The perfect Lemon Drizzle Cake should be three things: lemony, soft and moist...this amazing cake delivers on all three! A lemony cake, a lemon syrup soak that permeates the cake and a covering of thin lemon icing.
Nothing is more disappointing than a dry Lemon Drizzle Cake, or worse still one that doesn't bowl you over with its sweet lemony goodness. I have found that many recipes use the pound cake formula, i.e. same amounts of sugar, flour and butter plus eggs. The issue I find with this is that the cake is simply not moist enough for a good Lemon Drizzle.
My Lemon Drizzle Cake's secret ingredient is natural yoghurt, this beauty of an ingredient guarantees a super soft cake. That and oodles of lemon zest and lemon juice simply make the best Lemon Drizzle Cake ever!
This cake is inspired by my Easy Lime Drizzle Cake which has been really popular as has my Chia Seed Cake. However, I have reduced the sugar content a little in this Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe, which is something I am consciously trying to do with all of my recipes, and increased the lemon a little for extra sweet zingyness.
Why is this Lemon Drizzle Cake so good?
Soft, fluffy and moist cake✔️
Very easy to make✔️
Ingredients and Substitutions
See Recipe Card below for Ingredient quantities.
- 5 Lemons - in total, you will need 5-6 tablespoons of lemon juice and 5 teaspoons of lemon zest, this will be 4-5 medium-sized lemons
- Self-raising flour - or you can use Plain (all-purpose) flour plus a level teaspoon of baking powder
- Baking powder
- Fine salt
- Caster (superfine) sugar - or you can use golden caster sugar
- Natural yoghurt - or you can use natural Greek yoghurt
- Unsalted butter - or you can use salted butter and omit the fine salt
- Large eggs
- Icing (confectioner's) sugar - vital it is sifted
See Recipe Card below for exact instructions.
Lemon Loaf Cake
First of all, the initial prep - this will take about 10 minutes:
Bring your eggs, yoghurt and butter up to room temperature,
Sift your flour, salt and baking powder together and set aside.
Mix your yoghurt with your lemon juice and set aside (don't worry if it looks a little curdled).
Rub your lemon zest into your sugar.
Then it really is just a case of bringing everything together.
Start by whizzing your butter around in your mixer until really nice and soft. When soft enough your butter will stick to the outside of the bowl and not clump around the paddle or beaters.
Tip in your sugar and whizz away again to form a paste-like consistency.
Add in your yoghurt and lemon juice mixture and whizz on a medium setting until incorporated.
Give your bowl a wipe-down with your spatula to ensure the mixture at the bottom is incorporated.
The next stage is to simply add an egg along with a tablespoon of your flour mixture and give it a whizz on a medium setting. Repeat with each egg until they have all been used up. Add the rest of your flour and gently mix in on a low setting until incorporated. Wipe down again and then beat on a medium-high setting for 10 seconds to ensure fully mixed and smooth, don't overbeat though as this will develop the gluten in your flour and your cake will be rubbery.
Again ensure you wipe the bowl down with a spatula to ensure all of the ingredients are mixed. You don't want the surprise of finding an unmixed mixture sitting at the bottom.
Tip the Lemon Drizzle cake batter into your line loaf tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and baked throughout.
Lemon Drizzle Cake Syrup
This stage takes about 5 minutes
On a low setting, heat your water and sugar together in a small saucepan until the sugar granules have dissolved.
Turn up the heat and simmer for about a minute, until the mixture has become a little gloopy.
Set aside to cool, then mix in your lemon juice.
When your cake comes out of the oven, prick it over with a skewer or cocktail stick and then pour your syrup even all over.
Once the cake has cooled for a bit you can remove it from your tin.
Lemon drizzle icing (frosting)
This stage also takes about 5 minutes.
Once your Lemon Drizzle Cake is totally cool make your lime drizzle icing. This is simply icing sugar and lemon juice mixed together. Pour your icing over the cake starting at the centre and allowing it to slide gently over the sides at its own pace.
For other zesty cakes try my delicious Almond, blueberry and limoncello bundt cake.
You can make a simple Vanilla Loaf Cake by omitting all of the lemon and adding a tablespoon of vanilla extract instead of the lemon juice.
