Amazing Lemon Drizzle Cake made from scratch. This soft and moist cake is surprisingly quick and easy to make. Drizzled with a two-ingredient lemon syrup, it’s the perfect no-fuss loaf cake to serve for morning or afternoon tea.
Lovely Lemon Drizzle Cake ☀️
A quick and easy loaf cake that’s bursting with lemon zest and drizzled with a super simple, two-ingredient lemon syrup. It’s light and soft, but moist too – thanks to our not-so-secret ingredient (hi yogurt!).
This simple, but classic Lemon Cake is sure to become part of your go-to repertoire.
why you will love this recipe
- Makes a moist cake with a crisp crust
- Bursting with lemon flavour
- You only need everyday ingredients
- Quick and easy to make
Baking with citrus is something I’ve really tried to experiment with this year. From Lemon Blueberry Muffins to Orange Cake and Chocolate Orange Brownies, I’m truly smitten with the magic of fruity bakes.
So when it came to tackling a Lemon Drizzle Cake, I couldn’t wait. I knew I wanted a quick loaf cake – not a pound cake. I’ve already perfected my Pound Cake recipe, and most recently my Orange Pound Cake.
You can definitely use that recipe and swap orange for lemon for a deliciously, zesty cake with a tight crumb.
But today, I wanted something of a classic Lemon Drizzle Cake. A loaf that’s still soft and moist, but a little lighter than a pound cake. And quicker to make and faster to bake too.
Just like my oh-so-popular Cinnamon Apple Cake, this recipe uses Greek yogurt for moisture, flavour and rise.
But the magic of this cake is definitely in the drizzle. Just like my favourite Orange Syrup Cake, this cake is drenched in a two-ingredient syrup while it’s still warm.
It not only offers moisture, but it’s an added way to get even more lemon flavour into every nook and cranny of the cake. While the juice soaks into the cake, the sugar settles mostly on the top, which creates a sweet, sugary crust.
But perhaps my favourite thing about this cake is the ingredients. They’re all pantry staples – nothing weird or hard-to-find – making it the perfect, last-minute bake for last-minute guests.
what you will need
You only need a handful of everyday ingredients to make this cake, along with a couple of fresh lemons.
- Unsalted butter
- Caster sugar: Or granulated sugar.
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon zest and juice: Fresh is best.
- Plain flour: Or all purpose flour.
- Baking powder
- Greek yogurt: Or natural-style plain yogurt.
how to make it
This Lemon Drizzle Cake is quick and easy to make. Mixing together the butter and sugar (a method known as creaming) will create the base for a soft cake, and plenty of lemon zest adds oodles of flavour. Here’s how to make this cake in four simple steps.
- Beat together butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest using an electric mixer, until it’s pale, creamy and almost a little fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix on low speed.
- Add flour, baking powder, salt and yogurt and mix until combined. Batter will be thick and creamy.
- Bake cake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
The syrup for this Lemon Drizzle Cake consists of just two ingredients – caster sugar and fresh lemon juice. Since you’ll already have lemons on hand, after using the zest for the cake batter, it’s very easy to make.
There’s no need to cook it or dissolve the sugar – in fact, we want the sugar granules to sit on top of the cake. You just need to stir the juice and sugar together. Here’s what to do once your cake is fully cooked.
- While the cake is still warm (hot), prick holes all over the top of the cake using a skewer.
- Stir together sugar and lemon juice. Then pour the syrup all over the top of the cake.
- Once it’s soaked into the top of the cake, carefully lift the cake out of the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
tips for the perfect lemon drizzle cake
To ensure your Lemon Drizzle Cake turns out perfectly every time, here are a few easy tips and tricks to follow.
- Use softened butter: Mixing together your butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until the butter turns pale, light and fluffy will result in a soft and tender cake. If your butter is soft to begin with, it won’t take long – just a few minutes on medium speed. If your butter is too cold or hard, it will take a long time and you can risk over-mixing at this crucial stage.
- Measure your flour using a baking scale: It’s very easy to add too much flour when using cup measurements. A little extra flour will result in a dry cake. Please use a baking scale for the best results!
- Don’t over-mix the cake batter: Once your cake batter is combined, stop mixing. If you over-mix, your cake may be tough or dry.
- Watch the baking time: Make sure you check your cake is ready by inserting a skewer into the middle. I recommend checking in a few places to ensure the cake is completely cooked.
- Don’t skip the syrup: This Lemon Drizzle Cake is nothing without the syrup. It makes the cake soft, moist and full to the brim with lemon flavour.
frequently asked questions
Yes. Well no, but I highly, highly recommend it! It helps keep the cake soft and moist and adds extra lemon flavour. It only takes seconds to do.
Yes you can actually. It will change the method slightly – rather than starting by creaming the butter and sugar, you would mix together the wet ingredients and then add them to the dry, and mix by hand. Oil doesn’t give the cake the same rich, buttery flavour – but it does work and it will give you a moist cake. I recommend using a neutral-flavoured oil like vegetable oil or grapeseed oil.
Yes! You can use orange zest and juice if you prefer – equally delicious.
Like most cakes, this one is best eaten on the day it is made. At the end of the day, if there are any leftovers, I like to wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them. Then I just defrost or warm a slice in the microwave to enjoy at a later date.
More cakes to try
Soft and moist Lemon Drizzle Cake made from scratch.
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 200 grams (1 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of two large lemons, finely grated
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 210 grams (1 and 1/2 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) full fat Greek-style or natural yogurt
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar or granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Grease and line a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with baking or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and beat briefly to combine – don’t worry if the mixture goes a little bit lumpy at this stage – then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add flour, baking powder, salt and yogurt. Mix on low speed or by hand until the cake batter is smooth and creamy (but try not to over-mix). It will be very thick.
- Spoon cake batter into your prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- While the cake is still warm and still in the pan, poke holes all over the top using a skewer – going right down almost to the bottom of the cake.
- Mix together lemon juice and sugar. Spoon lemon syrup all over the top of the warm cake.
- Use the parchment or baking paper to carefully remove cake from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Butter: Creaming your butter and sugar correctly will result in a soft, buttery cake. Mix together your butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until the butter turns pale, light and fluffy. If your butter is soft to begin with, it won’t take long – just a few minutes on medium speed.
Oil: You can use oil in this cake instead of butter. It will change the method slightly – rather than starting by creaming the butter and sugar, you would mix together the wet ingredients and then add them to the dry, and mix by hand. Oil doesn’t give the cake the same rich, buttery flavour – but it does work and it will give you a moist cake. I recommend using a neutral oil like vegetable oil or grapeseed oil.
Greek yogurt: I have tested this recipe multiple times and have found Greek yogurt or natural-style yogurt works wonderfully well in producing a moist cake. If you do not have access to Greek yogurt, store-bought buttermilk would be the next best thing.
Orange: You can easily make this an Orange Drizzle Cake recipe by swapping the lemon zest and juice for orange.
Storage: This cake is best eaten on the day it’s made, however, it will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze it to maintain maximum freshness. I like to wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and freeze them. Then I just defrost or warm a slice in the microwave to enjoy at a later date.