A good lemon drizzle cake is an essential in any baker’s repertoire, and this baby does not disappoint! Light and fluffy and packed with plenty of lemon flavour, this delicious and easy lemon drizzle cake will have everyone coming back for another slice!
Tis the season!
Ok, ok, maybe not quite the original meaning of the phrase! But it IS citrus season, so when life gives you lemons AND you love baking, you gotta make the most of it, huh?
I never used to be a huge fan of lemon desserts, to be honest. I often preferred to indulge my sweet tooth more with chocolate based desserts. However, I love lemon based desserts in winter months, which is happily citrus season. It reminds me of warmer days and sunshine to come, and is wonderfully bright and refreshing to enjoy!
Why you’ll love this lemon drizzle cake
- Perfect results every time. I have tried and tested this recipe so many times, to make sure it delivers perfect results each and every time. Whether you are a new baker or a seasoned pro, I can guarantee you wonderfully fluffy cake and plenty of flavour in this lemon drizzle loaf cake!
- Readily available ingredients. All the tools and ingredients you require to make this cake
- Easy to make and decorate. Make the cake days or weeks in advance (freeze if making weeks ahead!). And as for decorating, just a simple drizzle and a bit of lemon zest creates some magic!
- Beautiful bright zingy flavour. I love my lemon bakes to pack a punch, and this one certainly does not disappoint! It uses absolutely no artificial flavours, but does use plenty of fresh lemon (zest and juice) in the cake, the syrup and the drizzle for as much lemon flavour as possible!
What you’ll need for making lemon drizzle cake
- Caster sugar: for sweetness in the lemon drizzle loaf recipe.
- Lemons: I use the zest and the juice of my lemons to make this cake. Always zest lemons before juicing, as it is much easier that way around. Trust me, I speak from experience!
- Butter: I use unsalted butter, so I can control the amount of salt in the lemon loaf cake.
- Flour: I use plain/all purpose flour to make the cake. I prefer adding raising agents separately, as I do with salt, so I can control the rise of each of my bakes.
- Baking powder/bicarbonate of soda: the raising agents used in this moist lemon drizzle cake.
- Salt: enhances the flavour of the bake, but it will not be so much that you taste it, I promise!
- Eggs: gives structure and stability to the cakes as they bake.
- Yogurt: part of the wet ingredients used for the cake. Keeps it light, moist and tender.
- Icing/powdered sugar: used to make the lemon drizzle topping. Dissolves more easily than caster or granulated sugar, helping ensure the icing for lemon drizzle cake is smooth.
What equipment do I need to make a loaf cake?
- Loaf tin*: to bake the lemon drizzle cake loaf in.
- Digital kitchen scales*: I provide all my measurements in cups, however I would encourage all bakers to weigh out ingredients when baking. A set of digital kitchen scales is so useful and totally an essential baking tool for me.
- Measuring spoons*: a set of measuring spoons is essential for any baker. This is because these are more accurate than using everyday teaspoons and tablespoons, which can vary greatly in size.
- Sieve*: to remove lumps from the dry ingredients, ensuring everything all mixes together evenly when making the lemon drizzle cakes.
- Stand mixer*/electric hand mixer*: I would highly recommend investing in a good electric mixer. Either a stand mixer or hand held electric mixer are a great help with any baking. This recipe can, of course, be done entirely by hand, but it will be quite the workout! Having these tools makes it much easier, not to mention quicker, to enjoy some baking.
- Jug*: to mix together the wet ingredients before combining with the dry for the best lemon drizzle cake.
- Spatula*: for scraping down the bowls during mixing to ensure all ingredients are well combined.
- Lemon squeezer*: makes squeezing the lemons so much easier!
- Small saucepan*: to make the lemon syrup in before drizzling it over the baked and cooled loaf cake.
- Whisk*: for mixing up the drizzle so it is lovely and smooth. Also makes it lots easier to drizzle it over the lemon drizzle loaf!
- Zester*: to get that beautiful zest off the lemons.
- Small mixing bowl*: just a little one needed to make the drizzle in.
How to make lemon drizzle cake
This lemon drizzle cake is so easy to make! Simply make and bake the lemon loaf cake, drizzle with the lemon simple syrup once baked before leaving to cool. Then all that’s left is to make the drizzle and decorate before enjoying!
For the loaf cake
Step 1: Line a loaf tin with parchment paper (grease the tin to help it stay better if using parchment) or a loaf tin liner and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F whilst making the cake batter.
Step 2: In a large bowl or using a stand mixer, tip in the caster sugar. Zest the lemons directly into the bowl, then beat the zest and sugar together until the sugar has turned a pale yellow colour. Add in the softened butter and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
Step 3: Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the same bowl and beat it all together until the mixture resembles damp sand.
Step 4: In a jug, tip in the eggs and yogurt. Mix well until smooth and totally combined.
Step 5: Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix at a low speed to combine. Scrap the bowl down, then turn the speed up and beat on high for about 30 seconds to get some air into the batter.
