James Martin’s classic lemon drizzle cake

James Martin’s classic lemon drizzle cake
  • Serves icon Serves 8-10
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, oven time 45-60 min, plus cooling

James Martin’s easy lemon drizzle cake recipe, taken from his cookbook Sweet, is perfect for afternoon tea with a proper cup of tea.


For the cake: 

  • 75g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 eggs
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
200g caster sugar
  • 75g crème fraîche
  • 150g plain or cake flour (a very fine plain flour, such as 00)
  • 1tsp baking powder

For the glaze: 

  • 75g icing sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3 and grease and line the base of a 1kg loaf tin.
  2. Melt the butter, then allow it to cool slightly. Place the eggs, lemon juice and sugar in a food mixer or large bowl and whisk for a few minutes until totally combined and the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Whisk the cooled butter and crème fraîche into the egg and lemon mixture, then sift the flour and baking powder over the top and gently fold in. Stir in the lemon zest and spoon into the prepared loaf tin. Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until golden and risen – the cake should split along its top. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean – if it doesn’t, return the cake to the oven for a further 5 minutes and repeat.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then turn out and place back on the rack, over a shallow tray.
  5. Whisk the icing sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl, then pour the icing over the warm cake. Remove the tray from underneath the rack and pour any excess icing from the tray back into the bowl. Return the tray to sit under the rack and spoon the glaze over the cake once again. Leave on the rack to cool completely before serving.

Recipe By

James Martin


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