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


  • 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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10th Jun, 2012
I loved the ease of this recipe....I decided to make individual cakes...approx 30 were made - the cooking time was just under half, and the kids loved me for their new lunch box favorite!!!
10th Jun, 2012
Can anyone pls tell me what type of polenta should be used for this recipe. Thanx
21st May, 2012
Very nice cake. It maybe could have done with a bit more lemon and could have been a bit stickier on the top. I used sunflower oil instead of rapeseed oil.
12th May, 2012
Lovely and light. Used sunflower oil as didn't have rapeseed. Polenta adds a nice touch of texture.
19th Apr, 2012
I made this cake expecting my husband would not like it as it was low calorie. he loved the cake even the texture.
7th Apr, 2012
Excellent cake and so easy to make. The texture and flavour are amazing. There did seem to be an excess of syrup, so I used half and then the rest on the next one ( it has been very popular!). It freezes really well too. Nobody would guess this was low fat. This will be the only lemon drizzle recipe for me now.
30th Mar, 2012
I have made this cake several times and it has turned out perfectly every time. The best thing is not needing a food mixer to make it. I added 2 teaspoons of powdered ginger to the last batch, which went very well with the lemon. My lads also love this as a dessert with home made lemon custard. I am planning to try this recipe with orange zest and juice. My family and work colleagues have all loved it.
24th Mar, 2012
I have been searching for a lower fat recipe for ages. This one ticked all the boxes. I too used a loaf tin and it turned out perfectly, even the cooking times. The only change I made was to the lemon syrup, I just let the sugar disolve in the lemon juice on it's own while the cake was baking and drizzled it over while the cake was still warm...Perfect!
20th Mar, 2012
I made this yesterday and was impressed with it. It did take alot longer to cook though. Will make again but think I will do as Margaret did and cut down on the amount of sugar I use. I used sunflower oil as it was that or olive oil in the cupboard!
19th Mar, 2012
I too have made this cake. There seemed to be an excessive amount of lemon syrup, but I persevered and dribbled it onto the cake over several minutes. The top was lovely - very tangy, but I was a bit disappointed in the flavour of the cake, considering how much liquid I had poured into it. You`d have to make sure you had a portion of top "skin" with each bite of cake to get the full flavour. Having said that, there was no shortage of takers when I offered it round & sadly there is now none left!


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