Eggless lemon cake

Rind of 2 lemons, grated
Juice of 3 lemons
250 gr self raising flour
225 gr sugar
200ml milk
200ml olive oil
75ml water
4 tbsp sugar or to taste

Add lemon rind, and 2/3 of the juice (without straining), sugar, milk, oil and flour and mix well.

Do not preheat the oven. Set the temperature at 160C and bake for 15 minutes. Then raise the temperature to 180C and bake for 45 more minutes.

While the cake is cooking, make lemon syrup.

Add water, juice and 4 tbsp sugar to a pan. Simmer until temperature reaches 110C or when liquid starts to thicken.

When cake is cooked, remove from oven and make a few holes on the top. Pour hot syrup over the cake still in the mould.

Let it cool down.

Serve. This cake may crumble when you cut it. If left to rest for one day it becomes easier to cut. A couple of hours in the fridge is also recommended.

This cake is a variation of my Spanish tea cake. One day I happened to start making the Spanish tea cake when I realised I had no eggs in the fridge and too many lemons in the fruit bowl so I decided to improvise a bit and this recipe was the result.

Some people have commented in this post that their cake is doughy in the middle. That is not my experience. The cake in the picture was cooked in a 20cm tin, but usually I cook it in a loaf tin. It may be that baking the cake in a smaller tin overcomes the doughy problem.


32 thoughts on “Eggless lemon cake”

  1. Hi,

    thanks for the recipe. i made it yesterday and it was delicious.

    one question: I followed the recipe and only took the cake out of the oven after the 15+45 minutes and after i put a knife in to it to see if it was dry. But when i cut the cake to eat, the inside was not as fluffy as yours and was a little bit doughy. it also did not really rise much. how is this possible?

  2. How cooked the cake is will depend on the type of oven you have as well. Mine takes about an hour to cook but you may need an extra 10 or 15 minutes. When you cut it after adding the syrup it will be quite moist but it shouldn’t taste like uncooked flour.

    I used self raising flour to make this cake and I’ve noticed that with older flour the cakes don’t raise as much as if the use by date is longer.

    Also, last time I made this cake it sunk in the middle but it was still good. This could be due to overbeating of the batter, underbaking (most likely cause) or to moving or jarring the cake before it’d baked sufficiently or opening the oven door before the cake has set. You should only open the oven door if absolutely needed, one-half to three-quarter’s way through baking.

  3. Thanks! I’m going to try to make this monday again, I’ll see if it works if I leave it in longer and try different flour ^^

  4. hi,

    me again! I made it 5 more times and everytime it ends up flat. And I tried everything you said :(. I just tell everybody its supposed to be like that and EVERYONE loves it! So thanks a million

  5. Rani

    it is a heavy cake. It may look fluffy in the picture but it’s not. It crumbles easily as well. It’s easier to cut after one day in the fridge. My sister also couldn’t get it cooked in the middle but she has one of those microwave ovens that doubles up as a regular oven.

    But as you said, it may not look good but it tastes great.

  6. thanks so much! I will try to make it today with 300 gr.. and well now i know yours just looks fluffy I suppose its notto bad then ^^
    But its a great recipe anyway!

  7. Mine is baking in the oven right now!

    Rani – what size tin are you using? Your tin may be too big ^_^ I baked with a 22cm rather than a 20cm once and it made all the difference.


  8. The cake in the picture was baked in a 20 inch round tin but usually I bake it in a loaf tin. Molly may be right! Tin size matters.

  9. Thanks so much for your amazing recipe. I’ve made it three times so far and two times it has turned out amazing and everyone loves it. There’s a perfect mix of sweetness and sour and everyone says it’s perfect.

  10. Thanks! When I think the recipe was born out of an oversight… I was the first one to be pleasantly surprised by the result.

  11. dam it i didnt read the whole recipe and started cooking it in a rush with my screaming toddler at my feet and added the water to the cake grrrrr hope it works

  12. How did the cake work out with the water? Did it cook or was it doughy in the middle? It would have been very lemony.

  13. The oven has to be preheated right? Did not understand what you mean by “put in a cold oven at 160 for 15 min and then 180 for 45 mins.” I guess oven to be preheated at 160 then cake is to be placed for 15 mins. Then before changing the temp to 180 the cake has to be left in the oven or to be taken out till preheated to 180?

  14. No, you don’t preheat the oven for this one. The reason is that without preheating and starting at a lower temperature the cake raises more and better.

    Other people have tried baking this cake at 180 all the way through and apparently it turns out ok.

  15. So, to clarify, place the cake in the oven and then turn it on at 160C. Leave it at 160C for 15 minutes then raise the temperature to 180C for 45 minutes or until it’s completely cooked.

  16. This cake has a very strong lemon taste, it’s not subtle. If you don’t add enough sugar to the syrup, it may be a bit bitter, yes.

    Did you taste your syrup? The recipe says “4 tbsp or to taste”. If you found it too bitter then it may need a sweeter syrup. Keep adding sugar to the syrup until you like the taste.

    Maybe you used very juicy or large lemons. In that case, use the juice of 2 and a half lemons.

  17. Hi,
    I tried your recipe but even after cooking for 45 min in oven at 180 degrees, the cake from inside remained white in colour and it seemed it is uncooked though i tested it with a knife while in the oven , the knife came out dry.

    Do we need to put baking powder and baking soda too.

  18. Hi, Your cake may look uncooked even if it’s cooked. It happened to me last weekend and I think why that happened. The syrup was not the right consistency. The syrup needs to be a bit thick, not too watery. I was in a hurry and mine hadn’t started to thicken. If you did the knife test and the cake was cooked then I’d assume it was the syrup. Otherwise you may want to cook it bit longer and add the syrup evenly after the cake has cooled down. Teresa

  19. Is it really meant to have 200ml oil? So oily! And there is no way this mix would’ve fit in a loaf pan. Taste wise it’d be nice if the oil wasn’t so overpowering.

  20. Kara, you can adjust the amount of oil to your taste. The amount of oil is comparable to the amount of butter used in many cakes. I do not taste the oil in this cake personally but then again I usually cook with olive oil.

  21. Mine is in the oven right now and i adapted to it as the mixture tasted too much like olive oil. I’m 12 so i always have a little taste! I ended up putting more sugar in, a touch of maple syrup/ golden syrup and ill see how it turns out!

  22. I put the milk in before squeezzing the lemon juice and it seems to have curdled…and just realised I have no flour for 30 mins…everything else is in will it still be okay or should I remake arghhhhh!

  23. Hi Mridula. I don’t know if a microwave will work. I’ve only made cakes in a microwave using egg as the binding agent.

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