I have a bit of a confession to make.
Since I opened the B&B, I’ve always made cake available to my guests to dig into whenever they get the munchies.
When both my rooms were in the house next to each other, I used to leave a homemade fruit cake in the hallway between the rooms.
When we built the rooms outside, there was no shared indoor space, so I started putting a whole lemon drizzle cake in each room.
This has proved quite a winner over the years and is one of the most commented on things in my guest book and my online reviews.
Most people describe it as the best lemon drizzle cake they’ve eaten. I wouldn’t know - I’m not a fan. In fact, I’m not a huge cake fan - now doughnuts. That’s a different matter.
Anyway the other week I was busy and tired and I had new guests arriving. So for the first time in 16 years, I went to our local farm shop and bought an orange drizzle cake.
I know - it wasn’t my finest moment. In my defence, it was a very expensive orange drizzle and they’re hand made on the premises. So if you’re not going to do homemade, they really are the next best thing.
Fast forward to breakfast, and the guests greet me saying “That cake was the best lemon drizzle we’ve ever had”
I responded with a “I’m glad you enjoyed it”, then rushed out of the room before I could be asked any more questions about it.
My mission for the next week is to batch bake a few of my own cakes and pop them in the freezer - they really do freeze very well.
Here’s the recipe if you want to have a go yourself!
This lemon drizzle cake recipe is based on one of Mary Berry’s, though I’ve adapted it to fit into 3 1lb loaf tins rather than making it up as tray bake. I’ve also upped the temperature which gives a nice cracked top to the cake which I like.
Replacing Mary’s recommended milk with buttermilk makes this lemon drizzle cake recipe even lighter and fluffier.
It also works really well with gluten free self raising flour and gluten free baking powder. I'd add an extra tablespoon of buttermilk though, as GF flour tends to absorb more liquid.
You need 3 1 lb loaf tins – I line mine with ready made paper liners.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees ( for fan oven )
285 g (10 oz) self raising flour
225 g (8oz) caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
225g (8oz) softened butter ( I normally just use a whole pack of butter which is slightly over 8 oz)
5 Hopton House eggs ( which is about 4 large eggs )
4 tablespoons buttermilk
grated rind of 2 large lemons
175g (6oz) granulated sugar
juice of 2 large lemons
Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 2 minutes.
Divide the mixture between the 3 loaf tins.
Put in the oven for 30 minutes – check after 30 minutes to see if the cake is firm on top. You will probably need longer but only allow 5 minutes at a time. You want just cooked.
Take out of the oven and leave for 5 minutes. Prick all over with a skewer ( I use my meat lifting forks – creates 4 holes at a time – how lazy is that? )
Mix the sugar & lemon for the drizzle and pour over the cakes. After another 10 minutes take out of the tins & place on a wire tray – this is where is really helps having the ready made paper liners because it keeps any of the drizzle that has fallen down the sides in place.
This will keep for several days as it’s so moist and they also freeze well.
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