Earl Grey Lemon Drizzle Cake

I’d seen this idea on a few different sites, and since it was Valentine’s Day last week I decided to have a go at creating my own version for Mike (lemon drizzle cake is one of his absolute favourite things, and he loves a cup of Earl Grey too). The tea imparts a wonderful delicate fragrance to the cake, and the fruity hint in the flavour goes beautifully with the zing of lemon zest. Since it was Valentine’s Day, I decorated mine with dried rose petals and pink sugar, but all you really need to make this cake beautiful is a thick, glossy layer of lemon glaze on top – scrumptious.


3 large eggs
About 180g butter*
About 180g granulated sugar*
About 180g self-raising flour*
½ tsp baking powder
A splash of milk
2 good-quality Earl Grey teabags
For the glaze:
1 lemon
3 tbsp icing sugar
A splash of milk

*First things first – in case you’re wondering, the reason that some of the ingredients are approximate is that you need to weigh the eggs and then use the same weight of butter, sugar and flour. Since eggs are always assorted shapes and sizes, using this method means that even if the eggs you use are smaller or larger than the ones I used, your cake will still be beautifully balanced and moist. This is a great method (my mum’s) which you can reuse for making all sorts of cakes.

So, weigh the eggs and then crack into a large bowl (or into the bowl of your food processor). Add the butter and mix, then repeat with the sugar and finally the flour. Pop in the baking powder and mix, and then finally add a generous splash of milk and the contents of the teabags (if you can get good-quality Earl Grey, such as Twinings, then the tea will be finely ground and you won’t end up with any gritty bits in the final cake) and beat until you have a lovely smooth mixture.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (180°C fan). Grease a loaf tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper (just draw around the tin with a pencil, cut it out and pop it in), and then spoon the mixture in and spread it out so that it’s roughly even. Once the oven has reached the right temperature, put the cake in and set a timer for 40 minutes.

When the timer goes off, test the cake with a fork – if it comes out clean then the cake is done, but it might need another five minutes. Leave it to cool for about ten minutes, then gently remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool for another twenty minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the lemon glaze. Cut the lemon in half and juice one half completely, getting as much of the delicious lemony juice as possible into a jug. You might want to pop a sieve on top to catch the pips. Add the icing sugar and a splash of milk and mix thoroughly – if the sugar is refusing to dissolve, then you can add a small splash of boiling water to help it along. Keep mixing until the sugar has completely disappeared.

Once the cake has cooled so that it’s just slightly warm to the touch, use a pastry brush to coat it thoroughly with the glaze, and then zest the remaining half of the lemon and sprinkle over the top. Serve with Earl Grey in your prettiest teacups.