Since World Baking Day encouraged people to “bake brave” I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone a little and bake a wider variety of cakes for my family. Recently I have baked Carrot Cake, Rainbow Cupcakes and Hidden Heart Cupcakes as well as my tried and tested Birthday Cookies but my latest cakey favourite is Lemon Drizzle Cake; the scent and the golden colour just seem to reflect the sunshine which has finally shown up and makes it feel truly like summer.
I have to thank the Hummingbird bakery for this recipe, it produces a loaf rather than a traditional cake and takes about 1hr 20 minutes to bake so leave yourself plenty of time or you’ll end up leaving the batter on the side while you go out (as I did on Sunday) because you don’t have time left to bake it before you leave.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven a lemon syrup is drizzled over it so you also need to make sure you have time to make this while the cake cooks.
For the cake-
320g caster sugar
3 eggs (beaten)
Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons (grated)
350g plain flour
1 and a half tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
250ml whole milk
1tsp vanilla extract
200g unsalted butter (melted)
For the Syrup -
juice from the two lemons (the ones used to get zest for the cake)
zest of 1 lemon (or keep back a little zest from the cake batter)
50g castor sugar
100ml cold water
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 c
- Butter and line a standard loaf tin with grease proof paper
- Combine the beaten eggs, sugar and lemon zest in a stand mixer or by hand until smooth.
- Add the salt and baking powder to the flour then separately add the vanilla essence to the milk.
- With the mixer on a low speed add half the four and wait until it is incorporated, then add half the milk and continue to mix . Repeat this with the rest of the flour and milk.
- Mix on a high speed until the mixture is smooth
- To melt the butter I use a microwave on 15 second bursts. Once the butter begins to melt I simply stir until all the butter has melted. It is important not to get the butter too hot as it would scramble the eggs. (I also use a microwavable plastic kids bowl for melting the butter as it doesn’t heat up in the same way ceramic ones do).
- Add the butter to the mixture while mixing at a low speed
- Pour the mixture into the buttered and lined loaf tim and bake at 170c for 1hour and 20 min or until a cake tester comes out clean.
With about 30 minutes to go on the cake begin making the lemon syrup
- Place the lemon juice, sugar, water and any zest into a small pan and stir to dissolve the sugar
- Bring the pan to the boil and reduce the mixture by about half
- Allow the syrup to cool a little
- Once the cake is out of the oven and before removing from the tin, pour the syrup over the top of the cake. This is best done over a sink on a wire rack
- After 5 minutes lift the cake out using the grease proof paper (or turn out) and leave to cool.The easiest way to clean the syrup from the pan is to refill with hot water and leave to boil for about 10 minutes. Pour away the boiled water and once the pan has cooled wash as normal