If you’re looking for a lemon traybake recipe that’s easy to make and yields the lightest and most wonderfully moist cake EVER, you’re in the right place! Just like my lemon meringue pie, this lemon traybake cake has a perfectly balanced lemon flavour that’s not too sharp and not too sweet. It’s just right. Even goldilocks would love this one! Read on for the full recipe, helpful tips and much more…
The first thing you should know about this lemon traybake recipe is that it’s not a ginormous one. Being a small family of 3 (with the third being only 5 years old) I don’t need 400 portions of cake. But I almost certainly still want cake! Hence why I use a smaller and more modest 20cm (8″) square tin instead.
Also, if you haven’t gathered over the last few years, lemon is pretty much my favourite flavour. It’s light, it’s refreshing and all round – just perfect. From no bake lemon cheesecake to 4 ingredient lemon cookies, I’ve pretty much made it all. Then I realised that I’d not actually made a traybake! I mean, it’s so obvious when you think about it.
And don’t you really hate it when you see a glorious looking cake, then you take a bite and it’s as dry as a desert?? Well I promise you there’s no spitting feathers with this lemon traybake recipe. This right here is a perfectly moist cake. Yep, I said it. MOIST. I know some of you despise that word but it very accurately describes this cake. So there.
It really is such a simple recipe to follow and honestly makes one of the best tasting lemon cakes I’ve had in a long time. You absolutely need to try it for yourself!
Not this particular recipe no. ‘Free from’ baking is very much an exact science and requires a little more than just substituting a few ingredients. I highly recommend this dairy free/vegan lemon cake recipe instead though! It’s CRAZY good.
Here’s the lowdown on how to make a seriously delicious lemon traybake cake.
And that is it my friend! A perfectly exquisite and super moist lemon traybake cake in 6 easy steps.
Here’s all you need to know about the ingredients required for a lemon traybake.
If you have any doubts or worries before starting this recipe, these helpful tips should hopefully quash them all!
Here is what you will need to make 9 large slices | or 16 small squares | or 18 small finger pieces.
(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)
For the Cake
For the Drizzle
For the Buttercream Frosting
*Take your butter and eggs out the fridge 1 hour before using to bring them to room temperature. The butter in particular needs to feel softened before using.
Preheat your oven to 170°C/Fan 160°C/338F and lightly grease and line your baking tin with baking paper.
(It’s worth noting here that I am a lazy liner. I usually only use one sheet to line the base and two sides, then use some trusty wooden pegs to stop the paper from falling onto the cake.)
Weigh out all the cake ingredients into the bowl of an electric stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk. (135g | 1/2 Cup + 1/8 Cup Unsalted Butter, 135g | 2/3 Cup Golden Caster Sugar, 165g | 1 + 1/3 Cup Self Raising Flour, 1 + 1/4 tsp Baking Powder, 2 Eggs, 3 tbsp Milk, Zest of 1 Lemon.)
Then beat until it’s nice and smooth. Don’t over beat it – keep a close eye on it and beat only until everything is just blended.
Don’t panic too much if there are a few little lumps of butter still in there, so long as it’s mostly smooth it will be ok.
Next, tip the cake batter out into your prepared tin and smooth out.
(See? My trusty pegs!)
Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 16 – 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
While the cake is still in the oven… mix together the juice of 1 lemon and the caster sugar (50g | 1/4 Cup) in a jug. Keep mixing until the sugar has dissolved.
While the cake is still warm, poke holes all over with a skewer.
Time for some REAL moisture! While the cake is still warm – carefully pour the lemon sugar mixture evenly over the top of the whole cake.
Then allow to cool completely before moving on to the next step.
In an electric stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, beat the butter (125g | 1/2 Cup + 1/8 Cup) until it’s really soft. You will likely need to scrape the bowl down once or twice.
Next, add half the icing sugar (125g | 1 Cup) and beat again until it’s light and fluffy. Start on a slow speed and work up to a higher one – you don’t want to create a mushroom cloud of icing sugar here!
Lastly, add the remaining icing sugar (125g | 1 Cup) and the lemon juice (2 tbsp) and beat again until it’s really light and fluffy. It should also look quite pale in colour.
Once your cake has completely cooled, remove it from the tray and peel off the baking paper.
Place it onto a serving plate or cake stand and smooth the icing over the top.
Tadah! You’ve now got yourself a rather luscious looking (and tasting!) lemon traybake cake. If you’re feeling fancy, top with 3 thin slices of lemon for decoration.
If you like generous portions, cut your traybake into 9 pieces. If you prefer smaller more modest portions, cut into 16 pieces. If this is for children, cut into 9 large pieces then half them to create 18 small finger slices.
Store your cake in an airtight container (I prefer metal) at room temperature and consume within 3-4 days.
Will this beautifully moist and delicious lemon traybake cake be making it’s way into your home? I’d love to know if it is! Send me your pics, comments and questions on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You need the right equipment! Check out my favourite Products That Make Baking Easier!
*Take your butter and eggs out the fridge 1 hour before using to bring them to room temperature. The butter definitely needs to feel soft before using.
Cut your cake into 9 large pieces, 16 smaller pieces or 18 finger slices for child sized portions.
Store in an airtight container (metal is my favourite) at room temperature and consume within 3-4 days.
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Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.
As featured on Julia’s Simply Southern Meal Plan Monday #224