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Fluffy Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake
Fluffy lemon cake that has lemon juice and lemon zest. The cake is is soaked in a lemon drizzle sugar syrup that is sweet and sour from the freshness of the lemons. Tender and moist this is the perfect tea cake recipe.
I have an Iced Lemon Loaf recipe on the blog currently and we had made that years ago on the Ninja Bake Along during Covid – that recipe is delicious and a smaller recipe as compared to this. It also has a lemon glaze on top that is white and looks pretty and as it dries it forms this crackly crust. This recipe is unique in its own way as it uses 3 whole lemons, juice and zest – making for a very tender cake and lemony recipe.
What is the origin of lemon drizzle cake?
It is said that lemon drizzle cake comes from the tender pound cake recipe that originated in England. However it does date back to the Jewish cookery write Evelyn Rose in 1967 who wrote a recipe for a luscious lemon cake recipe that was a fluffy lemon cake finished with a lemon syrup on top.
What is lemon drizzle cake made of?
There are two parts to this recipe, the cake and the drizzle. The cake is similar to a pound cake recipe but we use fresh lemon zest and a little lemon juice. Which keeps the cake fresh but also very delicious. The recipe uses butter, castor sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest and love of course. The drizzle is made up of castor sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. The lemon drizzle cake is basically a lemon sponge cake made with butter that is soft and tender, which is baked until golden and drenched in a lemon sugar syrup.
Famous Lemon drizzle cake recipes
If you are looking to try some of the more famous recipes online, do not miss a chance to check out Jamie Olivers lemon cake, Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake, Ina Garten’s lemon drizzle loaf cake and Kris Jenner’s loaf cake recipe too.
Let us talk lemon zest and its important –
This cake gets most of its flavor from lemon zest. What is lemon zest? Lemon zest is the outer layer of the lemons skin that is yellow and bright. When grating lemon zest, do not grate it too deep as you will get part of the rind which is white is color and tastes bitter. Hence only grate the outer layer to get all that lemon flavor.
This zest is rubbed into the sugar until the sugar is pale yellow, this means the oils from the skin has release upon massaging it and the flavor has already been transferred to the sugar. This might seem like a step you can skip but believe me when I say it makes a world of a difference, the flavor is unlike any other – so don’t skip this step.
The drizzle also uses lemon zest and in this case the sugar in the syrup crystalizes making from a crunchy exterior once its cooled and set. Hence the lemon zest adds bursts of flavor with every bite. Conclusion – don’t skip the zest in this cake.
How important is fresh lemon juice when making lemon drizzle loaf?
If you are using a carton or prepackaged bottle of lemon juice please do not make this recipe. We need fresh juice that has no added ingredients/preservatives. This ensures the cake not only tastes fresh and delicious but also has the best texture once baked. The lemon juice is used in the cake batter and the drizzle on top. Hence we do not want to compromise on quality as this is a lemon drizzle loaf cake recipe.
Can you use icing sugar instead of castor sugar, to make lemon drizzle loaf?
The purpose of icing sugar and castor sugar are different. This recipe calls for castor sugar, granulated sugar or fine sugar. When I say granulated sugar I don’t mean the sugar you use for tea and coffee. That is more like sanding sugar which is too gritty for the cake and the drizzle. I would not recommend using icing sugar in this recipe as if would be a waste. We don’t need powdered sugar in either of the components. The castor sugar is essential in the drizzle to create that crystalized texture on top of the cake once it is baked and drenched the syrup. Icing sugar is better used in glazes, icings, buttercream, frosting etc.
What equipment do you need to make this lemon drizzle loaf?
I have used an electric beater to make this cake but you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or you can use a spatula to make it, this will take a little elbow grease but definitely doable. The cake is baked in a loaf tin, a 9 inch loaf tin. You can bake it in an 8 inch tin too but nothing smaller. I have baked this in an 8×8 tin and it takes half the time to bake but gives you 16 perfect squares. You could also make this in a liter bundt tin, which will take 35-38 mins to bake. The drizzle is made in a mixing bowl with a spoon.
How to make Lemon drizzle loaf cake?
