Lemon drizzle cake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

This cake is at home in rustic tearooms as well as hip coffee bars. The secret that makes this simple cake so beautiful is the sharp lemon syrup that soaks into the velvety soft cake. The best way to bake it is as a tray cake – it loses its effect as a round cake. This is my husband Bruno’s favourite cake.


For the cake

  • 225 g (8 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 225 g (8 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk (or regular milk mixed with a little lemon juice)
  • zest of 2 lemons, grated
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • butter, for greasing
  • flour, for dusting

For the lemon drizzle topping

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g (6 oz) white sugar


For a loaf tin (500 g/1 lb 2 oz)

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and prepare the tin.

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and make sure that each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next one. Add a teaspoon of the flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture from separating. Add the buttermilk and lemon zest and mix well.

Carefully fold the remaining flour and the baking powder into the batter so that the volume is retained.

Spoon the batter into the tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes in the middle of the oven.

For the topping, mix the lemon juice with the sugar.

Use a toothpick to pierce some small holes in the warm cake. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rimmed plate.

Spoon the topping over the cake and continue to spoon over the topping that drips over the side. Allow the cake to cool further.