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Lemon drizzle cake

I've made this lemon drizzle cake with not one but two different stages of glazing. The first and most common is the lemon juice + caster sugar which is used to 'feed' the sponge whilst it's still warm - really infusing the lemon flavour. The second uses icing sugar + lemon juice for a more opaque glaze to decorate. It's a completely optional step but looks absolutely beautiful and adds another layer of sharp, zesty lemon flavouring which really sets it apart from the rest.

Total time to make : 1hr 05 minutes Time to prep : 15 minutes

Time to bake : ~ 50 minutes

Servings : 12 slices


220g unsalted butter, room temperature

220g caster sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

220g self-raising flour

2 lemons, zest of

1/2 lemon, juice of

Pinch of salt

1st glaze (to feed)

100g caster sugar

Juice of 1 and 1/2 lemons

2nd glaze (to decorate)

150g icing sugar, sifted

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat a fan oven to 165C

  2. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin

  3. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the eggs, one at a time until mixed through. Don't worry if at this stage the mixture looks a bit clumpy

  4. Sift in the self-raising flour and salt, fold with a wooden spoon or spatula until just mixed. Add in the zest from 2 lemons and juice from 1/2 lemon and fold through again

  5. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and even out with the back of a spoon. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 50 minutes - the outside will be golden brown but a clean skewer or knife inserted into the middle should come out clean, with no wet batter on it (crumbs are fine)

  6. Once baked, remove from the oven and set to one side whilst you make the first glaze

  7. In a small bowl, mix the caster sugar with the lemon juice together. Use a metal or bamboo skewer or fork to prick holes all over the lemon sponge a few inches deep. Pour the caster sugar and lemon juice mixture all over the sponge. It should sink in within a few minutes. Leave to completely cool in the tin

  8. Once the cake is cooled and ready to decorate, remove from the tin. To make the second glaze, sift the icing sugar and mix with the lemon juice, 1 tbsp at a time (some lemons have more juice than others!) until a thick but pourable glaze is formed

  9. Pour the second glaze over the loaf, decorate with lemon zest and slice!

Nutritional Information

(per slice)

324 calories

5g protein, 46g carbs, 12g fat

Good to know:

  • If you're making both glazes, this recipe calls for 3 lemons. Zest the lemons before you juice them - far easier than trying to grate a squeezed lemon half..!

  • Only grate the yellow zest, the white pith is bitter

  • This recipe uses a 2lb loaf tin. Other loaf tin sizes may require different baking times, temperatures and mixture quantities

  • If you're using a standing mixer, use the paddle fitting

  • If after 50 minutes, the cake needs longer to bake - loosely wrap tin foil over the top so that it stops it from browning on the outside anymore but continues to bake inside. You can use the tin-foil-lid method as soon as the cake turns from a golden brown to a dark brown, if it needs more time inside the oven. Depending on your oven brand/age - they all run slightly differently! So get to know your oven and amend baking accordingly

  • Store at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze (after the first glaze) for up to 3 months


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