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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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.
Heulwen Morris's picture
Heulwen Morris
22nd Mar, 2018
Very disappointed. Used the same size loaf tin as per recipe and it went all over the sides of the tin and bottom of the oven :(
20th Mar, 2018
Have made this a few times and great every time. As others have mentioned - it took much longer to cook - I think around an hour or just over. Some people refer to it as being too eggy - I can kind of agree as this cake it is more on the stodgy side, however my partner said it was similar to something he'd buy from a cake shop!
18th Mar, 2018
Followed this recipe to the letter.....not cooked. It looked like it had been in the oven 15mins when sliced.....45mins clearly not long enough....now 7/8ths of it in the bin. You have been warned.
Heather Bellamy's picture
Heather Bellamy
26th Feb, 2018
Always use Mary Berry’s recipe but thought I would give this one a go because it is the top rated cake recipe on here. It doesn’t rise as much and the drizzle doesn’t make as much as I would like! I think it needs more lemon zest, a teaspoon of baking powder and an extra 10/15 minutes in the oven. And double the drizzle quantities - keep mixing sugar into the juice until you’ve got a thickish paste, that will make sure your drizzle sets nice and firm and doesn’t just soak in completely. (Follow heathersbakingdiary on instagram for more tips).
22nd Feb, 2018
Sooooo good! loved it! Im going to make this again soon. I used alot of lemon zest in the mixture and the topping xxx.


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.
11th Jun, 2016
Could I do this in a 7" round cake tin?
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


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!)
27th Oct, 2014
Bake 2 cakes in 21cm x 10cm loaf tins. Same instructions as per with the following changes - mix is for 2 cakes: 300gm baking marg, 250gm caster sugar, 3 eggs, 300gm self raising flour, rind from 2 lemons and juice from half lemon. 160c fan assisted. 45 - 50 mins, test with skewer. Cakes have always split but no problem. Add juice from lemons to caster sugar for moist drizzle or icing sugar for crisp topping. Never fails.