Sticky Lemon Cake

This a lovely cake, intensely lemony and sticky. I first made it back in 1999 for my mum on Mother’s Day.  It was a recipe in the Tesco Recipe Magazine in March 1999.

The instructions for this cake advise that you whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl over simmering water.  I have always done this, but it is such a pain.  Trying to get the electric wire of the whisk to stretch over to the hob or Aga and then holding the bowl steady over a hot pan is awkward and potentially dangerous.  So, this time I ignored that instruction and just whisked the eggs and sugar in a bowl in the normal manner and it worked just as well, with the mixture becoming just as moussey and the cake being so much easier to make. I also thought that if I sifted the flour twice, like I did with the chocolate muffins, this would make the cake even lighter.  It worked.

This cake lasts a couple of days in a tin, so is perfect to keep cutting into.

350g caster sugar
5 eggs
finely grated zest of 3 lemons
250g plain flour
50g cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
150ml double cream
juice of 1 lemon
100g melted butter

For the glaze:
juice of 2 lemons
50g icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180°c, gas mark 4, or use the Baking Oven of the Aga.  Grease and line the base of a 20cm springform tin.

Place the eggs and the sugar and the lemon zest in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until the mixture is thick and moussey.  Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder into a bowl and then sift again, in three separate batches, over the moussey mixture and fold in very carefully with a large metal spoon. Fold in the cream, then the lemon juice and then the melted butter, making sure that each are well mixed in before adding the next.

Pour the mixture carefully into the prepared tin and place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 50-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.

When the cake is nearly cooked place the icing sugar and lemon juice into a small pan and bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven pierce it all over with the skewer and brush the lemon glaze all over.  Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.


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23 thoughts on “Sticky Lemon Cake”

  1. The recipe and ingredients list is unusual and I think just looking at your cake that it was worth every minute of all the whisking involved. I think I should try this cake it looks so tempting.

    1. Hi Michele, I have just googled about this and realise that we have different names here in the UK for cornflour to you in the US. The cornflour I refer to here is called corn starch in the US. The corn starch lightens the cake a little but I shouldn’t think that using all all-purpose flour would affect the cake too much. It may make it a little heavier perhaps, but this wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. I hope you make it. x

  2. Love the way you make no bones about this cake lasting more than two days – quite right too, sounds far too delicious to be languishing away in a tin. I often find complicated instructions for recipes are unnecessary – might try your twice sifting though when next trying to make a light cake.

  3. What a fab cake, I have a socket right by my hob but have toa dmit O don;t really care for whisking a mixture of simmering water, I am far too accident prone for such instructions lol. Good to know it works just as well without heat.

  4. Hi Again
    I have just made this huge cake, it is fantastic, i love your recipes, could I split into smaller tins and freeze 2, cannot possibly eat all this in 2 days, my guests love it! they are spoilt! x if so how long would I cook it for? and would it be the same temp?

    1. Hi Lesley,
      Sorry I didn’t reply earlier, we have had a busy weekend. I have not tried it in smaller tins or tried freezing it. But I am sure both would work (for the almond cake too).You could also divide the recipe, I am sure with similar results, so you are only making a small cake. A smaller cake would need the same oven temp but you would have to reduce the time. I can’t be precise on timings, having not tried it. However, I would think that if you were making a cake half the size, then keep an eye on it after it has done half the time in the oven. Keep checking every eight to ten minutes. I have kept both of these cakes for 4-5 days and they are still delicious. Their moistness keeps them tasting fresh for some time. I hope this helps and I am really pleased that both you and your guests are enjoying the cakes. Try the ginger cake too or the boiled fruit cake, as they both keep very well. Kath

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