This is probably the most baked desert in my house – you can never go wrong with a classic loaf cake. This version adds blueberries, raspberries and almonds with a tangy lemon icing.
Prep 15 minutes | Cook 50 minutes | Cuts into 10 slices
2 lemons, zested and juiced (reserve juice for later)
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
75g ground almonds
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp milk
150g mixed berries
20g flaked almonds
80g caster sugar
1 ½ lemon juice
80g Icing sugar
½ lemon juice
1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 3. Lightly grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest on high for 3-4 minutes until it turns pale, light and fluffy.
3. Lightly beat the eggs and gradually add to the mix, whisking well between each addition.
4. Sift in the ground almonds, flour and salt, folding to combine.
5. Add the milk and gently fold in half the berries being careful not to break them up.
6. Spoon into the loaf tin levelling out the top with the back of a spoon and scatter over the rest of the berries and flaked almonds.
7. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top and a skewer test comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown too quickly, cover the top with a sheet of foil while it continues to bake.
8. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup by gently heating the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan, until the sugar is all dissolved and the syrup begins to bubble.
9. When the cake has finished baking, leave to stand on wire rack to cool. While it is still warm, prick all over with a fork and gently run a knife around the edge to loosen the sides from the tin. Pour the syrup all over the cake and leave to cool completely in the tin.
10. Prepare the icing by sifting the icing sugar to remove any lumps and mixing with the lemon juice to form a white paste. Add a little more icing sugar if it's too runny or a few drops of water if it's too thick - you want to drizzle it over the cold cake so that it doesn't completely run off the sides.
11. When the cake is completely cool, carefully remove the cake from the tin and drizzle all over generously with the icing. Leave to set before slicing up and serving.