Lighter lemon drizzle cake

Lighter lemon drizzle cake

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(47 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 40 mins


Cuts into 12 slices
Angela Nilsen gives one of our site's most popular cakes the ultimate healthy makeover by reducing fat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal243
  • fat10.2g
  • saturates1.4g
  • carbs35.4g
  • sugars21.5g
  • fibre0.9g
  • protein4.7g
  • salt0.34g
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  • 75ml rapeseed oil, plus extra for the tin
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 50g ground almond
  • 50g polenta



    An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

  • finely grated zest 2 lemons



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

  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 225g natural yogurt

For the lemon syrup

  • 85g caster sugar
  • juice 2 lemon (about 5 tbsp)



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


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lightly oil a 20cm round x 5cm deep cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. For the cake, put the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and polenta in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and sugar, then make a dip in the centre. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then stir in the yogurt. Tip this mixture along with the oil into the dip (see step-by-step number 1), then briefly and gently stir with a large metal spoon so everything is just combined, without overmixing.

  2. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the top (step 2). Bake for 40 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil for the final 5-10 mins if it starts to brown too quickly.

  3. While the cake cooks, make the lemon syrup. Tip the caster sugar into a small saucepan with the lemon juice and 75ml water. Heat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat, boil for 4 mins until slightly reduced and syrupy, then remove from the heat.

  4. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool briefly in the tin. While it is still warm, turn it out of the tin, peel off the lining paper and sit the cake on a wire rack set over a baking tray or similar. Use a skewer to make lots of small holes all over the top of the cake (step 3). Slowly spoon over half the lemon syrup (step 4) and let it soak in. Spoon over the rest in the same way, brushing the edges and sides of the cake too with the last of the syrup.

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Comments, questions and tips

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3rd Dec, 2012
I used gluten free self- raising flour instead and made sure that the lemon syrup was quite thick, it is absolutely delicious. I shall be adding this recipie to my Gluten Free cake list.
30th Sep, 2012
when i read the ingredients i thought adding polenta was very unusual however the cake was one of the nicest ones i've made, it had a grainy lemony taste -delicious!
8th Sep, 2012
On a reluctant diet so decided to try this and I'm really happy! Lovely, moist with a great texture. I added the juice of half a lemon to the batter mix and it was delicious. If only all diet/lighter food tasted this good.........
31st Jul, 2012
This was excellent - disappeared over one evening. My son adores lemon drizzle cake and will eat the whole cake if I don't pay attention. Thus, I can't really make it often if it has 225 g of butter and 225 g of sugar. This is lovely and moist; reminds me of a wonderful (high fat) recipe I used to do with corn meal and lots of butter and lemon and also 2-3 cups of berries. The texture was the same, but there was TONS of fat. Might try this with added berries or chopped stone fruit. My family liked it almost as much as the high-fat version
7th Jul, 2012
Made this exactly as stated in the recipe, with 0% fat yoghurt - absolutely delicious!
20th Jun, 2012
Just another comment, after this cake had been kept for a few days, it went mouldy! Not sure if it should have been kept in the fridge? Ended up throwing half of it away.
13th Jun, 2012
Absolutely amazing! I made it gluten free and lacto free and I must say that it is one of the best cakes I had!!! It has a light fluffy texture, moist and just delicious. Thank you very much. You inspired me a lot;)
12th Jun, 2012
I've made this a couple of times and I've found that by adding the water to the the lemon syrup, it makes too much liquid, even though it does reduce a little in the pan. Now I just make the syrup by adding the 85g caster sugar to the lemon juice in a bowl as per the full fat receipe on this site and spooning it over the cake. It's no less fattening, I've just omitted the water.
11th Jun, 2012
Just made this cake after wanting to for ages and at last able to find polenta. It was very disappointing as the rapeseed oil was overpowering in taste and smell .I should have known when I was measuring it out but thought the recipe had been tested so went ahead . The texture was good but can't believe the strong smell wasn't noticed in the testing . Will have to throw the cake away .
29th Oct, 2013
I haven't made this but wonder about the rapeseed oil. I suspect it would be tastier with a nut oil such as walnut or hazelnut - maybe substituted in part since it's more expensive to buy.


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