Very Lemon Lemon Cake Recipe


II’ve made a lot of lemon cakes over the years – simple ones baked in a loaf pan, rounds stuffed with lemon cream and covered in buttercream frosting. I wanted to make it an intensely lemony one, a bit more adult than most. That’s it. You don’t need to frost this cake – frosting makes it sweeter. If you prefer a more mouth-watering lemon experience, sprinkle the top with icing sugar before serving and leave it there.

Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour




  • Zest of 2 lemons, removed with a zester
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 75 g butter, melted and let cool
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 150g sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

For the syrup

  • Juice of 2 small lemons or 1 ½ large
  • 50g of caster sugar

For the icing

  • 135g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Half lemon slices, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C / 160C hot air / 3½ thermostat.
  2. Butter a 12 x 22 cm cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper, letting the ends of the parchment paper hang over the short ends of the tin.
  3. Put the zest in a large mortar and pound with half the sugar. Crush it, then add the remaining sugar and continue crushing (do this in batches if necessary). This will give you a delicious lemon flavored sugar.
  4. Beat the sugar and eggs together in a blender until the mixture is light and thick and your beaters leave a trail when you lift them up. Add the butter. When removing the whisks, be sure not to leave any zest on them.
  5. Combine the flour, a pinch of salt and the baking powder. Stir it into the egg mixture in three batches, alternating with sour cream. Add the lemon juice.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
  7. Put the lemon juice and the sugar for the syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then stir the mixture to help the sugar dissolve.
  8. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes, then run a knife inside the mold. Lift it up and remove the paper. Make holes all over the top of the sponge cake with a skewer, then gently turn the cake over and pierce the bottom as well.
  9. Slowly pour half of the syrup into the top holes and let it run. Let stand 10 minutes then turn the cake over and do the same on the underside, taking your time to make sure the syrup goes in well. .
  10. Turn the cake the right way up and let it cool.
  11. Sift the icing sugar for the icing and stir in the lemon juice. The mixture should be smooth. Let firm a bit – but don’t set – then drizzle it over the cake, decorating it with half lemon slices if you like.

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