A student's guide to baking

Lemon Drizzle Cake


The cake:

  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • Zest of 2 lemons

The filling:

  • 200g butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon

The drizzle:

  • 70g granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  • Start by creaming together the butter and caster sugar.
  • When that’s done, mix in the eggs one at a time.
  • Add in the flour and the milk whilst continuing to mix.
  • Once you’ve got your standard white cake mix, add in the zest of two lemons to give it the lemon flavouring.
  • Pour the mixture evenly into two greased 10” cake tins.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake passes the knife test.
  • Whilst that’s cooking, you can be making the filling. Work the butter until it’s soft and then sieve in the icing sugar.
  • Once you’ve got a stiff buttercream, add in the juice of 1 lemon and mix well.
  • For the drizzle, add the juice of 1 lemon to 70g of granulated sugar.
  • When the cake is done and has cooled, spread the buttercream over one layer and place the other layer on top.
  • Pour the drizzle icing over the top, allowing it to settle and hold.

(See my carnation cupcakes recipe for the inspiration)


Sadly there are no photos of this one. I was in a rush to get this one finished and get back into the office, and by rush I mean I had 25 minutes between the cake layers coming out of the oven and when I ought to have been back in the office for the daily meeting. I was 10 minutes late in the end, but I arrived with a finished, albeit slightly structural unsound, lemon drizzle cake.

When I say that it was structurally unsound, all I mean is that the top layer had started to crumble and break into pieces. The cake hadn’t fully cooled either and it was a hot day anyway, so the top layer had slipped a little in transit too. Luckily it still tasted the same.

I made this at the same time as I made the gin drizzle cake, so I was pushed for time to get both done in the space of about 2 and a half hours. This cake was made as the non-alcoholic alternative for those that weren’t too fond of gin.

Both cakes went down very well and were very much appreciated by the office team. They’d evidently had a quieter moment earlier in the day when I was in the kitchen baking, because just after I’d handed out various slices to people and they’d had a few bites, someone started playing Food Glorious Food over the speakers and suddenly all those around the desk held up their scorecards. It was a lovely gesture, and I was thrilled to see several 10s amongst the scores! I did get an 8.5 from someone who’d decided it would be better for her to be harsher now than for me and my baking to be publicly denounced further down the line. The reason given for the lower score was the presentation, which I couldn’t disagree with. Thankfully the taste was great!

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