The is a lemon cake inspired by the lurgy I have been battling for the past week or so. In between knocking myself out on Night Nurse, blasting my chest with dynamite-like cough mixtures and trying to keep my fluids up, I have been guzzling lemon and honey Strepsils (and the much cheaper Sainsbury’s alternative…) so I can sound vaguely professional on work calls.

In the midst of this not-Covid-but-still-awful virus, I started musing, possibly deliriously about cake, particularly lemon cake and cake made with yoghurt. Yoghurt is a fabulous ingredient for a luscious, full-flavoured cake batter and, while every lemon cake recipe on the internet recommends the juice and zest of a lemon, it can be cheaper, easier and way more practical to use bottled lemon juice. It lasts for ages, no special equipment is required and it’s easy to measure. The bottled lemon juice works perfectly in the batter and the Strepsil-inspired syrup for this easy lemon cake.

I made this lemon cake in a silicone ring cake tin that a neighbour in the next street was freecycling, along with a load of other silicone bakeware so I stocked up. This definitely saved me from dropping £50 in Lakeland. But if you haven’t got a ring tin, a loaf tin or round tin will work fine. Or try it as a tray bake – this makes it easy to slice but keep an eye on the cooking time as it might cook a little bit faster.

Every ingredient in this lemon cake recipe should be available in the supermarket’s generic brand – when it comes to ingredients such as butter, flour, baking powder, yoghurt, sugar, nuts and honey, I always buy the supermarket’s own brand and I defy anyone to be able to tell the difference.

Lemon cake with almonds and Strepsil drizzle


For the cake

3 eggs

250g/1 metric up caster sugar

1 tablespoon almond essence (optional)

6 tablespoons lemon juice

300g plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

250ml/1 metric cup plain yoghurt

125g unsalted butter, melted

100g flaked almonds

For the syrup

60ml lemon juice

150g sugar

100ml honey

Icing sugar to decorate



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and prepare a baking tin.
  2. Whisk the eggs, sugar and almond essence until it is creamy and pale.
  3. Beat through the flour, baking powder, lemon juice and yoghurt until you have a rich, thick batter.
  4. Stir through the flaked almonds with a spoon so they are evenly distributed through the batter.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Start checking the cake from about 30 minutes onwards.
  6. Meanwhile, put all the syrup ingredients in a pot on the stove, turn the heat up to medium and mix well until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Once the syrup has boiled – keep an eye on it and don’t let it boil over! – let it simmer, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. When a skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready. Let it cool and then turn out of the cake tin.
  9. Place the cooled cake on a plate, drizzle the syrup over the top of the cake and let it run down the sides. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.

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