I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this cake, it is universally popular more so I think than chocolate cake, and that is saying something. I gave some friends of mine a sample of this cake recently by way of a kind of ‘roadtest’ and the feedback was great. What I like most about the recipe is that it is so reliable – the cake comes out perfect every time. There is a nice short list of ingredients and equal quantities of butter, flour and sugar which make it really, really simple to make. Tip: One of my pet hates is lining cakes tins / trays (all that cutting of greaseproof paper…….life is too short!) so I have splurged on ready-made liners in both loaf tin sizes. All you have to do then is pop the liner into the tin and voilá! Ready to go. Perfect.
Makes one 2lb loaf cake or two 1lb loaf cakes
225g / 8oz softened butter, plus extra for greasing
225g / 8oz caster sugar
225g / 8oz self-raising flour
zest of 2 lemons*
4 large free-range eggs or 5 small ones
Zest and juice of ½ to 1 lemon (depending on size of lemon)
150g icing sugar
Equipment: One 2lb loaf tin or 2 1lb loaf tins
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas Mark 4.
- Grease the tin(s) or use a pre-made tin liner
- Beat the softened butter and sugar in a food mixer (or by hand if you are in need of a workout!)
- Stir / whisk in the lemon zest
- When the mixture is creamy and fluffy, whisk in the eggs ( the mixture may look curdled at this stage but don’t worry it is fine)
- Fold in the flour until it is all mixed through (If the mixture seems a little too dry, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to loosen it up)
- Transfer to the tin(s) and bake for 30-40 mins, test it after 30 mins – it is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack.
To make the icing – mix the lemon zest, half of the juice with the icing sugar until it is smooth and then drizzle over the top of the cake. Using only half the lemon juice makes it easier to get the right consistency – you can add more lemon juice if you wish, if it is too thick. If the icing is too runny just add more icing sugar. You just want a thin layer of icing to remain on the top.
* If you can get unwaxed lemons, great but I find they can be hard to find. The normal / widely available ones are fine to use but when using the zest in recipes you need to wash and scrub the lemons well in warm water before using.
PS : I love to hear that people have tried out any of my recipes. If you make the cake I would love it if you would let me know how you got on by using the comments section below.