Lemon Drizzle Cake is a classic British teatime cake. This moist, sweet lemon syrup soaked cake is perfect for afternoon tea, picnics, or anytime really!I first blogged this recipe back in 2014, but it’s such a classic, I’m highlighting it once again. Lemon Drizzle Cake is perfect for picnics and afternoon teas in the garden, or rainy afternoons indoors with a steaming hot cup of tea.
What is Lemon Drizzle Cake?
Lemon Drizzle Cake is a delicious traditional British loaf cake. Often served at teatime or for a snack at any time of day, the loaf is flavoured with vanilla extract and lemon rind. After baking, the warm loaf is studded with tiny holes and hot lemon sugar syrup is poured over top. This makes the cake deliciously tangy and moist.
Hints and tips for a more delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake
If you don’t have self-rising flour, simply substitute the same amount of plain (all-purpose) flour, mixing in 2 teaspoons of baking powder along and an extra ¼ teaspoon of salt. Then add the flour mixture to the batter as detailed in the recipe below.
The better the ingredients you use, the better the cake will taste. I always use fresh, unsalted butter, free range or pasture raised eggs and fresh, juicy un-waxed lemons. One summer a couple of years ago, I was able to find Bergamot lemons and they were really special in this cake. Equally, Meyer lemons would be amazing.
Simply stirred together on the stove top, the syrup is quick and easy to make as well. The key with the syrup is to be sure that you poke holes in the warm cake – I use a skewer – and pour the syrup slowly over top, allowing it to absorb before continuing.
There may seem to be a lot of liquid for the cake to absorb, but be sure to use all the syrup. Eventually it will all soak in, and it is the lemon syrup that gives the cake its characteristic moist texture and fabulous flavour.
Do not remove the syrup soaked cake from the loaf pan until it is completely cool. If the cake is still warm when you try to remove it from the pan, it is likely to fall apart. So when the cake is totally cool, gently ease the sides away from the sides of the pan and carefully remove it before slicing and serving.
What Is Limoncello and What If I Can’t Get It?
Limoncello is an Italian liqueur which is often served ice cold as a digestif after dinner. It also tastes delicious added Prosecco or Champagne. Limoncello makes the lemon syrup extra special, but if you can’t find it, or prefer to make the cake alcohol free, simply add 2 extra tablespoons of lemon juice instead.
How Can I Serve Lemon Drizzle Cake?
Lemon Drizzle Cake is delicious served plain, but I also love it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. It’s often served plain at tea time in England, cut in generous slices perfect for washing down with a cup of hot tea. The cake will keep for two to three days at room temperature.
Lemon Drizzle Cake – Printable Recipe
Lemon Drizzle Cake
- 125 grams unsalted butter
- 175 grams golden granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 175 grams self-raising flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons milk
- For the syrup:
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Limoncello liqueur
- 100 grams icing sugar (icing sugar is confectioner's sugar)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C or 170°C for a fan oven).
- Grease and flour or line a 2 lb loaf tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla.
- Fold the flour and salt into the batter with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the milk.
- Spoon into the prepared loaf tin and bake for about 45 minutes.
- The cake should be golden and risen in the middle and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake should come out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven but leave the cake in the cake tin.
- Make the syrup by stirring the lemon juice. Limoncello and sugar together in a small saucepan and heating gently until the sugar dissolves.
- Make small holes in the cake with a skewer, cake tester or dry piece of spaghetti.
- Pour the syrup slowly over top, allowing it to soak in before adding the rest. Be sure to cover the whole cake, including the middle and edges.
- Let the cake cool completely in the tin before attempting to remove it.