24 January 2016

The Best Damn Lemon Cake?

January is always a tight month in our house. Christmas bills come in and we start replenishing our savings. January is also the month where we try to cut back on our shopping bills, use up what we have in the cupboards and freezer and start a general clear out. A head start on the spring clean if you like. I am partial to a good dose of uncluttering, so the kitchen is my favourite place to begin. However on inspection, my baking cupboards were looking a little bare, a first I think, but nevertheless bare. So I set myself a challenge...

No NAME BRAND baking products this month. 

The budget was set and I opted to buy all store or own brand ingredients. Bakers are always told to buy the best ingredients they can afford but maybe the less expensive ingredients shouldn't be looked over. I wanted to test to see if they were up to scratch. I don't shop in one specific supermarket, I shop around and hit a few of them but this month I decided to buy all my baking ingredients from Lidl*. 

I found I was pleasantly surprised with their baking selection, it has come a long way and offers some lovely choices. The Cake Slice Bakers and I are flying through Maida Heatters Cakes and this month I opted to make "The Best Damn Lemon Cake" on page 21 which perfectly coincides with my bake-on-a-budget idea.

The Best Damn Lemon Cake

The Cake:
125g Bellbake ground almonds
180g The Pantry self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
125g Dairy Manor butter (melted)
225g Bellbake sugar
2 eggs (free range)
125ml Morning Fresh buttermilk
1 bottle lemon essence
finely grated zest and juice of two large lemons

Preheat the oven to 350F/ 180C or Gas Mark 4. Line a a loaf cake tray with a liner, or butter it up and dust it with flour. Tap out the excess flour and leave the tray to one side.
Sift together the baking powder, flour and salt.
Melt the butter and add to the a bowl with the sugar, beat to mix a little.
Add the eggs on at a time until just incorporated.
On a low speed mix in the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk and scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
Mix in the lemon essence.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, add in the grated zest and fold through the ground almonds.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

Bake for 45-65 minutes until the skewer inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs on it, but dry. Two to three minutes before the cake comes out of the oven, make the glaze.

The Glaze:
155g Bellbake sugar
85ml of lemon juice

Stir the lemon juice and sugar in a small pot over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Do not allow it to boil.

When the cake comes out of the oven, let it stand for a few minutes. 
Brush the glaze over the cake and allow it to seep in. Try not to apply the glaze quickly. Let it soak in before the next application. (Or if you're anything like me and start the glaze as you really need to be heading out the door to swimming, you'll just poke a few holes and pour it over slowly!!)

Allow the cake to completely cool, then pop it in the fridge over night to soak and settle.

This cake is very, very lemony. It is very, very moist and is most definitely DAMN DELICIOUS!! The results from my bake-on-a-budget were a resounding success. The ingredients from Lidl stood up to the test and I am really pleased with how this cake turned out. My cupboards are restocked and I am happy to say that I will be baking with Lidl's products again. 

Moving past all that check out what the other bakers made... And welcome our new members to the group by swinging by and saying hello!

* I wasn't, AT ALL, asked to endorse Lidl's products. All the opinions expressed are my own and I have not been paid or sponsored to do this. This is not a review, more of a look-what-I-did (points to lemon cake) while saving some pennies and it paid off. Kind of a for your information post, if you like. It's sharing a bargain, and I love to share a good bargain!!


  1. That looks absolutely delicious! Those slices look like a perfect texture and I love the brightness of lemon this time of year. I find good food doesn't have to be expensive, you just have to be smart about it!

    1. I totally agree Carlee, good food can be made cheap. You just have to find the right ingredients! Thanks for stopping by x

  2. I never usually buy branded baking products, I often find that Sainsbury and Waitrose own brand produts are great to bake with plus cheeper. Love your photos here Hazel, I often struggle taking photos of loaf cakes. Your version looks mouth watering, its making me want another slice of this delicious loaf.

    1. This cake was really great, wasn't it? Thanks you for the comments on my photos. Loaf cakes are really hard to photo, they are just so ordinary. It took me a while to get this how I wanted it to look!

  3. I too need to clear out my pantry and ingredients fridge! Enjoyed reading your post and am happy that you find this lemon cake lives up to the name Maida gave it!

    1. Clear it out and let me know what you make... I bet you have some lovely nuggets left over in your pantry Emily x

  4. By sheer coincidence I also bought baking products grom Lidl this month, a first for me. I was really pleased and their soft brown sugar has the best texture ever... not a single hard, dark lump and much cheaper than anywhere else. Your lemon cake looks near damn perfect!

    1. I LOVE their soft brown sugar, used it in a crumble not so long ago and it was perfect! The shop keeps surprising me!

  5. Baking can get very costly! There are some great recipes that do well with generic brands...
    Great tips! Glad the cake was a success!

    1. I am looking forward to trying out more recipes with generic brands Anabel, I think more folk might be inclined to bake from scratch if they thought the costs could be kept low!

  6. I adore lemon cake!! This one sounds and looks delicious. I mix storebrand and namebrand ingredients in all of my shopping and that includes baking, I find that they can be just as good. xx

    1. That's my new plan now too Amy! Have a great week! X

  7. Ok you are going to think I'm nuts…but I just realized that this was you!!!! I was still looking for you at your other blog wondering where you went! Your photo here is gorgeous!!! Missed you buddy and your beautiful work! Though I know that I have seen it on Instagram! Just glad to reconnect here! Have a great week lady! Happy making!! Nicole xoxo

    1. Nicole you are nuts! But all the best folk are!! So glad you are here and hop you'll pop by again xxx Have a great week my dear x

  8. Ooh what a great looking lemon cake - it really really most taste lemony with the whole bottle of lemon essence :-) ...but lemon flavour is good in my book. I too have started buying supermarket own brand products for baking and have found my bakes come out just as well.
    Angela x

    1. oh the more lemon the better for sure!! I am glad that you are an own brand convert too! I am delighted so many are... Sings great news for my pockets!! X


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