Lemon Cake with Crunchy Topping

Malaysia MCO (Movement Control Order) has created many home bakers… does that includes me? Well, not quite. But I would have to say, that actually triggered me and inspired me to go back to bake again.

It’s been exactly a year I didn’t bake after the Cempedak season. And lately found new lab rats in the office, and lab rats also give me good comments and criticizes that gives me some idea to make the cakes better.

Baking to me at times it’s rather painful…. Why? I’ve been suffering from migraine whenever there’s a hot weather or lack of ventilation or to the point it’s not cold enough. That actually stopped me from baking, the suffer can be killing. It can drag for many days as well. But yesterday weather was rather gloomy, and since I have plenty of Self Raising Flour and lemons at home, might as well bake something different. Here comes my Lemon Cake with Crunchy Topping.

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
Total Cooking Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Cake Tin Size: 22cm (9 inch) Square Tin

250g (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened (I used Lescure French butter, it’s more fragrant)
200 g (6 ½ oz) caster sugar
2½ teaspoons finely grated lemon rind/zest
4 large eggs, lightly beaten (I used grade AA)
2 cups (250 g / 8 oz) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tables spoons lemon juice
¼ salt

½ cup (125 g/4 oz) sugar (I used less than ½ cup)
¼ cup (60ml/2¾ fl oz) lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to warm 170°C (325F/Gas 3). Lightly grease a 22cm (9 inch) square tin and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a small bowl with electric beaters until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon rind/zest, then add the egg gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  3. Transfer to mixture to a larger bowl. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the combined sifted flour, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt, as well as the lemon juice. Stir until the mixture is just combined and almost smooth.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface.
  5. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. Remove from the tin and turn out onto a wire rack.
  6. For the topping, mix together the sugar and lemon juice (do not dissolve the sugar) and quickly brush over the top the warm cake. The juice will sink into the cake, and the sugar will form a crunchy topping.  Leave to cool.


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