Lemon drizzle cake

Lemon drizzle cake

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(1567 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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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.
23rd Aug, 2017
Ive made this about 5 times now. Always turns out perfect. Only thing i have ever changed was to and a bit more lemon rind to mix if i fancy it a bit extra! Never fails to work.
16th Aug, 2017
Made this for my boyfriend's birthday yesterday. It is so quick to make and rose beautifully! Looked like a magazine cake :) He's lactose intolerant, so I used dairy-free butter, but it was still perfect. I left it in the oven for 45 mins and it came out a bit browner than the picture, but it still tasted delicious. Only thing I'd change for next time is more lemon! Yum, definitely a favourite in my house now
13th Aug, 2017
My 12 year old followed this recipe and entered the cake in the local show. He got first place up against eight other lemon drizzle cakes. One very happy little boy and one very delicious cake :-)
26th Jul, 2017
Absolutely fab. Used this same recipe about a dozen times and always comes out perfect! I always get loads of compliments. HOWEVER!!! It definitely needs longer than 45 mins!! Mine usually cooks about 1hr, 1hr 20.. I have a fan oven. I just kept testing with a cake skewer, until its clean. So just keep an eye on it after 45 mins to ensure its cooked perfectly! Also I usually add some more icing drizzled across the top for decoration. Just icing sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice, then a tiny amount of butter to thicken it so it sets rather than running straight off. Then I add shavings of lime/lemon and/or crushed pistachio nuts. The green, golden yellow and white really sets it off! Recommend this recipe for everyone!
22nd Jul, 2017
So straightforward and completely delicious. I had some blueberries which needed using so I added them to the batter before baking. I used the juice of 2 lemons as suggested and it was perfect.
29th Jun, 2017
I add orange and it's gorgeous. Also do all in one with mixer
29th Jun, 2017
Fantastic cake! Made this last night and turned out great even if I made it on a 23cm round tin (loaf tin unavailable) which surprisingly raised and tasted awesome! Also I used 125gr of sugar instead of 225gr as its a bit too much for our taste! Would make it again!


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?
goodfoodteam's picture
26th Nov, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. When altering the quantities of a cake there is no excat formula for scaling up tin size or cooking time. For best results, make two loaf cakes instead. 
6th Sep, 2014
Hi all I just made this cake again but this time I melted sugar with lemon juice for topping. I think this may have been wrong as it didn't form a crust. What do others do regarding this. Many thanks in anticipation. Christine
goodfoodteam's picture
16th Sep, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question, there is no need to melt the sugar, just mix with the lemon juice. Thanks.
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Sep, 2014
Flour is always plain unless otherwise stated, this will be why the cake sank in the middle.
mellymak's picture
1st Sep, 2014
The recipe doesn't specify whether or not we must use self-raising flour, but I did. In SA, normally the recipes do specify this, maybe its a UK thing that this is just assumed. Was I supposed to use self-raising? I also added 5ml of baking powder. The cake was delicious but the middle of the cake was not cooked and it sank in the middle. I did test the cake and the skewer seemed shiney rather than wet. I wasn't sure if it still needed to be cooked further so I waited an extra 10mins. I was nervous to leave it any longer as it was going very dark on the outside. Did this happen because I used to much raising agent?
7th May, 2016
Recipe says "225g self-raising flour"
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.


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.
21st Nov, 2013
I baked this in a cake pan rather than a loaf tin, then double glazed it. I let the first glaze sink into the hot cake completely, then once it was cooled, I combined 3 tbsp icing sugar with the juice of 1/2 lemon and spread the icing over the top. It looked and tasted delicious - and not overly sweet like I feared it might.
7th Oct, 2013
Pour lemon/sugar mixture on the loaf when it is hot - mine really crisped up that way. And as others say - add a little extra rind and juice!
20th Dec, 2013
3rd Oct, 2013
Since 1 and 1/2 lemons are used for the drizzle I add the other half lemons juice to the cake mix. Both times I've cooked this it's won approval from others. Stayed moist for a few days aswell. Also took a tip from elsewhere and used demerara for the drizzle.
14th Sep, 2013
Image this with poppy seeds and 2 lemons as per comments below. Delicious
14th Aug, 2013
if u put the naked lemon in the microwave for 30 second you get nearly double the amount of juice
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!