Lemon Drizzle Cake

Tantalise the table – let them marvel at the sharp and fresh flavour, succulent moistness, and the firm but light texture. Let them enjoy it. Let them ask for the recipe. Listen for the comments from the gluten-intolerant – “But that’s just like real cake!”

Then, and only then, boggle their minds and tell them the secret ingredient – mashed potato!

Update – another recipe, from Christmas 2016; based this time on a tin of beans.


  • 7oz/200g butter
  • 7oz/200g sugar (I use half soft brown, half caster)
  • 3 eggs
  • 6oz/175g polenta
  • 8oz/225g mashed potatoes
  • zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder

  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • a little water
  • yellow rind of half a lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon


  • Pre-heat oven to 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4. Butter and line a deep, 8 inch/20cm round cake tin.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating after each addition.
  • Mix in the polenta, cold mashed potato, lemon zest, and baking powder. Add the lemon juice.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin, level the top, and bake for 40-45 mins. The cake should be golden – a skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, and allow to rest for 10 minutes or so, before turning it out on to a wire rack.

  • Meanwhile, make a syrup with the sugar, water, and lemon rind; heat together until the sugar is dissolved, then boil for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and add the lemon juice. Strain and spoon over the warm cake.
  • Allow to cool completely before slicing.

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