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Lemon Drizzle Cake

The revered Mary Berry says that this is her most-requested recipe — and request-worthy it is! We think what sets this Lemon Drizzle Cake apart from the rest (and there are many recipes out there!) is the inclusion of fresh lemon verbena in the batter, and we’re here to tell you it’s worth finding a sunny spot to place a small pot of this easily-grown herb if only to be able to make this cake!

Lemon Drizzle Cake

8 oz. softened butter
8 oz. golden caster sugar (1 cup plus 2 tbs.)
10 oz. self-rising flour (2¼ cups plus 1½ tbs.)
2 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
4 tbs. milk
grated zest of 2 lemons
1 heaped tbs. very finely chopped lemon verbena*

For the glaze

6 oz. granulated sugar (¾ cup plus 2 tbs.)
juice of 2 lemons

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8”x11” baking dish** or tin and line the base with parchment, leaving some to hang over the long sides.

Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat for about 2 minutes until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until the cake is golden brown, has shrunk a little from the sides, and springs back when lightly touched in the center. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then lift out, with the parchment still attached, and place on a wire rack set over a tray.

While the cake is baking, make the topping. Mix the granulated sugar with the lemon juice and stir to a runny consistency. Brush or spoon the mixture over the surface of the warm cake and leave to set. Remove the parchment and cut into pieces to serve.

* Lemon balm works well as an alternative for the lemon verbena.

** The original recipe called for a 9”x12” tin and a cooking time of 35-45 minutes.

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