Who doesn't love a sweet tangy lemon cake? From delicious lemon drizzle cakes and lemon curd cake squares, try one of our best lemon cake recipes for your afternoon treat.
Baking and eating cakes is one of life’s great pleasures and we have loads of lovely recipes to share with you on GoodtoKnow. To help you get started we have collected together the very best of our favourite lemon cake recipes.
By adding lots of lovely sherbety lemon you can transform a classic sponge into a zingy showstopper. In this collection we have started with a traditional lemon drizzle and worked our way through the possible variations – things like tray bakes with crunchy poppy seeds, sponges infused with lemongrass and cupcakes topped with white chocolate – the options are endless.
Any citrus fruit works well to cut through a rich buttery sponge. Try switching the lemon in these recipes for lime, orange or grapefruit if you fancy a change.
Why not try mastering the basic lemon drizzle cake and then putting your own twist on it using our other recipes as inspiration. Try baking your mixture as a tray bake, sandwich cake or cupcakes and give them to friends and family as gifts.
What is your favourite way to ice and serve a lemon cake? Have a browse through our collection to find your favourite lemon cake recipe.
Sometimes the classics are the best and that is certainly true of this wonderfully fruity lemon drizzle cake by Rosemary Conley. Not only does it taste great it is also only 144 calories per slice – we think that means we can have double portions surely? We like it warm straight from the oven with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Making it in a loaf tin makes it easy to slice up and share with your favourite people.
Get the recipe: Rosemary Conley’s lemon drizzle cake
Madeira cake is deliciously rich and dense and is the rare type of cake
that tastes just as fantastic without any icing. We usually get through
one of these pretty quickly but if you do happen to have some lying
about going stale, try toasting it and topping it with jam for a tasty
breakfast. This can be rustled up from store cupboard ingredients so is a
perfect standby option.
Get the recipe: Lemon Madeira cake
Try taking your lemon cake to another continent and give it an Asian twist with the addition of fragrant lemongrass, creamy coconut and spicy ginger. This cake is cleverly infused with a cordial to cut down on the work needed and takes only 15 minutes to prep for the oven leaving you with lots of time to get on with other things. When baked in a ring, drizzled with white icing and topped with stem ginger we think it makes a fantastic party centre piece.
Get the recipe: Lemongrass, ginger and coconut cake
Give your lemon cake a summertime twist with this gorgeous elderflower variation. Adding lemon juice and granulated sugar to the top adds wonderful crunch and extra lemony zing! Perfect for teatime, this can also be dressed up for dessert with a dollop of cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. As it serves 12 it is a great party treat. Best served by cutting it into generous wedges – we are quite confident that there will be no leftovers.
Get the recipe: Elderflower and lemon drizzle cake
By adding rich lemon curd to the icing of this tray bake you get a lovely extra burst of flavour when you bite into it. By keeping the ingredients simple, this recipe gives all the spotlight to the fresh lemon flavour, coming from both its juice and rind. This is another recipe which can be frozen, before icing, and will keep for weeks in the freezer, ready to be proudly produced upon requirement. If you are making this for a party you could try decorating it with candied lemon slices, fresh flowers or edible glitter.
Get the recipe: Lemon tray bake
These pale creamy yellow iced cupcakes are the perfect gift for weddings, birthdays, baby showers or christenings and offer a welcome alternative to the usual vanilla. Traditional buttercream flavoured with lemon juice and rind adds a luxurious soft texture and an extra flavour boost. We love the idea of snuggling little jelly lemon slices into nests of buttercream for a pretty topping but we would also love to see what creations you can come up with so let your imagination run wild!
Get the recipe: Primrose Bakery lemon cupcakes
One of our favourite things is definitely icing and this wonderful cakes uses three different kinds! Topping this classic lemon sponge with a juicy syrup makes the cake deliciously moist and keeps it tasting fresh for longer. Adding buttercream gives it a lovely soft edge and the lemon curd provides a welcome zing! This is one of those cakes which are usually gone within the hour of being iced – you might need to be prepared to make multiples in quick succession.
