Who doesn't like a classic bake like Lemon Drizzle? Whilst they are pretty straight forward and there are so many recipes out there, they can vary depending on their degree of lemonyess. I would like to say that my recipe for this classic packs a punch without it tasting like you're sucking on an actual lemon. The one thing you do need to accept, no matter what recipe you follow, is that the icing most of the time looks (in the words of Philomena Cunk) "sort of like jizz". I mean let's face it, it should be called Lemon Jizzle Cake. There, I said it.
Hands-on Time 20 minutes
Baking Time 50 minutes
175g Unsalted butter plus extra for greasing
255g Caster sugar
3 Eggs, medium
190g Self-raising flour
1/8 tsp Fine salt
45ml Full-fat milk
100g Icing sugar
2lb Loaf tin
2 Small bowls
Small whisk or spoon
Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C (Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3.
Grease the loaf tin with butter and then line with baking parchment. I find it best to turn the tin upside down and shape the parchment around the bottom of the tin. It makes any folding easier. You need to ensure you line the tin with one complete piece as you will be pouring syrup over the cake later.
Add 180g of caster sugar and 175g of butter to the large mixing bowl and beat using an electric whisk for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy.
Add one egg, at a time, to the mixture whilst still the whisk is still running. You may find the mixture will curdle a little, but don’t worry.
Add the flour and salt to the bowl and whisk on a low speed until combined.
Finally, add the milk and grate the zest of one lemon over the mixture and give one final whisk.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula.
Transfer the mixture into the lined tin and smooth out as much as possible using the spatula.
Pop the tin into the oven onto a middle shelf for 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
During the last 5 minutes of baking squeeze the juice of one lemon into a saucepan and add the remaining 75g of caster sugar.
Put the pan over a medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved and it starts bubbling.
As soon as the loaf has finished baking remove it from the oven and repeatedly stab it with a skewer.
Pour the syrup over the cake and leave in the tin to until it has completely cooled.
Once the cake has cooled, you can get on with making the icing.
Firstly, grate the zest of the second lemon over a plate and then squeeze the juice into a small bowl.
Add the icing sugar to the other small bowl. Add a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice to the icing sugar and whisk. You want a mixture which isn’t very thick and at the same time not very runny. I know this may not seem particularly useful but it needs to be runnier than a paste. Add more lemon juice, one teaspoon at a time, should you need it. You may not need the juice of the whole lemon.
Pour the icing over the cake and leave to sit for a couple of minutes before scattering some of the zest over the top. Again you might not need all of the zest.
Either leave the cake as it is until the icing has set, or pull the paper down and allow some of the icing to drip down over the sides. It’s up to you!