Two evenings ago, out of pure boredom flatmate L and I decided to bake a cake, in addition to cooking a tom yum soup for dinner. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have any of the important baking utensils for actually baking a cake, oh, like a cake tin or a cake mixer. Or for that matter, a kitchen scale. All that mattered was that we wanted cake and we would bake it. A quick trip to our local 24-hour supermarket (what luxury!) and we were fully equipped for our baking adventure (minus the cake mixer, but more on that later).
I helped measure out ingredients and L mixed them up with plenty of elbow grease and many comical facial expressions with, get this – a wooden spatula. We did try my idea of using an egg whisk to beat the butter and sugar together but all it did was stick together in one huge lump in the whisk. Oops. Kudos to her for toughing it out, I lasted only a few minutes whisking.
As the recipe specifies it will look worryingly curdled initially but keep mixing and the batter does eventually become smoother. We used a 24cm loaf tin so I used an initial bake time of 40 minutes thinking a lower cake height might need less time to cook but on testing it we had to add another 10 minutes anyway so it did come up to 50 minutes in the end. Then we switched off the oven and left the cake in there for another 10 minutes, just in case.
The cake turned out delish (and so did the tom yum soup). It had a wonderful loose crumb-y texture and was so moist. We poked many holes into the cake with a fork and still the icing only penetrated the top layer of the cake. We are seriously thinking of acquiring some large bore needles and syringes from work next time to really inject more icing into the middle of the cake.
Recipe from the BBC Goodfood website
Lemon Drizzle Cake
- 225g butter , softened
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 3 lemons, zested and juiced
- 4 eggs , beaten
- 175g self-raising flour , sifted
- 50g ground almonds
- icing sugar for the icing
Prep time 40 mins
Cook time 50 mins
- Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line the base of a loaf tin roughly 17x8x10cm. Beat the butter and caster sugar using an electric whisk until pale and creamy. Add the lemon zest and whisk the eggs in little by little, beating well between each addition – don’t worry if it looks curdled.
- Fold the flour and almonds into the cake mixture using a large metal spoon or spatula, and then fold in 2 tbsp lemon juice. Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out without any raw mix on it. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the remaining lemon juice and enough icing sugar to make a thin icing. Poke a few holes into the top of the cake with a toothpick and drizzle some of the icing over the cake. Cool in the tin for a further 30 minutes and then remove from the tin, put on a rack set over a tray and drizzle on the rest of the icing. Cool completely.
This mix also makes very good cupcakes – divide the mix between 12 deep cases and then bake for 18-20 minutes, or until cooked. Drizzle the top of each with the icing.
To make an orange version, use the zest of 2 oranges but the juice of only one. A little zest in the icing will help bump up the flavour.
A shot of limoncello added to the icing will add flavour and a decadent edge to the cake.