To make the cake we preheat the oven to 170℃ and line a 9inch loaf tin by brushing it with butter and adding baking paper. In a large mixing bowl add the castor sugar, lemon zest and rub together with your fingers for a couple of minutes. Add the butter and beat with an electric beater until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well between each egg. Add the vanilla and beat again. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt into a sieve and sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Beat well until its all combined. Add the lemon juice and fold together, scraping the sides and mixing well. Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for 40-45 mins until risen and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. While it is cooling down make the drizzle by mixing the castor sugar, lemon zest and juice in a bowl until combined. Pour this over the warm cake and let it soak up all the syrup. Leave it to cool in the tin for a couple of hours. Remove from the tin, slice and serve. The top will have formed a crust and that is perfect.
Common issues/mistake while making lemon drizzle loaf cake?
Why is my lemon cake dry –
It could be that, the ingredients were not weighed out accurately. The cake is over mixed and got over baked. The cake wasn’t soaked with the syrup while still warm.
Why is my lemon cake greasy –
The butter and sugar wasn’t beaten until light a fluffy. Also the eggs weren’t beaten well between each addition.
Why is my lemon cake not fluffy –
The cake is not fluffy because the batter wasn’t beaten enough. The butter and sugar should be creamed well until pale and creamy. The eggs should be added into the butter mixture one at a time until well incorporated. The oven should be preheated well before baking.
Why is my lemon drizzle cake not cooked in the middle –
This means the cake is underbaked and needs to be baked longer. Hence I always recommend the tooth pick test at least for this recipe. It gives a clear idea on the cake and if it is done. Sometimes it might need more time and others it might bake faster, hence after 35 mins, check the cake.
Why is my lemon drizzle cake flat –
If you didn’t add baking powder, baking soda the chances of your cake being flat is high. If the batter is not beaten well there will be no air in it and it will be flat. If the oven is not preheated the cake will not rise as much as it should.
Why is my lemon cake sinking –
If the cake sinks after baking, it means the cake wasn’t don’t baking when it was taken out of the oven. Hence tooth pick test.
How do you moisten a dry lemon cake –
If the cake is stored for a few days and it has gotten dry you can bring it back to life with the same drizzle syrup but half the lemon juice quantity for water and heat it over the stove until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the warm syrup over the cake and let it soak it in for a few minutes before you slice and serve.
Can I freeze lemon drizzle cake –
Yes, you can freeze this cake in zip lock bags for 1 month. It stores well in the fridge for 4-5 days. I would recommend storing it at room temperature as they is a lot of lemon in the cake it could get spoilt easily depending on humidity.
Now that we have covered how to make this Lemon drizzle loaf cake, you can have a look at the ninja bake along video on my instagram but let’s get to it. Don’t forget to follow along for more baking recipe inspiration.
If you try this recipe out, don’t forget to share it with me on instagram so I can see how it turned out. I’d love nothing more than to chat with you on your cooking/baking.
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Fluffy Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake
- Electric beater
- Mixing bowls
- 9 inch loaf tin
- Baking paper
- Microplane grater
- 2 lemons zest
- 250 gm castor sugar
- 250 gm butter
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 250 gm flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 150 gm castor sugar
- 1 lemon zest
- 2 1/2 lemons juice
- To make the cake we preheat the oven to 170℃ and line a 9inch loaf tin by brushing it with butter and adding baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl add the castor sugar, lemon zest and rub together with your fingers for a couple of minutes.
- Add the butter and beat with an electric beater until pale and creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well between each egg. Add the vanilla and beat again.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt into a sieve and sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Beat well until its all combined.
- Add the lemon juice and fold together, scraping the sides and mixing well.
- Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for 40-45 mins until risen and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- While it is cooling down make the drizzle by mixing the castor sugar, lemon zest and juice in a bowl until combined.
- Pour this over the warm cake and let it soak up all the syrup. Leave it to cool in the tin for a couple of hours.
- Remove from the tin, slice and serve. The top will have formed a crust and that is perfect.
- Rub the lemon zest in the sugar before beating with the butter.
- Beat the butter and sugar well for 5-9 minutes.
- Do not over bake the cake, do a tooth pick test around 30 minutes to get an idea on how much time is left to bake.
- Drizzle the syrup over the warm cake this will help create the crystalized crust.