Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon drizzle cake

When we found ourselves in a National Trust property in York in October we ended up having afternoon coffee there and that means cake too. I plumped for the lemon drizzle cake as I just love the flavour of lemons. Jack didn’t have any, he was being good!

The cake was lovely and I offered to share it with Jack – but he refused as he was still being good. When I cleared up the last crumb of cake and said how tasty it had been, he said – well I’ll never know as you didn’t leave any for me. Did he think I would feel guilty? I didn’t! Tough – I said.

Anyway, when the National Trust’s Spring magazine came through the letter-box I was really pleased to see it has an article about the cakes which are a staple feature of all their coffee/tearooms, including the recipes. The five cakes are, in order of popularity, Victoria sandwich, chocolate sponge, coffee and walnut cake, carrot cake and last but definitely not so in my opinion is the lemon drizzle cake. So that is what I baked one afternoon last week, I wish I could have shared it with you – really, because I’ve put on weight. That’s what happens when you aren’t feeding hungry young men any more, and you have that empty nest.

sliced lemon drizzle cake

The recipe below makes two cakes, so I halved the quantities as I only wanted one. The cake is best sliced quite thickly I think. It’s quite a big cake, in the first photo the cake is on a large serving dish, the sliced cake is on a dinner plate.

Lemon drizzle cakes.

300g/10½ oz self-raising flour
300g/10½ oz butter
300g/10½ oz caster sugar
50g/1¾ oz cornflour
6 eggs
3 large lemons

For the drizzle
300g/ 10½ oz caster sugar
150 ml/¼ pint lemon juice


1. Preheat your oven to 180 C/360 F (gas mark 4) line two 1 lb loaf tins with baking parchment. (I used greaseproof paper and it was fine.)

2. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix with the electric whisk until fluffy and light in colour.

3. Add the eggs in two batches, whisking well between each batch.

4. Add 100 ml/3½ fluid ounces of lemon juice and the cornflour and whisk again.

5. Add the flour and fold in with a wooden spoon or spatula.

6. Divide between the tins and bake for about 40 minutes, testing with a skewer to see if cooked, it will come out clean if it is ready.

To make the drizzle

1. Place the lemon juice and sugar in a large bowl or jug and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Allow the cakes to cool for a couple of minutes and then prick them all over with a skewer. Pour the drizzle over the cakes.

3. Allow to cool completely. Eat. Do more exercise!

As usual I’m going to tweak the recipe a bit. I didn’t add as much sugar to the lemon juice for the drizzle as I thought it would be too sweet, but it was still too sweet for me. So next time I’ll use less than half of what the recipe calls for and I’m going to try using icing sugar instead of the caster sugar, so that it should dissolve better. I wondered if I should have heated the lemon and sugar to make sure it dissolved properly and I had a look at different recipes, some heat and some don’t, but I think that you aren’t meant to in this recipe. BTW if you don’t know what caster sugar is – it’s just a finer version of normal white granulated sugar.

You can vary the recipe by substituting oranges for the lemons.

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking.

18 thoughts on “Lemon Drizzle Cake

  1. That cake looks absolutely scrumptious. I LOVE lemons and used to make a lemon loaf similar to this, with a lemon sauce drizzled on top. It was rich and oh so good with a cup of tea.

  2. I have a very similar orange cake recipe – uses confectioner’s and OJ concentrate for the drizzle and you poke holes in the cake before you pour the drizzle over too – I think some old folks called it ‘poke cake.’

    Yum! But I’ve given up processed sugars and all that contain them for Lent. Have to admit – I’ve never felt better. I think sugar is my kryptonite!

    • Pearl,
      I saw that on Facebook. I gave up sugar completely a while ago and after about 5 days I didn’t miss it, I don’t like sweet drinks so I’ve always had just straight black coffee. Then I fell off the wagon, I think I made tablet – deadly. I’m sure that sugar wouldn’t pass all the food/drug tests nowadays, it’s too addictive.
      I’m glad you’re feeling great, maybe I should give it up again!

  3. Oh yum! I so want to bake more, but I so also want to lose the weight Put on since December.

    Still trying to find the balance!

    I love baking and I love eating cakes.

    • Jo,
      I enjoy baking, it’s quite relaxing, but I don’t like the cleaning up afterwards. I only put on a pound or so a Christmas but February did for me! It was too chilly and dark, creme eggs came to my aid – disaster!

  4. Hi, I have had this recipe from The NT for some years, however I have never made it. The ingredients ask for 3 lemons, then the method tells you to add 100 mls of lemon juice to the cake mix. Am I to presume that 3 lemons make up 100 mls of juice.

    I must say yours looks fabulous, well done!

    • Paul Harvey,
      I’ve never been able to get that much lemon juice out of three lemons, although it does help to make the juice flow if you microwave them for a short time. I usually buy a small bottle of pure lemon juice to bulk up the amount, you can get lemon or lime juice from all supermarkets including Aldi. I don’t use nearly so much sugar as the recipe calls for in the drizzle as I’m not keen on that sugary crust on the top, but most people probably like that. I hope you give it a go. This recipe makes two big loaf cakes and I always freeze one as it freezes very well.

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