28 February 2016

Caraway & Lemon Sponge Cake - deliciously light as a feather!

I can't remember why I suddenly had a notion to make a caraway seed cake, all I know is that I'd been trying to make one for the last week or so.  Well, when I say "trying to" what I mean is trying to find time, rather than trying to and failing in a welter of eggs, butter and flour!

It has been an absolute dog's age since I last made a caraway seed cake and I recall the last one was very successful.  I've used caraway in various savoury recipes (braised red cabbage, that sort of thing) and had plenty to call upon in the cupboard - which always helps.

So this cake is actually a collaboration between Saint Delia Smith of hallowed baking and cooking fame and myself.  You see, I took Delia's Caraway Seed Cake recipe (just click on the link to see it) and adapted it with somewhat spectacular results.  It's often an extremely dodgy thing to do, adapting something like a cake recipe, but I've always been a tryer.

Because I'm me, I just had to consider a bit of a spin on an old favourite and decided to pair lemon up with the caraway.  It seemed to me to be a compatible pairing.  Delia's recipe uses ground almond and I didn't want that, so out that went and I simply replaced it with the same amount of flour.  To up the lemon influence, I added a small amount of lemon essence along with the lemon zest.

Oh boy, what a team we make, Delia and I.  The cake baked well, rose beautifully and smelled divine.

The addition of the lemon juice drizzle icing is perfect in that it adds a yummy zing to the cake and the caraway comes in once the lemon calms down, adding a deliciously warm aromatic element to the flavour.

The texture of the cake is just perfect, if I say so myself.  Light as a proverbial feather, it dances across your tongue like a deliciously cakey zephyr, leaving mouthwatering lemon and comforting caraway flavours.  Mmmmmn, get the kettle on Mother, I'll cut us another slice!


Ingredients :

225g self raising flour

175g salted butter at room temperature
175g golden caster sugar
3 rounded tsp caraway seeds
zest of 1 lemon
half a tsp of lemon essence
3 large eggs
4 tbsp milk (I used skimmed goat milk).

For the icing :

3 tbsp icing sugar
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon.

Method :

Pre-heat the oven to 180degC/350degF/Gas 4.

Prepare a 2lb loaf tin by lining with either a pre-formed tin liner or with baking parchment.

Take a large mixing bowl and add all the cake ingredients (not the icing ingredients!).

Now, using an electric hand whisk, mix the lot up until you have a smooth, creamy consistency.  It really is as easy as that.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.  Take a moment to level the surface to achieve a more even bake.

Place into the oven on a low shelf for 60-65 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  It will be worthwhile checking the cake at around 40 minutes and placing some baking parchment over the top (we know this as "putting a hat on it!") if the cake looks particularly brown.

Once done, let the cake cool in the tin for some 10 minutes, then remove onto a cooling rack.

Once the cake is cool, mix together the icing ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle the icing over the top of the cake.  Allow some time for the icing to dry - and tuck in!

Printable version


  1. Sponge cake is light and i love it, but the Greek's have something that makes this seem heavy! Called Karidopida; it uses 8 eggs - separated and whipped, only 1 cup flower and 2 cups sugar. It allows for some variations, which i do often

    1. Goodness me, that sounds incredible!

  2. I'm making this now, it's in the oven and smells delicious. I replaced some of the flour with 50g ground almonds, only because they were in the box and needed using. I only had 2tsp caraway seeds but think that will be plenty. Will put pictures on fb later

    1. Oh great! :D Well, the original recipe for the just plain caraway seed cake used 50g of ground almonds, so you should be just fine. :) The cake will come out slightly more substantial because of them, but I can't see that it will do it any harm! :D I shall look forward to seeing it!


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