Soft Lemon Cake

5/5 - (4 votes)

I do love a good lemon cake and have many several on my blog over the past few years.  This particular recipe is for a soft lemon cake.  For that I am using a finely milled flour, which is known as cake and pastry flour.  This flour is finer than plain/all purpose flour and results in a fine crumb to the cake, supposedly.  The recipe will work fine with plain flour too so don’t fret if you don’t have cake and pastry flour but want to try the recipe.   You can even adapt plain flour into a good substitute for cake and pastry flour.  For each 150g of plain flour you can remove 2 tbsp of it and replace it with 2 tbsp of cornflour and mix together.  That will work very well.

The recipe doesn’t use butter, which is unusual for me since I like butter in my cakes.  Instead it uses a flavourless oil.  The oil keeps the texture of the cake soft.  In fact if this cake was cut into two layers and filled with whipped cream, and therefore needs to be refrigerated the texture would still remain soft.  If the same was done with a cake using butter the refrigeration process would cause the cake to become much firmer.

This is one of those recipes which is quite simple and doesn’t use too many ingredients.  It can all be done by hand, even though I used the little whisk on my immersion blender, just for ease. I find that these simple cakes are just the best, as they work so well time after time and don’t involve any complicated processes.  I am also a fan of quite plain cake which can also be served as a dessert with cream or custard when desired.  

Of course because the cake is a good size it also works well if cut into two layers to accommodate a filling and some frosting for those who want something more elaborate.

I was very happy with how my cake turned out, it baked well and, once cooled and sliced, it tasted so good.

This will be one of my ‘go to’ recipes for the future.

Soft Lemon Cake

Soft Lemon Cake – Video
  • 250g (2 cups minus 1 tbsp) cake and pastry flour (130g per cup estimate). If using plain flour 1 2/3 cups(150g per cup estimate)
  • 200g (1 cup of sugar)
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) flavourless oil
  • 100ml (1/3 cup + 4 tsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest from 2 lemons, finely grated
  • 3 medium eggs(large in USA)
  • 16g(4 tsp) baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • icing sugar to dust the top(optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/340F.
  2. Grease and flour the sides and bottom of a 9 inch/23cm springform cake tin.
  3. Place the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and whisk together until fully combined and somewhat frothy.
  4. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and whisk again to fully combine.
  5. Add the oil and whisk again to fully combine.
  6. Add the baking powder into the flour and stir around to thoroughly mix together.
  7. Add that dry mixture, a spoon at a time into the wet mixture and gently whisk to combine.
  8. When all the flour is combined with the wet mixture pour it into the prepared cake tin.
  9. Place in the oven for 50 minutes, or until nice and brown on top and a skewer, poked into the centre, comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cook in the cake tin for about 15 minutes. Then gently turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. If desired dust the top with some icing sugar before slicing and serving.

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