You asked for it – Lemon Loaf recipe

I posted this photo of a lemon loaf I made last week on Instagram, and a few folks have been asking for the recipe. So I thought I’d share it here. The recipe, not the loaf – that sucker is long gone sorry.

It’s a delicious loaf that’s not overly sweet but has a lovely crunchy lemony kick thanks to the syrup that is poured over the loaf just after it comes out of the oven. Apparently it freezes well, but I can’t personally back that up as it’s never stuck around long enough for there to be any leftovers that need storing long term.

I have adapted this recipe from ‘A Second Helping – More From Ladies A Plate’ which is a collection of classic Kiwi recipes compiled by Alexa Johnston. I found the original recipe wasn’t enough for my apparently large-sized loaf tin so I increased the quantities by 50% – truthfully I think my loaf tin is pretty standard size and and I have found quite a few recipes in this book don’t go quite as far as they say they should, so I would advise you to stick to my increased quantities rather than risk ending up with a little squat loaf. If you feel you have too much cake mix when you go to put it in your loaf tin, then only use some of it and make muffins with the remaining batter. Better to have too much than not enough, right?

Enough chat, here we go…

175g Butter
225g Sugar
3tsp Finely grated lemon zest
3 Eggs
270g Standard flour
1½ tsp Baking powder
165ml Milk
90g Caster sugar
2½ Tbsp Lemon juice


  • Bring eggs and butter to room temperature
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Grease your loaf tin and line the bottom with baking paper
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl


  • In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light
  • Beat in lemon zest and then add eggs one at a time – be sure to beat well after each egg has been added
  • Gently fold in the flour/baking powder mix, alternating with the milk (in about three lots)
  • When just combined, spoon into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 40-50mins rotating halfway through.
  • Remove when a skewer comes out clean. It should be golden brown with a crack running along the top and the loaf should be just coming away from the sides of the tin
  • Cool on rack in tin.


  • Combine sugar and lemon juice and then spoon over the top of the hot cake
  • You will end up with a thin crust of lemony sugar on top and a little down the sides
  • Finish cooling in the tin then turn out carefully


As always with cakes, be careful not to overmix as this will produce a tough end result. It is not a big deal if you can still see a few specks of flour at the end of the mixing process – in fact, I prefer to have those specks present as that is usually a good sign I haven’t overmixed.

Keep a close eye near the end of the cooking time as this loaf can go from moist to dry in a matter of minutes, and bear in mind it will continue to cook a little with its own heat when you remove it from the oven.

Before adding the syrup to finish, I like to poke little holes all over the loaf so that some of they syrup soaks right into the cake.

Store airtight, and if you plan on freezing the cake then ensure it’s completely cool before wrapping in waxed paper and aluminum foil before popping it into the freezer.

If your loaf does end up a little drier than you’d like (often the ends are less moist than the centre) just spread on a little butter before serving. Problem solved!

4 thoughts on “You asked for it – Lemon Loaf recipe

  1. Long-ish time reader/follower, first time commenter. I made this and it looked just like yours! to me that’s success! it was so easy, and so gosh darn yummy.

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