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Lemon drizzle cake recipes

lemon drizzle cake recipe

Lemon drizzle: the zesty, quintessentially British cake that never fails to tickle those taste buds. It goes pretty darn well with an afternoon cuppa too. Whether you're a fan of the traditional lemon drizzle cake or fancy going off-piste with a few extra ingredients, we've compiled the best recipes (as recommended by gransnetters) to satisfy your sweet tooth.

This way for daily dinner ideas...

How to make lemon drizzle cake

Traditional lemon drizzle cake recipe 

Nothing quite beats a classic and this recipe contains all the ingredients you'd find in a traditional loaf. As they say, if it ain't broke don't fix it.


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

lemon drizzle cake


  • 225g softened unsalted butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 225g self-raising flour

For the drizzle topping:

  • Juice 1 ½ lemons
  • 85g caster sugar



  1. Beat the butter and caster sugar together in a bowl until pale and creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time, and mix through. Sift in the flour, add the grated zest of 1 lemon and mix until well combined.
  2. Line a loaf tin (8x21cm) with greaseproof paper, then spoon in the mixture and level the top with a spoon.
  3. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 180°C/Gas mark 4 until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  4. While the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the lemon juice and caster sugar to make the drizzle. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the drizzle - the juice will sink in and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping.
  5. Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve. The cake will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Handy hint: For a gluten-free lemon drizzle cake, swap the ordinary flour for the wheat-free version.


Pistachio and sultana lemon drizzle cake

If you're one for experimenting in the kitchen, try this nutty version with pistachios and sultanas. You might find it goes equally as well with that brew. 


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

pistachio lemon cake


  • 100g butter or softened margarine
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 lemons, finely grated zest of 1 and juice of both
  • 50g sultanas
  • 75g pistachios (or similar), roughly chopped
  • 75g granulated sugar



  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4 and grease a 900g cake tin and line with baking parchment.
  2. Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy then mix in the eggs and flour. 
  3. Add the milk and stir in the lemon zest, sultanas and 65g of nuts. Spoon into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, warm the lemon juice and granulated sugar in a pan until the sugar has melted, and set aside.
  5. When the cake is cooked and still warm, keep it in its tin and prick all over with a skewer before pouring over the lemon mixture. Allow to cool, remove from tin and scatter with the remaining chopped nuts.


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Lemon and poppy seed loaf

A perfect pairing, the lemon and poppy seeds create a stunning combination that is tricky to beat. Seriously delicious. 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

lemon and poppy seed cake 


  • 195g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 30g poppy seeds
  • 170g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 150g white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 60ml milk

For the glaze:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g white sugar



  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4 and place the rack in the centre of the oven. Line and grease a loaf tin and place to one side.
  2. In one bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds and lemon zest).
  3. Using either a hand mixer or a food mixer, in a second bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing with the butter and sugar each time. Slowly add the flour and milk, then some vanilla to taste.
  4. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and place in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is brown and a knife comes out clean.
  5. In the meantime, place the remaining sugar and squeezed lemon into a saucepan and mix until dissolved.
  6. Once the loaf has finished baking, immediately brush the glaze onto the loaf.
Handy hint: For best results, leave to cool and then wrap and store overnight.

Lemon and almond cake

Another solid recipe for nut-lovers, this moist lemon cake will go down a treat with the whole family. Add some vanilla extract to this recipe too for added flavour.


Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

lemon and almond cake


  • 120g soft butter
  • 120g caster sugar and 1 tablespoon extra for egg whites
  • 4 large eggs
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 60g self raising flour
  • 120g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp milk



  1. Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Whip the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, then add the juice of 1 lemon and the lemon zest.
  2. Fold in the sifted flour, almonds and milk.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and add the 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir a spoonful of egg white into the almond mixture. Add the rest of the egg white and fold into the almond mixture.
  4. Spoon into a prepared 20cm cake tin, which has been rubbed with butter.
  5. Place in the middle of preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes until cooked through, risen and golden brown.

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