This lemon loaf cake gets whipped up when friends call in for a brew and only a quick homemade bake will do! A slice of this moist, tangy cake with a cup of tea is so rewarding. The drizzle adds a lovely glaze and delicious stickiness to the cake and dials up the zestiness.
This recipe makes one large 2lb loaf, or two smaller 1lb loaves. I like to make two smaller loaves – once cooled, I slice and freeze a loaf, wrapping each slice in cling and foil, which keep for up to 3 months. Take out the slices 2-3 hours before eating and warm up in the oven. Such a treat!
320g caster sugar
3 large eggs
grated zest of 2 lemons, unwaxed
350g plain flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
250ml whole/ semi-skimmed milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
200g unsalted butter, melted
For the lemon drizzle:
freshly squeezed juice and zest of 2/3 lemons
Lemon drizzle loaf cake
Preheat the oven to Gas mark 3/325°F/170°C.
Put the sugar, eggs and lemon zest in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk, as I do) and beat until well mixed.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.
Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a jug.
Add one-third of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat well, then beat in one-third of the milk mixture. Repeat this process twice more until everything has been added. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Turn the mixer down to low speed, pour in the melted butter and beat until well incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin(s) and bake in the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. For ease, I like to use loaf tin liners.
For the lemon syrup:
While the cake is baking, put the lemon juice and zest, sugar and 100ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over low heat. Raise the heat and boil until it has reduced by half, or until it has a thin syrup consistency. When the hot cake comes out of the oven, put it on a wire cooling rack and pour the syrup all over the top. Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto the wire cooling rack to cool completely.