upside down lemon drizzle cake

I've had this Nigel Slater recipe for a demerara lemon drizzle cake bookmarked for ages. Sophie Hansen makes an upside down variation, so I thought I'd give that technique a go.

I don't believe a lemon cake can ever be too lemony as evidenced by this recipe which contains both lemon rind and lemon juice, a layer of candied lemon slices then finally its doused with a lemon syrup.

The cake is very easy to make and although I've written instructions for a stand mixer, I made this cake in the food processor in about 5 minutes flat. Slicing and cooking the lemon slices took longer.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a small loaf cake. If you'd like to make a larger cake, just double the cake and syrup quantities and bake for the same length of time. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20ºC.

Upside down lemon drizzle cake adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe

One lemon, thinly sliced
2 tbs raw sugar
4 tbs water

1 large lemon, zested
125g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
100g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt 
25g almond meal 
30 mls lemon juice

1 tbs caster sugar
30 mls lemon juice 

Preheat the oven at 180°C. Grease and line a small loaf tin with a piece of baking paper.

To make the topping, place the lemon slices into a small saucepan with the sugar and water. Bring to the boil then watch closely for 5-10 minutes or so until the water has almost evaporated and the lemon slices are sticky and translucent. Set aside.

Juice the zested lemon. Set aside 30 mls of juice for the syrup. You’ll use the rest in the cake batter. For the cake, combine the butter, lemon rind and sugar in the bowl of an stand mixer and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Sift together the flour and salt into a small bowl then stir in the almond meal. Fold through the batter alternating with the lemon juice (don’t worry if the mixture looks like it’s curdling a little). If the batter is looking a little dry you can add a spoonful of milk or yoghurt to the mixture

Lay the reserved lemon slices and any syrup over the base of the tin then gently spoon the cake mixture over the lemon slices, trying not to dislodge them. Bake for about 45 minutes till risen and golden. Insert a metal skewer into the cake to see if it is ready. If it comes out clean, the cake is done; if it has mixture sticking to it, then it needs a few minutes longer. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside.

Right towards the end of the cake’s cooking time, combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, cooking until the sugar has dissolved. Spike the top of the cake with a skewer then spoon over the lemon and sugar mixture. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a serving platter, removing the baking paper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This cake was so moist and delicious. The only thing I'd do next time is to make the cake 50% larger because you can't have too much of a good thing.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



  1. How many eggs please?

  2. Oops, I completely left out the eggs. The cake needs 2 eggs and I've edited the recipe. Thanks for pointing that the error.


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