Lemon Drizzle Cake

I miss having slices of Lemon Drizzle Cake. I was introduced to it while living in London not long ago. Being a complete cake-hole, I was so excited to try all the new UK treats I spotted. I had real Jaffa Cakes, Eccles Cake, Angel Cake and Bakewell Tarts. And of course, quintessentially English scones with jam and cream. Did you know there’s a fierce debate as to whether you load up your scones with jam first then cream, or cream first then jam? I’m a jam then cream girl, much to the consternation of my friends. It’s a whole new world.

The British love their sweet treats, that’s for sure, and the lemon drizzle cake is never far away. It’s a light lemon flavoured butter cake with a crunchy and zesty lemon syrup topping. You could buy mini portions of it at Marks and Sparks and it was part of a meal deal at Sainsbury’s. Faced with a choice between a slice of cake or apple slices in my meal deal, you know what I chose every time.

Who better to turn to for Lemon Drizzle Cake inspiration than British baking queen herself, Mary Berry. The recipe below is so quick and simple to make. It’s a One Bowl Wonder, so all the ingredients can be mixed together at the same time. Put your lemon tree to work, or borrow some neighbour’s lemons and whip this up soon.

PS. Please comment whether you believe scones should be jam first then cream, or cream then jam!

LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE

Makes: 20 slices      Difficulty: Easy

EQUIPMENT:

  • Baking tray (30 x 23 x 4cm)
  • Stand mixer / electric mixer / hand held mixer
  • Large mixing bowl

INGREDIENTS:

Lemon Cake

  • 225g Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 275g Self Raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 4 tablespoons Milk
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

Lemon Crunch Drizzle

  • 175g Granulated sugar
  • fresh juice of 2 lemons

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (140 fan-forced; 325F). Grease the base and sides of the baking tray with non-stick spray and line the bottom with baking paper. Let the baking paper hang over the short sides of the tin; these will become “handles” for removing the cake later.
  • This recipe is a One Bowl Wonder, meaning you add all of the ingredients into just one bowl, and whisk them together to make the batter. Add the softened butter, caster sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk and lemon zest to a bowl. Whisk together on medium speed for about two minutes, until the ingredients are whipped together. The batter will lighten and thicken.
  • Scoop the batter into the baking tray and smooth the top. Check the oven has reached the correct temperature, then place the tray on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 35 minutes approximately. The cake is ready when the top springs back when lightly pressed and the sides start to shrink from the pan.
  • Remove from the oven. Let the cake cool in the tray for at least 10 minutes, then hold the sides of the baking paper “handles” and lift the cake out of the tray right side up. Let the cake cool the right way up on a rack.
  • While the cake is still warm make the lemon crunch drizzle: add the lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl. Stir until the mixture is runny. The crunch comes from un-dissolved sugar, so don’t melt the sugar entirely. Pour the drizzle evenly over the cake while it’s lukewarm.
  • When the cake is cool, cut into squares.

Recipe adapted from  Mary Berry’s Simple Cakes, by Mary Berry.

LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE

BAKING TIPS:

  • Try to soften the butter ahead of time, by leaving it out of the fridge overnight, or heating it gently in the microwave (but don’t melt it!). If the butter is too hard it will be really difficult to whisk the ingredients together properly.