The best Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe has a nice brown exterior and beautiful sponge cake interior all topped with a light and zesty glaze. The icing here coats the cake with just enough lemon to make biting into a piece melt-in-your-mouth.
Also, this comes together so easily and is the kind of perfect snack cake you’ll want to have on hand for loved ones or simply as an afternoon pick-me-up. Oh and this stays moist for several days, meaning this works great in a lunchbox from Monday-Friday (if made Sunday eve).
Why you'll love this
Light sponge cake
The sponge cake is light and has a bad flavor of lemon thanks to the sugar and zest rub before adding other ingredients.
Thanks to the fresh lemon juice in the icing this is brimming with lemon flavor from the crumb to the icing.
Ingredients and substitutions for Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Butter: Butter must be room temperature here to create the nice and fluffy base of the sponge cake which allows more air to be whipped up and help the sugar begin dissolving. Unsalted was used as it is fresher than salted, however, you could absolutely substitute with salted butter.
- Sugar: Superfine or caster sugar gives our cake it’s sweetness without overly flavoring the cake allowing the lemon flavors to really come to the fore. You could substitute with raw sugar or half and half with brown sugar, though your cake would have slightly more caramel flavor. Icing or confectioner’s sugar is best in the glaze because it dissolves into the lemon juice thanks to it’s incredibly fine texture.
- Plain flour: The finer crumb in plain flour gives our sponge cake it's signature texture. However, you can substitute in equal measure with self-raising flour and omit the baking powder, which is most commonly recommended for this recipe.
- Baking powder: This helps our cake rise so to create the nice light crumb and avoid a dense cake. Baking powder can expire, so it's best to check the best before date, particularly if yours has been open for some time.
- Eggs: Room temperature eggs are essential to bind with the butter and sugar as they allow more air to be introduced which gives our sponge that nice and light texture.
- Lemon: Verna lemons were most easy to source for this recipe, but honestly, any lemon you have on hand works. You will want the skin to be as blemish free as possible due to using the zest for the cake batter.
See recipe card for quantities.
Equipment needed to make this
Greaseproof paper: Lining your tin will make getting the cake out a breeze!
Mixing bowl: A medium mixing bowl is needed for the cake batter and a smaller one to stir the glaze together.
Hand or stand mixer: To whip the cake batter, this is best done with an electric beater to give your sponge the light airy texture. Both can be done by hand, but you will need some elbow grease to get the texture right.
Sift: Sifting the flour helps ensure it folds into the cake batter nice and smooth. It is also required to make your confectioner’s sugar nice and smooth for the icing.
Loaf tin: The loaf tin used here fits 1 kilo or 2 pounds.
FAQ's for the best Lemon Drizzle Cake
Do the ingredients need to be room temperature?
Yes, to create the best sponge cake your butter and eggs need to be room temperature. This allows the butter to whip up into a fluffy texture and combine with the sugar. Room temperature eggs allow for better aeration resulting in a fluffier texture that helps give our cakes the light crumb.
How do you increase the lemon flavor in your cake?
There are 2 steps to increase the flavor in your baked goods with lemon. Firstly, rubbing the finely chopped zest with the sugar helps draw out the oils from the lemon peel as well as infusing the flavor into the base of your cake. Secondly, you can increase the lemon flavor by simply adding the freshest juice you can into your glaze. Roll the lemon on your board to warm up the fruit and make it easier to get more juice out of the fruit for the glaze.
More lemon recipes you'll love
How to make Lemon Drizzle Cake:
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and lightly greaseproof a loaf tin, lining the base with greaseproof paper.
Place the sugar and lemon zest into a bowl and rub together to coat the zest thoroughly with sugar and draw out the oils in the peel.
Add the butter and eggs and beat until pale and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes with an electric beater.
Add the flour and baking powder to your mixture and beat on low until just combined.
Spoon your batter into your loaf tin and spread out evenly.
Place in the oven and bake until golden and slightly pulling away from the sides of the tin, approximately 55 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.
Whilst the cake is still warm, place the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice into a small bowl and stir together until it drizzles off your spoon when you lift it up.
Slowly and surely drizzle over your lightly warm cake and allow to cool fully to set.
Slice it up and serve with your favorite hot beverage.
Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: Serves 9-10 1x
- Category: Cakes, Snack Cake
A lemon drizzle loaf cake is unassuming, but bursting with flavor thanks to the zest being rubbed into the sugar and that lemon juice glaze. This is a perfect snack cake for those days where you want something quick to whip up with simple ingredients.
Lemon sponge cake
200 grams / 1 cup superfine/caster sugar
5 grams / 1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely chopped
200 grams / 7 ounces butter, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
200 grams / 1 ¼ cups plain flour, sifted
6 grams / 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
115 grams / 1 cup confectioner’s/icing sugar, sifted
21 grams / 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
Lemon sponge cake
- Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and lightly greaseproof a loaf tin, lining the base with greaseproof paper.
- Place the sugar and lemon zest into a bowl and rub together to coat the zest thoroughly with sugar and draw out the oils in the peel.
- Add the butter and eggs and beat until pale and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes with an electric beater.
- Add the flour and baking powder to your mixture and beat on low until just combined.
- Spoon your batter into your loaf tin and spread out evenly.
- Place in the oven and bake until golden and slightly pulling away from the sides of the tin, approximately 55 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.
- Whilst the cake is still warm, place the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice into a small bowl and stir together until it drizzles off your spoon when you lift it up.
- Slowly and surely drizzle over your lightly warm cake and allow to cool fully to set.
- Slice it up and serve with your favorite hot beverage.
- Dig in!
Recipe by Roamingtaste
- Calories: 396 calories per serve
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