This easy Lemon Drizzle Tray Bake is perfect for feeding a crowd. The fluffy sponge has hints of finely grated lemon zest, and the topping is sweet, crunchy and tangy.
Lemon Drizzle Tray Bake is similar to Lemon Drizzle Cake but made in a large shallow rectangular baking tin. It's large enough to make 24 portions, so ideal for a gathering or to bring to a bake sale.
This recipe was inspired by my Lime Drizzle Cake, which has hints of lime instead of lemon!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Easy to make with 6 ingredients and minimal washing up.
- The perfect tea-time treat for a large crowd.
Note: The full quantities are shown in the recipe card below.
Unsalted butter (softened) - unsalted butter gives you complete control of the overall flavour of your recipe, as the salt content in different butter brands can vary a lot.
Self-raising flour - called self-rising flour in the US and Canada.
Caster sugar - also known as superfine sugar.
Eggs - use ones at room temperature if possible.
Vanilla extract - use vanilla extract or pure vanilla bean paste. Avoid using vanilla essence, as it's less intense.
Lemons - zest and juice.
Step by Step Instructions
Note: This is a summary of the instructions. The full ingredients and instructions are shown in the recipe card below.
1. Start by creaming the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and creamy.
2. Add the vanilla extract and eggs one at a time and beat well.
3. Sift the flour into the bowl and add the lemon zest.
4. Fold into the mixture until thoroughly combined. It's important not to overmix; otherwise, the cake will be dense.
5. Prep the baking tin with baking paper.
6. Add the batter to the baking tin and level the top with the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes. It's ready when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
For the Lemon Drizzle Topping
7. Whilst the cake is still warm, poke holes in the top with a toothpick.
8. Turn the cake onto a baking rack sitting over a baking tray to catch any dribbles. Make the drizzle topping and pour it over the cake to set.
Top Tip: Ensure to pour the lemon drizzle over the cake whilst it's still warm, so it soaks it up nicely.
- Drizzle Topping - instead of mixing lemon juice with caster sugar for the topping, you could use icing sugar as an alternative.
FAQs & Expert Tips
Yes, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just ensure it is wrapped tightly so as not to get freezer burn.
Keep the Lemon Drizzle Tray Bake stored in an airtight container and consume it within 3 days.
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Lemon Drizzle Tray Bake
- Use a slice/brownie tin measuring approximately 27.5cm (11") x 17.5cm (7") x 3.5cm (1½").
- 175 g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 175 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 175 g self-raising flour
- 1 lemon, zest only
For the Lemon Drizzle
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice, (1-2 medium sized lemons)
- 200 g caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 160°C fan / 180°C / 350°F and line a shallow rectangular tin with baking paper/parchment paper. Use a tin measuring approximately 27.5cm x 17.5cm x 3.5cm.
- Mix the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk until pale and creamy. This takes approximately 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat in the eggs one at a time. The mixture may split but will come together later on.
- Sift in the self-raising flour, then add the lemon zest and fold into the batter until well combined (be careful not to over-mix). Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and level the top with the back of a spoon.
- Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it onto a wire rack set over a tray (to catch any dribbles from the lemon drizzle topping). (See photo 8 in the recipe post).
For the Lemon Drizzle Topping
- Mix the lemon juice and caster sugar together in a small bowl to make the lemon drizzle. It should be a runny consistency.
- Whilst the cake is still warm, poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick. Pour the lemon drizzle over the cake and leave to set. Cut into squares to serve.
Nutrition: The nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with an online nutrition calculator.