This Lemon Drizzle Cake features a light and fluffy lemon-flavored sponge cake topped with a sweet and tangy lemon glaze. This moist and tangy treat is perfect for satisfying your craving for a burst of citrusy goodness.
The easy recipe yields a delicious citrus cake bursting with lemon flavor. Perfect for any occasion, from afternoon tea to celebratory gatherings.
This lemon dessert is easy to make and yields a moist and delicious loaf cake that will keep you coming back for more, even days after baking. The zesty flavor of lemon adds a vibrant twist to the classic loaf cake, making it a crowd-pleaser for any occasion. Its moistness allows it to stay fresh for several days, making it an excellent choice for a make-ahead dessert or a delightful treat to savor throughout the week.
Why you'll love this
Light sponge cake
The sponge cake is light and is full of lemon flavor thanks to the sugar and zest rub before adding other ingredients. This moist and tangy treat is perfect for satisfying your craving for a burst of citrusy goodness.
Thanks to the fresh lemon juice in the lemon glaze this cake recipe is brimming with citrus 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 cake. Unsalted was used, though, you can substitute with salted butter.
- Sugar: Superfine or caster sugar gives sweetness without adding additional flavor so the lemon flavors can 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.
- 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.
- Eggs: Room temperature eggs are essential to bind with the butter and sugar. This allows more air to be introduced and gives our cake that nice and light texture.
- Lemon: Verna lemons were most easy to source for this recipe, but honestly, any unwaxed lemon you have on hand works. You will want the skin to be as blemish free as possible for the zest.
See recipe card for quantities.
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.
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 batter and a small one to stir the glaze together.
Hand or stand mixer: To whip the cake batter, this is best 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: A traditional loaf pan is ideal for this recipe, as it allows the cake to bake evenly and gives it that perfect shape. 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. Secondly, you can increase the lemon flavor by simply adding the freshest juice into your glaze. Roll the lemon on your board to make it easier to get more juice out of the fruit for the glaze.
More lemon recipes you'll lovePrint
A lemon drizzle loaf cake is unassuming, but bursting with flavor thanks to the zest being rubbed into the sugar and that lemon 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
165 grams / 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
Subscribe to receive a free weekly newsletter using seasonal produce as well as exclusive content!