Oct 22, 2013

D185-9: Lemon Impatience

While that is an excellent name for a dessert, it's not what this one is called.

This Lemon Drizzle Cake comes from lemons: recipes and remedies ("text by Sara Burford" it says, which is apparently different to being the author). It's the sort of book you'd find at a $5 discount bookstore, and I think that's where I got it, years ago.

This was my first experience at making my own self-raising flour.  According to CTAW, you add 10g (1 tbsp) of baking powder to 300g (2 cups) of plain flour.  It seemed to work out fine - hurrah!

I was surprised at the ingredient measurements as the weights were all less than the amounts suggested.  For instance, it asked for "225g/1 cup of unsalted butter" but I've always counted a cup of butter as 250g.  All the gram measurements were similarly less than expected, and somewhat explained in the back with a conversion table that I'd call just plain wrong.

Density anyone? 225ml what?
Then, after I'd read "4 eggs" I was surprised to see this go into a loaf pan.  I even lined the square tin I've used for all the brownie recipes, which have comparable amounts of flour, butter and eggs, but decided to do as the recipe said as I've never made a syrupy cake before.

In hindsight, I wish I had used the 23cm square tin.  I wasn't sure I'd be able to evenly drizzle the syrup across the size of a square cake but the pastry brush did a very good job and I shouldn't have worried.  It would've also meant that the syrup would've soaked further into the cake, and hopefully the heat would've gotten through the thickness better than on this occasion. 

At 50mins, the cake was beginning to burn on the edge but, eventhough the skewer came out clean, it sunk considerably (more shallow than when it started!) once the syrup was on.  We also cut it while still warm coz Hub and I couldn't wait for supper and as, as he said, you couldn't break it any more!

Here is the recipe, with [my adjustments].

Lemon Drizzle Cake
  • Zest of 1 lemon (finely grated)
  • 230g / 2 cups self-raising flour [300g]
  • 225g / 1 cup sugar [250g]
  • 225g / 1 cup of unsalted butter (softened) [250g]
  • 4 eggs 
  • Topping: juice of 11/2 lemons and 110g / 1/2 cup of caster sugar [125g]

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Line a loaf tin with grease proof paper. 
  1. Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each new addition.
  2. Add the lemon zest and sift in the flour. Mix together well.
  3. Transfer the mixture into the loaf tin and level the top.  Place in the oven and bake for 45-50 mins. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool a little.
  1. Place the lemon juice and caster sugar in a bowl and mix together to make the topping. [Microwave for three 10sec bursts to help dissolve the sugar, but do not make it warm.]
  2. Prick the still-warm cake with a fork and then [use a pastry brush to] drizzle the topping over the cake.  Leave in the loaf tin until completely cooled.
  3. Once cooled, remove from the tin and serve.

Obviously, I haven't spent four days making a cake.  I've been chipping away at my secret gift too.


  1. Yep, those conversions seem just downright wrong... perhaps there was a reason it was in the discount bin and why Sara Burford was only taking credit for the text (does that include measurements?) Regardless the cake looks lovely, what was the verdict? I do love a good syrup cake, but the syrup does need to go all the way through.

    1. Barbara, the verdict was: yes! The cake is a little crumbly, like the Teacake recipe from CTAW but it has a lovely flavour and is an excellent way to spend one and a half lemons. If I don't use a square tin next time, I might do little cakes instead. The syrup was a good balance of tang and sweetness.

    2. And, I agree, the conversion charts at the back may have been added by the publisher. How awful for Ms Burford.