A Simple Butter Cake with Lemon Grass Syrup

Saturday 8 June 2013

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I am a woman of simple tastes and desires. I eschew anything which is complicated, although from time to time I do enjoy a bit of a challenge.  This delightfully simple cake pleases me on many levels . . .

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It's very easy to throw together, and quick as well.  It's moist and buttery.  You can't beat that . . . those are the things I love in a cake, don't you?  (I like to dust un-iced cakes with a bit of icing sugar . . . I think it is a nice touch and prettifies them a bit without going over the top!)

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At the same time it is a bit complicated, but in a very easy way.  It has a delicious syrup composed of lemon and lemon grass, which you create while the cake it baking and then spoon over the hot cake as it comes out of the oven and continue to spoon over whilst it cools.

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The end result is a moist cake with subtle flavours of lemon grass and lemon . . . not sticky . . . but a moist kind of sticky, if you know what I mean.

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It is the perfect cake to delight your friends with on a sunny summer afternoon, with the bees humming as they flit from flower to flower . . . as you sit there and enjoy copious amounts of ice cold lemonade or sweet tea . . . and nibble on thick slices of this wonder . . .

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With or without berries.  Tis a bit early yet for my strawberries and other soft fruits . . . they are still becoming what they become, and so today I made a simple sauce using half a cup of blueberry preserves whisked together with the juice of half a lemon.

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It worked perfectly.  Have I told you how much I love blueberries?   I thought so . . .

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*A Simple Butter Cake with a Lemongrass Syrup*
Makes one small cake, 
or approximately 8 servings
Deliciously unusual.  Perfect for summer, especially during Strawberry season!

For the cake:
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
175g of self raising flour (1 1/2 cups)
175g unsalted butter, room temperature (3/4 cup)
125g golden caster sugar (3/4 cup)
3 large free range eggs
1/2 tsp lemon extract
the finely grated zest of one unwaxed lemon
For the syrup:
6 fluid ounces of boiling water (3/4 cup)
200g of white granulated sugar (1 cup)
2 stalks of fresh lemon grass, cut into chunks
1/2 lemon sliced thickly

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First make the cake.  Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 4 cup Bundt pan, or other suitable cake pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.  Set aside.

Rub the sugar and lemon zest together in a bowl until very fragrant.  Beat the butter and caster sugar together until light and creamy.   Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.   Beat in the lemon extract.  Whisk in the flour mixture in three parts until well combined.   Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan.  Smooth the top.   Bake in the heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Make the syrup while the cake is baking.  Put the boiling water, sugar, lemon grass and lemon slices into a saucepan.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer over very low heat for 20 minutes.  Strain into a small pitcher, discarding the solids.

Once the cake comes out from the oven, poke it carefully all over the top surface (before turning out) with a toothpick.   Spoon about 1/3 of the lemon grass syrup over top while the cake is still hot, allowing it to soak in.  Tip the cake out onto a  nice plate.  Continue to spoon the rest of the syrup over the top of the cake, every 10 minutes or so, whilst it cools, allowing the syrup to be totally absorbed.  If need be, pour any accumulated syrup off into the pitched and re-spoon until all of the syrup has been absorbed.  Store the cake at room temperature and covered. 
Delicious with fresh summer berries!


  1. I love this type of cake Marie I love simple cakes with a cup of tea are the best!:)

  2. Sounds delightful. I try to not bake because I will eat. However this is inspiring. There is such elegance in simplicity.

  3. The word, Simple, caught my eye on this post. What a yummy cake and one I'll love to bake. xo Jenny

  4. I have a soft spot for cakes with a syrup poured over them and this one interested me as it had lemongrass in the syrup. I like lemongrass, but have never used it in anything sweet. When I thought about it though, it made perfect sense.

    The cake itself is super easy to make and that lovely syrup with the hint of lemongrass is great. I had it with fresh strawberries, macerated in a little sugar and finely chopped lemon balm. It was a delightful afternoon tea in the garden, watching the fledglings spreading their wings.

    1. Syrups just add a lovely dimension to cakes! So pleased you enjoyed this. Your strawberries sound lovely and what a perfect way to pass the time, watching the fledglings fledge! xoxo


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