I don’t make enough cake for cake’s sake. Sure, I make the odd biscuit or flapjack. But a real, big, exciting, two-tiered cake to go with mugs of steaming tea… no, I definitely don’t make enough of those. I seem to wait for an excuse to do one. Why is that? I could be hit by a bus tomorrow!
A big cake adds a little bit of happiness to an otherwise humdrum day, a little lift when it’s raining outside, or when you’ve had a disturbed night and need to be kind to yourself. It also gives you something nice and creative to do with the kids. I have a window, each day after I have picked my daughter up from playschool and given her lunch, from about 1pm till 3pm (before I have to get my son). Sometimes it’s too easy to stick the telly on, which I do quite a bit – too much. If I can muster the energy, I’m always happier with myself when we do something creative together – and she loves to bake/cook/create havoc in the kitchen.
We made this very cake together, and she was so proud of herself! The whole thing was demolished in a couple of days. My son went crazy over it. He had 3 slices one day. He’s thin as a rake, so I let him run wild.
It’s a mixture of several recipes – but to be honest lemon drizzle is quite a standard recipe cake – with reduced sugar on top for the drizzle bit, as I find it so sweet anyway. I also leave out the lemon curd from the middle, again as I find it so sweet. Instead I smear a little creme fraiche to add tartness, just enough to create a moist middle layer.
Make it soon… and don’t wait till a special occasion. Isn’t today special enough?
Makes: 8-16 slices, depends on thickness!
Prep time: 5 minutes (plus 5 minutes to make filling and drizzle)
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
225g self-raising flour
225g butter, softened a little
225g caster sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of milk
Small pinch of salt (only if using unsalted butter)
4 tablespoons of creme fraiche (or Greek yoghurt)
1 teaspoon of maple syrup (or honey) to sweeten
Juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and flour (or line) 2 x 20cm sandwich cake tins.
- Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk if possible, or a normal whisk – or wooden spoon. A few minutes will do.
- Add the rest of the ingredients gradually and mix. Try not to mix too much, just enough to combine.
- Pour into two tins and bake for 25 minutes. Stick a metal skewer in to see if it’s done. If it’s wet then pop it back in for 5 minutes more.
- Let it cool until you can handle the tin, and tip out onto a cooling rack.
- When cool, spike holes with a skewer into both layers. Mix the sugar and lemon juice and pour over as evenly as you can. You may feel it is too much, but the cake will soak it up, don’t worry. Let them stand a while, then sandwich with the creamy filling.
- Enjoy huge wedges with large cups of tea.