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Juliet Sear's guilt-free lemon drizzle cake

Can you actually have your cake and eat it? Juliet’s here to prove that you can, as she makes a guilt-free lemon drizzle cake but with half the calories. Diet-friendly and delicious. Double helpings anyone?!

Lemon drizzle cake


80g melted low-fat spread 

80g self-raising flour 

½ tsp baking powder 

2 large eggs 

80g caster sugar 

2 lemons, finely grated zest 

¼ tsp salt

For the lemon syrup

30g caster sugar  

2 lemons, juice only 

50ml water

Plus extra tsp caster sugar for serving - optional 

To note

Total calories for the whole cake – 1208 calories 

Method is for 8” round 3inch deep tin


1. Heat oven to 170C fan. Lightly grease an 8-inch/20cm round cake tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment. Lightly grease the inside of the parchment too.

2. Melt the low-fat spread and leave to cool

3. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt into a bowl

4. Whip up the eggs, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on high for about 5 minutes until it has trebled in size and stiffer, leaving ribbon trails

5. Pour in the cooled low-fat spread into the fluffy egg mix and gently fold through with a spatula taking care not to knock out the air

6. Sift about a third of the flour onto the mix and gently fold, repeat with two more sieves of the flour and fold through very gently keeping the air in the mix

7. Bake in the oven for about 20-22 mins until risen, golden, spongy, and completely cooked through. Leave to cool slightly in the tin for a few minutes. 

8. While the sponge is baking, make the syrup. Tip the caster sugar into a small saucepan with the lemon juice and 50ml water. Heat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat, and boil for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced and syrupy, then remove from the heat.

9. While it is still warm, turn the cake out of the tin carefully (tip – I place some baking parchment onto my rack that I put on top of the tin so that when I turn it out, I can then turn it back onto another rack so the top is uppermost, and this prevents the cake top getting damages as it is fragile. Then carefully lift away the parchment and add the syrup as below)

10. Brush over half the lemon syrup and let it soak in for a few minutes, then brush over the remaining syrup over the top and allow it to fall over the sides a bit. Leave to cool, then if you want to add a little extra sugar crunch just before serving, I used my fingertips just to sprinkle a little extra golden caster over the top of the cake, just a teaspoons worth. 

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