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A super easy, no mixer, lemon loaf cake made with olive oil. A throw together type of cake -my favourite kind- with a delicious lemony drizzle glaze.

I adore lemon cake. One of my favourite recipes is this one on the website Joy of Baking. It’s lemony, fairly easy (although it does require a mixer) and I keep going back to it, so it must be doing something right. The other day I was about to make it again, this time with the purpose of posting the recipe. Then I thought hang on, it’s been a while since I posted someone else’s recipe just as it is. Lately I’ve been making my own creations, sometimes completely from scratch, sometimes inspired by others but with many changes so as to make them my own. And although I have no problem posting someone else’s recipe (of course I always make it, photograph it myself and then include the proper attributions/credits and links), this time I thought I might try a little experiment. It might have been a sudden surge of creativity that hit me, or a sudden surge of “can I really be bothered to get the mixer out?”, I’m not sure which. The result was –yet another- quick bread style cake. Yes, like my banana bread, and my zucchini cake, and a few others lurking here on the blog. You know the ones… the “mix the dry ingredients, then the wet, combine, bake” ones. My beloved no mixer cakes.

Usually these cakes call for either oil or melted butter. If using softened butter you really really need the help of a mixer, or you are someone I deeply admire. So I used the Joy of Baking recipe as a guide, and transformed it into the lazy person’s lemon loaf cake recipe. The “loaf cake” title came about when I couldn’t decide between “cake” and “quick bread”. Obviously this cake is different to the original, it has a thicker, more crumbly crumb, but the lemony taste is there, together with the lightness the olive oil brings. It also keeps well. And I found that it paired fantastically with coffee. I am a tea drinker, a big one, but with this I found myself craving a hot cup of joe, and I might have even sipped a bit while munching on a bite (this is in place of dunking, the cake wouldn’t hold up being dunked!). Delish.


300gr (2 cups) flour, all purpose

220gr (1 cup) sugar, white

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

180ml (3/4 cup) olive oil, light tasting

1 Tbs + 1/2 tsp lemon zest (from one large lemon)

60ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice, freshly squeezed

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

For the lemon glaze

140gr (1 cup) icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)

2 Tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Step 1

Preheat oven to 160C fan assisted (180C conventional), grease a 25cm loaf tin and line it with baking paper so that the sides come up over the edge of the tin (to pull the cake out later).

Step 2

In a bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Step 3

In a separate bowl beat the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold to mix, just until you can’t see any flour. Don’t overmix.

Step 4

Transfer the mixture to the loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes to an hour, or until a cake tester (I use a wooden kebab stick) comes out clean from the centre of the cake. Let it cool for 5 minutes then turn on to a rack to cool completely.

Step 5

To make the glaze just mix the icing sugar with one tablespoon lemon juice. Add more lemon juice till you reach the right consistency and the glaze is pourable but not too runny. Drizzle over the cold cake and let it set.

Note: I have explained before that I don’t like using cup measurements for baking because they aren’t nearly as accurate. Please keep in mind that the cup measurements here are approximate and I’ve only included them because many readers request them.

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