Claire Ptak's Lemon Drizzle Loaf

This perfect lemon drizzle cake recipe is by Claire Ptak, who will be baking Prince Harry and Megan Markle's royal wedding cake.

The Violet Bakery Cookbook
By
Buy on Amazon / Hive / Waterstones

Introduction

All our lemons at Violet come from the Amalfi coast of Italy. They are large, sweet and have a very thick and pithy peel. 

Cuts into 8 slices

Ingredients

265g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
265g caster sugar
zest of 3-4 lemons (save the juice for the lemon drizzle and icing)
3 eggs
265g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
100ml milk
For the lemon drizzle:
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
For the icing:
250g icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Essential kit

You will need: 25x10cm loaf tin, an electric mixer, a skewer and a paring knife.

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C (fan)/gas 4. Butter a 25x10cm loaf tin and line the base and sides with parchment paper, extending the paper about 5cm above the top of the tin.

First make the sponge. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar well but you don't want as fluffy a mixture as you would for a layer cake. Zest the lemons into the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is thoroughly mixed in before adding the next.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix half of this into the creamed butter mixture, scraping down the sides, until barely combined.

White the mixer is still going, beat in all the milk. Then add the remaining flour and mix until just combined. Scrape the bowl and give it one last mix. 

Scoop the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a palette knife or spatula. 

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top of the cake is springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

To make the lemon drizzle, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small pan and heat just until the sugar is melted. Do not let this boil or the fresh flavour will be lost.

Use a skewer to poke holes evenly throughout the baked loaf. Pour the lemon drizzle over the loaf and let it soak in while you make the icing.

In a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth. 

To remove the loaf cake from the tin, run a small paring knife along the inside of the tin and then tilt the tin on its side and coax the loaf out, using the parchment paper as a handle. Peel off the paper and turn the loaf upright on your cooling rack or worktop. Drizzle the icing over the loaf and let it drip down the sides. Use a spatula or a cake or tart tin base to lift the loaf onto a serving dish. This keeps well for up to 3 days in an airtight container. 

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