Lemon drizzle cake loaf on a pretty platter

Lemon drizzle cake

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(1891 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…

For the drizzle topping

  • juice 1½ lemons



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

  • 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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Charlo Bartlett...
22nd Feb, 2020
Made this lemon cake last night it turned out beautifully I did add a bit more lemon in but it was my best lemon cake I've made with this recipe
16th Feb, 2020
Best lemon drizzle I have made. I don’t bother looking at other drizzle recipes now!
26th Jan, 2020
I believe I made a success with this on my first attempt. My only variable was the time in the oven, as the centre top took some time to bake. Will make again
16th Jan, 2020
I have made this cake many times over the last 5 years or so and have fantastic results every time. It does need a 2lb loaf tin and usually takes an hour or so to cook. Depending on size of eggs I sometimes add a splash of milk if the mixture looks a little stiffer than normal. I have also added lemon oil to the mix if I don't have any unwaxed lemons for zesting, and this works just as well. I prefer a sherbet type topping so always up the lemon juice, usually 2, and mix with granulated sugar, pouring on straight away as it comes out of the oven. Keeps well and is lovely a day or so later. Everyone I have made it for loves it. Some people rate this cake as too 'eggy', however, I do not find it to be that way. Perhaps that is just down to personal taste. The best loaf tin that I have found is a Circulon one, which I line with greaseproof paper. For me, this is a 5 Star recipe.
11th Jan, 2020
This is a fantastic lemon drizzle cake. I make it gluten free by using gluten free self raising flour and it tastes great. I normally reduce the total amount of sugar by about 50g as otherwise it’s quite sweet.
Agnieszka Johnson's picture
Agnieszka Johnson
5th Jan, 2020
Perfect lemon drizzle time, my to go recipe. everyone comments that this is the best drizzle cake they've ever had. Added zest of 2 lemons for extra flavour. When you come to drizzle it can get too sweet but don't have to use all of it
Mimi Coyle's picture
Mimi Coyle
27th Dec, 2019
came out perfect but the drizzle was way to sweet
Carolyn Boylan's picture
Carolyn Boylan
26th Dec, 2019
Great recipe. Use softened block butter rather than butter spread and the timing is pretty accurate. If you like lemon flavour I recommend using grated zest and juice of 2 lemons. Fantastic warmed with vanilla ice cream
Annie Jenkins
15th Dec, 2019
Really terrible recipe, not enough lemon taste, too eggy and took ages to cook resulting in an overcooked top but undercooked centre.
24th Nov, 2019
My go to recipe for lemon drizzle cake. I find best made in 2 smaller loaf tins and reduce cooking time to 30-35 mins. But made as one loaf it generally needs an extra 5 mins.


22nd Sep, 2019
Hi. Is a 2lb loaf tin suitable for this recipe?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Sep, 2019
Thanks for your question. Yes, a 2lb tin is suitable. If the dimensions are slightly different, it's worth keeping an eye on the cake towards the end of cooking time to ensure it's not overcooked.
Janet Palmer's picture
Janet Palmer
20th May, 2019
Unfortunately my cake burnt on top whilst not cooked in the middle after only 30 minutes.I followed recipe to the letter so why ????
goodfoodteam's picture
20th May, 2019
We're sorry to hear this. It sounds like your oven is too hot or is it possible the grill was on?
lauren28052007's picture
11th Mar, 2019
Can I use this recipe to make lemon drizzle cupcakes? And how many would it make? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can use this recipe, although we can't give exact quantities and timings without testing. We'd suggest 14 - 16 cupcakes and cooking for around 20 mins or until springy to the touch. Alternatively you could make the following without poppyseeds and add a drizzle instead of icing: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/470636/lemon-and-poppyseed-cupcakes
24th Jan, 2019
how to print
goodfoodteam's picture
25th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. There's a print button under the image at the top of the recipe.
16th Mar, 2018
Do you freeze this with the drizzle already on? Or make the drizzle once defrosted? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Mar, 2018
Thanks for your question. You can freeze the completed cake.


Rebecca Adams's picture
Rebecca Adams
16th Jan, 2020
Just a tip for people reading comments about overflowing and it being too eggy. You need a 2lb loaf tin and I once made the mistake of using plain flour and that is why it tastes eggy!! Made it with self raising numerous times and it is amazing!!!
Júlia Láng's picture
Júlia Láng
4th Sep, 2019
the recommended tin size is WAY too small. half the dough oozed out. either use larger tin, or half the measurements, or bake in 2 tins
Hannah Brindley's picture
Hannah Brindley
17th Aug, 2019
Following some of the comments I read (I am not a Baker at all) I used close to 3 large eggs, (I can't stand eggy cakes!) a tsp of vanilla extract and the juice of one lemon which I added to the mixture. I also used stork instead of unsalted butter. Instead of a large cake the mixture fitted 12 muffin cases perfectly, which is great for the kids! They loved them.!
4th Aug, 2019
I used 3 medium eggs, 2 tablespoons of milk, zest of 2 lemons and the juice of half a lemon (which is ideal when you need the juice of 1.5 lemons for the drizzle). The cake is deliciously moist and lemony.
Teresa Smith
17th Apr, 2019
I had to tweak a few things to make this work: - use a 30cm x 9cm x 9cm Loaf pan (Kaiser does a good one) - reduce to 3 medium eggs - add zest of 2 lemons instead of 1 - add 2 capfuls of vanilla extract for a richer taste Also cook time might be slightly longer but not by much.
1 to 3's picture
1 to 3
11th Apr, 2019
Needs a bit more lemon flavor
KookieKat72's picture
12th Feb, 2019
This is a great tasting recipe and not too dry but I did find that it was only cooking on the outside and not in the inside so I had to cover it in tin foil and put it in for another 10 minutes. I also added in 2 lemon zest and 1 juice instead of just 1 zest because I felt as though there wouldn’t of been enough lemon flavour.
Jennifer Roberts's picture
Jennifer Roberts
2nd Nov, 2018
As others have mentioned, use 3 eggs and a longer cooking time. Otherwise great. I topped mine with a lemon cream cheese icing.
Farah Corrigan's picture
Farah Corrigan
28th May, 2018
i love this recipe, i turned out so well, maybe slightly eggy to me, but no-one really noticed . there were a couple of things that i did differently though, so i used the juice of 1/4 of a lemon as well as the zest in the actual mixture as i thought it was looking a bit too sturdy. then when baking i added some caster sugar onto the top to make it crisp and also put some baking paper over the top so it wouldn't crust too much that the drizzle wouldn't go in. for the drizzle, i simply juiced 1 lemon and added some icing sugar (purely for taste) then i poured 1/2 of it on the cake, then i added some more sugar so the top would be much sweeter and there would be a nice glaze. it turned out so well! hope this helped
27th Aug, 2017
If you want to make more than one, only double the recipie. I tried trippling it but the mixture was too thin and the cakes did not cook properly. Also I foumd that if you use the Base recipie, you can add other flavourings instead of lemon. I like to use salted caramel and chocolate


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