Lemon drizzle cake loaf on a pretty platter

Lemon drizzle cake

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(1658 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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22nd Oct, 2017
Fab cake but add more lemon zest and juice. Very fluffy
19th Oct, 2017
Just made this today and it was fabulous. I would definitely add more lemon zest and probably a little lemon juice in the cake mix. I cooked mine for 1 hr in a fan oven at 160 degrees and covered in foil for the last 20 mins. I also used granulated sugar and about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice for the icing.
9th Oct, 2017
I have made this cake several times and found it works well as a tray bake (which I slice and freeze for my husband and I to take to work) and as a loaf. I have tried to fiddle with the recipe a little using coconut sugar and/or honey to replace the sugar and found the coconut sugar works well for the sponge, but I personally didn't like the taste of the drizzle although my husband did. Next I'm going to try coconut sugar for the sponge and honey for the drizzle. I also add the flour first and then the eggs, and am very generous with the lemon zest in the sponge, usually using two lemons.
Eva W
7th Oct, 2017
its delicious, perfect as it is, and never fails to impress all :-)... personal preference is granulated sugar in the topping, and a of spoonful of lemon juice in the in the batter too to make it more lemony...
1st Oct, 2017
Very easy to make and the end result looked very professional. It could have been a bit more lemony so I'll follow the advice of others and add the zest of two lemons next time. Otherwise a great recipe!
kejames77's picture
28th Sep, 2017
Very straightforward and easy to make. I made it for the first time to take to a Macmillan cancer support fundraiser and the whole thing sold and got great reviews. I'm glad I managed to try it myself for 50p! It was light and fluffy and the drizzle was very zingy but I may use more zest in the cake next time to give it more of a lemon flavour.
Baker-Elfriede's picture
26th Sep, 2017
Love lemon drizzle, I had a drop of milk to the batter with the eggs to make it slightly more moist but apart from that variation it's a fool-proof recipe.
26th Sep, 2017
"I love this Lemon Drizzle cake recipe! Excellent taste" Thanks for sharing a good recipe.
8th Sep, 2017
This cake has never failed me, I've made it so many times and it's delicious. I use zest of 2 lemons in the cake and I use juice of 2 lemons and granulated sugar instead of castor to give it the nice sugar crunch toppin as using castor sugar has never given me a hard crunchy topping, granulated always does.
28th Aug, 2017
I listened to advice and added the zest of 2 lemons instead of one to the recipe, and the juice of half a lemon. Mine baked in 45 mins at 160 on a fan, with foil round the top for the last 20 mins. I used a thin new IKEA loaf tin that was about 11 x 25 - could've fit all the mix in by the time I saw it cooked but I was being cautious so I had some left over. It's a lovely cake. I used 100g of sugar instead of 85g and ended up with a proper topping that looks similar to the photo.


11th Nov, 2014
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
9th Jul, 2014
Add I bit of cornflour to the lemon and sugar. This will thicken it
8th Jun, 2014
Great cake to make though my drizzle doesn't 'frost' like the picture shows. Anyone know why?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Jun, 2014
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.
13th Jun, 2014
Ahhhh - may be its because its too hot when I ice it. Will try later. Thanks!
C Glasgow
23rd May, 2014
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
2nd Jun, 2014
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: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-make-cake-top-10-problems-fixed Thanks.
10th Apr, 2014
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?
24th Sep, 2013
How is the drizzle made and applied to form a crispy frosting?
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Apr, 2014
Hi there, as the drizzle cools the sugar hardens and creates a crisp, glazed topping, thanks.


9th Jul, 2013
Double the lemon rind and juice (3 lemons) and 100g sugar for topping for more fresh, lemony zing.
21st Jun, 2013
Use large eggs, add extra zest (and juice of half a lemon) for an extra lemony kick!