Lemon Loaf Cake

This light and fluffy cake is packed with lemony flavour. It makes a lovely dessert on its own or when served with a fruity sorbet.

At a glance

Approx 1.5 hours


  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, brought to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Lemon Syrup Ingredients

  • Juice from 1 fresh lemon (approx 1/4 cup)
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar

Lemon Icing Ingredients

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line a loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4-6 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. With the mixer running on low-speed, add the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Beat on medium-high speed until combined.
  5. With the mixer on low, add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until almost combined, then add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with another third of flour mixture and then the last half of the buttermilk, ending with the last third of the flour. Beat until just incorporated.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean with only a couple moist crumbs. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours.
  7. Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes in the pan. Stir together the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar for the lemon syrup. Carefully invert the loaf pan, and transfer the cake to a cooling rack, then brush the syrup on the cake while it’s still warm. Allow cake to cool completely.
  8. When the cake is cooled, combine all the icing ingredients, start with 1 tbsp lemon juice and milk and add the remaining lemon juice as needed. The icing should be thick and not runny. Pour icing over cake and let dry before serving.