Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Cake is an easy tea cake with a distinctive crunchy lemon glaze. You only need a few basic ingredients and 35 minutes to bake this lovely bundt cake.
How many times can you reinvent the perfect lemon dessert?
Endless times if you ask me. And good thing, because lemon desserts are the best, and I never want to run out of new ways to indulge. The unique crunchy glaze on this lemon bundt makes it especially delicious.
When it comes to cakes of all kinds, I’m all about the texture. This one has a delicate crumb that stays nice and moist thanks to the glaze. It acts as a barrier to keep the cake from drying out, so I recommend you don’t slice the cake until you’re ready to serve.
I love to embellish desserts, I admit, but this one doesn’t need anything.
The cake is a lovely golden color, and every time the knife goes through that crunchy lemon glaze it creates a beautiful crackled texture, so there’s no need for any bells and whistles.
If you’re serving it for a special occasions like Easter brunch or a wedding shower you might surround it with simple edible flowers like pansies, or lavender sprigs. You can also place a very small glass or vial into the center of the cake and fill it with delicate flowers for a beautiful effect.
kitchen tool spotlight: a great basic bundt pan
Bundt pans come in all sorts of wonderful shapes and sizes, which is great, except that you never know how your pan is going to work with a specific recipe. I like to use this one from Wilton which is a basic, all purpose pan that’s sturdy, nonstick, and a standard size, with a 10 cup capacity.
There’s a time and place for intricate shapes, but the streamlined design of this pan will never let you down, and always releases the cake perfectly.
Pan prep is key to a perfectly released bundt cake
- always use a nonstick pan
- butter the pan, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies
- then add a thin dusting of flour.
- let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes after baking.
- run a thin offset spatula or other flexible knife along all the edges to loosen before flipping the pan over to release the cake.
This cake is on the smaller side as bundts go, but that works well because it’s got the perfect cake to glaze ratio. The cake has a gentle lemon flavor from the zest in the batter, and the glaze gives it that one two punch from the juice.
Every lemon dessert exploits the flavor of the fruit in a unique way. My Lemon Layer Cake and Raspberry Lemon Cake feature a super tangy lemon frosting. My Whole Meyer Lemon Bars and Flourless Whole Meyer Lemon Cake recipes actually use the entire fruit!
How to make your own self-rising flour
Just multiply the basic formula for the amount of flour you need. I like to make a larger batch just to keep on hand. An airtight container or heavy duty zip lock bag works great for storage. Blend together:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
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Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Cake
- a standard bundt pan
- 1 1/8 cup sugar (225 grams)
- rind of 2 small or 1 large lemon, peeled with a vegetable peeler, yellow part only
- 1 cup unsalted butter (225 grams) at room temperature
- 4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 Tbsp milk
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 1/4 cups self rising flour (275 grams), See below to make your own self rising flour.
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- juice of 2 lemons
- Preheat oven to 350F Grease and flour a standard 9 or 10 cup bundt pan
- First make the lemon sugar: put the sugar and lemon peels in a food processor and process until the zest is completely incorporated in to the sugar. It will be pale yellow, moist, and fragrant. Note: if you don't have a food processor, the finely grate the zest of two lemons and mix into the sugar by hand.
- Put the sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, or you can mix by hand with electric beaters. Cream them together for 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. It should be pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one by one.
- Blend in the milk, then the baking powder, and finally fold in the flour. Don't over mix, but make sure everything is evenly incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into your prepared pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 35 minutes, or until risen, golden, and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out without wet batter on it. The top should spring back when lightly touched.
- Let the cake cool for 12 minutes, then run a thin offset spreading knife around the edges to gently loosen them. Loosen the cake around the center neck of the pan, soo. Gently flip the cake over onto a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, mix the sugar with enough lemon juice to make a loose paste, about the consistency of a runny honey. Brush the glaze liberally over the entire surface of the cake (while it is still warm!) going over it more than once if necessary. You'll want a thick even coating. Let the icing dry before slicing.
How to make your own self-rising flourJust multiply the basic formula for the amount of flour you need. I like to make a larger batch to keep on hand.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
Questions and Reviews
Lemon drizzle is one of my ultimate favourites! It was my gran’s favourite and became mine too! I love this recipe. The sponge is so light and the lemon sugar coating makes it perfect!
How many medium eggs should I use in this recipe? Thanks
I would go with 5, Emma.
I love this recipe, super easy to make and comes out perfect every time. It’s popular with the whole family, even those who don’t like lemon.
Really loved this recipe, beautiful cake. I would have liked the sponge to be more lemony , would i achieve this by just adding more zest? Thank you
Yes, any time you add the zest of citrus fruit to a recipe you’ll get an extra layer of flavor.
i baked this cake for Easter dinner. I was disappointed in the texture of the cake. I had hoped it would be light. The taste was good but not what I had expected. I might of over baked it. After 35 minutes I checked it and it was still not done so I baked it for 10 minutes longer.
Sorry this didn’t work out for you Lydia. The texture is more of a lemon bread or lemon pound cake style, so it isn’t super light like a boxed cake mix, for instance.
This cake is so deliciously moist and tangy encased in a crunchy exterior that looks like shiny crystals. This is definitely going on my list of favourite ‘go to’ cakes!
Do you have any idea if this cake freezes well? I need a few good recipes I can bake ahead for to bring for a family event. Do you have any other suggestions? I love your site and your recipes.
The cake itself should freeze well, but of course you’d want to glaze it before serving. You might think about one of the crumble bars or tarts, the shortbread dough freezes well. The rhubarb crumble tart is really good.
Hi. Am I reading the recipe correctly that it requires baking powder in two places — first, to make the self-raising flour and second, as a separate ingredient for this Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe? Thanks for clarifying!
Yes, the recipe calls for baking powder and self rising flour.