Lemon drizzle cake

Lemon drizzle cake

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(1462 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 45 mins

Easy

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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Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 egg
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

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

  • finely grated zest 1 lemon
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

    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
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

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

  • 85g caster sugar

Method

  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, questions and tips

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vickyjf
14th Jan, 2017
5.05
I've made this loads of times, it is fab, easy and always goes down well!! The timings for cooking are fine, I always give 50 mins. And I throw everything into the food processor to mix, never been an issue. In fact, just going to make another one now
Jobey
12th Dec, 2016
I agree, this recipe takes a lot longer than the specified timings. However, once you get it right, it's a taste sensation! You only need one and a half Lemons, but I now squeeze the left over half into the cake mix with the zest. I also found that I didn't get that traditional frosting when pouring over the cake, so now I leave the cake for at least 30 minutes before drizzling over the sugar and lemon mix. And it works a treat. The çake was obviously too hot on my first attempt, which resulted in the sugar just melting rather than setting. Set your oven at 170-not 180, as it does take longer, and you won't want it to burn. Lovely recipe!
catbail
9th Dec, 2016
My mother (85) was talking only today about how much she used to love lemon drizzle cake. I remembered that it has been one of the most popular things ever on the BBC Good Food site, so despite not being a baker at all, I thought I would give it a go. How disappointing then to read the latest reports on it, from people who presumably know about baking. I am 60, and love to cook, but I'm have never really baked (mainly because, believe it or not, my husband and sons are not interested in cakes!) Does anyone think I should just give it a go?
Mumster28
28th Dec, 2016
I have made this cake several times now and I find the timings given are pretty accurate. It cooks in my oven in 50 minutes. I would advise checking your oven against a thermometer and adjusting your timings if needed and also use the best loaf tin you can - mine is a very solid, heavy duty one. Like others have said, using two lemons gives a really delicious moist cake. Would definitely recommend giving this recipe a go.
Cooking6432
21st Nov, 2016
0.05
This recipe is flawed. I made this absolutely as written. The contents spilled all over my oven, the cake was raw inside but crispy on the outside and the glaze doesn't work as posted. Don't waste your ingredients. I'm going back to America's Test Kitchen.
pjtrudgill
19th Nov, 2016
0.05
Attempted this cake last night... there is clearly something wrong it was raw after 50 mins and I used correct size tin it was almost like it was enough ingredients for two cakes! May try next time... this ended up in the bin with a few cooked bits round the side... the skewer came out clean because still liquid inside... needs amending!
clintwestmetal
9th Dec, 2016
I've found more success using this recipe but split between two 20cm sandwich tins. Raspberry jams between the two halves works a treat!
ohyeah
10th Nov, 2016
5.05
Regarding the timings, I think its a little unfair to blame the author always, there are many variables which will determine the cooking together with the obvious differences in the oven temps, not all will cook at exactly 160 due to the manufactures specifications, thermostat differences and alike but also I found a huge variation in the cake tins used. My tins which are relatively new and fairly thin behave pretty much "on time" whereas my mothers 70 year old heavy duty tend to take much longer. The results though through experience tend to give the same great final product.
ohyeah
9th Nov, 2016
5.05
tried this cake this morning and found timings a little quick, but just waited till the cake was spring back a the touch and hey presto perfect! Must admit I'll try more lemon next time both zest and juice, can never have too much of a good thing.
acjacobs
4th Nov, 2016
5.05
I've made this a few times now and it really annoys me. There's no way on earth that this cake will cook in 45 minutes. At 160 in a fan oven, this is going to take 75 minutes. After 45 to 50 minutes it's completely raw inside. With all the comments saying exactly the same thing you'd thing that BBC Good Food would do something. If someone followed this and presented it to Gordon Ramsey on one of his shows he'd be putting a slice of bread either side of their face and calling them an idiot sandwich. And there is absolutely no way it's going to look like that with the instructions given. The only way I can make it look like that with a nice crispy top is to add just enough lemon juice to the sugar to turn it into a fairly thick paste. Then drizzle the remaining juice over the cake first to give it a soak. Once that's done, pour the paste over and spread it as needed.

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Val46
17th Oct, 2016
My lemon cakes (and other loaf cakes!) always seem to end up with a "crack" down the centre, and around the edge is always done first, but the centre takes longer, where am I going wrong please? Too much liquid?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
31st Oct, 2016
Thanks for your question. It sounds like your cake tin is a bit too small. If the cake is significantly peaked it'll be much higher in the middle and will therefore take longer to cook than the outer edges. Hope that gets to the bottom of it. If not, take a look at our Top 10 cake problems fixed article for more advice.
Shanicetsang
8th Oct, 2016
Can I use this recipe for an 8" cake?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
15th Oct, 2016
If you don't have a suitable loaf tin, you could use an 8 inch round tin instead but you will need to adjust the timings slightly to accomodate the different depth of cake mixture. We'd suggest keeping an eye on your cake from about 3/4 of the way through the stated cooking time to ensure it doesn't become overcooked. Once the cake starts to look golden and feels springy to the touch, then take it out and test it to see if it's done.
laura_j_83
29th Sep, 2016
Just wondering - should I be using medium or large eggs?? :-)
JEMBull
25th Aug, 2016
Can anyone tell me if you can make this cake with gluten free SR flour. Thank you.
rampervm
30th Jul, 2016
5.05
How many grams is the juice of 1 1/2 lemons? I am in Trinidad and the lemons are certainly different to those in London.
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
16th Aug, 2016
Thank you for your question. It doesn't really matter if the lemons differ in size a little. If you happen to have very big lemons, you could try using just one. Hope this helps.
topthorn10
11th Jun, 2016
Could I do this in a 7" round cake tin?
L.J
13th Jul, 2015
hello! 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

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sarahjo33
2nd Oct, 2016
5.05
A lovely recipe, came out perfect. When the cake had cooled I cut in half and spread a layer of lemon curd and a layer of lemons butter icing and sandwiched back together. Everyone who had a slice came back for another. I also used the rind of 2 lemons in the cake which gave a more powerful flavour. A winner in our house
ciao
24th Jul, 2016
5.05
Overspill? Try oven bottom liner sheet couple of pounds from b and m . It cleans much more easily than oven bottom.
ciao
24th Jul, 2016
5.05
Made this 3 times now. Today I've added dessicated coconut and also coconut essence (lake land's is lovely) to the mixture. Also try using icing sugar on top instead of castor. I also fin this takes much longer to cook - 1 to 1 and a half hours.
Rkepinska
27th Jun, 2016
5.05
Oh and grate two lemon rinds into the mix not one.
Rkepinska
27th Jun, 2016
5.05
Change fan oven temp to 140 and bake for 1hr 10mins plus swap caster sugar for granulated sugar for the topping glaze thing.
vembley
31st Jan, 2016
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
22nd Jan, 2016
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
22nd Nov, 2015
Delicious, just use a bigger tin...
Hilarygypsy
26th Sep, 2015
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
25th Aug, 2015
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

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