Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Cake is a tender, bright lemon cake that’s covered in a 2-ingredient lemon drizzle creating a delicious crunch! Prep this tasty dessert in just 15 minutes!
Bright and sweet Mary Berry Lemon Drizzle Cake
Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Cake is a Tray Bake that tastes wonderfully bright and citrusy with a lovely sweetness and hint of zing! The moist cake and crunchy icing make for an incredible texture combination that you’ll love!
What Is A Tray Bake?
A tray bake is a sweet food such as a cake that’s baked in a rectangle or square pan. It’s the term used for a sheet cake in the UK.
This particular Lemon Tray Bake has been a hit since the 1960s and for good reason! It’s light, fluffy, and covered in an amazing lemon drizzle that’s truly the highlight of this recipe!
Bake up this Easy Lemon Drizzle Cake in 40 minutes to find out for yourself just how delicious this British dessert is!
Lemon Drizzle Cake ingredients
Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Cake uses minimal ingredients to create a dessert that really shines! When choosing your ingredients for this recipe you do want high-quality ingredients for the best flavor and texture possible.
To make the cake you need large eggs, unsalted butter, caster sugar, self-rising flour, baking soda, whole milk, and lemon zest. It’s also important to note that one of the most crucial parts of making this recipe is to use room temperature ingredients.
The room temperature ingredients create the best emulsion in the batter for the perfect tender crumb after baking!
Once the cake has slightly cooled you’ll cover it in the tasty, bright lemon drizzle icing! This is made by simply combining granulated sugar and lemon juice.
I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice to ensure you get the best fresh flavor in this cake!
Lemon Drizzle Cake (Mary Berry version) Substitutions
With it being a minimal ingredients recipe, each ingredient is crucial. Therefore, I don’t recommend making any substitutions and making it exactly as written, if possible. But if you’re in an American kitchen, here are a couple that might be helpful when preparing this recipe.
Self-Rising Flour Substitute: If you don’t have any self rising flour, your can use 2 cups of all-purpose flour instead. Then just add 3 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.
Caster Sugar Substitute: To make a substitute for 1 cup of caster sugar: add 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar to a food processor and pulse.
What’s The Best Butter To Use In This Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe?
I think that European or Irish butter is the key to the success of this cake! However, Amish or grass-fed butter are also great options as well.
These kinds of butter have a higher butterfat content than the typical American butter. This means that the butter melts faster as well as creating a softer texture, richer flavor, and more yellow color.
How to make Lemon Drizzle Cake (Mary Berry version)
- Beat the eggs, butter, sugar, flour, baking soda, milk, and zest together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until silky smooth.
- Pour the pale yellow batter into a baking dish that’s been greased with butter and lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the Mary Berry Lemon Cake in the preheated oven until a toothpick comes clean from the center.
- Transfer the cake out of the pan and onto a wire cooling rack immediately after removing it from the oven.
- Prepare the Lemon Glaze by stirring the granulated sugar and lemon juice together. Afterward, spoon or brush the lemon drizzle mixture onto the top of the warm cake.
- Cool the cake to allow the drizzle to create a crust over the cake. Then slice, serve, and enjoy!
Tips for Making a Moist Lemon Drizzle Cake
Make sure you use whole milk, European butter, and large eggs for the best results. This is lend to a moist and tender cake.
How to Serve this Mary Berry Lemon Cake
This cake is incredibly vibrant and delicious and pairs will with homemade vanilla whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Mary Berry Lemon Cake FAQs
Store this Lemon Cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen for up to 2 months. To do so just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and tin foil.
The combination of greasing and lining the pan makes lifting the cake out while it’s still hot super easy!
Yes, this recipe can be baked in two 8×5-inch loaf tins to make loaves. You could also bake it in a Bundt pan. However, in my opinion, baking it in a 9×13-inch pan creates the best ratio and texture!
Caster sugar is a common pantry staple in the UK. It’s finer than granulated sugar yet not as fine as powdered sugar. Caster sugar can be hard to find at grocery stores in the US but you can make a substitute!
Simply add 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar to a food processor and pulse.
I personally serve this cake all on its own since it’s THAT good! If you’d like though you can top it with Homemade Whipped Cream and fresh raspberries to fancy it up a bit.
No, doing so will melt the sugar and we want to have that granulated texture in the drizzle for the signature “crunch” of this recipe. It’s best to let the cake cool for 15 minutes before adding the drizzle.
