Lemon Syrup Loaf Cake
Food for Thought

Bake 6: Lemon Syrup Loaf Cake

Things have been a little manic here the last few weeks, so this week’s bake needed to be something simple, something familiar, something comforting, and something I couldn’t screw up if I tried.

Enter the Lemon Syrup Loaf Cake.

I make this cake a lot. It’s my default cake for all occasions, being both delicious and easy. I use Nigella Lawson’s recipe from How To Be A Domestic Goddess – have done ever since my auntie first brought one of these loaf cakes on a family holiday. I devoured the cake, and bought the book as soon as I got home.

I do cook some other things from the book, but this is the page it falls open to naturally when I pull it off the shelf.

Usually, I’ll fiddle with the recipe a bit. I’ve used oranges and lemons to make a St Clement’s cake. I’ve added raspberries because I love the combination of raspberries and lemons. I’ve experimented with a touch of lime instead for something sharper.

But this week, I needed to go back to basics.

Baking with Mum

Nigella’s Lemon Syrup Loaf Cake


  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp milk

and for the syrup:

  • juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 100g icing sugar


  • Preheat oven to 180°C / gas mark 4, and line and grease your loaf tin
  • Cream together butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs and lemon zest
  • Fold in the flour and salt, then add the milk
  • Spoon into loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes
  • Meanwhile, heat the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves
  • As soon as the cake is cooked, puncture the top all over and pour the syrup over it
  • Leave it to soak up the syrup until cold

See? Told you it was easy. I love this cake…

Lemon Syrup Loaf Cake