Lemon Drizzle Cake

Light, lemony with a slight crunch on top. You'll be coming back for more of this delicious gluten-free lemon drizzle cake.

I had a glut of lemons in the fridge and visitors coming the next day so I decided to experiment with a lemon cake. Very satisfyingly, it came out the first time I tried my recipe. I've used a basic sponge mixture with slightly less egg and then drizzled a lemon sugar syrup over the top. This cake has a light lemon flavour. If you want it to be more lemony you can add some lemon juice to the actual sponge (and leave out the milk).

Gluten-Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ooops. Some of the loaf has already been eaten...


Makes a 2lb loaf tin cake:

  • 225g margarine (you can use butter, but I find margarine works better in this recipe)
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g gluten free self raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • grated zest of one lemon

To make the sugar syrup:

  • 80g caster sugar
  • juice of 1½ lemons (with 6 tsp reserved)

To make the lemon icing (optional):

  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • up to 6 tsp lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4.
  • Line a 2lb loaf tin.
  • Beat the margarine and sugar until well mixed and fluffy.
  • Add all the other ingredients. Mix well.
  • Spoon into the cake tin.
  • Bake for 40 minutes until the top is springy and a cocktail stick comes out clean.
  • Make a sugar syrup by slowly heating and stirring the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Then bring to a rapid boil.
  • Once boiling for around a minute remove from the heat.
  • Leave the cake in the tin and use a cocktail stick or skewer (for a more lemony flavour) to prick holes all over the top.
  • Carefully spoon and drizzle the syrup into the holes.
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  • Mix the icing sugar with lemon juice. If you want a whiter icing, use 1tbsp more of icing sugar.
  • Mix to an almost stiff, but still runny, consistency.
  • Using a spoon drizzle over the cake.
  • Leave until set.
  • Store in an airtight tin.

It is really important to leave the cake in the tin to cool and not try to remove it while still hot.

The first time I made this cake I used a cocktail stick to make the holes. A lot of the syrup seem to reach the edge of the cake and fall outside the paper lining and not flavour the cake. You can get around this problem by gently wiggling the cocktail stick to make a slightly bigger hole for the syrup to go into.

You can freeze the cake un-iced if you like. Thaw at room temperature and then ice (optional) before serving.