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.