Frosted lemon and olive oil cake with candied lemon zest


This nostalgic lemon and olive oil drizzle cake is the perfect combination of sweetness and tartness. The cake is made with a classic lemon and sugar base but with added olive oil for some extra depth of flavour, then topped with candied lemon zest dusted in sugar and drizzled with a lemon infused glaze. 

First published in 2024
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Candied lemon zest

  • 2 lemons, peel sliced off and finely sliced, avoiding the white pith
  • 150g of caster sugar, plus 50
  • 150g of water

Lemon cake base

Lemon soaking syrup

  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • 100g of caster sugar

Frosted lemon glaze



Begin by making the candied lemon zest. Take the finely sliced lemon zest and place in a pot of simmering water for 2 minutes. Drain the water and repeat with a fresh batch of water for another 2 minutes

  • 2 lemons, peel sliced off and finely sliced, avoiding the white pith

Combine the sugar and water in a pot then simmer the zest in the simple syrup for around 10 minutes, or until the zest is tender 

  • 150g of caster sugar, plus 50
  • 150g of water

Transfer to a clean tray lined with parchment paper and leave to dry for a couple of minutes. Dust the zest strips in caster sugar then set aside until needed 


For the cake base, preheat the oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with parchment paper 


In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Use the tips of your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar  until they release the oils and smell fragrant, and the zest breaks down slightly 


Add baking powder and salt then mix to combine 


Add in the beaten eggs, lemon juice and vanilla bean paste then, using the paddle attachment, beat until the batter reaches a ribbon-like consistency 


With the mixer running on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil then add in half of the flour. Add in half of the cream then the remaining flour and mix well. Once almost incorporated, add in the remaining cream

  • 112ml of olive oil
  • 210g of plain flour
  • 120ml of single cream

Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin, then dip a dough scraper in olive oil and press into the centre to create a defined crack in the middle of the lemon cake 


Bake for around 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean 


Meanwhile, prepare the soaking syrup by mixing together the lemon juice and water until the sugar has dissolved 

  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • 100g of caster sugar

Once the lemon cake comes out of the oven, let it cool for five minutes then brush well on all sides with the lemon soaking syrup 


Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack, then prepare the glaze 


Sift the icing sugar into a bowl then add the lemon juice one tablespoon at a time until it is a smooth consistency 


Spoon the icing over the cooled loaf then top with the candied lemon zest. Leave to set for around 30 minutes then slice and serve 

First published in 2024

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