Modifying the lemon drizzle cake, a little

I love lemon drizzle cake. It’s really wonderful, and not so hard to make, and in my experience, (almost) everyone loves lemony cake. As I make this cake often enough, I made some adjustments to it, to see if the people who like it a lot could find it in them to like it even more!

Inspired by my labmate’s love of lemon and poppyseed cake from the canteen (I’m impressed, they didn’t mess up the cake), I threw a teaspoon of poppy seeds into the cake batter and baked like normal. The seeds give a gentle bite to the cake, it’s really wonderful.

Poppy seeded lemon drizzle cake

Lemon drizzle cake filled with poppyseeds and super tangy drizzle for my sister’s graduation

In addition, my beloved’s favourite part of the cake is the lemon drizzle part (and quite a few other people, I’ve found), so I doubled up on the lemons to make his face pucker up even more. I used the juice of two lemons for the drizzle but the same amount of sugar. The centre of the cake is the most dangerous for those of us who like moderately (rather than insanely) tangy cake, I have yet to master the art of getting the drizzle to hang around the edges. As the cake top is a bit wetter with the extra juice, only dust it with icing sugar right before you plan to show off.

The above pictured cake was dusted with icing sugar twice, once before heading to the university for my sister’s graduation (yay! she’s got a PhD now, in microbiology though, yucky), and then again when we got home and were about to eat the cake. The cake didn’t last long, but that’s ok, cause when you get a PhD, many people make cake, so there was carrot cake, caramel squares, and cheesecake too!

Lemon curd buns

Inspired by a very tasty lemon curd muffin I got in the Kinsealy garden centre last week, I decided to make lemon buns and curd to go on top of them.

For the buns I used the recipe for lemon drizzle cake and spooned it into 15 bun cases and baked for about 20 minutes until set.

Happilly my net of lemons contained three, so after adding one the cake mix, I had two to make the curd. I had never made curd before, so I ended up scaling down Nigel Slater’s recipe and reducing the sugar for extra wince-inducing tang.

  • Juice and zest of two lemons
  • 90g sugar (even with 100g it will still be tangy)
  • 50g butter
  • One egg and one egg yolk

Set up a pot of simmering water with a bowl set over it so the bottom doesnt touch the liquid. (Lacking a proper sized bowl, I drop a tall cookie cutter into my smallest pot and balance my pyrex jug on top). Put the juice, zest, sugar and butter in to melt while you separate and beat the eggs. When the butter is fully melted, add the eggs, and stir with a whisk.
Stir regularly and cook the mix for about ten mins (according to Nigel, I ended up going closer to fifteen) until the mixture starts to thicken (like custard) and “coats the back of a spoon”. Then pour into a jar and leave to set, stirring occasionally.

Sadly mine was a little runnier than I’d have liked, but hopefully with enough time in the fridge, that won’t matter too much. The plan is then to smush it on to the buns and delight my lab colleagues tomorrow.

A glass ramekin of lemon curd

Deliciously face-scrunching lemon curd

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

I have another lemon drizzle cake cooling in the kitchen right now.  Very very tasty and filled with the goodness of two lemons! (it’s not my fault if vitamin C is a delicate compound that doesnt like being heated…)

  • 125g/4oz butter
  • 175g/6oz caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 175g self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 2 lemons
  • 20g of sugar for the syrup
  • Icing sugar to dust

Preheat your oven to 180ºC. Grease and line a cake tin (the book suggested 16cm, I used a 20cm circle and made a flatter cake).
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the beaten egg, a little at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour after each addition. Then add the zest and juice of one lemon, mix well, and pour into your tin. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until golden and set. You can leave it to cool in the tin on a wire rack or turn it out, both work grand sure.

Zest the remaining lemon and keep aside. Add the juice of the remaining lemon and the 20g of sugar to a pan and heat gently (the original recipe suggested 25g, but 20g works out grand). When the sugar is dissolved, simmer for 4mins. Poke lots holes in the cake with a cocktail stick and pour over the syrup. When the cake is cooled, dust with icing sugar and sprinkle on the zest.

Nom nom nom!