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Lemon and almond cake

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This moist lemon cake with its sugary crust is so good it won't last long. Make one extra and freeze (un-iced) for another day.

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For the icing


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease the base and sides of a 20-22cm/8-8½in round cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.

  2. In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric hand whisk or wooden spoon. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time. When the eggs are fully incorporated, fold in the flour, then the almonds and lemon zest.

  3. Scrape the mixture into the tin and tap the sides to release any air bubbles. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the sponge is lightly golden-brown, coming away from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

  4. While the cake is still hot and still in the tin, stab it with a chopstick or some such weapon all over the cake, making 15 or so holes. Drizzle the lemon juice into the holes and all over the cake then leave in the tin to cool.

  5. When you're ready to serve the cake, make the icing. To make the icing, mix the lemon juice, a little at a time, into the icing sugar to make a smooth paste. Remove the cake from the tin and smooth the icing on the top, then serve.

Recipe Tips

This is brilliant to make a day or two before serving and it also freezes well. Just add the icing on the day you serve it.

Try and buy unwaxed or organic lemons when using the zest. To extract the maximum amount of juice, make sure the lemons are at room temperature, and firmly roll them back and forth under your palm a couple of times before juicing - this helps to break down some of the flesh's fibres.

How-to videos

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How to cream butter by hand