How to Make A Simple Lemon Drizzle Cake

The Allure of Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon drizzle cake, with its moist texture and vibrant citrus flavor, is a perennial favorite. The combination of tangy lemon syrup soaked into a soft, buttery cake is simply irresistible, making it a staple for afternoon teas and family gatherings alike.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Recipe by Cinnamon GrayCourse: Beef

8 – 10

Prep time


Cooking time






  • 225g / 8-Oz Unsalted butter (softened)

  • 225g / 8-Oz caster sugar

  • 225g / 8-Oz self-raising flour

  • 85g / 3-Oz of icing sugar

  • 4 x free range eggs

  • 1 x Lemon


  • Grease a medium baking tray
  • add softened butter and caster sugar to mixing bowl
  • add the eggs and mix 1 at a time
  • add the flour and lemon zest mix well
  • pour the cake batter into your baking tray
  • preheat the oven to 180c 160c with fan – 356f or gas mark 4
  • bake for 50-55 minutes
  • mix icing sugar and the lemon juice
  • drizzle your lemon icing over the cake
  • let icing cool and serve

Recipe Video


  • please watch the video and leave a comment!
  • don’t be afraid to experiment. enjoy!

A Brief History of Lemon Cakes

Lemon cakes have a storied history, tracing back to medieval times when lemons were first introduced to Europe. The evolution from simple lemon-flavored cakes to the modern lemon drizzle cake showcases a rich culinary journey, highlighting the enduring appeal of this delightful dessert.

Gathering Ingredients

Essential Ingredients for the Cake

To create a perfect lemon drizzle cake, you’ll need some fundamental ingredients. Start with unsalted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, self-raising flour, and fresh lemons. The quality of your lemons is crucial, as both the zest and juice are pivotal for flavor.

Key Ingredients for the Lemon Drizzle

The drizzle itself requires just two simple ingredients: lemon juice and granulated sugar. This minimalist combination is what infuses the cake with its signature zing, balancing sweetness with a refreshing tartness.

Necessary Equipment

Tools You’ll Need

Gathering the right tools is essential. You’ll need a mixing bowl, electric mixer or wooden spoon, zester, lemon juicer, and a loaf tin or round cake pan. Additionally, a skewer for testing doneness and poking holes for the drizzle is crucial.

Preparing Your Workspace

Before you start, ensure your workspace is clean and organized. Pre-measure your ingredients, grease and line your baking tin with parchment paper, and preheat your oven. This preparation will streamline the baking process.

Preparing the Cake Batter

Creaming Butter and Sugar

Begin by creaming together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This step is fundamental as it incorporates air, contributing to the cake’s soft

texture. Use an electric mixer for efficiency, but a wooden spoon and some elbow grease work just as well.

Incorporating Eggs

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. This gradual incorporation helps maintain the batter’s smoothness and prevents curdling. Each egg should be fully blended before the next is added.

Adding Lemon Zest and Juice

Next, grate the zest of two lemons directly into the batter. The zest contains essential oils that provide a concentrated lemon flavor. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and mix it in. This will impart a bright, tangy taste to your cake.

Sifting in Dry Ingredients

Sift the self-raising flour into the batter, folding it in gently to keep the mixture airy. This method ensures an even distribution of flour, preventing lumps and promoting a tender crumb. Mix just until combined to avoid overworking the batter.

Baking the Cake

Preheating the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This step is crucial to ensure your cake bakes evenly. An adequately preheated oven sets the cake’s structure from the start.

Pouring Batter into the Tin

Pour the prepared batter into your greased and lined tin, smoothing the top with a spatula. Ensure the batter is evenly spread to promote uniform baking.

Achieving the Perfect Bake

Place the tin in the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a skewer into the center of the cake; it should come out clean. The top should be golden brown, and the sides should slightly pull away from the tin.

Creating the Lemon Drizzle

Mixing Sugar and Lemon Juice

While the cake bakes, prepare the drizzle. In a small bowl, mix the juice of two lemons with granulated sugar until the sugar dissolves. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but still pourable.

The Ideal Consistency

Aim for a drizzle that is not too watery nor too thick. It should seep into the cake without pooling excessively on top, ensuring every bite is infused with lemony goodness.

Combining Cake and Drizzle

Poking Holes in the Cake

Once the cake is out of the oven and still warm, use a skewer to poke holes all over the top. These holes allow the drizzle to permeate the cake, enhancing its moistness and flavor.

Pouring the Drizzle Over

Slowly pour the lemon drizzle over the cake, letting it soak in. Pour gradually, ensuring the syrup penetrates the holes and spreads evenly across the surface.

Cooling and Setting

Allowing the Cake to Cool

Let the cake cool in the tin for about 15 minutes. This initial cooling helps the cake set and absorb the drizzle fully.

Ensuring the Drizzle Sets Properly

After the initial cooling, transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. This step is important for the drizzle to set properly, creating a slight crunch on top.

Serving Suggestions

Cutting the Perfect Slice

For the best presentation, use a sharp knife to cut the cake into even slices. Wipe the knife between cuts to keep the slices neat.

Pairing with Beverages

Lemon drizzle cake pairs beautifully with a variety of beverages. A cup of Earl Grey tea, with its citrusy notes, complements the cake’s flavor. Alternatively, a glass of chilled Prosecco adds a celebratory touch.

Variations and Additions

Adding Poppy Seeds or Herbs

For a twist, consider adding poppy seeds to the batter for a subtle crunch. Fresh herbs like thyme or basil can also introduce a unique aromatic element.

Using Alternative Flours

Experiment with different flours, such as almond or whole wheat, to vary the texture and nutritional profile. Each type of flour brings a distinct character to the cake.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Dealing with a Soggy Bottom

A soggy bottom can result from underbaking. Ensure your cake is fully baked by checking with a skewer. Also, avoid letting the cake sit in the tin for too long after baking.

Preventing a Dry Cake

Overbaking or too much flour can lead to a dry cake. Measure your ingredients accurately and check for doneness promptly.

Storing and Preserving

Best Practices for Storage

Store your lemon drizzle cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. This will maintain its moisture and freshness.

Freezing for Longevity

For longer preservation, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it at room temperature before serving.

Recapping the Process

Making a lemon drizzle cake involves a series of precise steps, from preparing the batter to pouring the perfect drizzle. Each step is crucial for achieving that ideal balance of moistness and flavor.

Encouraging Experimentation

Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors and ingredients. The classic lemon drizzle cake is a versatile canvas for your creativity. Happy baking!

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