Zesty Lemon Loaf Cake

This is a perfect spring-time celebration cake for all the family. Bursting with fresh lemon zest, the buttery melt-in-the-mouth sponge is sweetened with honey and topped with a creamy lemony frosting. Both the cake and the topping are no hassle to make – you can have the cake mixture in the oven within 10 minutes!

You can have fun decorating with lemon curd and lemon zest – I went for neat lines, but you could let your creativity run wild by adding fresh flower petals or whatever takes your fancy!

Spelt contains gluten, so for gluten-free and dairy-free options, see the Notes at the bottom of this recipe.

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Zesty Lemon Loaf Cake

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Rest Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Baking, Lunch Boxes & Picnics, Snacks & Treats
Servings 10 Slices
Suitable for Special Diet (or adaptable) Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Sensory, Vegetarian



To decorate


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (conventional) or 160°C (fan). Line a 2lb loaf tin.
  • Break the eggs into a jug and whisk together. Set aside.
  • Cream together the butter, honey and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Pour in the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture curdles a little, add a tablespoon of the flour and keep beating to bring the mixture back together. Sift in the flour and baking powder, and gently fold through until just combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Whist the cake is baking, make the frosting. Put the Greek yoghurt, cream cheese, honey and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Leave the cake to cool in its tin for 15 minutes, then remove and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cake is cool, top with the prepared frosting and decorate with lemon zest, and a little piped lemon curd (optional).


  • Make sure your butter is very soft, to make it easier to beat together the butter and honey in the first step.
  • If you’d like to make this in a round cake tin use a 20cm diameter and check it after 35 minutes in the oven as it may take less time to cook.
  • To make this dairy-free, swap the butter for dairy-free spread, the yoghurt for a coconut yoghurt and the cream cheese for coconut cream.
  • You can use a gluten-free flour in place of the spelt flour. I like Doves Farm Freee Plain White Flour or Sorghum flour. Don’t forget to check that your baking powder is also gluten-free.
  • Bake and freeze before decorating if you make it ahead of eating. Then defrost and decorate before serving. 
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