Just also be careful not to wait too long to add the drizzle either!
Yes, you can use 2 cups of all-purpose flour instead. Then just add 3 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.
The lemon drizzle cake might sink if it is not fully baked in the center or if you used too small of a pan. Make sure you use a metal 9×13-inch baking pan and bake until the center of the cake reaches 200-210 degrees F.
More Lemon Recipes you’ll love
After enjoying this Lemon Drizzle Cake you’ll be on the hunt for another bright, lemony dessert to try! Here are more of my favorite sweet, perfectly tart recipes that you’ll love as much as this one!
- Lemon Meringue Slab Pie – Provides a large crowd with two dozen delicious slices!
- Perfect Lemon Bars – Tart lemon custard combines with a sweet shortbread crust!
- Easy Lemon Basil Shortbread Cookies – Rich, sweet, and flaky cookies that melt in your mouth!
- Simple Lemon Tart – An easy-to-make dessert that cooks in just 25 minutes!
- Lemon Cheesecake Crepes – Perfect for dessert or even brunch!
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Lemon Cake (Mary Berry version)
- 1 9×13-inch baking pan
- Parchment paper
- 1 Large mixing bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring spoons
- Microplane or zester
- Hand mixer
- 2 rubber spatulas
- 1 small mixing bowl
- Pastry brush
- Wire rack
- Preheat the oven to 320°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter then line with parchment paper, pressing it down to secure. I like to use the wrapper from the butter used in the recipe to do the greasing.
- Add the eggs, butter, sugar, flour, baking soda, milk, and zest to a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixing for about 1 minute until silky smooth and pale yellow, scrap down the sides of the bowl as needed.4 large eggs, 1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup caster sugar, 2 cups self-rising flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, ¼ cup whole milk, 4 tablespoons lemon zest
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan, spread out evenly, and bake for 34 to 37 minutes.
- Immediately after removing from the oven, use the lips of parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.
- While the cake is cooling, stir together the granulated sugar and lemon juice. After the 15 minutes has passed, use a pastry brush to brush the lemon drizzle all over the top of the cake.1¾ cups granulated sugar, ¼ cup lemon juice
- Allow the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes more so the drizzle creates a crust. Slice and serve.
- This recipe is slightly adapted from Mary Berry’s famous recipe. I did not use lemon verbena and I converted it over to standard American baking units for my readers.
- It’s important to grease the pan before adding the parchment so it’s extra easy to lift out of the pan while hot.
- You want the butter to be VERY soft, so I recommend taking it out the day before you plan to bake.
- When a recipe like this only has a handful of ingredients, it’s important to make sure that each one is high quality to deliver the best flavor and texture possible.
- Personally, I think that European or Irish butter is the key to the success of this cake. Amish or grass-fed butter are also great choices for this recipe. These butters have a higher butterfat content than your typical American butter, this means that they melt faster and create a softer texture in baked goods. They are also richer in flavor and more yellow in color.
- It is really important that all of the ingredients are room temperature to create the best emulsion in the batter for the perfect tender crumb after baking.
- It may not seem like there will be a strong lemon flavor since there’s no juice in the batter and no zest in the drizzle, but I promise you, this cake is perfectly lemony. Not too overbearing, just bright and citrusy with a lovely sweetness and hint of zing.
- This recipe can be baked in two 8×5-inch loaf pans or a bundt pan, however, baking it in the 9×13-inch pan will yield the best ratio and texture, in my opinion.
- Caster sugar is finer than granulated sugar but not as fine as powdered sugar. It is a common pantry staple in the UK, but may be hard to find at grocers in the US.
- To make a substitute for 1 cup of caster sugar: add 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar to a food processor and pulse.
- Do not add the drizzle when the cake is hot or it may melt the sugar and we want to have that granulated texture in the drizzle for the signature “crunch” of this recipe. So let it cool for 15 minutes before adding, but not too much longer since we don’t want the cake to be completely cooled when added either.
- You may be wondering why there’s no salt listed in the ingredients, well, this recipe uses self-rising flour which is actually made with salt, so it’s not necessary to add more.
- If you don’t have self-rising flour on hand, you can use 2 cups of all-purpose flour instead and add 3 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.
- I personally serve this cake all on its own. It’s light and fluffy and the lemon drizzle is the real highlight of this cake recipe. However, if you want to fancy it up a bit, homemade whipped cream and fresh raspberries would be delightful.