Lemon Travel Cake
Lemon Travel Cake
Course: Desserts

A simple and easy recipe that all your guests will love! Matt demonstrated how effortless this recipe is on the Get Baking! Stage at the BBC Good Food Show Winter 2022. Check out the recipe below for this classic dessert.

Serves: 8
Cooks in: Preparation Time: 30 mins plus chilling, Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy


For the lemon cake 
300g unsalted butter  
215g caster sugar 
1 lemon, zest 
270g whole eggs  
15g baking powder 
325g plain flour + 1 tbsp 
1 tsp lemon extract 

For the lemon sugar syrup 
60g lemon juice  
60g caster sugar 

For the lemon glaze 
125g icing sugar 
2-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice + zest to decorate 


  1. To make the cake, heat oven to 150C / 160C fan / gas 3.5. Start by making your clarified butter. Place the unsalted butter into a medium saucepan and place it over a low heat. Ensure the heat is not high otherwise the butter will bubble up – by keeping the heat low it is easier to split the milk solids from the rest of the butter.
  2. Once the butter has melted and the milk solids have formed on the top of the saucepan. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. This will just make it slightly easier to scoop them off as they will start to solidify ever so slightly.
  3. Once the butter has cooled slightly, use a ladle to very carefully skim off the milk solids off the top of the butter and place them into a separate bowl. Once you have removed the milk solids, carefully ladle the clarified butter into a clean bowl. Try to ensure you don’t scoop out too much of the water or other milk solids on the bottom of the pan. Weigh the clarified butter to the required amount and set it to one side.
  4. Into a bowl, add the sugar and the lemon zest. Massage it together so that the sugar is nice and aromatic.   
  5. Into the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl, add the eggs, sugar and lemon mix, baking powder and 325g flour. Mix on a low speed for 2 mins. Try not to overwhip the mixture and add too much air.
  6. Re-heat the clarified butter so that it is around 50C. Slowly drizzle this in, along with the lemon extract and mix until everything is homogenous.
  7. Lightly grease a 2lb/900g loaf tin, and then add 1 tbsp of flour. Shake it around the tin to ensure it is fully coated then tip out an excess. Pour the cake batter into the tin.
  8. Add a small amount of soft unsalted butter into a piping bag and pipe a thin line down the centre of the cake. This will help to control the cracking and help to achieve the classic crack down the centre. Bake in the oven for 1 hr 30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  9. While the cake is baking, make the lemon sugar syrup. In a pan add the sugar, lemon juice and 60ml cold water. Bring to a boil just until all the sugar has dissolved and then set it to one side to cool. 
  10. Once the cake has baked, immediately remove it from the oven and poke a few holes in the top. Pour your lemon sugar syrup all over the top of the cake (you might not quite need it all – just enough to soak the cake). Allow the cake to completely cool in the tin.
  11. To make the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and then squeeze over some fresh lemon juice. Add just enough lemon juice so that the icing is the consistency of a slightly runny glue. 
  12. To assemble, remove the cooled cake from the tin. Use a pastry brush to apply a thick layer of glaze all over the cake. Pop the cake back in the oven at 180C for 3mins until the glaze has set. Once baked, decorate with some meringue kisses along the top of the cake, and then finish by adding some lime and lemon zest.