lemon & limoncello cake

baking, fruit, recipe

The last days of September ended with a swirl of grey cloud and starred nights. With a feeling that every warm day could be the last of the year, I wanted something that would bring zing and warmth into the kitchen and our stomachs.

Lemons ,the colour of the sun in a children’s drawing, and limoncello, an Italian liquor made from lemon zest, were combined to make a cake that’s both sweet and sour.

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You can make this without limoncello easily, but if you do, you’ll have an incredible cake, but also be able to have a strong drink while it’s baking.

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The cake is adapted from a simple sponge cake- so its easy enough with equal weights of flour, sugar and eggs.

For the cake

180g self-raising flour

160g caster sugar

3 eggs

lemon zest from four lemons

For the drizzle

20g sugar

juice of 4 lemons

a good shot or two of limoncello

Beat the sugar and butter till light and fluffy, and then beat in the eggs bit by bit. I add a little flour with each egg to stop the mixture curdling.

Grate in the lemon zest and then fold in the flour with a large spoon. Spoon into a loaf tin and bake in an oven heated to 180C.

While the cake is baking, juice the lemons and pour in the sugar and limoncello.

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After around half an hour, when the cake is baked, pour over the zesty, punchy drizzle and then sprinkle with a little sugar. This will form a sweet, sharp crust above the soft sponge.

After a dinner shared with the grandparents, I tore up a handful of thyme over the cake, and sliced through the sugar studded crust and lemon soaked crumb.


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