This recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s book, ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’. She calls it ‘Lemon Loaf’, and combines it with a sweet, sticky lemon syrup. I have also used it for cupcakes and as a sandwich sponge.
125g softened butter
175g caster sugar (3/4 cup)
2 large eggs
zest of 1 lemon
175g self raising flour (1.5 cups)
60ml milk (4 tblsp)
Preheat oven to 180degC / Gas mark 4.
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Beat in the eggs and lemon zest.
Fold in the flour and salt, and then the milk.
Bake until risen and golden. (Or for the time specified below, depending on what size tins you are using.)
Bake for 45 minutes (a cocktail stick inserted in the centre should come out clean).
While its baking, make a syrup by heating the juice of 1 lemon and 100g icing sugar until the sugar dissolves.
As soon as it’s out of the oven, prick holes all over the top using a skewer. Pour over the syrup. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.
Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes (they should be risen and golden). You can put lemon curd in the middle if you want; make a hole in the centre of the cupcake using an apple corer or cupcake plunger and fill with curd.
Top with piped buttercream and some white chocolate buttons or cigarillos or candied peel.
Divide the mixture between 2x 6inch sandwich tins and bake for 25 minutes. If you want to make an 8inch sandwich, use 1.5 times the recipe.
When cooled, sandwich with lemon curd and top with buttercream.
Decorating with jellytots makes this into an easy birthday cake!