A classic lemon drizzle is pretty hard to beat. Whatever the weather, season or mood, I will choose this cake again and again. It’s got the perfect balance of sweet and sharp, and a soft, buttery crumb that gets drenched in lemony syrup. This version is still all of those things but with some extra brightness and fragrance from a good handful of fresh mint. It’s such a simple twist but wins big on the flavour front, giving you a cake that’ll feel right at home at any time of any day.
For the syrup
For the frosting
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan/350ºF/gas mark 4). Grease and line a 900-g (2-lb) loaf pan. Add the sugar and mint to a food processor and blitz until the mint is finely chopped. Cream the butter, minty sugar and lemon zest together with an electric whisk for 3–5 minutes until really pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Tip in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix on low speed until smooth. Finally, stir in the milk.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50–60 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the
middle of the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. Heat the sugar, lemon juice and mint in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Let it simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat.
When the cake is out of the oven, use a skewer or toothpick to prick the whole surface. Pour the syrup on top, letting it seep into the holes. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Make the frosting by mixing the icing sugar and lemon juice together until you have a thick but pourable consistency. If it looks too thin, just add a little more icing sugar; if you want to thin it out, stir in a bit more lemon juice.
Remove the cooled cake from the pan and pour the frosting on top, letting it drip down the sides. Top with a couple of small mint leaves before serving.
Be sure to take snaps of your mint and lemon drizzle cake and share, tagging @thebigfeastival and @bakedbybenji.
Credit: A Good Day to Bake by Benjamina Ebuehi (Quadrille, £22.00) Photography ©Laura Edwards.