Sometimes we seek culinary adventures to stretch the palate. Sometimes we crave comfort to soothe the heart. I was feeling a little off-colour at the weekend and wanted the satisfaction of baking without the hassle of complicated ingredients or processes (i.e. without switching my brain on). The lemon drizzle cake is the ultimate pin-up for truly lazy store-cupboard baking.
To put it another way:
1) All I bought was a lemon;
2) I threw these together during the commercial breaks of a film.
Light lemon sponge topped with a zingy, crunchy syrup. Timeless, elegant, refreshing simple. The Grace Kelly of cakes (without makeup).
I’ve gone for mini individual sponges because I wanted to give some (but not all!) to my grandad. I also think they look rather sweet but you can make one large sponge in a round or loaf tin if you prefer.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy drizzle cakes
Makes 8 10cm cakes (or one large 18cm cake / loaf)
For the sponge:
– 175g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
– 175g caster sugar
– zest 1 unwaxed lemon
– 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
– 3 large eggs (free-range please)
– 175g self-raising flour, sifted
For the drizzle:
– 80g caster sugar
– juice 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line the base of your tins.
Using a food processor with the paddle attachment (or mixing bowl and wooden spoon…), cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy.
Whisk in the vanilla essence and eggs (one at a time), scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure everything is incorporated. Tip: If you’re worried about the mixture curdling, add a spoonful of flour with the addition of each egg.
Fold in the (rest of the) flour and divide the batter between the tins. Level the top and bake for about 20 minutes, or until light golden on top and a skewer comes out clean. Tip: If you’ve opted to make one large cake, it will take longer to bake – about 35 minutes.
Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tins.
To make the drizzle, stir the sugar and lemon juice together. Poke a few holes in the top of the warm cakes with a skewer and pour over the drizzle. Allow to cool fully in the tins.
Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue (with the exception of the Grace Kelly shots by Howell Conant!).