At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Granny's Lemon Cake :) With a gorgeous topping that's as crunchy and crisp as a frosty Christmas morning! ;)

Another recipe I dedicate to my wonderful granny <3 Lemon cake is, unarguably, one of her favourites - I don't think I have ever known her to decline a slice, even though sometimes she sets me the rather difficult task of cutting the "teeniest" piece - which is not, believe me, easy!! :p

Never fear, I am most certainly going to post some Christmassy recipes this week and next week - how could I call myself the Ganache-Elf if I didn't do so?? ;) - but as the title of this post suggests, this cake certainly has a wintry kind of touch to it. Even more so when you bake it on a cold December afternoon, so that you can enjoy it with a hot mug of tea sitting by a roaring log fire with the fairy lights twinkling and those Christmas tunes that you've heard about a hundred times at this stage floating gaily from the radio. <3

Ahh...for me, Christmas sure is about memories and ritual, loved ones coming together, chocolate overdose (especially this year..Ganache-Elf is most certainly going to release her inner chocaholic ;) ), and, of course, baking. At this magical time of year, many of us like to make that extra bit of effort and take some time to prepare something truly special in their very own kitchen. And alongside the roast turkey and the ham and the brussel sprouts...we have all those delicious, utterly irresistible baked delights. Mince pies, shortbread and Christmas biscuits, the Yule log, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. Would you agree with me in saying that Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without baking? ;) 

And of course, Christmas has another significance for me in regard to baking. For it was in Christmas 2008 that my baking journey truly began in earnest. The culinary endeavours that took place within the Snelgrove household that particular December were what first inspired me to explore the world of baking for myself.

But anyway, onto how to make this truly scrumptious, exceedingly lemony sponge. It's as light as a feather and beautifully moist, and only takes a little time to put together and bake. Try to use a fresh juicy lemon for this recipe - if your lemon isn't very juicy you might need to squeeze half of another one. :)

  • 125 g margarine, softened
  • 180 g golden/white caster sugar
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp full-fat milk
  • 1 large lemon
  • 125 g granulated sugar
  1. Grease a 7 inch/18 cm deep round cake tin and line the base with a piece of baking paper. 
  2. Finely grate the zest off the lemon and squeeze out the juice.
  3. preheat the oven to 180 c/160 c.
  4. Soften the margarine in a bowl with an electric mixer and then add the caster sugar, the eggs, the flour, the baking powder and the milk. 
  5. Whisk for about 2 minutes until smooth and well-blended, then stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, before resuming mixing for another minute.
  6. Fold in the lemon zest with a large metal spoon. Transfer the cake batter into the prepared cake tin.
  7. Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes, until well risen, golden, and cooked. Test by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake - it should come out clean and not sticky with wet cake batter.
  8. When the cake is almost cooked, make the topping: mix the granulated sugar with the lemon juice in a bowl. When you remove the cake from the oven, make a couple of little holes in the top with a skewer (if you haven't done so already when you tested it :) ), and then pour over the sugary topping. 
  9. Leave to cool in the tin, then when it's completely cold remove from the tin and place on a plate. 
  10. Eat on its own with a fork or maybe even have some for pudding with cream or warm custard... <3 simple, but exquisite. Lemon cake has to be one of those classics which will never go out of fashion. :)


  1. Baking Christmassy things is so special! A week or so ago I made gingerbread cookies with my brother (well, it was more like me making the cookies and him cutting out the shapes ;)) and it was nice even though I was tired, haha! That lemon cake looks soo good!! I love the holiday season because even if its cold outside (which I love!) people are so especially warm at this time of year :)

    1. I can't agree more Olivia!! there is something truly magical about baking at this time of year...tomorrow I am going to make my first batch of mince pies and I am so excited about it ;) it's almost like baking at christmas brings out the child in you, just as seeing the presents under the tree does!!
      Aww thank you hun <3 it rose beauitfully! And that is such a lovely sentiment <3 Happy Christmas hun! <3 xxxxx

  2. Hiii wow that cake looks amazing!! And the topping that goes on it yum!! I really should try it out some day!! Yes I totally agree Christmas baking is the best!! In a few days time I am going to make my yearly gingerbread house! Which is one of my fav times around Christmas!

    1. Hi Livvy! <3 Happy Christmas! <3 Aww thank you so much Livvy! I would really recommend this cake, it is quite simple to make but absolutely divine and so lemony ;) oooh I have never made a gingerbread house!! I will be sure to look on your blog for it ;) lots of love Emmy <3 xxxx