Step 6: Tip the cake mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing the mixture out and levelling the top. Place the loaf tin into the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, until risen and golden and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Place the tin on a cooling rack, leaving the cake in the tin.
For the lemon syrup
Step 1: While the cake is baking, make the lemon simple syrup. Place the caster sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is smooth. Leave in the saucepan until the cake has baked.
Step 2: Once the cake has baked and is out of the oven, do not remove it from the tin. Whilst the cake is still hot, use a toothpick or skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Drizzle or brush the lemon syrup all over the cake, allowing it to soak in evenly for plenty of delicious flavour. Leave to cool in the tin.
How to make the drizzle
Step 1: Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl. Squeeze in enough lemon juice to make the drizzle topping. I like mine quite thick, but add more lemon juice if you prefer it thinner.
Step 2: Remove the cake from the tin, discarding the parchment paper as you do, and place on a plate. Drizzle the lemon drizzle topping all over the cake. Zest over some additional lemon zest if desired and serve. Enjoy!
Can I make my own loaf tin liners?
If you have run out of liners for your loaf tin, you can easily just use parchment paper! There are a couple of ways you could do it.
One, is to cut a piece of parchment paper about 6 inches larger on all sides than the base of the loaf tin. With the loaf tin in the middle of the parchment, use a pair of scissors to cut slits from two opposite sides all the way to each corner of the tin. Place the parchment into a lightly greased tin and press into the corners to encourage the parchment to remain in place. Fill with cake mixture and bake as per the recipe.
If you want a simpler version, cut a strip of parchment as wide as the longer side of the loaf tin. Lightly grease the tin (especially up the narrower sides), then lay the parchment across the tin with the overhang going over the wider sides, pressing in and into the corners. Then fill with cake mixture and bake according to the recipe. This method may require the loaf to be lightly loosened from the tin once baked, but it should still release quite easily.
How do I know when my loaf cake is done?
You can tell the loaf cake is done because it will be beautifully golden, firm on top and risen. It will also feel springy when lightly pressed. You can also use a toothpick or wooden skewer, poked into the middle of the cake: you should have nothing come out sticking to this if the loaf is baked. If you find the cake is browning too much on top before it has baked, simply cover it loosely with some foil to stop the top browning further whilst the middle bakes more.
How to store lemon drizzle cake
This cake should be stored in an airtight container and will be fine kept at room temperature for three to four days.
Can you freeze a lemon drizzle cake?
Absolutely! Most loaf cakes will freeze well for up to three months.
How to freeze a lemon drizzle loaf cake
I would recommend freezing this loaf cake without the drizzle on top. Once baked, soak with the lemon syrup as in the recipe, then leave to cool completely. When the cake is completely cool, remove from the tin and wrap it tightly with two layers of cling film (plastic wrap), leaving the parchment the loaf was baked in around the cake. Then wrap snugly in a layer of foil and freeze.
How to thaw a loaf cake
This cake will thaw fairly quickly. Depending on the temperature of the room, it can normally be completely thawed in 4-5 hours. To thaw the cake, remove the foil and both layers of cling film and place on a cooling rack, brushing off any ice crystals as you do. Once the cake has thawed, remove the lining paper and decorate with the lemon drizzle. Store in an airtight container as before.
One thing to keep in mind with this lemon drizzle cake easy though is that the top of the cake is likely to be slightly sticky, due to the lemon syrup used in the recipe. This may result in a little of the top of the cake sticking to the cling film. However, it is nothing a little drizzle cannot cover up!
Top tips for making lemon drizzle cake
- Always zest lemons BEFORE cutting them to juice. This may sound obvious, but is an easy mistake to make and it is really no fun trying to zest a squishy lemon half!
- Zest lemons directly into the mixing bowl. Doing this ensures you not only get all the zest in, but also any of the flavourful oils off the fruit too. Trust me, it makes a huge different to the flavour you will get in the finished cake!
- Ensure ingredients are at room temperature. Softened butter is much easier to mix in and will result in a better cake, and room temperature eggs and yogurt will mix better with the other ingredients for better final results.
- If you wish to control where the lemon loaf cake cracks during baking, simply dip a knife in some melted butter or a little oil and pull it through where you want the crack to be. This will cause the mixture to separate in that space during baking, resulting in a split in the cake where you want it to be.
- The lemon syrup can be made once the loaf cake comes out of the oven, but it is important you put it on the cake whilst it is still warm at least. The warm cake absorbs and disperses the syrup much better than a cold cake would, so do it as soon as possible once removed from the oven.
- The final lemon sugar drizzle on top of the cake is completely optional, the cake is delicious without it! However, I think it is so pretty, and gives an extra lemon sugar kick, so I always add it on.
If you have any questions about this lemon drizzle cake recipe, please comment below and I will do my best to help. And do remember: if you enjoy this recipe for lemon drizzle cake, please leave a rating and review below. You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world. You already know I would love to see!
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Thanks for joining me today, my friends. Hope you enjoy this easy lemon drizzle cake, and happy baking! x
Recommended equipment I used *
|Digital kitchen scales
|Stand mixer/Electric hand mixer
|Small mixing bowl