I really try not to eat too much cake. Given the choice and the opportunity I’d eat it at least once a day, but not just any cake. I’m actually not into those huge elaborate creations. For me, it’s about:
- A good chocolate cake, quality ingredients (well of course, but even more important with chocolate.) Preferably flourless.
- A really flavoursome tea loaf. You know something with some spice or juicy dates or figs.
- The perfect carrot cake. Has to be rich and moist and the icing has to be decadent.
- The ultimate lemon drizzle cake.
Having found or created a recipe for the first three, I still needed my lemon drizzle. A lot of the recipes read just didn’t have the right balance, and that is what the perfect lemon drizzle is about for me. So the search has taken me years. You might think that’s a bit over the top when you see the simplicity of this recipe, but that’s exactly the point. It has to be simple, but perfect. I was looking for the exact taste ratio of sweetness to sharpness not only in the cake but in the drizzle too. I wanted to get the right consistency of cake so that it would soak up all that delicious drizzly topping and leave a little crunch on the crust of the cake. And this is it for me:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 45 to 50 minutes
For the Cake
225gr / 8 oz. unsalted, softened butter cut into small cubes
225gr / 8 oz. caster sugar
225gr / 8 oz. of self-raising flour
4 large eggs
Finely grated zest of 2 ripe lemons
For the Lemon Drizzle
Juice of 2 lemons
85gr / 3 oz. caster sugar
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°C / 360°F and line a loaf tin with baking paper. I find the easiest way to do this is to first scrunch the paper and run it under the tap. This makes it easier to work with.
- Beat the butter and caster sugar together with an electric whisk until it becomes a pale yellow colour.
- Add the eggs, mixing them in one at a time. You can do this by hand with a wooden spoon or with the electric mixer.
- Add the flour and the lemon zest, bring everything together into a smooth batter by mixing with a wooden spoon.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Check after 40 minutes just to be sure. The cake is ready when you can insert a skewer and it comes out clean.
- When the cake is ready set it aside in its tin.
- Mix the lemon juice and caster sugar together. Prick the cake all over with a skewer or fork and almost right to the bottom of it – do this whilst it is still in the tin. Pour the lemon drizzle over the cake evenly whilst it is still warm.
- When completely cool, remove the cake from the tin and serve.
Tips and Variations
- Store in an air-tight container – it’ll keep fresh for 3 or 4 days like this.
- To get the most juice from your lemons, roll them on a hard surface to loosen the insides before cutting them open.
Karen Vivers, originally from Scotland, has lived here in Amsterdam since 1997, and set up the Cooking Coach to help inspire people to get back into the kitchen. The basis of the cooking lessons are easy, tasty, healthy recipes. Each course starts with a free introduction session, to make sure that you only cook what you like to eat.
Love Food, Live Healthy is ideal for those of us who really enjoy our food, but want to eat consciously without compromising on flavour. Packed with over 100 recipes, this book has lots of practical cooking and healthy eating tips. Designed for cooks of all skill levels, whether you love cooking or just love eating!