Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

Friday 30 October 2020


When I think of cakes that I love, top of my list has to be a good old fashioned Lemon Drizzle Cake! First of all I love lemon flavoured desserts more than anything, and secondly, when it comes to cake, I have always enjoyed simple ones far more than fancy ones.

Nothing beats a nice thick slice of a Lemon Drizzle Cake with a hot cuppa on a cold drizzly day.  And when you are talking about Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake you know you are talking about the best Lemon Drizzle cake ever!

So, a drizzle cake for a drizzly autumn day.  Something bright and sunny to lift the spirits. Eaten tucked up in a chair next to the fire with a nice hot cup of herbal tea.  It doesn't get much better than that! 

I used to think that Lemon Loaf and Lemon Drizzle were the same cakes, but that's not quite true.  Lemon Loaf is the cake that I grew up with and it is more like a quick bread than a cake, with a muffin-like texture.  

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

It did have a lemon juice and sugar topping, but this was spooned over the cake almost as soon as it came out of the oven. You poked holes all through the cake with a fork so that it would be absorbed and you spooned it on slowly so that each spoon-ful was absorbed before the next spoonful.

With Lemon Drizzle Cake, it has a much lighter, cake-type of texture.  The drizzle is spooned over the cake all at once while it is warm, not hot . . . and allowed to pool over top creating a crunchy lemon crackle topping.

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

 Both are wonderfully delicious.  Both have moreish qualities. One I would serve thinly sliced and spread with butter, the other I would not.

Because one is definitely more a cake than the other and I am sure you know which one I am talking about!

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

 This is one of those cakes that improves upon standing.  I left this overnight before I cut into it. I was not feeling very well yesterday and so any cutting and photographing got put off until today.

Turns out that was probably the right thing to do.  The cake had settled into something magnificent upon sitting over night.  I didn't wrap it in anything. I just had it laid on the cooling rack with a clean tea towel thrown over top.

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

Just look at how beautifully, and how precise it cut.  The knife crunches down through that crisp sugar coating. You can hear it cracking as it moves down into the cake.

And then it glides through the rest of the cake beautfully. This is a cake with a beautiful texture.

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake


Look at that beautiful crisp crunchy topping.  You use castor sugar in the cake base, but you use granulated sugar in the topping.

One reason caster sugar is used in the cake itself is because of its melting properties.  Caster sugar is a finly granulated sugar.

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

 The reason it is preferred for baking is because it melts beautifully into batters and doughs. Have you ever seen a cake that seems to be speckled on top after baking?  That is because you used granulated sugar and it didn't melt/dissolve properly in the batter.

You can easily make your own caster sugar by whizzing regular granulated sugar in a food processor for about 30 to 45 seconds.

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake


Its resistance to melting is what makes regular granulated sugar perfect for the topping. Because it doesn't melt easily it maintains loads of crunch, which makes it ideal for this purpose.  

Its almost like a lemon layer of candy snow on top of the cake.  Speaking of snow, I remember when I was a child living in Northern Manitoba, the winters would be so cold that there would be a "crust" on top of the snow.

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

You would have to "punch" down into it with your boots. You could actually walk on top of the snow without falling through the crust. 

That is like the lemon drizzle on top of a lemon drizzle cake. Exactly the same effect. And that's what you want. You would not get it with any other kind of sugar.

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake


Another thing to think about when baking this cake is placement in the oven. Mary Berry recommends baking it on a middle shelf.

There is a reason for this. If you bake cakes on the top shelf, they will crack. The crust of the cake forms too soon and then cracks as the cake continues to rise!

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

Another suggestion is to resist the urge to open the oven door to check on the cakes progress. This can and will probably cause your cake to fall.

I remember learning this in Home Economics. When you open the oven door you cause cooler air to enter the oven and you really do risk your cake sinking in the middle.

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

You also don't want to be banging the door shut if you do happen to look in at it.  Your cake will surely fall then! 

Two good reasons for making sure your oven temperature is correct and that you have a working light in the oven!  Also do make sure your oven is properly pre-heated before you even put the cake in.

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

This can, and will make a difference.  Did you know when your oven is heating up the temperature is fiercer?  The heating element is blasting heat into the oven to bring it up to temperature.

