Swirly lemon drizzle fingers

Swirly lemon drizzle fingers

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(31 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins


Makes 18 fingers
Polenta (sometimes called fine cornmeal) gives this cake its yellow colour and soft texture

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal214
  • fat11g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs27g
  • sugars17g
  • fibre0g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.3g
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  • 200g butter, well softened, plus extra



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large egg



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

  • 100g fine polenta or fine cornmeal



    An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

  • 140g self-raising flour
  • zest 3 lemons



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

For the swirl and drizzle

  • 4 tbsp lemon curd
  • 5 tbsp golden or white caster sugar
  • zest and juice 1 lemon



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


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and make sure there’s a shelf ready in the middle of the oven. Butter a rectangular baking tray or small roasting tin, about 20cm x 30cm. Cut out a sheet of baking paper a bit larger than the tin, then push it in and smooth it out with your hands so it sticks to the butter. Snip into the corners with a pair of scissors to get the paper to lie neatly.

  2. Put all the cake ingredients and a pinch of salt into a large bowl, then use electric beaters to beat until creamy and smooth. Scoop into the tin, then level the top. Spoon the lemon curd over the batter in thick stripes. Use the handle of the spoon to swirl the curd into the cake – not too much or you won’t see the swirls once it’s cooked. Bake for about 35 mins or until golden and risen. It should have shrunk away from the sides of the tin ever so slightly and feel springy. Don’t open the oven before 30 mins cooking is up.

  3. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 mins or until just cool enough to handle. Carefully lift out of the tin and put it onto a cooling rack, sat over a tray or something similar to catch drips of drizzle. To make the drizzle, mix 4 tbsp sugar and the lemon juice together and spoon over the cake. Toss the lemon zest with the final 1 tbsp sugar and scatter over the top. Let the cake cool completely, then lift onto a board, peel away the sides of the baking paper and cut the cake into fingers. Will keep in an airtight tin for 3 days.

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Comments (42)

motherroo's picture

Great recipe so easy. I took these into work and they didn't last long. I used s/r flour and they were great.
A great tip for using up the lemons, is to slice them and put them in a freezerbag flat. Then put them in the freezer. They are then ready for your next Gin and tonic.

wolness's picture

I always have slices of lemon in the freezer for this very reason :)

fridaygirl's picture

I too made this with SR Flour. The result was fab, yummy blobs of lemon curd and a lovely crunchy topping - didn't last long. Will definitely be making this again - and again probably!

chocalotl's picture

I've made many a lemon drizzle cake and have now established a diverse range. However, as a traybake this is a definite new weapon in my arsenal. The sponge is beautifully light, piquant and fluffy, contrasting sublimely with the dense pockets of creamy lemon curd (I agree with Joanne that Tiptree is a good way to go). I too found the curd worked fine as an estimated quantity, producing a beautifullly burnished caramelised top. The sole hiccup I encountered was in the swirling: to avoid holes in the cake comprising sunken pockets of burst curd bubbles, it was best to add the curd in smaller blobs not thick stripes, dotted over the surface and then lightly swirled. But overall, the contrast of creamy with airy is divine!

gailjones's picture

This is a gorgeous cake and very easy to make.

greenlung's picture

This is a fantastic cake, would really recommend this. There is a battle with the kids when we make this about to Curd or not to Curd, and how much is right. But this is so dependable, and a favourite with all.

justjaki's picture

Despite only having 2 lemons & forgetting to buy the lemon curd the cake was delicious with the polenta(I have never used before but was really yum) and lemon crunchy topping. I will try it again soon when I remember to buy more lemons & the curd :o)

tartandlard's picture

Made the cake and it turned out unbelievable good. Moist, tasty and very light... Superb!

drizzle's picture

Very lemony and moist. Family thought it was better than my other lemon drizzle cakes which they loved as well. Served it warm with creme fraiche. All gone in one sitting.

missmoo75's picture

I love this cake, my friends love it and I'm constantly asked at work to make it. I like to add a small handful of poppy seeds in the mix too to give it texture.

pauline1245's picture

after reading these reviews I can't wait to try this recipe!
I'll let you know how I get on.....

clarebrown's picture

Absolutely gorgeous and super-lemony. Loved the different textures of zesty cake, gooey lemon curd and slightly crunchy sugar topping. I had some ground almonds that needed using up so I used half ground almonds and half polenta. I used a coarse polenta rather than fine and it worked out OK, adding a bit of bite to the cake. Highly recommended.

kfurber's picture

This is delish! The lemon curd pockets in the cake mixture are absolutely gorgeous! My only slip up was using normal polenta rather than the fine stuff which affected the texture somewhat, but for a complete novice I was very proud of the result!

jbodman's picture

I'm a huge fan of anything lemon so have tried lots of lemon cake recipes.... this is by far the best! Used Tiptree lemon curd which was lovely, and I used the extra self raising flour rather than polenta and the result was absolutely delicious!

beamuffin's picture

I've just made this recipe and it turned out absolutely delicious. For a healthier touch I used spelt flour instead of wheat and only organic ingredients. I'll definitely make this cake again!

angelgirl377's picture

I made this as muffins and they were really scrummy!

cherylshap's picture

Nope i've tried this cake again today and its no use i cant make it!! This time i left it longer and it went all bubbly on top and i think its over done and a little dry. It's edible, but just not like it should be! I give up.

carlaamanda69's picture

Made this and it was absolutely gorgeous. I didn't use the polenta, I just went for the Self Raising Flour option.

I also used lemon curd that was quite solid so I just blobbed in on and swirled it in.

There were squidgy bits of lemon curd through the cake when cooked but I enjoyed that. :D

I will definately make it again but may try bottled lemon juice this time because I'm now left with three lemons that have been zested to find something to do with!!LOL

bananamay's picture

this was my first ever sponge and it turned out perfectly - and delicious! I didn't even bother with the drizzle and they still tasted great

misslulu's picture

Loved it so did everyone lucky enough to get a slice. Used cheap lemon curd which was quite solid so gave it a blast in the microwave to soften and make it more spreadable. Will definately make again


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