Lemon drizzle cake loaf on a pretty platter

Lemon drizzle cake

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(1833 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
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.
Mayuskita's picture
30th Jan, 2018
Absolutely delicious, I haven't used a lemon zest but lemon juice instead and it was


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.


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