Lemon Syrup Cake

Lemon and Poppy Syrup Cake

Courtesy of Jamie Oliver (well, his Nan actually), this is a delicious version of the usual lemon syrup cake with the addition of ground almonds and poppy seeds. You can make it in a loaf tin of equal proportions. Done right, this fairly simple cake can look pretty impressive with the icing dribbling down, the lovely poppy seeds and a red raspberry on top to decorate.

Lemon Syrup Cake

Ingredients Makes 12-16 Slices

  • For the cake
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 190g self raising flour
  • 270g ground almonds
  • 45g poppy seeds
  • Zest and juice of 3 lemons
  • For the lemon syrup
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 140ml lemon juice
  • For the lemon icing
  • 225g icing sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin, buttered and lined with greaseproof paper


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C
  2. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter with the caster sugar until light and creamy
  3. Add the eggs one by one, beating each in well and adding a spoonful of flour after each addition to stop the mixture from splitting
  4. Fold in the ground almonds, poppy seeds, the lemon zest and juice and sift in the rest of the flour
  5. Spoon the mix into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until lightly golden. You can check to see if the cake is cooked by inserting a wooden skewer into the centre, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. If the cake is going too brown on top and the centre is still gooey, loosely cover the cake with tin foil
  6. Put the cake on a cooling rack and as soon as you can, turn it out of the tin
  7. Make the lemon syrup by heating the sugar and lemon juice in a pan until the sugar has dissolved
  8. While the cake is still warm, make lots of little holes in the top with a wooden skewer and pour the syrup over, using a pastry brush to spread it over the cake. If you can, turn the cake upside down and do the same on the underside, leave to cool completely before making the icing
  9. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon zest and juice, stirring until smooth. You may need to use a little extra water, or if it is a big juicy lemon, add the juice slowly as you don't want the icing too liquid and running off the cake
  10. Put the cake on a serving plate and pour the icing carefully over the top
  11. If you put it on to the middle of the cake, then let gravity disperse the icing down the sides, it may need a helping nudge with the back of a spoon or palette knife

Delicious Mountain Cookbook

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