Lemon drizzle cake loaf on a pretty platter

Lemon drizzle cake

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(1766 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 eggs



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

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • finely grated zest 1 lemon



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

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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sift in 225g self-raising flour, then add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and mix until well combined.

  4. Line a loaf tin (8 x 21cm) with greaseproof paper, then spoon in the mixture and level the top with a spoon.

  5. Bake for 45-50 mins until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

  6. While the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the juice of 1 ½ lemons and 85g caster sugar to make the drizzle.

  7. 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.

  8. 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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7th Jul, 2019
We made this as a fun Sunday activity. As I am wheat intolerant we made it with gluten free flour and it turned out brilliant!
Juliet Goldschmidt
6th Jul, 2019
Turned out perfect. Instead of lemon zest I used vanilla extract and lemon juice for the icing and it disappeared in minutes at an event. A winner without a doubt!
Dravet Mum
18th Jun, 2019
Sadly I agree with some of the negative comments. I’ve tried many Lemon Drizzle cake recipes and this was one of the worst, nothing special and like some have said - quite eggy! The best Lemon Drizzle recipe I have was from this website years ago and was on here for years. It doesn’t appear to be here anymore which is a shame as it really was the best! So glad I saved that recipe.
26th May, 2019
I can see why so many people love this cake. Its a winner in our house - I don't change a thing and it always works perfectly. Thanks Tana for the recipe
22nd May, 2019
Excellent, very moist, lemony and easy to make.
16th May, 2019
Easy to make & tastes fantastic - what's not to love.
Andy Nash's picture
Andy Nash
14th May, 2019
I've never baked before and followed the recipe exactly and it came out great, even made another and gave it to friends who all agreed it was lovely. Only one thing that varied and that was the time which 20-25 minutes longer
27th Apr, 2019
I'm sad to say that I had one bite of this cake and I did not like it one bit. I have tried lots of cakes but I have never tasted one as bad. All I could taste were eggs, no matter how much lemon I added to try to disguise the flavour. Very disappointing.
Janice Andrew's picture
Janice Andrew
26th Apr, 2019
8 x 21 cm ?? This has got to be a misprint ? I've never seen a loaf tin 8cm in width. Or does it mean depth ? Please clarify, before I buy any ingredients !!
Nicola Howard
24th Apr, 2019
Was very worried about making this due to a lot of people commenting on it being too eggy and a divided view of whether it made 1 or 2 cakes. I prepared 2 cake tins just in case and I made 1 cake! It definitely needs more cooking that it suggests, I think mine took about 1hr10mins and it had started to brown a lot on the top so I covered it with tin foil on the top so it didn’t burn. I also added more lemon juice to the drizzle and added a decorative drizzle of lemon juice and icing sugar.


Janet Palmer's picture
Janet Palmer
20th May, 2019
Unfortunately my cake burnt on top whilst not cooked in the middle after only 30 minutes.I followed recipe to the letter so why ????
goodfoodteam's picture
20th May, 2019
We're sorry to hear this. It sounds like your oven is too hot or is it possible the grill was on?
lauren28052007's picture
11th Mar, 2019
Can I use this recipe to make lemon drizzle cupcakes? And how many would it make? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can use this recipe, although we can't give exact quantities and timings without testing. We'd suggest 14 - 16 cupcakes and cooking for around 20 mins or until springy to the touch. Alternatively you could make the following without poppyseeds and add a drizzle instead of icing: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/470636/lemon-and-poppyseed-cupcakes
24th Jan, 2019
how to print
goodfoodteam's picture
25th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. There's a print button under the image at the top of the recipe.
16th Mar, 2018
Do you freeze this with the drizzle already on? Or make the drizzle once defrosted? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Mar, 2018
Thanks for your question. You can freeze the completed cake.
29th Aug, 2017
Hi! I tried this recipe as my first time baking (well, first in a very long time!) and I do love lemon drizzle cake. I followed the recipe to the letter, and while it tastes great, it did sink in the middle which is annoying! I used a loaf tin... Can anyone tell me why this happened, or what I did wrong please? Thanks!
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Sep, 2017
Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear the cake sank in the middle. There are a number of reasons why this might have happened. The oven door was opened before the cake had time to set; the cake didn't go in the oven as soon as the mixture was ready; or too much raising agent was used. Hope this helps in future.


Teresa Smith
17th Apr, 2019
I had to tweak a few things to make this work: - use a 30cm x 9cm x 9cm Loaf pan (Kaiser does a good one) - reduce to 3 medium eggs - add zest of 2 lemons instead of 1 - add 2 capfuls of vanilla extract for a richer taste Also cook time might be slightly longer but not by much.
1 to 3's picture
1 to 3
11th Apr, 2019
Needs a bit more lemon flavor
KookieKat72's picture
12th Feb, 2019
This is a great tasting recipe and not too dry but I did find that it was only cooking on the outside and not in the inside so I had to cover it in tin foil and put it in for another 10 minutes. I also added in 2 lemon zest and 1 juice instead of just 1 zest because I felt as though there wouldn’t of been enough lemon flavour.
Jennifer Roberts's picture
Jennifer Roberts
2nd Nov, 2018
As others have mentioned, use 3 eggs and a longer cooking time. Otherwise great. I topped mine with a lemon cream cheese icing.
Farah Corrigan's picture
Farah Corrigan
28th May, 2018
i love this recipe, i turned out so well, maybe slightly eggy to me, but no-one really noticed . there were a couple of things that i did differently though, so i used the juice of 1/4 of a lemon as well as the zest in the actual mixture as i thought it was looking a bit too sturdy. then when baking i added some caster sugar onto the top to make it crisp and also put some baking paper over the top so it wouldn't crust too much that the drizzle wouldn't go in. for the drizzle, i simply juiced 1 lemon and added some icing sugar (purely for taste) then i poured 1/2 of it on the cake, then i added some more sugar so the top would be much sweeter and there would be a nice glaze. it turned out so well! hope this helped
27th Aug, 2017
If you want to make more than one, only double the recipie. I tried trippling it but the mixture was too thin and the cakes did not cook properly. Also I foumd that if you use the Base recipie, you can add other flavourings instead of lemon. I like to use salted caramel and chocolate
29th Jun, 2017
Great recipe. I agree with others, the tin size is too small, I went two loaf tin sizes up to accommodate all the mixture. It did take about 20 minutes longer than recommended. I also used the the "all in one" method and it worked out beautifully. Will definitely make it again.
2nd Oct, 2016
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
24th Jul, 2016
Overspill? Try oven bottom liner sheet couple of pounds from b and m . It cleans much more easily than oven bottom.
24th Jul, 2016
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.


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