Mary Berry Lemon Drizzle Cake

For this delicious treat I have modified Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake recipe. Now with less sugar, more whole wheat flour and brown sugar, this amazing cake gets devoured straight out of the oven in my house! This honest, homemade goodness is equally suited to morning teas, simple birthday celebrations, picnics, and after school or work snacks.

Finished lemon drizzle cake served on a plate with lemon slices
Lemon drizzle cake ready to eat!

Taste is always the most important factor me when considering a drizzle cake recipe – it absolutely must taste fabulous. But second on my list of requirements is ease of making. My theory is that if a recipe is too difficult or fiddly, realistically, I’m only going to make it once. So what I love about this recipe is that it’s super-tasty and super-easy. And this recipe is a little forgiving when it comes to quantities; there’s no need to be exact.

Lemons are seasonal, but the season can be quite long – from mid-fall/ autumn until mid-spring. Therefore, if you’re looking to make anything with lemons, winter is probably your best time. I usually have an abundance of lemons in the cooler months, so that’s when I start thinking about lemon cake. Lemons should be a little cheaper to buy in the cooler months, too.

For this easy lemon drizzle cake, try to find a large, really juicy lemon. If you can’t find a nicely juicy lemon, you could use two smaller lemons instead. However, if you use the juice of two lemons, you will still probably only need the rind of one.


Ingredients for lemon drizzle cake prepared and ready to make
Ingredients prepared and ready to go

This lemon drizzle cake recipe is quite forgiving when it comes to quantities. So much so that I rarely measure my ingredients anymore. (However, I have made it many times!) In my experience, whether you use 1.5 cups of flour or 1.75 cups of flour, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the final consistency of your batter. Once you’ve made the recipe a few times, you will be able to approximate the quantities, too. And that makes this recipe even easier! (No measuring cups to wash up!!)

Flour – 1 ½ cups of flour.  Today I am using a mixture of half whole wheat flour and half plain flour.  I like to mix in the whole wheat flour as it has a nice taste and texture, and it is better for us, but using all whole wheat flour would be too much.  About a 50 – 50 split is perfect. If you only have plain flour, use that it will be just fine. 

Sugar – The day I took these pictures I used a dark brown sugar which added an interesting molasses flavour.  Try to use brown sugar, give the dark brown sugar a try if you have it available, and white sugar will also work if that is what you have available.  

Note: I used plain white sugar for the drizzle topping so the topping was clear.   

Lemon – 1 large lemon or 2 smaller ones.  Don’t get the waxy lemons, we will wash them and grate the rind.  

Butter –  Unsalted butter is what I use 

Eggs –  2 medium to large eggs, ideally at room temperature. 

Baking power –  only required if you are not using self rising flour 

Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) – only required if you are not using self rising flour 


Wash your lemon in warm soapy water, rinse, and then grate the rind as in the photo below.  I have made this cake before when I did not have grater, so I peeled the lemon with a vegetable peeler and finely diced the rind.  It worked just fine, I actually enjoyed the larger pieces of lemon in the cake.

Grating the lemon rind to put into the cake mixture
Lemon rind is grated finely for the cake mix

While we are working with the lemon, squeeze all the juice out of it into a small bowl and set it aside.  We will use it while the cake is baking in the oven.  

Grease and flour the baking pan, or use baking paper. 

In a large bowl, add the flour and brown sugar, and whisk it together well.  Add the grated lemon rind and mix well as in the picture below.  

Lemon rind in flour and melting butter
Lemon rind in the flour and sugar mix while the butter melts

Lightly beat the eggs and add the eggs and melted butter to the dry ingredient bowl, and fold all the ingredients together well.

The cake mix placed into the tin ready to bake

The resulting lemon drizzle cake will look like the picture below.  Notice the beautiful dark colour of the cake – this comes from the dark brown sugar and the whole wheat flour.


Mix the lemon juice that you set aside earlier with the white sugar or caster sugar, whichever you are using.  Stir well so that the sugar dissolves as much as possible.  It will make a reasonably thick and sticky solution depending on how much sugar you use.  

