Lemon cake is a winner no matter what the situation, it’s light, fragrant and a fresh way to get your cake fix.
Whether it’s with a cup of tea, some fresh lemonade or alongside a gin and tonic, it’s a classic and it works.
There are lots of different varieties of lemon cake, from sponge cake to loaf tin, those with yoghurt and those with lemon juice but here I’ve made a relatively easy one here which I took into work.
I would usually use plain flour and a teaspoon of baking powder but half way through baking I realised there was none left so opted for self raising instead.
It makes the cake a lot more fragile and crumbly but also light, delicate and cloud-like.
The lemony syrup is poured into the cake once it’s still warm absorbing into the cakey mixture creating a sticky, lemony thing of joy.
I’ve scattered almonds on top for some extra texture and fresh flowers for a quick way to make it look good.
225g soft butter
225g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
The zest of 2 lemons
4 eggs, at room temperature
For the lemon syrup:
The juice of the 2 lemons
200g caster sugar
For the top:
300g icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon curd
Fresh (or dried) flowers
How to make…
Preheat the oven to 190C/180 fan/Gas 4 and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Mix the butter and sugar together until light, foamy and doubled in texture, this takes around three minutes with an electric mixer and five without.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and then sieve in the flour and mix in the lemon zest (don’t put it all in, save a teaspoon for the icing).
Carry on mixing until everything is well combined (around three minutes more with the electric, five without) and then spoon everything into the cake tin. Use a spatula to smooth the mixture down and pop it in the oven for 35 minutes.
It’s ready when the cake sponge springs back to your touch, or a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
While the cake’s in the oven, get the lemon syrup ready. Put the caster sugar and lemon juice into a pan on the hob and simmer for 2 minutes then set aside.
When you take the cake out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer and then drizzle the syrup into it and leave to cool.
Next make the icing, mix together the lemon curd, icing sugar and water until thick and runny and then once the cake is completely cold drizzle the icing all over it.
Sprinkle on the remainder of the lemon zest and gently place the flowers on top.
If you’re using fresh flowers try and put them on at the last possible moment otherwise they’ll wilt and look rather sorry for themselves.
You can spend a long time making this part look perfect or you can whack it on until it looks pretty-ish (as I’ve done) and then dig in…