An utterly marvellous cake for afternoon tea, even as a gift for when you go visiting.
In my immediate family lemon cake is right up there as one of the best cakes ever. And this is the best recipe I know for it.
It was this very recipe that got me back to cooking in my late teenage years. Beforehand I went through several phases of being interested in different things; acting, fashion designing, writing and history being the more prominent interests.
Don’t get me wrong, I did cook back then, albeit sporadically. My late father not being keen on boys/men who cook. He saw it as something that only women or girls did, . Which meant I only cooked or baked when he was out working, he was a taxi driver.
In January 2007 I moved, with my Mum and younger brother, out of my Dad’s. Two weeks after moving, I was bored and decided to make a cake from a book I was given the previous Christmas, much to Dad’s chagrin, Sam Stern’s “Cooking up a Storm”.
The cake was a lemon drizzle cake. It was a lovely cake, full of lemon flavour and a good tang. It was when this came out of the oven that I realised that I was a real cook, not just someone who had an interest.
As well as being an excellent tea cake, this also makes a good dessert with lightly whipped cream and a tumble of raspberries. Do please try this, I really want you to.
Lemon Drizzle Cake – adapted from Cooking up a Storm by Sam Stern
As well as lemons, this also works marvellously with limes or oranges.
I’ve even drizzled a little melted chocolate over this cake once it was cool; dark with lime, milk with orange, white with lemon.
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
1 lemon, zest finely grated
175g self-raising flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 lemon, juiced
Preheat your oven to 170c/fan 150c/gas 3. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment, or use a loaf tin liner.
Cream the butter, sugar and zest until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the flour and fold in, followed by the lemon juice and milk. Spoon into the prepared tin, level the top with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Bake in the oven for 55 minutes.
When baked, remove from the oven. Quickly combine the drizzle ingredients. Using a skewer, poke holes in the top, and pour over the drizzle. Allow to cool in the tin completely, then remove from the tin before serving in slices.