Pour or spoon the sugar and lemon juice mixture over the cake.  Give it about 5 minutes for the juice to be absorbed by the cake.  The sugar will form a crystalised layer on the top of the cake.  

You can spoon any leftover lemon and sugar mix directly onto cake slices if desired.


As you know, I like to give you some options so you can personalize my recipes to your own tastes. So here are some suggestions:

  • Exchange the lemon for another citrus fruit – try orange, lime, or grapefruit. Aiming for approximately 1/4 cup juice, and about 1 tablespoon of finely grated rind.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds over top of cake after lemon drizzle and sugar dusting (I usually add poppy seeds to mine).
  • Stir 1 cup frozen mixed berries into the batter, then bake as directed.
    • If using frozen berries, take a few extra to garnish the top of the cake once cooled.
  • Garnish cake with whipped cream and/ or ice cream for added YUM factor and decadence.
  • Self raising flour – If you have or want to use it, simply omit the baking soda and baking powder from the ingredients. For example, I make this banana bread with self raising flour all the time.
  • Drizzle the top of the cake with 2 tablespoons of honey as soon as it’s removed from the oven.

I’m sure you’ll love my lemon drizzle cake recipe as much as I do! I would love to hear your feedback in the comments section (below).

Questions (FAQ)

Can lemon drizzle cake be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze this lemon drizzle cake. Be sure to let it cool to room temperature first, then freeze it without the topping. The topping is simple to make, so wait until you thaw the cake before making the topping in this recipe.

It will keep for about a month in the freezer. Don’t forget to put the date you made it on the container.

Can you make lemon drizzle cake with plain flour?

Yes, you can use plain flour to make this recipe. If possible I add in some wholewheat flour, but if you only have plain flour available that will work perfectly.

Try these other amazing recipes:

Until next time…
Love & luscious lemon cake, Bella X

Finished lemon drizzle cake served on a plate with lemon slices

Lemon Drizzle Cake By Mary Berry

A light and lovely lemon drizzle cake! This is adapted from Mary Berry's lemon cake recipe; it's simple, yet simply delicious. And every single time I make it, I'm asked for the recipe. So here it is! I'm sure you'll love it as much as my family and I do.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Australian, British
Servings 8 slices
Calories 226 kcal


  • small round or loaf cake tin


  • cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • oz butter, melted (150g)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 lemon
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda/ bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ cup sugar (any), extra (for serving)


  • Preheat oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit/ 160 degrees Celsius.
  • Wash the lemon in warm, soapy water, then rinse in clean water.
  • Finely grate the rind of the lemon, and set the grated rind aside.
  • Squeeze the lemon – get as much juice out as you can. Set the juice aside.
  • Grease & flour a small, round or loaf cake tin, or line it with parchment/ baking paper.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the melted butter, flour, brown sugar, lightly beaten eggs, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon rind.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Scoop into greased/ lined cake tin.
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
  • Test for doneness with a clean knife or skewer.
  • Remove from oven and tip out onto a cooling rack.
  • Turn the cake over while it is still warm.
  • Pour the lemon juice evenly over the top of the still-warm cake.
  • Sprinkle with extra sugar.
  • Can be served warm, or after it has cooled.


*If you have self-raising flour, use it in place of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
Keyword lemon cake, lemon drizzle, lemon drizzle cake

7 thoughts on “Mary Berry Lemon Drizzle Cake”

  1. 5 stars
    I made the normal Lemon drizzle cake by Mary Berry a dozen times and it’s the best, but will try this one some day as it sounds more healthier

  2. 5 stars
    Made this a whole bunch of times and it works out perfectly every time, doesn’t matter which flour combination or which sugar etc.

  3. 5 stars
    I love your version of Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake – it just works perfectly every time and I hardly even need to look at the recipe anymore. It’s soooooo delicious that I’m dropping hints to my husband that maybe he could make it for my birthday… 😉

    • Thank you for taking the time to give feedback; I really appreciate it.
      I’ve made my lemon drizzle cake a thousand times and I honestly ALWAYS have people asking me for the recipe. My Aunt Lucy was a super-star in the kitchen 🙂


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