This reinvented version of the classic Lemon Drizzle Cake is infused with the intoxicating aroma and flavor of passion fruits to produce a memorable treat.
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I’m sure you’ve heard of passion fruits, but have you ever tasted them? At my local grocery store, they’re sold individually wrapped for about $2 a piece. I treat myself to a few when I feel like making a spectacular dessert, such as my Dairy-Free Passion Fruit and Mango Crème Brûlée or my Milk Chocolate and Passion Fruit Macarons. You see, with passion fruit, a little goes a long, long way.
Passion fruits are smooth-skinned, small, purplish fruits native to South America. They have a spellbindingly sweet aroma that is likely to grip your senses as soon as you cut into one. But the real surprise happens when you taste the fruit’s juicy seeds: they have a surprisingly acidic flavor. I think the combination of the sweet aroma and the acidic taste makes passion fruits so unique: they play with all your senses.
When talking about passion fruit to someone who hasn’t tasted one before, I always say, “If you like citrus fruits, you’ll love passion fruit.” I find that passion fruits can take on a role that’s very similar to lemons or grapefruits: they add bright flavor and help balance out the sweetness in desserts. Passion fruits work especially well with extra-sweet or rich ingredients, such as milk chocolate, heavy cream, or butter.
I recently scored a bunch of deliciously ripe, juicy passion fruits at a produce store for much less than what I usually pay, and that was the perfect opportunity to reinvent a classic cake that had been on my to-make list for a really long time: Lemon Drizzle Cake.
Lemon Drizzle Cake is a classic tea-time cake that’s especially popular in the UK. The cake itself is a sponge soaked in a lemon syrup right as it comes out of the oven. This step gives the cake a super-moist texture and an additional lemony kick. Many recipes top the cake with a sweet, sugary icing, which pushes it further towards dessert territory rather than a tea-time treat. The ultimate Lemon Drizzle Cake should be barely sweet with a distinctive, bright lemon flavor. It’s sunshine in the form of a cake, really!
In this reinvented Passion Fruit and Lemon Drizzle Cake, I substitute strained passion fruit juice for the lemon juice in the syrup and use whole passion fruit seeds in the icing. The passion fruit syrup is a dreamy bonus, but you will enjoy all the passion fruit goodness even if you only use it in the icing. All you need is a couple passion fruits to produce a fabulously memorable cake your guests will remember for a long time.
This Passion Fruit and Lemon Drizzle Cake is fabulous with a hot cup of Earl Gray—but it would be sad to just confine it to tea time! The cake is also a fantastic addition to a brunch line up, served for dessert with an additional dollop of whipped or ice cream, or offered as a gift to anyone who loves baked treats.
Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.
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