Lemon cake is always a crowd favorite and this perfect lemon drizzle cake is not only a fail-safe, easy recipe but also results in the most delicious, tangy and moist cake you will make.
I make this easy lemon drizzle cake recipe all the time because it doesn’t involve any unnecessary processes normally associated with baking. No creaming together of butter and sugar. No sifting of dry ingredients. Just a quick mix through of the ingredients and away you go (although you could totally use a stand mixer too). The key to this cake being so soft and tender is the use of plain yoghurt and oil in the batter. The lemon zest infuses its delicious perfume through the sponge and the zingy lemon icing finishes everything off perfectly.
I made a relatively runny icing because I wanted it to sink into the cake a little but you can always use less water if you want a thicker icing. Which would you prefer?
Serve generous slices of this sunshine-in-cake-form with coffee/tea for the ultimate afternoon snack.
- Flour. I used cake flour but all purpose flour works just as well.
- Baking powder.
- Plain yogurt. I usually use Greek yogurt but any plain yogurt can be substituted.
- Oil. Canola oil, avocado oil or even olive oil can be used.
- Vanilla extract.
- Fresh lemons. Both the lemon zest and lemon juice will be used.
How to make lemon drizzle cake
Pre-heat the oven and line a loaf tin with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients and whisk all the wet ingredients together in a measuring jug. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and place in the oven to bake until a skewer or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack then pour over the lemon glaze and serve.
How to make icing for lemon drizzle cake
Depending on the thickness you want, you can use more or less lemon juice and even add milk to make it thinner. For an icing that soaks into the cake, using 2 cups of icing/powdered sugar with ½-¾ cup of liquid will result in a thin icing. For a thicker icing, use less liquid or add more icing sugar. Whisk the powdered sugar and liquid together in a large bowl until completely smooth before pouring over the baked cake. For intense lemony flavor, add a teaspoon of lemon zest to the glaze.
Lemon cake recipes
Easy lemon drizzle cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup plain yoghurt
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon
For the icing
- 2 cups icing/powdered sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350°F and grease and line a loaf pan with baking paper.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a jug, mix together the sugar, yoghurt, oil, lemon zest, vanilla and eggs.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
- Transfer to the loaf pan and place in the oven.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- To make the icing, whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
- Pour the icing over the cooled cake and serve.
Moist, tender delicious, and not too sweet! This is wonderful, thank you.
Can you use regular sugar instead of caster sugar?
Urgh. Yogurt is a yank invention in this cake. It is far too sour and far too wet to use. If you want a proper and correct receipt find an English recipe please. You will then be making a correct English cake, not this heavy thing.
I am South African, actually.
This cake is so delicious thank you. I am.Zimbabwean
Hello, Bikers Heathet. I sm Spanish and wr make delucious cakes with yoghurt that becomes so delicious and sweet, mothing sour at all and so soft and fluffy. I think you have a misconception about it. Try, please, and you will ne yourself amazed! Kind regards,
Hello can I use double cream yoghurt ?
Also if I have a gas oven does it affect how much time I should leave it in the oven for ?
Yes, you can use double cream yoghurt. I am not familiar with gas oven baking so won’t be able to guide you, unfortunately. Perhaps Google gas-oven conversions?
Excellent! I didn’t use room temp ingredients just out of the fridge *bam* I did sift though, and I used a lemon drizzle of about 1 cup of granulated sugar mixed with two meyer lemon juice/zest!
Turned out great thanks! I hate creaming butter ugh.
wow look so very beautiful thank you for sharing
Do you think I could use sour cream in place of the yogurt?
What is the size of your cup?
I use 250ml cups.
Can i use this Recipe to make a two or three layer cake ?
You could make a two layer but I would double the recipe for more layers than that.
Hi Alida, What size of loaf tin did you use?
Will my 20cm X10.5cm loaf tin be ok?
Yup, that will be perfect!
Unbelievable that I made it so perfectly I guess.It really is easy to make and delicious.My own can’t family it since I am a regular baker.Thanks for this recipe.Love from India
Laura | Tutti Dolci
Such a lovely cake, I adore the lemon drizzle!
Thanks so much Laura!
Loved this recipe. Easy to make, very little washing up to do and an absolutely delicious cake. Two thumbs up.
Happy you liked it. 🙂
My cake cracked at the top! I used a square 7 x 7 inch tin, Could it be the way I mixed the wet ingredients together? As I have tried other recipes with this same method and the outcome was same … cracked too!
It could be that your oven is a little too warm so that the cake rises very rapidly?
Loved this cake. Too minutes to make the batter and the cake was so light and delicious.
So happy to hear that. 🙂
This looks fantastic. Can’t wait to give it a try.
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
Lemon desserts are my favorite Alida! Can’t wait to give this loaf a go!
Mine too Mary Ann! Always a classic! 🙂
I made it this evening & to its name it is really simple & not fussy. Simple in the sense that I had all the ingredients on hand (I’m not even a regular baker) and easy to execute in an hour.
It’s delicious! Delivers on taste & texture as it’s moist, zesty and light with a firm crumb. That lemon drizzle on top is everything.
I’m so impressed you made it so quickly! That lemon drizzle makes the whole thing. 😉