The Recipe Gatherer

A wife and mother with a passion for baking and gathering recipes

Simple Lemon Loaf Cake

Lemons would have to be one of my favourite ingredients to use, whether it be in savoury cooking or baking. They are so refreshing and can make a dish taste much better with the simple addition of some zest or a little squeeze of juice. I’ve been making this cake for almost ten years now and it has never once let me down. My aunt, in Scotland, bakes this cake almost every day for the guests in her amazing holiday lets (check them out here). I’ve adapted the recipe slightly but it is hard to improve on perfection. The original recipe features a syrup (100g icing sugar, mixed with the juice of 1.5 lemons) which is very yummy but I prefer to use a lemon icing for convenience. Anyone else with children will know that having time to grab a slice of cake can be hard enough without then having to put the syrup on top. The cake is so easy to make, so why not try both and make up your own mind!

lemon loaf cake

Ingredients for the cake

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • zest of one lemon
  • 175g self-raising flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons milk

Ingredients for the icing

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest of half a lemon (optional, depending on how lemony you like things)


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180⁰C (160⁰C fan-forced) and grease a 10cmx20cm loaf tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and the lemon zest and beat until well combined.
  3. Add the flour, salt and the milk and fold to combine. The batter will be fairly thick.
  4. Spoon into the prepared tin and place in the oven for 45 minutes or until a squewer into the cake comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack.
  6. Whilst the cake is cooling, make the icing. If you have any juice left over after reaching the desired consistency, prick a couple of holes into the top of the cake and spoon over the juice for an extra hit of lemon.
  7. Make the icing whilst the cake is cooling by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl and adding the lemon juice. Mix until smooth. Use to ice the cake once it is cool. Zest the lemon over the top to finish the cake off.

The cake should last up to three days in an air-tight container.


There you have it; very easy! Let me know how you get on.



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