Lemon drizzle cake is one of my very favourites. There’s nothing out of this world, weird, or wonderful about it. But when someone cracks out the lemon drizzle my eyes light up. A good one will be light, buttery and a little bit tart – sharpness is something that can be sorely lacking in a lot of cakes, which are just one-level sweetness.
My lemon drizzle is pretty standard, however I add double the amount of lemon to bump up
that sharpness – trust me, it works. In this version I also added in some of the blackberries I’d picked at the end of our long, hot summer – which made me smile as I added them, thinking of the brambles scratching my bare, warm skin. The blackberries elevate this cake from something standard, to something that little bit special – the jewelled fruit peeping through as you cut each slice.
The wild blackberries are finished now, however there are plenty of British grown ones in thesupermarket, or you can use blueberries, raspberries or even red or blackcurrants (thought I’d double the amount of currants you use).
If you wanted to make this even more lemony, make a quick lemon icing (225g icing sugar, zest of one lemon, juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, add half first and then add more if required) and pour over. Allow to dribble down the sides to set and then serve.
Lemon drizzle and blackberry cake
Makes 1lb loaf – takes 1.5 hours total
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
225g self-raising flour
Zest of two lemons
For the drizzle
80g caster sugar
Juice of two lemons
- Heat the oven to 160c. Butter and line a 1lb loaf tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I use an electric hand whisk (because I have neither the space or money for a kitchen aid) – you could hand beat, but it will take a while. I usually cream for five minutes until the mixture is a soft off-white and the mixture is silky.
- Beat in the eggs one by one, adding in a tblsp of flour with each egg to stabilise it. Add the vanilla in with the last egg.
- Fold in the flour until all has been incorporated – it should be of soft dropping consistency (where the batter drops easily into the bowl when you give the mixing spoon a little shake). If your cake mix is a little thick, add a tblsp of milk and keep adding a tblsp at a time until you get the right consistency.
- Gently fold in the blackberries and lemon zest – don’t overfold at this point as you’ll make the cake tight and the berries too squashed.
- Pour into the tin, smooth the top so it’s all level and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- When the cake has ten minutes until done, add the caster sugar and lemon juice to a small pan and put over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then take off the heat until needed.
- As soon as you take the cake out prick all over the top with a toothpick or small skewer, then pour over the lemon drizzle. Allow the drizzle to sink into the cake for about half an hour before you take the cake out of the tin and finish cooling on a rack.
- Usually a lemon drizzle will keep for three to four days in an air tight container, but because this contains fresh fruit you need to eat it in two days (don’t worry, it won’t last that long).