Lemon drizzle cake

Lemon drizzle cake

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(1482 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…

  • finely grated zest 1 lemon



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

  • 225g self-raising flour

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. 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. Sift in 225g flour, then add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and mix until well combined. Line a loaf tin (8 x 21cm) with greaseproof paper, then spoon in the mixture and level the top with a spoon.

  2. Bake for 45-50 mins until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. While the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the juice of 1 1/2 lemons and 85g caster sugar to make the drizzle. 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. 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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31st Jan, 2017
Perfect first time lemon drizzle! Didn't get the sugar crisping on the top, but I believe I didn't wait for the cake to cool down enough. Next time I will pour over half the drizzle, wait for it to cool and then use the other half. I used the zest and juice of 2 lemons and it's super lovely and lemony. Rich and moist, soaked all the way through nicely. Only needed 45 minutes in the oven for me (compared to other comments which needed longer). Could put icing drizzle on the top, but would be too sweet for me! Will bake again!
Little Gnome
28th Jan, 2017
Just made this today - absolutely delicious. I didn't have a suitable loaf tin so used a 6.5" round cake tin. Took a little longer to cook - an hour - but still lovely texture. Will now be a regular bake.
25th Jan, 2017
I made this cake yesterday following the recipe apart from adding the lemon juice to the mixture (of the half lemon left over)...the cake was so easy to make and turned out beautifully.....five stars
22nd Jan, 2017
I used a 2 pound loaf tin that worked well. After 40 minutes, I tested it with a skewer to find it a bit runny inside though the top was quite brown so I covered it with foil, placed it in the bottom shelf and gave it 20 more minutes. The cake came out well though next time I may cover it with foil earlier (I have a fan oven by the way). I used the juice of two lemons in the drizzle and poured part of the drizzle when warm and the rest after the cake was slightly ghtly cool so that it was both moist and with a bit of a crunchy topping. The cake tasted good and the only reason I gave it 4 stars is because it needs a bit of improvising.
22nd Jan, 2017
good recipe, tastes great!
14th Jan, 2017
I've made this loads of times, it is fab, easy and always goes down well!! The timings for cooking are fine, I always give 50 mins. And I throw everything into the food processor to mix, never been an issue. In fact, just going to make another one now
12th Dec, 2016
I agree, this recipe takes a lot longer than the specified timings. However, once you get it right, it's a taste sensation! You only need one and a half Lemons, but I now squeeze the left over half into the cake mix with the zest. I also found that I didn't get that traditional frosting when pouring over the cake, so now I leave the cake for at least 30 minutes before drizzling over the sugar and lemon mix. And it works a treat. The çake was obviously too hot on my first attempt, which resulted in the sugar just melting rather than setting. Set your oven at 170-not 180, as it does take longer, and you won't want it to burn. Lovely recipe!
9th Dec, 2016
My mother (85) was talking only today about how much she used to love lemon drizzle cake. I remembered that it has been one of the most popular things ever on the BBC Good Food site, so despite not being a baker at all, I thought I would give it a go. How disappointing then to read the latest reports on it, from people who presumably know about baking. I am 60, and love to cook, but I'm have never really baked (mainly because, believe it or not, my husband and sons are not interested in cakes!) Does anyone think I should just give it a go?
28th Dec, 2016
I have made this cake several times now and I find the timings given are pretty accurate. It cooks in my oven in 50 minutes. I would advise checking your oven against a thermometer and adjusting your timings if needed and also use the best loaf tin you can - mine is a very solid, heavy duty one. Like others have said, using two lemons gives a really delicious moist cake. Would definitely recommend giving this recipe a go.
21st Nov, 2016
This recipe is flawed. I made this absolutely as written. The contents spilled all over my oven, the cake was raw inside but crispy on the outside and the glaze doesn't work as posted. Don't waste your ingredients. I'm going back to America's Test Kitchen.


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
4th May, 2016
Hi L.J, I usually do that with my lemon drizzle - bake it in two round tins, drizzle both cakes and sandwich them with icing. I use the icing recipe from the link below. It makes enough to ice the top of the cake as well, but not quite enough to do the sides too. Everybody so far has loved it, but I'd be careful not to use too much of it; I drizzle my cakes a lot more than the Good Food recipe suggests, so the sweetness of the icing really balances out the sharpness of the lemon. But it might make the whole thing too sweet if you go with the original cake recipe. http://www.hippopotamousse.com/2013/07/triple-lemon-drizzle-birthday-cake.html
27th May, 2015
How do you freeze this? Should I put the drizzle on when I defrost it or does that freeze OK as well? Thank you
27th May, 2015
I want to make two of these and freeze them for a party. Do I freeze without the drizzle or will the drizzle freeze OK as well? Thanks.
18th Sep, 2014
Stupid question, but if I'm planning on doubling the size, can I use a round cake tin instead of a loaf tin?


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.
9th Jul, 2014
One lemon = 3 tablespoons if you don't have any lemon just add I bit of the juice to the mix
3rd Jun, 2014
After reading the reviews I attempted to make this last night. It was the easiest recipe to follow and the cake turned out PERFECT! The sponge was so soft and moist, it went down like a treat. I made a few changes: * Bakes in a 9inch round tin * Put 1 and 3/4 of lemon zest in the cake mix * Used 1/4 to cover the top of the cake for decoration * Put 1/2 lemon juice into the mix. * Baked at 160 fan for 40 minutes * Poured the lemon syrup on the cake whilst it was hot. Definitely a winner!!!
21st Apr, 2014
I add lemon liquor to mine to give it a real kick.
29th Nov, 2013
Used lemon juice from a bottle instead of lemons! Didn't add lemon into the actual cake mix, aside from a little lemon juice (again from the bottle). Use fresh lemons if you can, but my version was still a hit. (Must say I guestimated the amount of lemon juice for the drizzle). Sponge was absolutely gorgeous. Used a standard cake tin instead of the loaf tin, didn't find any problems wih this. I did find however that the lemon mix didn't seep into the cake. But overall very good recipe, and I'll definitely make it again.