemon juice (again from the bottle). Use fresh lemons if you can, but my version was still a hit. (Must say I guestimated the amount of lemon juice for the drizzle). Sponge was absolutely gorgeous. Used a standard cake tin instead of the loaf tin, didn't find any problems wih this. I did find however that the lemon mix didn't seep into the cake. But overall very good recipe, and I'll definitely make it again.

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


Skills & know how

As well as helping you decide what to cook we can also help you to cook it. From tips on cookery techniques to facts and information about health and nutrition, we’ve a wealth of foodie know how for you to explore.

About BBC Good Food

We’re all about good recipes, and about quality home cooking that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for some healthy inspiration or learning how to cook a decadent dessert, we’ve trustworthy guidance for all your foodie needs.

Our recipes

All our recipes are tested thoroughly by us to make sure they’re suitable for your kitchen at home. We know many of you are concerned about healthy eating, so we send them to a qualified nutritionist for thorough analysis too.

Tell us what you think…

Love the new look or think we’ve missed the mark? We want to hear your thoughts – good and bad – to make sure we make the new website as useful as possible.


Subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine and get triple-tested recipes delivered to your door, every month.


Discover the dates and details of all the BBC Good Food Shows.


See your favourite chefs on Sky Channel 247, Virgin TV 260 and find their recipes at

Follow us

Join the BBC Good Food community by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus.