Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

This recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake makes a luscious citrus cake with a crunchy sugar topping and a super moist texture.

This zesty cake looks so gorgeous you won’t want to eat it, but once you start you won’t be able to stop!

Lemon Drizzle Cake With A Twist
Lemon Drizzle Cake is a British classic made by pouring sweet lemon syrup over the freshly baked lemon cake. The syrup seeps down into the cake (adding moisture to the cake) and leaves a sweet crunchy glaze over the top.

Traditional Lemon Drizzle Cake doesn’t have poppy seeds, but I think they add a texture that really makes the cake.

Why This Recipe Works

  • The use of both fresh lemon juice as well as zest gives the cake a deep lemon flavor.
  • Using granulated sugar in the glaze gives that crunchy coating lemon drizzle cake is known for.
  • Using poppy seeds adds extra texture to the cake.

TIP
Getting That Vibrant Yellow Color
I added food coloring to my cake because I wanted the photographs to have a vibrant lemon look and color, but this step is totally optional

Step By Step Instructions
1. Beat together the softened butter and sugar until pale and creamy before adding the eggs.

2. Add the lemon zest and food coloring (if using) and mix until smooth.

3. Then sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

4. Mix into the butter mixture until smooth. Then fold in the poppy seeds.

5. Spread evenly into a greased loaf pan.

6. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool 5 minutes in the pan.

7. While the cake is cooling in the pan, mix together the juice of 1 1/2 lemons and ½ cup of sugar to make the drizzle.

8. Prick the warm cake all over with a fork or a skewer.

9. While the cake is still warm, transfer to a wire rack and then pour over the drizzle – the juice will sink into the cake and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping.

10. Leave on a cooling rack until the icing sets into a glaze. Serve and enjoy!

TIP
Make Mini Loaves Or Muffins
I’ve made this recipe as mini loaves (pictured below) without the poppy seeds and they came out beautiful.

You can also make muffins using a muffin pan. See where to get the pans and instructions below.

To make this recipe as mini loaves or muffins, follow the recipe instructions add the batter evenly to the pan sections and bake 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Then follow the same drizzle instructions too.

TIP
For Best Results

  • Be sure to soften your butter. Using cold butter makes it almost impossible to get a smooth batter.
  • Beter to mixing the lemon zest into the sugar instead of separately; this releases the lemon oils and gives the cake extra flavor.
  • Don’t have poppy seeds? No problem! The recipe works just fine without them!
  • When piercing the cake, the deeper the better! the deeper you go, the more of the drizzle the cake will soak up!
  • Be sure to add the drizzle to the cake while the cake is still hot. This makes it seep well into the cake, leaving only the crunchy topping behind.
  • Short on time? If you have a food processor, this cake can be made as an all in one cake by throwing all of the ingredients into a food processor with the regular blade and mixing until smooth (just be sure the butter is soft).

Lemon Drizzle Cake FAQs
Can I use self-raising flour instead of all-purpose or plain flour? Yes, to use self-raising flour, just omit the baking powder from the recipe.

How is this cake stored? Lemon drizzle cake should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 3-4 days.

Can the cake be frozen? Yes! Lemon Drizzle Cake freezes really well.

To freeze lemon drizzle cake, place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • ​½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • yellow food coloring for color optional
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ​½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds

For the glaze:

  • The juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • ​½ cup granulated sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC
  2. Prepare a loaf pan by greasing it with butter.
  3. in a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then the eggs, one at a time, slowly mixing through. Add the food coloring (if using) and mix until smooth.
  4. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Sift the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then add the finely grated lemon zest and poppy seeds and mix until combined.
  5. Fill the pan evenly with the batter.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 mins, or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Leave to cool 5 minutes in the pan.
  8. While the cake is cooling in the pan, mix together the juice of 1 1/2 lemons and ½ cup of sugar to make the drizzle.
  9. While the cake is still warm, transfer to a wire rack and prick the warm cake all over with a skewer and then pour over the drizzle – the juice will sink into the cake and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping.
  10. Leave to cool 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack.

NOTE

  • Be Sure to soften your butter. Using cold butter makes it almost impossible to get a smooth batter.
  • Try mixing the lemon zest into the sugar instead of separately; this releases the lemon oils and gives the cake extra flavor.
  • Don’t have poppy seeds? No problem! The recipe works just fine without them!
  • When piercing the cake, the deeper the better! the deeper you go, the more of the drizzle the cake will soak up!
  • Be sure to add the drizzle to the cake while the cake is still hot. This makes it seep well into the cake, leaving only the crunchy topping behind.
  • Short on time? If you have a food processor, this cake can be made as an all in one cake by throwing all of the ingredients into a food processor with the regular blade and mixing until smooth (just be sure the butter is soft).

Nutrition Information: Calories: 273kcal (14%)| Carbohydrates: 35g (12%)| Protein: 3g (6%)| Fat: 13g (20%)| Saturated Fat: 7g (44%)| Cholesterol: 71mg (24%)| Sodium: 264mg (11%)| Potassium: 100mg (3%)| Sugar: 25g (28%)| Vitamin A: 415IU (8%)| Calcium: 78mg (8%)| Iron: 1.1mg (6%)

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