Every one needs a standby cake. A cake which can be made quickly, with minimal ingredients and results in guaranteed deliciousness. The kind of cake that can be made in those minutes between getting home from work and cooking dinner. A cake that can be rustled up when bleary eyed and dull with sleep or thrown together when some unexpected entertaining is required. Or as is often the case with me a tasty cake I can magic up when I suddenly realise I’d promised to bake for an event I’d since completely forgotten about . For me that cake is always a Lemon Drizzle Tray Bake, or to be more precise ‘Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Tray Bake’.
If you don’t bake or think you can’t bake or just don’t have the time to bake, then is the cake for you. I guarantee one bite and you and anyone else that tries it will be smitten. A few store cupboard ingredients, a roasting tin and a modicum of enthusiasm is all you need
So this is what you need……
225g softened butter
225 g castor sugar
275g self-raising flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons of milk
finely grated rind of 2 lemons
For the Crunchy Topping
175g granulated sugar
juice of 2 lemons
And this is what you do……
- Preheat your oven to 160C /Fan 140C/Gas 3
- Grease and then line with baking parchment a tray bake or roasting tray 30x32cm
- Measure ALL the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and beat well until blended (yes it really is that easy)
- Turn all the ingredients into your prepared tin
- Bake in the oven for 35-40mins it has shrunk from the sides and springs back when pressed with fingertips
- Cool in the tin for a few mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. (a grill tray will do if you don’t have a cooling rack)
- Make the crunchy topping by mixing together the granulated sugar and lemon juice until its runny.
- Spoon as evenly as you can over the cake it will dribble down the sides) whilst still warm
- When cold cut into 30 squares or something similar and tuck in.
Grating lemons is an instant boost to the senses. Its a ray of sunshine in your kitchen which is why the is such a lovely cake to bake during the winter. It also freezes very well so pop half into the freezer and give the illusion of being one of those organised perfect domestic types whenever you feel the urge.
The perfume that fills the kitchen whilst the lemon drizzle is doing its thing in the oven is joyful and uplifting. For that reason alone I urge you to give it a go.
(This recipe is from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible BBC Books 2009)
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