Perfect Lemon Cake

If you’ve been looking for the perfect lemon cake, this is it. The lemon juice added to the batter creates a lovely, fresh lemon scent. Then, while the cake is still warm, it is topped with lemon syrup and candied lemon peel to enhance the flavour even more.

Time: 55 mins


  • 2 lemons
  • 140g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g pouring cream, heated to lukewarm
  • 110g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 35g unsalted butter, melted
  • sliced candied lemon peel, for decorating

For the syrup

  • 50g sugar
  • 125g water


Making the batter

Wash the lemons and pat dry with paper towel. Grate the zest from each lemon into the sugar to preserve the flavour. Juice the lemons and set aside 25g of juice to make the syrup. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in a mixing bowl until the mixture starts to become pale and thickens. Add the warmed cream and stir to combine. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Finally, add the melted butter and stir to make a smooth and shiny batter.


Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Lightly grease and line two loaf tins with baking paper. Pour the batter into the tins and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and make an incision in the tops using a knife. Reduce the oven temperature to 155ºC and return the cakes to the oven to cook for about 35 minutes, or until the blade of a knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cakes. Remove from the oven, turn out the cakes and allow to cool.

Making the syrup

Put the sugar, water and reserved lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Brush the sides and top of the cakes with the syrup, or dip the whole cakes briefly in the cold syrup to lightly moisten them. Decorate the cakes by placing strips of candied lemon peel on top.


Thanks to the lemon syrup, these cakes stay moist for several days and are ideal for wrapping and taking to the country for a picnic, enjoying for afternoon tea or as a weekend dessert.

Recipe taken from À la Mère de Famille by Julien Merceron

Founded in 1761 as a family-run store, À la Mère de Famille has since become one of Paris’s most loved and treasured sweet shops with several stores now operating throughout the French capital. The cookbook À la Mère de Famille is filled with beautiful recipes from this famous confectioner and heart-warming stories from its beloved patrons. Recreate French bonbons, fruit jellies, classic gateaux and truffles at home. Learn how to make caramels, candied nuts and confits all beautifully presented in classic French fashion, making À la Mère de Famille the haute cuisine of confectionery. Beautifully presented in a gorgeous hardback volume, perfect for a gift.

You can purchase À la Mère de Famille at

Published by Hardie Grant Books.

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