What’s On My Table With Alexandra Dudley
What’s On My Table With Alexandra Dudley

What’s On My Table With Alexandra Dudley

Alexandra Dudley is a food columnist, cookbook author and host of the Come For Supper podcast. In this monthly column, she takes us inside her east London kitchen to show us what she’s cooking and the tools she’s loving. This time, it’s a lovely cake – plus, three of her top serving accessories…
By Alexandra Dudley

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

This month, I’ve enjoyed getting my baking groove on. My grandmother made the best crunchy topped lemon cake, and this recipe is similar to hers. I’ve added poppy seeds which are lovely in lemon cake and give it a little extra something. On the table, there are three things I have my eye on for summer entertaining – and finally, there’s a very good spot for a midweek girl lunch.

Crunchy Topped Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake

200g of plain flour
¼ tsp of baking powder
¼ tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch of salt
100g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
180g of granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temp
Zest of 3 lemons
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
140g of plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
1 tbsp of poppy seeds
For the crunchy topping:
100g of granulated sugar
30g of lemon juice
Step 1

Preheat oven to 180°C Fan and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.

Step 2

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

Step 3

In a large separate bowl beat together the butter and sugar using an electric whisk together until pale and fluffy scraping down the sides as necessary.

Step 4

Beat in the eggs one by one.

Step 5

Beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract.

Step 6

Switch the mixer to its lowest setting and beat in about a third of the flour mixture. Then beat in half the yogurt, followed by another third of the flour mix, the remaining yogurt and finally finishing with the remaining flour.

Step 7

Gently fold in the poppy seeds using a spatula.

Step 8

Pour batter into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centre of cake comes out clean.

Step 9

If the cake begins to brown, cover loosely with aluminium foil. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack, leaving it in the tin.

Step 10

For the crunchy topping, combine the lemon juice and sugar. With the cake still in the tin, puncture the cake a few times with a toothpick, then spoon the icing over the cake. Allow the icing to set then remove from the tin, slice and enjoy.


Splatter Enamel Rectangular Dish, £28 | Daylesford

I am a big fan of a traybake and dishes that can go straight from oven to table. Imagine a lasagne in this…  

Available at Daylesford.com

Set of 4 Kinsley Coupes, £31.50 (were £45) | The White Company

I love the slight blue tinge to these. They wouldn’t seem out of place in an old Tuscan villa. They are quite large, so they would double up very well as coupes for ice cream and puddings, too. 

Available at TheWhiteCompany.com

Rattan Charger, £16 | Rebecca Udall

I have had a set of Rebecca Udall rattan chargers for years. They last so well and are brilliantly hardwearing. I have my eyes on these pale rattan ones – I love the scallop wave. 

Available at RebeccaUdall.com


Socca Bistro

I met a girlfriend for lunch last week at Socca and we had a brilliant time. It has all the classic French bistro charm with a touch of Mayfair glam. Every inch of the restaurant is stunning with chocolatey wood panelling and walls peppered with a spectacular art collection framed by hand-painted blue and white motifs. Even the salt and pepper mills draw the eye – sunshine yellow and sky blue against crisp white tablecloths.

The menu is reminiscent of the sort of food you might enjoy on a summer holiday and Socca is the perfect place for sharing lots of lovely things. Ordering the socca (a chickpea flatbread) is mandatory and we enjoyed this with salads of beetroot, feta and pistachio, and lentils with buttery soft slow cooked shallot and apple. We shared the spatchcock poussin which was juicy and tender and arrived glistening under a fragrant jerk butter as well as a niçoise salad that came with Ortiz tuna and a perfect jammy egg. An ideal girl lunch it was the perfect midweek treat but I’d say Socca would be ideal for date night, too. 

Visit SoccaBistro.com

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