Traditional English Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

Updated on April 24, 2016

The Perfect Teatime Treat - and so easy to bake

This is lemon perfection at it's best
This is lemon perfection at it's best

Hi from a very sunny England - since we are being blessed with great weather I need something to serve that is light and tasty for teatime in the garden with friends and family and my mind instantly goes to an old family favourite, Lemon Drizzle Cake.

This is an incredibly easy recipe, I don't think recipes have to be difficult to be dazzling and this cake is simplicity itself - the golden rules is that as long as you remember to use good quality ingredients your cake will taste all the better for it. This is also the ultimate in quality fast food, the preparation time is 5-10 minutes which means if a friend calls to say they're popping over then it can be in the oven before they're even in their car, cooking will only take 35-40 minutes in the oven - so with very little effort you'll get an amazing result and a very happy, happy friend.

You will need a 2lb loaf tin for this amount of cake batter but the ingredients are easily halved if you want to make a smaller version, or if you want some individual treats you can always bake the mixture in cupcake form, I use large muffin cases and since it rises giving you a flat top when it's baked it is ideal for icing.

By the way did you know that you can freeze cake? I slice all my cakes, wrap them in clingfilm and pop them in a large freezer bag. When I'm making packed lunches I just put a slice into the lunchbox straight from the freezer, by the time they get to eat it it's perfectly defrosted and tastes just as fresh as when you made it. Unfortunately it takes away your excuse that you have to eat it all now before it goes hard - sorry.

This is the perfect cake for a traditional English teatime treat or for when guests pop round - treat yourself and them to this moist lemony masterpiece.


4ozs Soft Butter

6ozs Self-Raising Flour

6ozs Caster Sugar

2 large Free Range Eggs

1 teaspoon of Baking Powder

6 tablespoons of Milk

and the star of the show ... 1 large, fat, juicy, unwaxed Organic Lemon

Plus an additional 4ozs of Caster Sugar


  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit/160 degrees if it's on the Fan setting or Gas Mark 4.
  • Line the your loaf tin with a cake liner. If you don't have one grease the loaf tin and cut a strip of baking parchment which will run along the bottom and up both sides, it will look like this \___/, and this will help you remove the cake easily.
  • Put the top set of ingredients into your food processor (not the lemon and not the 4oz of Caster Sugar) and blitz until you have a smooth consistency - yes it really is that easy.
  • Add the zest of half your lemon - and pulse a couple of times just to make sure that it mixes into the cake batter but not enough to chop it all up, you want to be able to see those lovely little bits of lemon zest.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin - this is the point where the wonderful smell first catches your attention and it's really hard not to eat the uncooked batter - bliss! Just remember we need some for the cake.

  • Bake in the centre of your oven for 35-40 minutes, remove when a toothpick will come out of the cake cleanly.
  • Place the tin on a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • While this is cooling zest the rest of your lemon and place in a bowl, now roll the lemon backwards and forwards with the flat of your hand and this will mean the juice will come out easier, add the juice from your lemon to the zest and add the 4ozs of Caster Sugar, stir gently and it will form a lemon water icing.

  • Using a skewer make holes in the top of your cake and start to pour the icing over the cake, the icing will eventually settle on top of the cake but it will also seep into the cake making it deliriously moist and lemony. I also pull the cake slightly away from the sides with a butter knife and pour some icing in there as well.
  • Leave the cake to cool for an hour (this is the hard bit) this gives time for the sponge to soak up all the icing and for the icing on the top to harden.

I just love cutting through that crisp lemon topping and that first bite and lemony hit is unbelievably good, and I always opt for the end pieces, more crunch for your bite.

I hope you'll all give this recipe a try, it is so easy and I'd love to hear what you all think of my recipe.

Freshly Baked Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes

Fresh out of the oven
Fresh out of the oven

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Nick Rowe 7 months ago

        Update... soggy bottom solved, too much baking powder. Your cake went down a storm at a family gathering in Canada this summer. #internationalacclaim

      • Eileen Goodall profile image

        Eileen Goodall 24 months ago from Buckinghamshire, England

        Hi Nick, glad you like the cake, I can't understand why it would collapse, normally that's a sign of too much baking powder. I have always used a teaspoon of baking powder, which is a flat not heaped teaspoon, and it's been fine, you could try halfing that and see if that solves the problem. Let me know if that helps - good luck!

      • profile image

        Nick Rowe 24 months ago

        It's a fab cake, lovely recipe. But after five or six successes, I now find the middle of my cake keeps collapsing. Please advice... Confused of Dorset.

      • Eileen Goodall profile image

        Eileen Goodall 6 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

        Lemon Drizzle Cake in the oven now, took under 5 minutes - and the smell in the house is heavenly!

      • Eileen Goodall profile image

        Eileen Goodall 6 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

        Thank you so much Peg x

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        This looks absolutely yummy. I like the way you've described things. I can really hear your accent. Lovely!

        "the perfect cake for a traditional English teatime treat or for when guests pop round"