I made this as a thank-you to my friend Ema. There is something very old-fashioned about this cake. It’s not fancy, but it is very tasty.  And the crunch of the demerara topping really lifts it from being a little boring, to something special.

The recipe for the cake is from Lorraine Pascale’s Fast, Fresh and Easy Food, but the topping came from something Felicity Cloake wrote in The Guardian.


For the cake

  • 125g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 4 tbsp poppy seeds

For the drizzle

  • 100g demerara sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

The cake

Set the oven to 180C (fan 160C).

Cream together the butter and sugar and vanilla extract.

Add the eggs one at a time, whisking continuously.

Sieve in the flour and baking powder, then add the zests and the poppy seeds and gently stir through.

Pour into a lined baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. (I was surprised how quickly it cooked).

The drizzle

Mix together the lemon juice and sugar for the drizzly topping.

When the cake is cooked but still warm, pierce it with a skewer to make holes for the drizzle. Pour the drizzle all over, and allow to cool and set.

Top tip: check your teeth after eating!