Easter orange cake with lemon icing recipe

(37 ratings)

This Easter orange cake with lemon icing is a light, fresh-tasting alternative to simnel cake. It's easy to make and kids love getting involved in decorating the top

Easter orange cake with lemon icing
(Image credit: Getty / rome2015)
Preparation Time25 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time55 mins (plus cooling time)
Cost RangeMid

This delicious Easter orange cake with lemon icing is the perfect zesty alternative to a traditional simnel cake.

It's light and fresh and really zingy - with orange flavour in the sponge itself and a complimentary lemon in the drizzly icing. It's a very simple cake to decorate - just make sure the icing is syrupy enough to trickle down the sizes a little, but not so runny that it all pours off. You'll need about 25 minutes to prepare this cake for the oven, then it cooks in about half an hour. Allow time for it too cool before icing it. This is great to serve up at a sunny afternoon tea over the Easter long weekend. Decorate with bunnies and chicks, or for something a little more sophisticated, try slices of dried lemon and edible spring flowers.


  • 150g (5oz) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 150g (5oz) caster sugar
  • 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 tbsp juice)
  • 175g (6oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • Easter decorations such as chicks and mini eggs




  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Grease and base-line a 20cm (8in) diameter square cake tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, caster sugar, flour and eggs until light and creamy. Stir in the orange zest and juice then spoon the mixture into the cake tin and level the top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until risen and golden and feel firm to the touch. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then take it out of the tin, peel off the paper and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. To make the icing, keep a little lemon zest back for the decoration, then beat the icing sugar, lemon juice and the rest of the zest together to make a smooth, runny icing. Using a palette knife, spread the icing over the top of the cake and let it drizzle down the sides. Leave to set. Scatter over the reserved lemon zest and decorate with Easter decorations.

Top Tip for making Easter orange cake with lemon icing

If you don't have self-raising flour for your cake, then simply add 2½ tsp baking powder for every 8oz plain flour and it will rise perfectly.

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies