Heavy with almonds and drenched in syrup, this lemon drizzle cake recipe is absolute heaven
- 225g (8oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 225g (8oz) caster sugar
- zest 4 lemons, juice 1 lemon
- 150g (5oz) marzipan, chopped into small chunks (about 1cm/½in squares)
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 150g (5oz) self-raising flour
- 100g (4oz) ground almonds
- 1tsp baking powder
- juice 3 lemons
- 3tbsp Amaretto (optional)
- 4tbsp caster sugar
- 200g (7oz) icing sugar
- lemon juice
- toasted flaked almonds and lemon zest, to decorate
- 20cm (8in) springform cake tin, lightly oiled and bottom-lined
Heat the oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, 350 F, gas 4. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then add the lemon zest and juice, and the marzipan pieces – try to keep them separate so they don't stick together.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will probably curdle because of the lemon juice – don't worry, it will come back together when the flour is added. Sift in the flour, stir through the almonds and baking powder, and beat briefly until smooth.
Transfer the mix to the cake tin, level the top and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, before turning the oven down to 170 C, 150 C fan, 325 F, gas 3, and baking for a further 50 minutes. Cover the top of the cake with foil if it begins to look too dark, but only after it's been cooking for 30 minutes.
About 5 minutes before the end of cooking time, make the drizzle. Put the lemon juice and Amaretto in a pan, and heat until steaming. Stir through the sugar, and when the cake is cooked, pierce it all over with a skewer and pour over the syrup. It will take a little while to be absorbed, so be patient! Once all the liquid has been absorbed, remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool completely. You can freeze the cake for a month at this point.
To glaze, mix the icing sugar with just enough lemon juice so that you have a very thick glacé. Spoon over the cake and edge down the sides with the back of a spoon. If it needs readjusting once on the cake, use a wet finger to push it into place. Decorate with toasted flaked almonds and lemon zest, and serve. This will keep in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.