John Whaite’s Lemon drizzle loaf cake

John Whaite looks at the origins of this favourite teatime treat, and shares his secrets for how to make the perfect one.

DURATION 0:02:28


Recipe - Serves: 6 - 8


For the cake:
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp lemon curd
Zest of 2 lemons
150g self-raising flour

For the topping:
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp caster sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Grease a 1kg loaf tin.

2. Beat the butter and sugar for a good three minutes – or at least until well mixed and lighter in both colour and texture. Add the eggs along with the curd and zest and beat in well. Sift over the flour and fold in until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the prepared loaf tin, level out, and bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 

3. While the cake bakes, bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan then remove from the heat. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, spike it all over with a kebab skewer then pour the drizzle over the hot cake. Cool completely, in the tin.