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Lemon Tea Cake

  • Author: Taming of the Spoon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This lemon tea cake is light and lemony thanks to the lemon drizzle. It’s delicious with a cup of hot tea for a great afternoon snack or light dessert.



For the cake

  • 1 2/3 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Powdered sugar, for serving (optional)

For the lemon drizzle

  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.   Spray with non-stick baking spray an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. 
  3. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Reduce the speed to low  then add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk, in 3 additions, until well-blended, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. 
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  5. Bake cake for about 40 to 50 minutes or just until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. 
  6. While the cake is baking, make the lemon drizzle. Stir the sugar, lemon juice, and water together in a small saucepan over low heat until mixture comes to a low simmer and the sugar is dissolved.
  7. Remove the cake from oven and set on a cooling rack.  Poke holes in the hot cake with a wooden skewer, then evenly spoon the lemon syrup over the top of the cake.
  8. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a wire rack. Let cake cool completely then dust with powdered sugar (if desired), slice, and serve.

Keywords: lemon tea cake, what to serve at a tea party, snack cake, lemon dessert

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