Lemon drizzle cake loaf on a pretty platter

Lemon drizzle cake

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(1691 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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19th Aug, 2018
I made this cake yesterday. I read all comments about it being rather too eggy. I have a strange slightly oval loaf tin of roughly the correct measurements, but wary of the mixture possibly “boiling” over in the oven I decided to make three quarters of the ingredients. Weighing the butter it looked a lot so decided to make a half-size cake. This took 45 mins to cook. I increased the drizzle ingredients (love lemons!). Result was a nice easy cake but nothing spectacular was the verdict of husband and self.
kdd dss's picture
kdd dss
11th Aug, 2018
Excellent recipe. What's can I say.....limited number of ingredients, super easy to make and just tasty.
Bryan Barnes's picture
Bryan Barnes
15th Jul, 2018
Easy to do ,and tastes fantastic , i did find it takes a little more than 50m,to cook,and also 3 eggs are fine ,i did mine in two loaf tins and seemed to rise better and on the plus side had some to take to freinds .
8th Jul, 2018
Absolutely delicious... but I too used 3 eggs, a little less butter, sugar and because I'm living in Italy, I used the leavening agent available here for making sweet things (no self raising flour). Worked beautifully and I also added a good measure of poppy seeds. I will make this often.
3rd Jul, 2018
Love this recipe. Best lemon drizzle cake recipe I have tried. I do however increase the amount of sugar in the drizzle topping to make it crunchier. I also add lemon zest on the top for decor. This cake works fine in any cake tin size, just keep an eye for baking time shifts. Would highly recommend.
Julie Morgan's picture
Julie Morgan
19th May, 2018
forgot to say always more time to cook than around 20mins more
Julie Morgan's picture
Julie Morgan
19th May, 2018
I have made this many times and people who've tried it love it, I think the recipe should say icing sugar for the topping, I make it with the caster sugar as the recipe states, no tweaks needed, top cake!
Leanne Rummy
26th Apr, 2018
Followed recipe exactly with the exception of the cooking time. Needed 15-20 mins longer than stated but came out perfect!! Moist and lemony!
24th Mar, 2018
I alway start by following the recipes to a T. That way I can try and work out whether it’s worth jiggling with after. However, having got to the stage where I was to put it in the tin, I felt that the whole mixture was extremely dry and floury. I love the flavour of lemons in anything so decided to add the whole lemon juice to the mix to help loosen it. I was worried it would be very dense based on the stodgy mix. Having read the comments, I decided I would check it after 50 mins. As many said it needs far longer and I reckon it was nearer 1hr and 5 mins before the knife came out clean. My first thought was that it would be dry, second thought was it had a very dark tinge around the edges, which looked dare I say a little burnt, next time I’ll cover it for part of the cooking). Anyway, I made up my own drizzle using juice of two lemons and making it quite runny. I then speared the cake and drizzled the lemon juice icing drizzle over the cake in stages. First stage quite warm, and it soaked into the cake, second stage still soaked in a little and ran down sides, third time it lay on top of cake and turned to a little iced lemon with when eating had a little crunch to it. I must admit by the time I cut it although the end piece and edges were harder, the inside was an extremely moist (bit like a Madeira in texture) lemony cake. I will definitely make this again to my own recipe.
23rd Mar, 2018
Followed recipe to the T - flavour was great, although I found it quite dense and dry.


6th Mar, 2017
Should it be 4 large eggs or 4 medium eggs?
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Mar, 2017
Thank you for your question. We would suggest using 4 large eggs.
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
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.
8th Oct, 2016
Can I use this recipe for an 8" cake?
goodfoodteam's picture
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.
29th Sep, 2016
Just wondering - should I be using medium or large eggs?? :-)
25th Aug, 2016
Can anyone tell me if you can make this cake with gluten free SR flour. Thank you.
30th Jul, 2016
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
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.


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's picture
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.
22nd Nov, 2015
Delicious, just use a bigger tin...
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!
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
25th Aug, 2015
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
25th Aug, 2015
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
8th Feb, 2015
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.
11th Nov, 2014
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
28th Oct, 2014
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!)


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