Lemon Drizzle Cake

After a year in Upstate New York, it’s good to be back home. There is no doubt that the Hudson Valley is spectacular, with tons of amazing trails (at little to no cost). But the African savannah teeming with wildlife is unbeatable. Excuse my sad pictures—my husband is the amazing wildlife photographer.

Nairobi National Park was full of cacti in bloom. I did not know their name so I’ve just googled it.

It’s a prickly pear cactus, and it is native to the Americas. Pretty though they are, sadly they are an invasive plant (think hyacinth) and apparently the second largest threat to elephants (after poaching).

Lemon drizzle (with no drizzle) cake

But back to the park. We were meeting up with friends (after the game drive) for a choma (barbeque) at Impala Observation Point. We brought this lemon drizzle (without the drizzle) cake for dessert. My (mistaken) hesitation with the drizzle was I thought it would be too sweet, and most Kenyans don’t like overly sweet cake. But the drizzle takes the cake to the next level. Try it with and without and decide for yourself.


This is also one of the easiest recipes ever.

Lemon Drizzle Cake


  • 275 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour*
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder*
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 225 grams (1 cup) sugar
  • 225 grams (1 cup) margarine or butter
  • 4 Tablespoons milk
  • Rind (grated skin) of 2 lemons
  • *if using self-raising flour, omit the bicarbonate of soda, and add 2 teaspoons of baking powder For the drizzle
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar


Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and flour a baking tin.

In a large bowl dump in 275 grams (2 cups) flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 4 eggs, 225 grams (1 cup) sugar, 225 grams (1 cup) margarine, 4 Tablespoons milk and the rind (grated skin) of 2 lemons. Using a hand mixer whisk for about a minute until smooth.

Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 35-40 minutes. Halfway through (after 15-20 minutes), rotate the tin.

In the meantime, squeeze out the juice of the 2 lemons and stir in 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Set aside.

It is ready when a knife inserted comes out clean. Remove and cool for about 5-10 minutes. Use a toothpick to poke holes all around the warm cake, and pour the lemon syrup. Leave it to soak (this is a great make a day before cake if you would like).


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