Matcha lemon drizzle cake with candied lemons

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Elly adds matcha to her version of the classic lemon drizzle cake to give it a wonderful colour and subtle green tea flavour. The result is a deliciously moist cake with a sweet citrus flavour.

First published in 2016

With its fragrant lemon syrup, sticky candied citrus and emerald green crumb, this is a grown-up version of the classic lemon drizzle cake. Matcha adds both an incredible colour – this is undoubtedly one of the prettiest cake batters you’ll ever make – and an aromatic, slightly herbal flavour that works beautifully with the lemon. The cake is beautifully moist with a soft crumb, and although it isn’t too sweet in itself, it’s drizzled with a dark, rich lemon syrup, given a flavour boost from whole lemon slices and a smattering of sugar.

The candied lemon slices are easy to make but add a beautiful decorative touch, elevating this to a special occasion cake, although it’s fabulous at any time of day with a cup of tea. The cake is incredibly simple to make, but packs a sophisticated flavour punch. If you’re a fan of lemon green tea, this is your favourite beverage in buttery cake form, and if you’ve never tried baking with matcha, this is an easy and delicious introduction.




Matcha cake

Candied lemons and syrup

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 80g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 100ml of water

To serve

  • icing sugar, for dusting


For the syrup and candied lemons, place the water, sugar and lemon juice in a small pan and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a low simmer
Place the sliced lemon in the pan with the syrup and simmer over a low heat, turning occasionally for around 40 minutes, until the lemon slices have turned translucent and softened
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.5 and grease and line an 8x21cm loaf tin
While the lemons are boiling make the cake batter. Beat together the butter and sugar until thick and creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition
Sift in the flour, baking powder, matcha and salt. Fold into the mixture until well combined
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake
Once the lemon slices are cooked, remove them from the syrup and leave to cool on a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Reserve the syrup, keeping it in the pan
When the cake comes out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer. Warm the syrup in the pan, then pour the it over the cake so it soaks in. Dust the top of the cake with a little icing sugar
Arrange the candied lemon slices over the top of the cake and leave in the tin until completely cool. Remove from the tin, cut into slices and serve
First published in 2016

Elly McCausland is a food writer based in Yorkshire. She is a keen gardener and loves cooking with home-grown produce.

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