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Lemon and Turmeric Tea Cake

Lemon and Turmeric Tea Cake

I was lucky enough to interview Bake Off star, Chetna Makan, for Birdfeed recently, to talk all things baking, good food and supper clubs.  As part of my preparation, I tried my hand at Chetna’s Tumeric and Lemon tea cake recipe, a super reliable formula that you can put together in minutes, allowing for a half hour bake to follow.

I’ve added extra spices, as Chetna’s use of turmeric reminded me of ‘Golden Paste’ , a spice blend that I often enjoy in hot milk – turmeric is combined with cinnamon, ginger and cardamom plus black pepper to activate, and is said to be good for aching joints and digestion. I drink it because it tastes good.

I’ve also dressed the cake with a fudgy, glace icing. This is one to be done by eye, as the amount of liquid icing sugar can absorb, can vary, depending on storage condition. Add the liquid drop by drop, and if the icing becomes too runny, balance it up with extra icing sugar.


150g butter, (I used dairy free butter, Pure to keep my daughter happy)

150g caster sugar

150g self raising flour

3 eggs

Juice and zest of one lemon

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp turmeric

Pinch of ground black pepper

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cardamom

To dress

250g icing sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp milk (again, I used a plant milk..for my daughter)


Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin and set your oven to 170c.

Using your stand mixer, combine together all the dry ingredients.

In one go, add the butter, eggs, zest and juice. Slowly beat until well combined. Take care not to over beat, as this over develop the flour gluten and make the crumb tough.

Transfer the batter to your prepared tin and bake for 30-40 minutes. Keep an eye on the bake and if it starts to catch in the heat, cover loosely with a foil hood.

Allow the cake to cool completely before icing, and serving.

To make the icing, first whisk the icing sugar to break up any lumps.  Slowly add the milk and juice, gauging quantities for a fudgy finish.

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