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The Tangy Tale of Lemons: From Ancient Times to Lemon Cake Delivered to Your Doorstep

Lemons have been a staple ingredient in the culinary world for centuries. With their tangy and refreshing flavour, lemons have been used to enhance the taste of dishes ranging from savoury to sweet. One particular lemon-infused dessert that has stood the test of time is lemon cake. This delightful treat has become a beloved classic, known for its moist texture and zesty flavour.

In recent times, with the rise of online food delivery services, lemon cake delivered straight to your doorstep has become a popular option for those seeking a sweet and tangy indulgence.

But where did this beloved cake originate, and how has it evolved over time? Join us as we take a journey through the history of lemons and lemon drizzle cake.


From Origins to Modern-Day Delivery: A Look at the Sweet and Tangy History of Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle consistently ranks as the nations favourite cake, a survey of 2000 adults attests to this. Made by drizzling sponges fresh from the oven with lemon juice or syrup, this sweet and zesty infusion gives the lemon drizzle it’s irresistible, tangy, moist sponge.  

It is unclear when the lemon drizzle cake originated, but people attribute the first recipe in Britain to Evelyn Rose. Published in the Jewish Chronicle in 1967, it was to become one of her signature recipes. She titled it ‘Luscious Lemon Cake’  

There is very little lemon drizzle cake history beyond that. However, it has appeared in old Irish cookery books and through anecdotal evidence, it is believed to have been popular at weekend fishing and hunting parties.

Even though lemon drizzle cake is considered a relatively recent creation, people have enjoyed lemon sponges for a while. And now, thanks to businesses like ours you can now have a zesty lemon cake delivered next day.


The Use of Lemons in Baking

Lemon has been a cherished ingredient in cake recipes since the 1700s, adding a refreshing tang to the sweetness of baked goods. The prevalence of this versatile ingredient makes it difficult to pinpoint a specific recipe that started the trend. However, it is believed that today’s lemon cake is derived from the traditional pound cake, which has been a popular dessert for centuries.

In a recipe published in London in 1817 by Thomas Kelly, he includes ‘a little lemon-peel shred fine’ to be added to the cake batter. Fast forward to 2023, you can now have a delicious lemon cake delivered straight to your doorstep.


An analysis of Mrs Beeton’s Shilling Cookery Book, published in 1864, revealed that lemon was a key ingredient in 6.9% of its 608 recipes. Inferring that lemons have been a familiar item in British kitchens for many years. Lemons and other citrus fruits are popular because they have a longer shelf life compared to other fruits that are more prone to spoilage.

From the Himalayas to the Mediterranean: Tracing the Fascinating Journey of Lemons Through Time

Lemons have played an important role throughout human history. They, along with other citrus fruits, are some of the earliest fruits to have been cultivated by humankind. While the exact origin of the lemon is unknown, a genetic study has found that they are a hybrid between a citron, and a bitter orange.


All popular citrus fruits; lemons, oranges and limes, are derived from the cultivation of several species of naturally occurring citrus trees. These ancestral citrus trees originated in the southern base of the Himalayan region. Southern Europe initially dominated the trade of lemons, where the fruit has grown in abundance since the early 2nd Century.

Lemons have been in wide use in Britain since their mass importation from the Azores in 1494. People have utilized lemons for various purposes such as preserves, marmalades, cakes, drinks, and they even played a role in the successful defeat of the French Navy during the Napoleonic wars! This was possible because of the world’s first documented randomized clinical trial.

Scurvy Prevention and Beyond: How Lemons Served as a Lifesaving Medicine in the Royal Navy

In 1747 James Lind, a surgeons mate in the Royal Navy took 12 men suffering from symptoms of scurvy and divided them into equal pairs. They were each given a previously suggested remedy for scurvy. These remedies ranged from; half a pint of sea water a day, two spoonful’s of vinegar, and crucially, two oranges and a lemon a day.
Doctors then identified citrus fruits as a cure for scurvy, and the Royal Navy subsequently rationed them with every ship’s supplies. This led to sailors in the Royal Navy earning the nickname “limeys.”


The history of lemons and lemon cake is a testament to the versatility and enduring popularity of this humble fruit. From their refreshing taste to their health benefits, lemons have definitely stood the test of time.

Have a Lemon Cake Delivered to Your Door

There are three simple steps to have a Lemon Cake delivered to your doorstep from The Gift of Cake:

1: First, choose either a Sublime Lemon Drizzle Cake or a Gluten Free Lemon & Almond Cake
2: Then, your choice of gift wrapping and add any extras, like candles, teabags or a cake topper
3: Next, add your personalised message
4: Finally, enter your delivery and billing details and we’ll take care of the rest!


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