Get the recipe: Lemon curd cake
This is a lovely light sponge with a subtle and delicate flavour. With poppy seeds running throughout it, the cake has a wonderful crunch which will please even the fussiest of eaters. Cut the whole thing into squares and dust with a pretty coating of icing sugar for the perfect addition to an afternoon tea spread. Or alternatively top it with a icing sugar and lemon juice icing mixed with extra poppy seeds.
Get the recipe: lemon and poppy seed cake
Sometimes only chocolate will do so thankfully this recipe combines the
best of citrus fruit with creamy white chocolate butter cream. The
recipe makes 12 large muffin size cupcakes so is the perfect addition to
a party spread. Alternatively these little cakes can be packed into
lunch boxes for a mid-week pick-me-up and will make you very popular
with the kids we are sure. From start to finish these little beauties
can be made in under forty minutes!
Get the recipe: Lemon and white chocolate cupcakes
Studded with red jewel-like cranberries, these little cube cakes are bursting with flavour. For an even cheekier twist, that is sure to be a hit with the kids, try adding chocolate chips. If you can wait till it?s cool, the cake will cut into cubes easier, but if there is an immediate need for cake it will taste just as good straight form the oven.
Get the recipe: Lemon and cranberry cube cakes
A lovely fresh lemon flavoured sponge is the perfect base for the rich
buttercream used in this wonderful recipe by Rachel Allen. Pretty
crystallised flowers make these cupcakes perfect for special occasions.
You could try crystallising your own flowers by brushing them in egg
whites, sprinkling them in sugar and leaving to harden in a warm dry
Get the recipe: Rachel Allen’s lemon cupcakes
With lots of lovely zesty drizzle, this cake by queen of baking, Mary Berry is a real tea time treat. Baked in a loaf tin, this recipe can be portioned up to feed lots of hungry mouths and will be polished off in minutes no doubt. If you do happen to find yourself with some leftovers then this cake is another one that freezes well for up to a couple of months and will defrost very well over night.
Get the recipe: Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake
We love seeing what you have all been up to in the kitchen. One of our favourite user recipes is this lemon and lime cake by Sacha Boxall. Sacha combined a classic carrot cake cream cheese frosting with a lemon drizzle cake and the results were a sure hit with us! By adding cream cheese to the frosting we find that the icing has a fantastic salty sweet edge. Make sure your butter for the lime icing is at room temperature and soft to ensure a smooth texture.
Get the recipe: Lemon and lime cake
Lemon and blueberries are the best of friends in this tasty little loaf cake which is ready in under an hour. By using blueberry jam we have made sure this can be rustled up with hardly any notice and that it is an inexpensive afternoon treat. Adding ground almonds will keep the sponge nice and moist throughout baking and give it a lovely crumbly texture when cool. Ideally, this cake can also be frozen and brought back to perfection by simply defrosting at room temperature overnight.
Get the recipe: Lemon and wild blueberry swirl cake
Here is another one of our top user recipes. The lovely Sam shared this fantastic lemon sherbet cupcake recipe. We love the added crunch that bashing up sherbet sweets gives and the zing the sherbet powder provides. Bake these in fun colourful, patterned cupcake cases and they will be a popular addition to any child?s party spread. Or even better get the kids to decorate their own as an activity to keep lots of children out of trouble.
Get the recipe: Sam’s lemon sherbert cupcakes
We have all heard of lemon meringue pie but what about us cake lovers?
Luckily we have come up with the answer, lemon meringue cupcakes. Biting
into one of these is a real treat as the lemon curd bursts out and the
meringue adds sweetness and gooey goodness. These are most delicious
using homemade sponge cakes but if you are in a real hurry shop bought
cupcakes could be transformed with this recipe. We won?t tell if you
Get the recipe: Lemon meringue cupcakes
These are a real retro-classic, butterfly cupcakes but with an added flavour burst. Rich and thick mascarpone cream makes a delicious base for the little butterfly wings and lemon curd gives it an extra citrusy hit. Try making these with the kids and getting them to decorate the butterfly wings with writing icing. Make sure the cakes are completely cool before scooping out the middle to avoid breaking or crumbling.
Get the recipe: Lemon butterfly cakes