When life gives you lemons, you make this lemon crunch cake

Published: August 6, 2016
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I am a little obsessed with this idea of a crunchy/contrasting topping on cakes. I am also a little obsessed with all things lemon – desserts like this lemon mousse-y creation or a generous squeeze at the end of Pakistani dishes like fish biryani. When I saw a recipe for a lemon drizzle tray bake in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, a thoughtful gift from one of my three favourite brothers and his wife, I knew it had to be. The lemon crunch cake is easy to put together – you literally just dump all the ingredients in the bowl and mix till smooth. The fabulous crunch topping is as simple as lemon juice plus sugar and it totally works! 

The original recipe was called lemon drizzle traybake, but since I turned it into a cake because I don’t own a 12*9 pan and found that the singular most delightful feature was the crunch of the sugar topping, I felt that a little renaming was in order so lemon crunch cake it is. This is definitely a lemon lovers cake – if you are not of the “gee what else could I put lemon on variety” then you can scale back the lemon juice from the juice of two lemons to 1.5, if you just want a mild flavour. I initially made the lemon crunch cake with ¾ cup sugar in the topping and it didn’t quite cover the top so I suggest going with the full cup if you want the full crunch effect. This cake pairs wonderfully with summer berries and creme fraiche and keeps well for two to three days.

Ingredients

For the cake

Softened butter – ½ cup

Neutral oil (I used canola) – ½ cup

Sugar – 1 cup

Self-raising flour – 2 ¼ cup

Baking powder – 2 teaspoons

Eggs – 4

Milk – 4 tablespoons

Lemons zest – 2 lemons

For the crunchy topping

Sugar – ¾ cups

Juice – 2 lemons

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour a 9-inch pan or a 12*9 inch tin.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat until blended.

3. Pour the batter into the pan and level the top with a spatula.

4. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean. This took me 45-50 minutes.

5. Invert the cake out when it is cool enough to handle onto the cake plate you will be using.

6. Combine the lemon juice and sugar for the topping in a bowl and spoon the mixture over the warm cake.

Notes

1. Making your own self raising flour is easy – for this recipe take 2 cups + 3 tablespoons of flour and combine with 4.5 teaspoons baking powder + ¾ teaspoons of salt.

This post originally appeared here.

All photos: Sarah Mir

Sarah Mir

Sarah Mir

The author is a Pakistani Canadian bakeaholic mama of two making her way through a delicious life. She tweets at @flourandspice and her Instagram is (www.instagram.com/flourandspiceblog/)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.