Luscious lemon drizzle cake. Fluffy buttermilk sponge cake soaked with a lemon sugar syrup and drizzled with a tangy lemon icing. Lemon dessert lovers, this cake recipe is for you!
Lemon drizzle cake is a British classic. I’ve grown up enjoying this cake and it holds a special place in my heart. The cake is very popular here where it’s sold at most bakeries, tearooms and is commonly found on many afternoon tea menus. As much as I love this cake there are many recipes out there that are a tad bit lacklustre. I’ve tried a good few and often found them too dry or simply lacking a real lemon flavour punch. But this recipe is the exact opposite. It’s fresh, summery, lemony and lip-smacking good!
You know a bake is going to be good when the recipe starts with a whole big block of butter. I have a few secrets of how to make the best lemon drizzle cake. Firstly, I like to add just a touch of buttermilk to my cake batter. The tanginess from the buttermilk works really well with the lemon flavour and it helps keep the cake moist and fluffy for several days.
Another way I make my lemon drizzle cake differently, is I make my own lemon sugar. I’ve always liked vanilla or cinnamon sugar, but I would definitely say lemon sugar is my favourite out of the three. The sugar is super easy to make, all you have to do is rub the sugar and grated lemon zest with your fingertips. Doing this helps release the natural oil from the lemon and it really enhances the lemon flavour in your finished bake.
I’ve made this cake twice within the last week. With the first I thought I would freeze a few slices ready for when I fancied a piece of cake, but let’s just say those few slices of cake soon disappeared from the freezer and found their way onto my plate… 😉
This gorgeous cake is delicious served with a scoop or two of ice cream, clotted cream, yoghurt and fresh berries
Making this cake also gave me the opportunity to test out the latest Joseph Joseph samples from their new range. I have always been a fan of the Joseph Joseph kitchenware. I particularly like the Shake It™ which comes with an integrated rocking handle and this cleverly stimulates the process of tapping the sieve with your other hand. I used it to sift the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) into my cake and also to sift the icing sugar when I made my drizzle icing to decorate the cake. Whiskle™ which isn’t just your ordinary whisk as it has a silicone bowl scraper attached, which helps make sure you get every single bit of the batter into your cake tin and it also helps save time on washing up! The Fin™ works in the same way as it makes sure you can get every last bit of your cake batter into the cake tin so there no wastage. The Glaze™ can be used to brush the lemon sugar syrup over the cake, but I’m also looking forward to using it when I make homemade pastry or even for brushing vegetables or meat with oil before roasting.
250g unsalted butter or margarine, softened
250g caster sugar
Zest from 2 large lemons
4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
275g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon (6g) baking powder
Juice of 1 large lemon
Lemon Sugar Syrup:
150g caster sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon
Lemon Drizzle Icing:
100g icing (confectioners’) sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice (add more less depending on your preferred consistency)
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 160 Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin with butter and parchment paper.
- In a small bowl combine the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingertips, rub the sugar and zest together until combined.
- In a large mixing bowl beat together the softened butter/margarine with the lemon sugar until creamy and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Make sure you scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are getting incorporated.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and beat again until just a few lumps of flour remain. Finally, add the buttermilk and lemon juice and mix again until they’re combined into the batter fully.
- Spoon the batter into the cake tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake the cake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining. All ovens are different so the cake may need 5-10 minutes longer in the oven. If the cake is colouring too much cover the top with a piece of tin/aluminium foil.
- Once the cake is baked completely, leave it on the side to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, make the lemon sugar syrup. Heat the sugar, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, take off the heat. Poke holes all over the cake using a skewer, then pour the hot lemon sugar syrup all over the top of the cake. This step must be done when the cake is still warm. Now leave the cake to cool completely, then once cool remove from the tin.
- Make the lemon drizzle icing by sifting the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and mix until you have a thick, runny icing. Adjust the consistency to your preferred liking with less or more lemon juice. Drizzle the cake with the icing.
- The cake will keep for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container.
- The drizzle icing is optional, but I think it really makes this cake!
- This lemon drizzle cake is delicious served on its own, but we especially love it with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream, clotted cream, some yoghurt and fresh berries.
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