During the summer, the chefs at Birmingham Botanical Gardens love to offer light, clean and fresh dishes, to give guests plenty of energy to explore the gardens, without weighing them down. This lovely crisp lemon drizzle cake is a perfect example of their tasty afternoon treats.
The chefs made mini versions of the drizzle cake for Easter, and they went down so well with visitors to the Pavilion Café that they made a reappearance for the May Day bank holiday too. The chefs say that they best thing about these cakes is the effect that they have on people’s faces – one bite and you will always see a smile appear.
The recipe is very simple – anyone can do it. Even if you are not a skilled baker, it’s easy to add to or play with the recipe to give it your own little touch.
These scrumptious little cakes are always a treat, but we like them best with a cup of tea or coffee on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
275g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons milk
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
Poppy seeds (optional)
Measure all the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until well blended (an electric mixer is best for this but you can also beat by hand with a wooden spoon). Turn the mixture into the prepared greaseproof lined tin, and level the top gently with the back of the spatula.
Bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven at 160°C for about 30-40 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly with a finger in the centre and begins to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
For the lemon syrup
100 g caster sugar
140 g lemon juice
Make your lemon syrup by heating the sugar and lemon juice in a pan until the sugar has dissolved. Do not boil. While your cake is still warm, make lots of little holes in the top with a cocktail stick and pour your syrup over.
For the lemon icing to top the cake
225 g icing sugar
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
poppy seeds (optional)
To make your icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon zest and juice, stirring until you have a smooth paste. Add onto the top of the cake once it has cooled.