Sweet Treats – Lemon Drizzle Cake
There is something tremendously reassuring about a well-made and reliable cake recipe. The more we are bombarded with confectionery creations from world-beating pastry chefs, the more we are coerced by TV shows into thinking that old-fashioned nanna recipes are naff, the more I am convinced that cakes like this need to be made every weekend. Forever.
This lemon cake is how it should be. There’s a tremendous punch of flavour from lemons here but it’s offset nicely by yoghurt which makes the texture incredibly soft. Best of all it has a beautiful syrup that leaves you licking your fingers with eagerness to savour the very last crumbs on your plate. It’s that good.
Serves at least 8 and makes a 20cm round cake
125g butter, softened; 200g (1 cup) castor sugar; 3 eggs; the finely grated zest of 1 lemon; 200g (1 ½ cups) self-raising flour; 200g (¾ cup) plain or Greek yoghurt
Syrup: juice of 1 lemon; 1/3 cup water; 150g (¾ cup) sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base and sides of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
Using electric beaters, cream the butter and castor sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. It may look a bit curdled but don’t worry, it will be fine.
Add the zest and flour and stir to combine, then fold in the yoghurt. Use a spatula to scrape into the tin. Make a small depression in the centre of the cake so that the surface evens up during cooking.
Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Syrup: About 5 minutes before the cake is ready, heat the water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
When the cake is cooked, leave it in the tin and then poke a fine skewer (a toothpick is good for this) all over the top, about 30 times. Drizzle the syrup all over the top of the cake, a spoonful at a time, allowing the syrup to soak in evenly into the holes between additions.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin before you serve it up. It needs nothing more than a good cup of tea to go with it. No fancy effort required.
$4.40 for a 20cm round cake