Saturday, 15 February 2014

Day 15 of Extremely Frugal February - Lemon Drizzle Cake

Day 15 of 28 - Luxury Cake Day!

Lemons and limes, bantam eggs and a cold kitchen... I know! Turn on the mini oven and bake a luxury lemon drizzle cake because let's face it, nothing can go wrong, can it?
Usual frugal living winter rules apply - to afford the luxuries, we have Scottish porridge for breakfast and soup for lunch!
Pre-heat your mini oven (or ordinary oven, if you have a cooker) to 180C - this helps to warm up your otherwise freezing cold kitchen while you work in it.
The zest of 2 lemons (they're 5 for £1 at the moment)
175g sugar
175g butter or margarine
225g self-raising flour
4 small eggs
Blitz the above until the mixture looks thick and creamy, pour it into a lined or greased loaf tin and pop it into the oven for about 45 minutes.
If, like me, you have a mini oven that doubles as a grill, keep an eye on the
cake as it bakes to prevent the top being burned when the element in the grill comes on to maintain the temperature. I normally sit a piece of tin foil over the top as soon as the cake looks as though it has stopped rising, but forgot today, so this one burned slightly.
Squeeze the juice from the 2 lemons into a jug and mix in about 100g of sugar - this will be your drizzle frosting. I sit the jug on top of my mini oven to help the sugar dissolve.
Check that the cake is baked all the way through by sticking a fine blade knife or skewer into the centre - if it comes out dry & clean, the cake is baked. Remove from oven and prick the top of the cake several times with your knife or skewer to create 'drain holes' for your lemon syrup mix then drizzle the liquid over the top until it has all soaked into the sponge-cake.
As you can see, this one got slightly over-browned where it was below the heating element of the oven but that sort of thing doesn't worry me.
Allow your cake to cool before removing it from the tin. The sugar lemon mix will act like a glaze as it trickles and soaks into the cake, leaving a lovely frosted effect on the top.
Once cold, (OK, read that as once it is cool enough to handle without it falling apart) you can sample a slice with your cuppa.
Ideally, I like to cut the cake in half - one party for eating on the day and the rest into the freezer, but seeing as there's the chance of visitors tomorrow, I'm using that as an excuse to keep the whole cake at the ready.
What can possibly beat a slice of freshly baked, warm lemon drizzle cake on a cold winter weekend? This is just one of the little luxuries of frugal living when your hens or ducks decide to lay a few unexpected eggs mid-winter. Now I just need a couple more eggs to let me make the next jar of lemon curd and a batch of coconut macaroons.

Almost forgot to factor in tonight's dinner!

I had planned on having Spaghetti Bolognese, as I'd taken a carton of the Bolognese sauce from freezer to defrost. Trouble is, I always, always, always forget to label the tubs and this one turned out to be a carton of the spicy lentil soup. So, a swift change of plan and this is in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch. Half a pack of wholemeal pasta quills boiled, tin of tomatoes added, poured over some instant cheese sauce and then grated a little cheese over the top before popping it under the grill for 10 minutes, BINGO! Costs less than 75p to make and easily serves 2.


  1. Oh yes! ..cake!.. the very thing for this cold weather. We had ginger and syrup sponge and custard yesterday .. just to beat the winter blues you understand.
    Got my Approved food order yesterday despite the awful gale blowing. I had ordered the pitta bread .. loads of it for £1 and the bread/roll mix which works a treat. And our favorite ... custard ..a huge bag for next to nothing.. cant beat AF.
    Cin up ... must soon be spring!
    Vicky ... AngleseyAllsorts.

    1. Pitta breads in my order, too, but I still had plenty of bread mix and custard powder from a previous order. Do you make your syrup sponge in the microwave? It's another of our favourites here, but we just love puddings! I do try to make them with fruit whenever possible, to help with the 5-a-day thing. :)

    2. I make them in the oven .. when its on .. filling it up to maximise the use of and try and make it cost effective. I choose not to have a microwave ... not many powered gadget-y things really. Jam sponge is another favorite .. I make lots hedgerow jam.
      Can't beat a nice pudding.

  2. Looks like I shall be making this tomorrow when the oven is on for dinner. As I have lots of those little bottle of lemon juice from AF, which came in my last order. I'll add some to the cake mix as well.

    1. Lemon drizzle is my 'default setting' for cake-making. (Had to adopt the term, it's so apt. LOL)

  3. Mmmmm...NYK! I'm gonna make your recipe this week!sounds delicious!

  4. That looks lovely. Like your tip re the tinfoil, I'll give that a go next time I make this.

    Your chickpeas recipe from day 13 - are you frying the chickpeas? and do you add the sesame oil near the end? Thanks!

    1. Hi :) I didn't have any olive oil, so that's the only reason I used sesame oil. Fro the roasted ones, I poured a little oil into the bottom of a tray then added the chick peas and sprinkled over the salt, pepper and spice mix. By swirling them about, it spread the oil and flavourings. It's just enough oil to make the flavour stick to the chickpeas. You the roast these in the oven. Hope this helps. (I eat them like peanuts.)

  5. I am baking peanut butter cookies this morning, as we have no cookies in the house and its ages since I have baked. Love your lemon loaf, is the recipe from the Be-Ro book?

    1. Hi Gill :) it's an adapted/frugalised version of one that came from a free supermarket magazines some years ago.


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