Simple French Lemon Cake

What makes it French? I don't know. Just go with me on this...

I am a crappy baker. It’s true. My best friend, Melissa, is a gun and will follow a recipe to the letter and gets beautiful results. I envy her patience. Me? I’m a ‘sploosh’ of this and a ‘wodge’ of that type cook, so I find following baking recipes is excruciating.

This cake is perfect for me. The method is fast and technique-less as everything gets thrown in the one bowl to beat. No mucking about with egg whites, sifting, melting things, etc.  

As a busy Mummy, I need fast goodies we can pack up to take on play dates and this cake always pleases.

The syrup poured over the hot cake ensures it stays moist so you can get away with slightly overcooking it, as I regularly do.  

The original recipe came to me through a friend I’ve made on Twitter, Karen (follow her at @xPeacex) and was from Women’s Day magazine. I have adjusted it slightly over time to my taste and poor technique.

Simple French Lemon Cake 

2 eggs
1 lemon, zested and juiced to extract ½ cup
40g butter, at room temp
1/3 cup milk
1 cup caster sugar
1½ cups self-raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Extra ½ cup caster sugar

1. Grease a deep 20cm round cake pan; line base with baking paper.

2. Beat eggs, lemon rind, butter, milk, sugar, baking powder and flour in a small bowl with an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Pour mixture into pan.

3. Cook in a moderate oven, 180C, for 40 mins or until cooked when tested.

4. Combine extra sugar and juice of 1 lemon (around 100ml - give or take! don’t get fussy) in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves to make syrup.

5. Stand cake in pan; get stabby with it and pierce several times with a skewer while warm (particularly around the edges where it may have overcooked!), pour over warm syrup. Stand cake in pan for a further 15 minutes; turn out and serve warm with whipped cream. Equally delicious served cooled. Looks posh when dusted with icing sugar. 

pour over syrup

Not posh




  1. Just wonderful! Another fellow mum (of 2) gave me a similar recipe when I was pregnant. She guaranteed I'd love it - as it was so easy.

    Will have to bookmark this one. :)


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