Lemon-scented syrup cake

Use the basic recipe from our iced lemon polenta traybake and transform it into this lemon-scented syrup cake. This gluten-free cake recipe ticks all of our boxes – it’s easy to make, looks beautiful and tastes divine. For a twist, try experimenting with other citrus like orange or lime.

Chris Alack


180g unsalted butter, softened and diced, plus extra for the tin
200g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
130g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder, sifted
100g fine polenta (for example Holland & Barrett Maize Meal)


100ml lemon juice
50g caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170 Cfan/gas 5. Butter a loose-bottomed 20cm cake tin about 7cm deep and line the base. Make the polenta cake mixture according to the basic iced lemon polenta traybake recipe, transfer to the tin, smooth the top and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and risen and a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean.

2. While the cake is baking, combine the finely grated zest of a lemon with 100ml lemon juice and 50g golden caster sugar in a small pan, bring to a simmer and allow to bubble for 5 minutes, then set aside.

3. Once the cake is out of the oven, drizzle the syrup evenly over the top, run a knife around the sides and leave to cool in the tin before removing. 

Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.