A classic tea time cake, the smell of fresh lemon drizzle always reminds me of pancake day with that deliciously unbeatable combination of bitter lemon mixed with crunchy brown sugar. A fairy-light sponge cake soaks up all the sticky extra syrup, and I like using Demerara or granulated sugar for the drizzle for texture and crunch.

Serves 8-10


  • 200g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • zest of 3 unwaxed lemons (keep the juice of 2)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g soft cake and pastry flour (plain flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50ml milk
  • scant pinch of salt
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 130g Demerara or granulated sugar


Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease a 900g / 2lb loaf tin with butter and then line with baking parchment, extending the paper over the top of the tin to allow the cake to rise.

Beat the butter and caster sugar together with the lemon zest using an electric hand whisk until thick, creamy and well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating as you go – wait until they have been thoroughly incorporated before adding the next.

Sift in the flour, and add the baking powder and salt and combine. Add the milk – you want the mixture to have an easily spreadable dropping consistency.

Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and spread the top flat with a spatula or spoon. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a metal skewer comes out clean.

Mix the Demerara / granulated sugar together with the lemon juice. Remove the baking parchment and place the cake on a wire rack with a tray placed underneath. Use a skewer to insert small holes in the cake, and pour the drizzle evenly over the top in stages – allow it to sink in and absorb before continuing to pour. Let the drizzle melt, sink in and set.

This cake will keep for up to 3 days if stored in a cool place in an airtight container.