You will need a hand mixer with the beaters attached, or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted.
Another crucial piece of kit is a spatula so that you can scrape your bowl down and be sure that all of the ingredients are equally incorporated.
This Lemon Drizzle Cake should be stored at room temperature in an airtight tin and will keep for up to 5 days.
Here are some key Top Tips to be sure that your Lemon Drizzle Cake is absolutely perfect:
- Use fresh lemons rather than bought lemon juice, the flavour is far superior and more authentic.
- Ensure that your eggs, yoghurt and butter are all at room temperature as this allows them to amalgamate fully when mixed and keeps your cake light and fluffy.
- Rub your lemon zest into your sugar as this gives a more intense lemon flavour.
- Line your loaf tin with loaf tin liners to save time.
- Use an oven thermometer to ensure that your Lemon Drizzle Cake is baked at the right temperature.
- Sift your icing (confectioner's) sugar before making your icing to give a smooth frosting.
As well as adding lemon zest and lemon juice to the cake batter, a lemon syrup made with sugar, water and lemon juice is poured over the cake whilst still hot, this then soaks into the cake, this makes it super lemony and moist.
Below are some other loaf cake recipes on Ella's Better Bakes that you might like to try. All of these have been extremely popular as proven by the comments other bakers have made
Easy Lemon Drizzle Cake
Here's what you'll need...
- Greaseproof (parchment) paper or loaf tin liners
- stand mixer or hand mixer with paddle attachment fitted if a stand mixer or beaters if a hand mixer
- Small saucepan
Ingredients you'll need...
Lemon Drizzle Cake
- 235 g Self-raising flour (1 Cup and 11 level tablespoons) or you can use plain/all-purpose flour and an extra level teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder must be level
- ¼ teaspoon Fine salt must be level
- 100 g Unsalted butter (7 tablespoons) at room temperature
- 250 g Caster (superfine) sugar (1 Cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 115 ml Plain natural yoghurt (½ Cup) at room temperature
- 4 teaspoon Lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
- 4 Large eggs at room temperature
Lemon Drizzle Cake Syrup
- 35 g Caster (superfine) sugar (2½ tablespoons)
- 30 ml Water (2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice (1 medium lemon)
- 150 g Icing (confectioner's) sugar sifted (13 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice (1 medium lemon)
- 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
Here's what we do...
Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Set your oven to 350°F/180°C/160°C Fan/Gas mark 4.
- Insert a loaf tin liner or line the base of your loaf tin with greaseproof paper and grease the exposed ends of the tin with some extra butter
- Sift together your flour, baking powder and salt.
- Rub your lemon zest into your caster (superfine) sugar.
- Using the paddle attachment for your stand mixer or beaters for your hand mixer, beat your butter a few times to ensure nice and soft. It should no longer be clumping around the paddle/beaters when soft enough.
- Add your caster sugar and rubbed in lemon zest and beat until a dry paste is formed, this takes about a minute.
- Mix together your yoghurt and lemon juice and then add it all to your beaten butter and sugar, beat together a few times until just combined and wipe your bowl down with your spatula intermittently to ensure everything is equally mixed.
- Add an egg and a tablespoon of your sifted flour mixture and beat on a low setting until combined and no unmixed egg remains.
- Repeat until the eggs are all mixed in.
- Lightly beat in the remaining flour until just combined, again wiping down with your spatula to ensure all of the batter is mixed in.
- Give the mixture a fast beat on medium-high for 10 seconds and no more. It should be mixed and look silky when ready.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and level out.
- Place in the centre of your oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden on top and skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Lemon Drizzle Syrup
- Whilst your cake bakes make your lemon syrup.
- Add your water and sugar to a small saucepan and mix thoroughly whilst heating on a gentle heat until all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Set aside to cool and then mix in your lemon juice.
- As soon as your cake is out of the oven, use a skewer to prick holes all over it and then spoon over your lemon syrup allowing it to soak in.
- Let your cake cool in the tin and then remove it and peel away the liner or greaseproof paper.
- Once your cake has completely cooled make your icing.
- Mix together your sifted icing (confectioner's) sugar and lemon juice until fully combined.
- Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake, this is best done by spreading it in a line across the centre and allowing it to naturally spread over the top and drip down the sides.