Star Home Cook Sally Searby’s Lemon Drizzle Cake is an explosion of bright lemon flavor. There’s lemon juice and zest in the cake, the lemon curd filling, and the sugary drizzle topping. Sally now lives in Greenport, NY, but she’s originally from England. Baking her mom’s cake recipes remind her of her childhood home, where almost everything could be solved over tea and cake.
For the cake
- 6 ounces, plus 2 teaspoons baking powder all-purpose flour sifted (this mimics the self-rising flour Sally used in England)
- 1 level teaspoon baking powder (in addition to what you mix in with the flour)
- 6 ounces caster sugar (or granulated sugar made fine in a blender)
- 6 ounces butter at room temperature
- 3 eggs
- Juice of half a lemon
- lemon zest
For the lemon curd
- 3 ounces caster sugar (or finely blended granulated sugar)
- 1 large juicy lemon, grated zest and juice only
- 2 eggs
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
For the icing
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 ounces caster sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice,
- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
- Measure all the cake ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat until you have a smooth, creamy consistency. (Tip: Sift the flour over a bowl from a height so it is very light.) Divide the mixture evenly between the two 7-inch round baking tins and bake them on the center shelf of the oven for about 30 minutes or until the centers feel springy when lightly touched.
- While the cakes are cooking, make the lemon curd. Place the sugar and grated lemon zest in a bowl, whisk the lemon juice together with the eggs, then pour over the sugar-zest mixture. Then add the butter cut into little pieces, and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir frequently until it gets thicker- about 20 minutes.
- When the cakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and after about 30 seconds turn them out on to a wire rack. When they are absolutely cold, spread the curd thickly and put one sponge on top of another.
- For the icing, zest and juice a large lemon. Put zest aside. Put the sugar into a bowl and gradually stir in 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice until you have a runny consistency.
- Spread it on top of the cake with a knife, almost to the edges of the cake. Then scatter the lemon zest over the top and leave it for half an hour for the icing to set before serving.
How about changing the ounces to a measurement?? Also, I have made lemon curd many times but when spread it will often breakdown and get “runny”. I now bur Trader Joe’s lemon curd. Delicious! And it does not breakdown!
Kathryn Harris says
I was excited to make this cake for my sisters birthday. Not only because you made it sound so delicious but because I love lemon anything. It was a disaster. It came out flat and the texture was chewy. I was so careful to follow the directions …reading and re reading. Is it possible something is awry with the directions.?
Robyn Doyon-Aitken says
We’ve consulted with Sally about the flour in the original recipe. She was calling for self-rising flour, but now believes that what is available here in the states must be different from the self-rising her mother used baking in England. We’ve changed the flour to all-purpose, with baking powder added to approximate the British ingredient Sally is familiar with. We hope this helps (. . .and apologies the cake didn’t turn out well for you).
Jane Bean says
I just made this cake, but wondered if the recipe wasn’t wrong.
It calls for 6 oz. flour, but I think it should be 16 oz. flour, which is what
I did. Cake is a little dry, but I may have overcooked it. Lemon is wonderful.
After cooking it might help to put little holes in the warm cake layers
and drizzle a warm lemon syrup over them before the lemon curd goes on.
Then more syrup on top. Might also be good with a raspberry sauce filling
with lemon curd or not, and a think cream cheese lemony icing.
Robyn Doyon-Aitken says
Thanks, Jane. We double checked with the recipe creator to make sure the recipe is as she makes it. And. . .couldn’t agree more about how delicious a raspberry sauce would be. Lemons love raspberries!
Is the 6 oz a dry (by weight) or fluid (by volume) measure? I don’t know how equivalent the two are for flour but, either way, it does seem a pretty scant amount of flour for a cake.
If Ms. Searby is cooking this at her home in the United States, what flour does she use? A self-rising flour imported from England (an item I’ve never noticed, even on the shelves of our fancier grocers), an American self-rising flour, or American flour plus baking powder?
I would love to make this, but the other comments have made me afraid to.
Robyn Doyon-Aitken says
Flour is always a dry measurement; I know that for sure. I do not know, however, exactly what Sally uses re: flour, baking powder. I wish I did!