Lemon Loaf

Looking for the perfect cake to accompany your hot beverage? Well look no further, this lemon loaf is the perfect tea/ coffee cake. Rich and flavourful, drenched in lemon syrup and topped off with some glaze.

This is the ideal cake for when you couldn’t be bothered to make frosting for cake. It’s a firm cake with a tender crumb and oh so lemony.

I prefer using the yellow imported lemons for this cake since the flavour is so good and they are pretty juicy. They cost more than the local ones but trust me they are absolutely worth it.


Whenever you are baking anything always start by pre heating the oven that way once the mixing or prep work is done the oven is at the desired temperature.

Start by creaming the sugar and margarine/ unsalted butter. Here, the aim is for the mixture to be pale in colour and to be creamy. It takes about 5 minutes when using an electric whisk.

Then in goes the eggs, for this recipe they need to be added one at a time. This helps build more air into the cake batter.

Add the vanilla essence and the lemon zest.

Mix the dry ingredients together.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon gently fold in the flour mixture.

For this cake, I’m using a 9″ by 4″ loaf tin. Since the surface area to volume ratio is small compared to round or square tins, the cake will take longer to bake. At 175 degrees C, the cake will bake for about 40 to 45 minutes. Incase you use a round tin, you can use an 8″ tin though it will bake for a shorter time like 30 minutes.

Essentially depending on the cake tin used baking times can differ.

Grease and line the loaf tin with some grease proof paper.

As the cake is baking prepare the lemon syrup that will moisten the cake. The essence is for this lemon cake to live up to it’s name.

I also made a glaze using icing sugar and lemon juice to decorate the cake with.

Once the cake is baked. Allow to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then using a skewer poke holes throughout the cake, then pour over the lemon syrup to moisten every part of the cake. Then allow it to cool completely before removing from the tin.

Then now, pour over the lemon glaze.

Voila, lemon loaf smells great and tastes even better. Perfect with tea or coffee or just as is.

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be adapted to make an orange loaf by using orange zest in the cake and orange juice in the syrup and glaze.

You can even elevate the lemon loaf by folding in fresh blueberries together with the flour to get a lemon blueberry loaf, or even add some poppy seeds for a lemon poppy loaf. How dope!


Lemon Loaf

See Detailed Nutrition Info on
  • 175 grams sugar
  • 175 grams margarine / unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 275 grams all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • for the lemon syrup

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar)
  • for the glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Water


Pre heat oven at 175 degrees Celsius

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl cream the sugar and margarine for about 3-5 minutes, until light and creamy.

Beat in the egg one at a time and add the vanilla essence

Add the lemon zest and mix.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon fold in the flour mixture until incorporated.

Put the batter in a greased and lined 9inch by 4 inch loaf tin.

The batter should be about two thirds the size of the tin.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the centre comes out clean.

For the syrup, combine the lemon juice and syrup. Adjust sweetness as per your preference

For the glaze, add the sifted icing sugar in bowl, add a tablespoon of lemon juice and some water. The consistency should be pourable but slightly thick.

Once the lemon loaf is baked, cool for about 10 minutes.

Using a skewer, poke holes throughout the loaf, then pour over the prepared lemon syrup. Just enough to moisten the cake.

Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the tin.

Decorate with the glaze and garnish with some sliced lemon rounds.





    • I’ll add, my only drawback with cup measures is how different people measure out the ingredients can lead to come discrepancies in the outcome.

  1. Hallo Leo Tunapika,
    Tried it yesterday and it came out so well. Thankyou for sharing that recipe.


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