As much as I love an impressive, multi-layered, over the top cake; for general every day cake eating you can’t beat a simple lemon drizzle loaf cake. It is fairly plain, but gloriously so, damp and sticky yet light, with a sharp lemon tang and a slightly crunchy crust. I added a bit of a ginger kick to mine – not too much, the lemon should be the predominant flavour, but enough to take it beyond the standard lemon drizzle and add a subtle warmth and depth of flavour.
I like my lemon cakes to be intensely lemony, so I used both zest and lemon juice in the batter, topped it with extra sugared zest and then gave it a generous drenching of lemon syrup; there may seem to be an awful lot of syrup, but it soaks it all up, leaving it beautifully moist and strongly flavoured. This is a simple cake to make, but incredibly satisfying, best enjoyed with a cup of tea. Because it is so moist it keeps incredibly well, and actually even tastes better after it has had a couple of days to mature. One word of warning, leave the cake in the tin until it is completely cold, all of that syrup makes it rather delicate while it is warm and it may crumble.
- 125g (1/2 cup) butter
- 175g (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) caster sugar
- zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- 2 large eggs
- 175g (1 + ½ cups) self-raising flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- pinch salt
- 2 balls of stem ginger, finely chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- 15g (1 rounded tbsp) granulated sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup
- 100g (1 cup) icing (powdered) sugar
- Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease an approx. 22x11cm loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition, then beat in the lemon zest. Sift in the flour, salt and ground ginger and fold in gently, then fold in the lemon juice and chopped stem ginger. Scrape the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for about 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- While the cake is cooking prepare the topping. Rub the lemon zest and granulated sugar together in a small bowl and set aside. Put the lemon juice, stem ginger syrup and icing sugar into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes all over the top with a skewer, sprinkle over the sugar and zest mixture, then pour over the syrup, try and make sure that the whole cake gets an even dousing. Leave the cake in it's tin until it is completely cold - it is delicate while warm and may crumble.