Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Lightest Lemon Squares

Light lemon cake squares.

The other day my daughter came home from school and (after proudly showing me the red autumn leaves she had found in the playground that day as well as an energetic, full length rendition of "The Farmer in the Dell" - oh to be four again!) told me that her class had celebrated a birthday that day and that the birthday boy had brought a lemon cake to school for everyone to share. It made me think of this recipe which is one of those that I have had for years, scribbled on a piece of paper and unceremoniously shoved inside a notebook. It is a fantastic recipe and worthy of a more permanent home here on the web and not just on a scrap of paper!

Lemon cake with lemon zest and lemon butter icing.

Lemon butter icing with lemon rind and lemon juice.

This is a lovely, light cake with a soft crumb and a delicate lemon flavour. Did I mention how light it is? These dainty squares make a delicious tea time treat - I would not blame you if you gobbled up a few in one sitting. This cake will also keep well for a couple of days when stored in an airtight container. 

Light lemon cake with lemon butter icing.

So if life gives you lemons... whip up a delicious lemon cake I say!

Edit: In August 2017 I made these on the Expresso Show. You can check out the video by clicking HERE.



Makes 24 squares

Delicious lemon cake squares.

150ml milk
80g butter
2 large eggs
200g castor sugar
1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
130g flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

For the lemon icing:

100g butter
250g icing sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp warm milk

Step 1.) Preheat your oven to 170°C. Grease a 20cm square baking tin and line the base with baking paper.

Step 2.) Place the milk and butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted, then set aside.

Step 3.) Whisk the eggs and castor sugar together until pale and thick. Add the lemon rind and the melted butter mixture. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix to combine.

Step 4.) Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.

Step 5.) To make the lemon icing: soften the butter in the mixer / using handheld beaters. Sift in the icing sugar and add the lemon rind and juice. Mix again until you have a thick icing. Add the milk and beat until everything is combined and you have a spreadable icing. (Add additional milk if it is too thick.) 

Step 6.) Spread the lemon icing over the top of the cooled cake. Cut into squares and serve. (Optional: decorate the squares with icing flowers/decorations.) 


  1. When do you add the milk and melted butter that you set aside? It seems to be missing from the steps.

    1. Well spotted! Thank you, I have made the edit. I must remember to check my recipes when I'm not keeping one eye on a toddler... ;)

  2. I love lemons. What a delicoius and beautiful looking cake!

    1. Thank you T! I pretty much love lemon anything, I'll have to bake this for you when you're back in town.

  3. I just finished making these. They're delicious! :-) I'll definitely make these again. They taste as just as nice without the icing, which is great too! Next time I'm going to make them as mini muffins :-)

    1. Thanks Tammi, so glad you liked them! Good idea about the mini muffins (yum!). It makes my day when I hear from people who have tried my recipes, thanks for taking the time to comment. :)