Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cooking time: 50-65 mins
Bake at: Gas Mark 4 / Electric Oven 180C / Fan Oven 160C for 50-65 minutes
175g (6oz) butter, softened
175g (6oz) caster sugar
4 tablespoons milk
175g (6oz) self-raising flour, sieved
Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon 1 tablespoon icing sugar
I use Stork margarine for most of my sponge cakes as it gives a nice, light texture and a nice crisp finish to the outside.
Occasionally I substitute other sugars if I’m running low on caster sugar. Granulated works equally well.
I never sieve (guilty admission)
1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light in colour and fluffy. (I use either a wooden spoon for this, or let the Magimix do all the work for me…). Gradually beat in the eggs and milk.
2. Fold the flour into the mixture with the grated lemon zest/lemon juice. (Unless I’ve got lemons in the fridge already, I will raid my bottled lemon juice store – I probably add 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice. I pour it in as the bowl goes round and round on the Magimix until the mixture looks slightly ‘wet’, with the lemon juice resting on top of the cake mixture.
3. Add poppy seeds as desired (1-2 tablespoons will be quite adequate – really a matter of personal taste).
4. Spoon the mixture into greased and lined loaf tins.
5. Bake until the cake is golden-brown and firm to the touch. If the top springs back after pressing the centre lightly with your fingertip, check that it is cooked through by inserting a clean skewer / knife and checking to see whether it comes out clean or not. If there is still cake mixture on the knife, continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes and check again.
6. If you want to make this into a drizzle cake, mix some lemon juice with the icing sugar until it forms a slightly runny paste and pour over the cake as soon as it is removed from the oven. Allow the glaze to set before removing the cake from the tin, and then set on a wire rack to cool completely.
I cook this using 2 x 1lb loaf tins, as it makes for easier slicing.
Like most of my regularly-made cake recipes this is taken (and lightly adapted) from “Best Kept Secrets of the Women’s Institute – Cakes and Biscuits”.