A fresh and zesty lemon cake that will have people coming back for seconds

Zesty Lemon Cake

Course: Dessert, Treat
Cuisine: English
Keyword: Mother's Day
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Anna Bloomfield
A fresh and zingy lemon cake that will have people coming back for seconds.
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For the cake

  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 240 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 240 g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (slightly rounded)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1 whole lemon
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 small apple coarsely grated

For the candied lemon slices

  • 2 lemons
  • 200 g sugar


For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease a 21cm round spring form cake tin, line with baking parchment and flour the sides.
  • Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Mix in the eggs adding a little of the flour if the mixture curdles.
  • Sift in the remaining flour, baking powder and salt and stir in along with the lemon zest and juice and the grated apple. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Pour into the cake tin and place in the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. You will know the cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. The cake will have a slightly crusty top.
  • Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out carefully to finish cooling.

For the candied lemon slices

  • Put the sugar in a wide bottomed pan, a frying pan is best. Add 180ml water and heat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Meanwhile, cut the lemons into rounds 2-3mm thick and discard the seeds.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, place the lemon slices into the syrup making sure they do not overlap.
  • Simmer gently for 15 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin and pith are translucent.
  • Cool on baking parchment then use as you wish.


This cake lasts well in an airtight container for a few days.
I have made it without the apple and it tastes just as good; it’s just not as moist and therefore doesn’t keep quite as well.


Calories: 363kcal (18%) | Carbohydrates: 56g (19%) | Protein: 3g (6%) | Fat: 14g (22%) | Saturated Fat: 8g (40%) | Cholesterol: 76mg (25%) | Sodium: 19mg (1%) | Potassium: 148mg (4%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 38g (42%) | Vitamin A: 485IU (10%) | Vitamin C: 10.2mg (12%) | Calcium: 48mg (5%) | Iron: 1.3mg (7%)

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