Monday, June 7, 2021

Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake


Since first hearing about a lemon drizzle cake on The Great British Baking Show, I’ve wanted to try making one. I love lemon confections with the perfect combination of tart and sweet. While lemon bars are also a favorite, cakes are so much simpler to make. 

Or so I thought. 

It took me three tries to get this recipe right. I was inspired by one I saw on Instagram made by Irish cookbook author Clodagh McKenna and a traybake version (made as a rectangular cake pan instead of round) by the iconic Mary Berry. Both recipes used the same ingredients and amounts for the actual cake. It was the method of mixing and the drizzle that differed. 

For my first attempt, I baked it in the 8-inch cake pan McKenna’s recipe recommended. (Actually, her instructions called for a 20-22 cm round cake tin, which is right around 8 inches.) 

Well, I had a disaster on my hands. The sides of my cake pan weren’t high enough, and the batter spilled over into the bottom of the oven. My smoke detectors blared as the lovely lemon batter turned black as I tried to clean it out. What was left in the pan continued to bake, but it sunk in the middle. However, it tasted great!

For the second attempt, I used a 9-inch cake pan. It worked well, except the cake again sunk in the middle. I mean, it sank—to about half the size of the edges. 

It looked terrible even though it tasted delicious.

I researched why cakes sink in the middle and came up with two possibilities: One, I opened the oven door too early before the cake could firm up. Though I never looked inside until the timer went off, both cakes seemed to take a long time to firm up in the middle—way past the time noted in the recipes. 

The other possibility was too much leavening in the recipe. I wondered if the extra baking powder was too much when using self-rising flour, which also contains baking powder. Maybe the British “self-raising” flour was different than that found in the U.S.? It turns out our self-rising flour actually has less baking powder, plus salt. So, too much leavening probably wasn’t the issue.

Then I saw a couple of recommendations online for using a Bundt pan instead of a cake pan. This type would allow the center of the cake to bake at the same rate as the outside edge. 

As you can see, that did the trick! 

Lemon juice drizzled over the still-hot cake makes it moist and tart, while the glaze gives it an additional lemon flavor kick.  

This cake makes a tasty summer dessert easy to both create and serve at an outdoor gathering. I also plan to enjoy it in the winter, when a lemony treat would brighten a cold, dreary day. 

Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Yield: 10 to 12
Author: Linda Ditch


  • 225 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 225 grams granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk
  • 275 grams self-rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • For the glaze:
  • 175 grams confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Lemon zest for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, add all of the cake ingredients except for the lemon juice. Beat until well mixed and smooth, starting the mixer slowly so the flour doesn’t fly out everywhere. Spoon the batter into the Bundt pan and gently level the top with a spatula.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn the cake out of the pan onto the cooling rack with a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper placed under the rack to catch any drips. Using a toothpick or skewer, poke holes all over the top of the still-warm cake. Then slowly spoon the lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time, over the top of the cake, so it absorbs into the cake. You will see it soak in. Go slowly, or the juice will just run off the top. A few drips are okay as long as most of the liquid soaks into the cake. Leave the cake to finish cooling on the rack.
  5. Once the cake is cool, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth and slowly pour over the top of the cake. You want the glaze thin enough to ooze down the sides of the cake but also thick enough to stay mainly on the cake.
  6. Allow the glaze to firm up slightly, and then move the cake to a serving plate. Garnish with lemon zest.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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