I often get asked what inspires each of my bakes. Sometimes I’m inspired by a “day” such as National Chocolate Day or Peanut Butter Day. Other times I bake based on a season or event such as Easter or Christmas. But, more often than not, I am inspired by the ingredients that I have. That’s what happened this weekend. There were some lonely lemons lurking in the fruit bowl and I said enough was enough, they were getting used one way or the other!
If your lemons are a bit dead looking, as mine were, pop them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. The heat helps to release more juice. On the contrary, cold lemons give the best zest. So, what to do if you need juice and zest? Zest a cold lemon, pop the “naked” lemon in the microwave and voilà, lots of juice and lots of zest.
This cake is equally delicious made with orange juice and orange zest. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy, you might like my Spiced Cherry & Orange Loaf. Or if you’d prefer to stick with the lemon, maybe you’d like my Lemon & Cinnamon Cake.
Hope you enjoy!
For the cake:
6.25oz margarine, softened
6.25oz caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla essence
8.25oz self-raising flour
For the drizzle:
5 tsp caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
For the icing (optional):
5 tsp icing sugar
0.5 tsp lemon essence
1.5 tsp lemon or orange cordial
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
Cream the margarine, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs and lemon essence and fold in the flour. If the mixture is very stiff, add in a splash of milk (approx 3 tbsp).
Bake in the preheated oven for one hour.
While the cake is cooling, make the glaze by simmering the caster sugar and lemon juice over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
When the cake is cooked, pierce holes over the top using a toothpick. Pour over the glaze and allow it to cool in the tin.
If adding icing, mix together the icing ingredients to form a stiff but spreadable icing. Pour over the cooled cake and add some sugar decorations or fresh berries, if desired.