I woke to a cold and damp April morning this morning. Its been a crazy couple of weeks for weather, we’ve had a spate of hail showers, one of which I was out running and got caught up in( painful experience) wind, rain, and today was just bitterly cold. I lounged in bed for ages, it was lovely and toasty and warm, with reluctance I left its safe haven to start the day.
Seeing as it was cold and miserable I decided that it was only fitting that I make something sunny and cheery by way of a Lemon Tea Cake. Besides, my brother was coming to visit us and I wanted to make sure I had something delicious made that he could take home with him. He starts a new job tomorrow, so hopefully the cake gives him some home comfort.
Once again this recipe is incredibly simple. And for those of you that are Lactose intolerant you can substitute the milk for water and it will taste equally delicious and moist. The cake is dry mix, its not overly wet and runny, which means its great to work with and transfer to cake tins. I am a big fan of lemons, I am a sucker for any sort of lemon pudding, cakes, pies, sorbet you name it, and I am all over it. That fresh zingy taste that comes with lemons does so much for my mood and instantly transports me to sunnier climes.
This particular recipe is also great for cupcakes. You can easily get 12 cupcakes from the recipe below.
What do I need?
- 200g (7oz) butter, softened
- 200g (7oz) caster sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 200g (70z) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp milk or a splash of water (optional)
- 150g (4 ½ oz) icing sugar, sifted
- Finely grated zest of ½ large lemon
- 1-2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
What do I do?
- Preheat your oven to 160C(315F) Gas mark 2-3
- Put the butter and caster sugar into a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and 4 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. ( if the mixture begins to curdle just add in a tablespoon of flour and beat well until smooth)
- Add in the flour, salt and baking powder and mix together until just combined.
- Grate in the zest of a lemon
- Optional- If the mix is a bit stiff, add the 2tsp of Milk/Water to loosen it a little
- Using ice-cream scoop you can plop mixture into paper cupcake cases, OR you can transfer mix into a cake tin that is lined with greaseproof paper.
- Bake in oven for 25-30 mins (cake springs back when slightly pressed)
- Check the cake is cooked by piercing the middle with a skewer, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked through.
- Take out of oven and leave to cool inside the tin before attempting to take it out.
- Once cooled, remove from the tin and allow to rest.
- Sift the icing sugar into a bowl
- Keeping adding your lemon juice one bit at a time so that your icing mix is not too runny, it needs to be thick enough to be able to self glaze, it needs to be thick enough not to run all over the place. Use your discretion here.
- Once the cake is completely cooled add your icing to the center of the cake, and using a palette knife gently help it to reach the edges. Decorate with grated lemon zest.
(Photography: David McClelland)