This means that it can actually be hotter than you think it is!  For success it is just best to wait until the ideal and recommended temperature has been reached!


This is a proper weekender of a cake.  Perfect to enjoy at the weekend with hot drinks or even with a scoop of vanilla ice cream,  This is a cake that everyone is sure to enjoy!  I guarantee! I chose to decorate the top with two slices of lemon I had dipped into granulated sugar. I thought it looked quite nice!!

Well unless you hate lemon, that is.  I know some people do. (Not me!) This lovely cake will keep perfectly for up to three days and will freeze well, properly wrapped, for up to 2 months unsliced. If freezing it, you may have to redo the drizzle topping. Just saying  . . .

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

Yield: Makes one loaf cake
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mincook time: 40 Mintotal time: 50 Min
Everyone's favourite cake. Its a Mary Berry recipe so you know its fool proof and delicious!


  • 3/4 cup + 1 TBS (175g) softened butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (175g) self raising flour (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup (175g) castor sugar (finely granulated sugar
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • the finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract (my addition)
  • 3/4 level tsp of baking powder
For the drizzle topping:
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 9 X 5 inch loaf tin and line with baking paper, leaving an overhang to lift it out with.
  2. Using an electric mixer beat all of the cake ingredients together in a bowl  until smooth. Spoon into the baking in and smooth the top over.
  3. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until risen, golden brown and shrinking away a bit from the sides of the tin. The top should spring back when lightly touched.
  4. Whisk the lemon juice and sugar for the drizzle topping together and spoon it over top of the warm cake.
  5. Leave to cool a little then lift out of the pan using the baking paper and set on a wire rack to cool completely.


To Make Self Raising Flour: Just add 2 teaspoons of baking powder for each 150g/6oz/1 cup plain flour. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl before using, to make sure the baking powder is thoroughly distributed (or you can put both ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together).
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #EnglishKitchen
Created using The Recipes Generator
Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake

So what is your favourite kind of a cake? I love simple cakes myself and Lemon Drizzle Cake fits the bill perfectly. Especially this one! 

This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again! 


Follow my blog with Bloglovin


  1. Oh yes please! I love lemon in anything and this is one for the weekend bake for sure. I have everything here that I need. I always keep lemons on the counter as they brighten up the kitchen, especially in this dark, cold weather - they are like a burst of sunshine.

    I think lemon cake is my favourite, though I do love fruit cake at Christmas and also a lovely cardamom flavoured cake they make over here. My husband eats any kind of cake, though he is partial to chocolate cake and Queen Elizabeth cake.

    "When you open the oven door you cause cooler air to enter the oven and you really do risk your cake sinking in the middle." I have a confession to make. My mother always had a problem with her fruit cakes sinking in the middle and not cooking properly. She used to ask everyone what could be the problem and got no real answers (she swore that the she never opened the oven door), though later in life on she happily said that she could finally get them to work.

    So what was the problem before? Hmmm... it was a little saboteur called Marie. You see, I liked the mushy middle bit of the fruit cake, which mum would cut out and let me have with some custard. So I made sure to open that oven door every time. I told you that "naughty" was my middle name.

    1. Oh Marie, you do make me laugh! That's a very good thing. I love a good fruit cake at Christmas also. My mother made the best WarCake and always at Christmas! I have to admit I have never minded eaten the sunken part of a cake either. It might not be pretty, but it sure tastes good. xoxo

    2. Oh Marie this is hilarious...if only I could talk to your Mom about the fruitcake. I can just imagine her smiling while she ragged about you.

    3. I know! I love Marie and am sure she was a most delightful child!

  2. Lemon cake is my absolute favourite.

    1. If more people spent their time baking and eating lemon cakes Linda, there would be fewer wars! xoxo

  3. Beautiful crumb. I am sure to make this. I agree, lemon reigns!

  4. It looks lovely! Who can resist a good lemon drizzle? I feel compelled to make one asap!

  5. Hi! I don't have selfrising flour?Can you tell me what can I do? Add some baking powder? How much?Thank you

    1. Make Your Own Self Raising Flour:
      You can make your own self raising flour by adding 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt to every cup of plain flour.

      One cup is the equivalent of 140g.

      Hope this helps and that you enjoy the cake!

  6. I don’t have an electric whisker

    1. Just beat really well with a wooden spoon by hand!


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!