Lemon Drizzle Sponge Cake


A good old fashioned tray bake makes the world a better place. So why not whip up a lemon drizzle sponge cake today.

The lemon drizzle sponge cake is light, fluffy, and not overly sweet. It’s perfect as a tea cake, dessert, or even a brunch treat. I like mine as is or even with a scoop of ice cream on the side.

Most people don’t think of India when they think of light spongy cakes and delicate flavors. However, due the culinary influences of the various colonizers, we like our pastries light, fluffy, and perfectly balanced in flavors. And our go to Indian cake is a sponge cake.

Sponge cakes are incredibly easy to make and because of their light fluffy texture they soak up flavors beautifully. Whether you want to make it a boozy cake or just a light lemon cake, sponge cake is perfect. I especially like this one because it’s a more traditional lemon tray bake recipe. Every household in Punjab and Britain tends to have their own recipe. I first saw this recipe ages ago in a Mary Berry cookbook and changed it about to give it a bit more flare.

There are many keys to a good sponge cake. The first is finding a good sponge cake recipe so that you’re setup for success. Second, follow the recipe. Third, don’t over beat your batter. When it’s smooth, STOP. Don’t set the mixer on go and walk away thinking it’ll only be a minute. Mix this sucker for more than 3 minutes and it will be dense. Fourth, grease your pan well. Not enough that it’s oily, but enough that your batter won’t stick.

Another favorite sponge cake of mine is the almond cardamom sponge cake. Serve that up with a hot cup of masala chai, and you’ll be in heaven.

Lemon Drizzle Sponge Cake

Course: DessertCuisine: Punjabi, BritishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time


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  • For Sponge Cake:
  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup caster sugar

  • 2 1/4 cup self raising flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 4 eggs

  • 1/4 cup whole milk

  • 3 large lemons, zested

  • For the Glaze:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 lemons, juiced

  • Decorate:
  • 12 thin slices of lemons

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar

  • 1/2 cup water


  • For Sponge Cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350o F.
  • Put all the ingredients for the sponge cake into the stand mixer bowl with the beater attachment.
  • Beat the mixture for 3 minutes on medium speed until smooth and silky.
  • Transfer the mixture to a prepared 12×9 baking tray. Make sure to smooth out the top.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until springy to touch and cooked through. Insert a knife into the center of the bake, if it comes out clean the sponge cake is done.
  • Remove from oven when done and set aside.
  • For Glaze:
  • Stir together the lemon juice and sugar.
  • Poke a few holes in the cake.
  • Brush the glaze all over the surface of the warm cake and leave to set.
  • For Decoration:
  • In a medium pan, dissolve the sugar in water, over medium heat.
  • Add the lemon slices and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes to soften the lemon slices.
  • Use a pair of tongs or a fork lift the slices out of the pan and arrange them on the top of the cake.


  • It is important to spoon the glaze on to the cake while it’s still warm so the lemon juice soaks in properly.
  • This tray bake can be stored in an airtight container for 3–4 days

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Nutrition Facts

12 servings per container


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 17.3g 27%
    • Saturated Fat 10.3g 50%
  • Cholesterol 96mg 32%
  • Sodium 133mg 6%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 160mg 5%
  • Total Carbohydrate 61.7g 21%
    • Dietary Fiber 1.1g 4%
    • Sugars 42.5g
  • Protein 4.8g 8%
  • Calcium 5%
  • Iron 8%
  • Vitamin D 89%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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