Sunday, 8 July 2012

Lemon drizzle cake - Tea Time Treat

My boyfriend's favourite cake is the old traditional lemon drizzle cake. I've never attempted this before, as I always think it's a bit of a safe option and I end up thinking of something more complicated to make. It's a light, fluffy cake, ideal for the summer fair cake stall tea time treats challenge! Find out more about tea time treats from Lavendar & Lovage and What Kate Baked. 

However, all did not go to plan. It was less drizzle, and more a damp soggy Wednesday in Britain - just like the current British summertime where the sunshine is still evading us. The drizzle didn't go crunchy at all like it's supposed to - none of the attractive dusting of sugary snowfall that you'd expect from a lemony fair treat. I followed the recipe to the letter (I even used the right flour this time) but it just didn't work. No crispy drizzle. It was positively soggy.

It was quite nice - the tart lemon was just enough, the sponge was light and soft, but the top half was soggy. There are no other words for it. Soggy. It worked as a good dessert, but not as a cake really. Although Steve thought it was delicious, I was disappointed.

Do you have any ideas why it didn't quite work? Perhaps I should have used a greater ratio of sugar to lemon juice for the drizzle glaze?

This is a recipe from 'The Great British Book of Baking' that accompanied the first series of The Great British Bake Off (how excited am I for the next series to start in August!).

200g very soft marg
250g caster sugar
3 eggs beaten
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
250g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100ml milk at room temp

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (160 fan).
Put marg, sugar, eggs and lemon zest in bowl. Sift in flour and baking powder. Mix together until combined and smooth.
Pour into prepared tin. Bake for about 35-40 mins.

When nearly baked, mix together 100g caster sugar, the juice of 2 lemons, and the zest of 1 lemon. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poor the glaze over the top. Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out. I only have a small loaf tin so this mixture made a few fairy cakes as well (they were also soggy and not crunchy).

If you've made this one, or any other lemon drizzle recipe, please comment and tell me how crunchy yours was!


  1. The "crust" that you get on a drizzle cake comes later when the drizzle and cake has cooled down, clearly, this didn't happen as we have been tweeting about soggy tops and fluffy bottoms! So, I think there was NOT enough sugar to lemon juice ratio....BUT, this is STILL a great entry for the cake stall and Tea Time Treats! THANKS! Karen

  2. oh its such a tricky one the science of cake baking... it may be as simple as your cake not being fully baked through when you poured over the syrup. Did you check it was baked thru? Maybe make one again and let it cool a bit more before you pour over the drizzle? Looks pretty anyhow!

  3. Yes it was definitely baked all the way through... I've had a couple of people say use more sugar in the lemon juice glaze... Someone said to try boiling up the glaze a little before pouring? I will have to try this one again and see what happens!

  4. Hi, I'm visiting through Tea Time Treats. I love lemon cakes. We all have moments when we can't figure out what really went wrong with the bakes. I am sure it'll work out better the next time. -

  5. Hi Michele, glad you came and visited! Fingers crossed for my next lemon attempt!

  6. the same thing happened to me when I made this cake. The topping wasn't crunchy at all. Maybe we need to increase the sugar? Anyway, it still looks delicious :-)

  7. Hi,
    I know this is a very old posting, I happened to come upon it when checking whether the lemon drizzle cake from the Great British Book of Baking 2012 was anywhere on the internet. I just wanted to say that I make this cake al the time and everyone likes it, people have never mentioned the absence of the white crunchy top, love the fluffy consistency of the cake and the tanginess. NB: I think a white crunchy top comes when you use icing sugar rather than castor sugar. I hope you still bake it sometimes, I baked one tonight to use up some lemons.


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