35 minutes was enough time for the exterior of the cake to take on a golden brown hue, which I then topped off with the lemon sugar glaze.
One tip Berry encourages is to brush the glaze all over the surface of the cake, including the sides, which ensures the crunchy texture is evenly distributed.
After letting it cool down to room temperature, I sliced the tray bake into thick cubes and was pleased to see how fluffy the inside looked.
Removing a corner piece was all it took for me to know the cake had cooked evenly. As my knife cut into the cake, I could hear the crunch of the layer of icing before it seamlessly slid down to the bottom, indicating that the bulk of the cake was light and fluffy.
There was also a thin, dark yellow layer at the top of the cake, which showed the icing had soaked through.
I understood why Berry swears by this cake from the first bite — it’s light, fluffy, and so addictive that I ended up going back for seconds.
As I’d opted for baking the recipe without lemon verbena, there was a part of me that was slightly worried my attempt to recreate Berry’s signature lemon drizzle cake would lack in flavor and zest. After taking my first bite, I was relieved to find that was far from the case.
The flavors of the lemon zest and juice in the icing hit immediately but weren’t overly bitter since they were balanced with the sweetness of the sugar.
I also loved that it had textural variation, even though it was relatively simple. The cake itself was moist, light, and fluffy, but the icing — which gave it a professional glimmering sheen once dried — provided a perfectly contrasting crunch.
Once I’d finished my first slice of cake, I took a break to make myself dinner and then found myself returning for an additional two slices. It’s so good, and so easy to make, that I now understand exactly why Berry says she’s been making it routinely since the 1960s.