Recipe: Monday Morning Cooking Club’s Lemon Syrup Cake

This moist lemon cake has the perfect amount of lemony zing. 

Recipe: Monday Morning Cooking Club

This is a cake with heritage. Helen found the Luscious Lemon Cake almost 30 years ago in a recipe book by Evelyn Rose MBE, the leading Anglo–Jewish cookery writer of her generation. It first appeared in print in 1967 when Evelyn was cookery writer and editor at the Jewish Chronicle in London, after she brought the concept of a lemon-scented pound cake infused with fresh lemon syrup home from the US.

It became an instant hit with her readers, became her signature recipe and eventually entered mainstream consciousness as the Lemon Drizzle Cake. Evelyn’s magnum opus on Jewish cuisine, The Complete International Jewish Cookbook, was first published in 1976. Helen has doubled the original recipe.

Serves about 12


250 g (9 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped
350 g (1½ cups/12⅓ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
4 eggs
350 g (2⅓ cups/12⅓ oz) self-raising (self-rising) flour
pinch of salt
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
125 ml (½ cup/4¼ fl oz) milk, at room temperature

Lemon syrup: 
160 g (1 cup/5⅔ oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
juice of 3 lemons

Lemon icing:
320 g (2 cups/11⅓ oz) pure icing (confectioners’) sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Also needed: 
50 g (½ cup) slivered almonds, toasted and roughly chopped


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease and line the base of a 25 cm (10 inch) round cake tin. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the caster sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

More stories you might like:
Recipe: Simple Honey Ice Cream

Combine the flour, salt and lemon zest. Add to the egg mixture, alternating with the milk in 3 batches until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make the lemon syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the icing sugar and lemon juice, and stir until dissolved. Gently heat without boiling the syrup. Prick the cake all over with a skewer, gently pour over the warm syrup and leave to cool completely.

To make the icing, whisk together the icing sugar and just enough of the lemon juice to form a thick icing. Turn the cake out of the tin and place it on a serving plate right-way up or with the flat side on top, whichever you prefer.

Pour the icing over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Sprinkle with the almonds.

Extract from Now for Something Sweet by Monday Morning Cooking Club. HarperCollins Publishers. RRP $54.99. Available now.

Discuss This Article
Send this to a friend