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23 June 2017

Lemon Drizzle Cake


Lemon Drizzle Cake

In my recent bid to master some more of the baking classics, I realised it was time to give one of my absolute favourites a go: lemon drizzle cake.

Beautifully simple, it is the ultimate accompaniment to your mid-afternoon cup of coffee - and always a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. How then, was I going to bake a lemon drizzle which lived up to all of these expectations?

A quick Google search provided a wealth of hits, unsurprisingly. As I set about doing my research, I suddenly realised that there was one major factor I had to consider when choosing a recipe: turns out I only had two eggs in the fridge.

I know. Call myself a baker?

Nevertheless, before long I had tracked down an excellent, two-egg recipe from The Telegraph. Having made just a few minor adjustments and tweaks here and there, a delicious lemon drizzle cake was born.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Moist, incredibly zesty, and perfectly balanced, with the sharpness of the lemons complementing the sweetness of the sugar syrup.

Wonderful!

The beauty of lemon drizzle cake is it's an all-in-one job, and makes for a very quick and easy weeknight bake. No resting on your laurels though - this is a recipe that you simply must get right.

Ingredients
For the cake -
125g unsalted butter, very softened
175g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour {I used Doves Farm Gluten-Free Self-Raising Flour}
1 tsp baking powder
2 large free-range eggs
Grated rind of 2 lemons
Optional - grated rind of 1 small orange {Adds even more zest!}
65ml milk {I used almond milk, but any milk should do}

For the syrup -
3 tbsp granulated sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

Equipment
Large mixing bowl
Electric mixer {or wooden spoon}
Sieve
1 900g loaf tin, greased and lined with baking parchment
Skewer
Wire cooling rack
Grater

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/356ºF/gas mark 4. Place your softened butter, sugar, eggs, lemon/orange zest and milk into your mixing bowl. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl from a height - this helps your cake to rise in the oven as much as possible.

2. Mix all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined and very smooth.

3. Pour the mixture into your loaf tin and bake in the oven for around 50 minutes, until the cake is a lovely golden colour. Use your skewer to check it is cooked in the centre {it should come out clean}

4. About 5 minutes before the cake is due to come out of the oven, make the syrup; simply dissolve the sugar into the juice of the lemons, and mix well.

5. Once your cake is out of the oven, place it onto the wire cooling rack whilst it's still in the loaf tin. Pierce the cake all over with the skewer, and pour your syrup over it. It might look like the syrup is just settling on the top, but don't panic - it will gradually seep into the cake!

6. Leave the cake in the tin as the syrup works it magic, and turn out once completely cool. Pop the kettle on, whip up a pot of Earl Grey or fresh coffee, and tuck into the loaf with glee.

Don't forget to send me snaps of your lemon drizzle cake creations - I'll be waiting on both Twitter and Instagram...

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