Grilled Vanilla Lemonade Cake

By Raybird. 
Servings: 8. Non-Vegetarian (Contains egg) 

The first time we ate a grilled muffin was about seven years ago, and we have been dreaming about it ever since. At the FD test kitchen we tried the same technique using our classic lemonade-soaked vanilla cake, with profoundly delicious results. The cake is light and fluffy and can be enjoyed without grilling of course, but to take it to the next level, develop a crispy crust, and draw out all the complex flavours of its caramelised proteins and sugars, grill a slice on a hot pan. After all, that is what gives a pancake its unique sweet and nutty flavour and aroma. Pro tip: spread some more butter on top after grilling. 


Butter, soft 2/3 cup (142g)
Sugar, castor 1 3/4 cups (350g)
Eggs, small-medium size, room temp 3 each
AP Flour 2 cups (240g)
Baking Powder 1 1/4 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Milk, room temp 225g (1cup)
Lemon juice 1 tbsp (15g)
Vanilla Pod, fresh 1 each
TGJ Apricot Marmalade or Fresh Strawberries To serve

Lemonade soak

Lemon Juice 70g, about 4 lemons
Water 1/2 cup (120g)
Sugar, castor 2 tbsp (25g)


1. Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl where you will be mixing your batter. You could use a stand mixer or hand mixer for mixing.

2. Weigh out the dry ingredients - AP Flour, baking powder and salt, in a container and mix them. Combine the milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice in another container and let it sit.

3. Break your eggs into another container. Cut your vanilla pod lengthwise, scrape out all the seeds with the blunt side of a knife and add them to the eggs. (Save the outside of the vanilla pod for another use).

4. Preheat your oven to 180C. Grease your loaf pan with butter and line the bottom with baking paper. 

5. Start mixing your batter. Scrape the bowl with a spatula after each addition. First cream the butter and sugar until the sugar has melted into the butter and it is light and fluffy. Don't rush it, it should take at least ten minutes to be properly creamed. Now add the eggs and vanilla and continue mixing for three minutes. Next, add the dry mixture and mix just until it is incorporated and there is no dry flour. Last, add the milk/lemon mixture and mix just until you have a smooth batter. If you used cold eggs or milk, your batter might look curdled, but it will be okay. 

6. Pour your batter into the loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes at 180C. Poke it in the centre with a thin skewer and bake until the skewer comes out clean. While your cake is baking, make the lemonade soak by combining its ingredients

7. Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and while it's hot poke very small holes all over it with a thin skewer. Immediately pour the lemonade evenly over the cake. Let it sit and absorb the soak.

8. After cooling the cake will still be very wet and impossible to slice or grill so keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours uncovered.

9. Carefully unmold the fully-chilled cake. Slice it into 3/4-inch thick slices. If you have a grill pan, use it to grill the slice on medium heat first at a horizontal and then vertical to get nice crosshatch grill marks on both sides, don't keep moving it around. If you don't have a grill pan, just grill the slice of cake on a normal pan until golden brown on both sides and slightly charred on the edges.

10. Serve with our apricot marmalade or fresh strawberries. Enjoy!