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Sicilian Breakfast Cake

Sicilian Breakfast Cake

If you’re looking for a super simple, but super tasty cake, then this guy is going to be your new best friend. It’s been one of the staples of my repertoire ever since a colleague gave me the recipe nearly a decade ago. He didn't have an idea why it was called a 'Sicilian' breakfast cake, and Google has been helpful in the past either! It’s easy because:

  1. There’s not too many ingredients (it’s simple enough I have it memorised these days)
  2. There’s only 4 steps in making up the batter, and none of them complicated, just adding stuff and stirring
  3. You don’t need to have scales or measuring cups to make it
  4. It’s quite tolerant to slight overcooking, so easier to get right

In terms of point 3, the first ingredient is a pot of yoghurt and you measure all other ingredients that need it with the pot. Remember to wash it between the wet and dry ingredients!

It’s also a really versatile cake. I mostly make and serve it in its simpler drizzle cake form but will sometimes add icing for a special occasion (this is my Maw’s favourite version). I’ve included instructions for both here. It’s also the recipe I use for making Hypnocake, and I’ll be posting instructions on how to achieve this rainbow cake of wonders soon!

Sicilian Breakfast Cake


Around 18 slices (if using a square tin I usual cut it twice - into thirds - in one direction, and 5 times - in sixths, starting with the middle cut - in the other direction.)

Cooking Time

~ 45 minutes


The Cake:

150g pot of natural (unflavoured) full fat yoghurt

1 pot of light olive oil

3 medium eggs

Juice of 1.5 lemons

Zest of 3 lemons

2.5 pots of caster sugar – golden is preferable

3 pots of self-raising flour

The Drizzle:

Juice of 1.5 lemons

0.75 pots of caster sugar

Lemon Icing:

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

2.5 posts of icing sugar (you may need a little more depending on how juicy the lemon is!)


  1. Put oven on to preheat at 170°C/150°C (fan)/gas mark 3 and line a 20cm square baking tin with grease-proof paper (a 22cm round tin will work as a substitute).
  2. Combine the yoghurt and oil in a large mixing bowl, it will look a bit weird, like the yoghurt might have split, but everything is OK! (see pics for example).
  3. Add the eggs, lemon juice and zest and mix together.
  4. Add the sugar and mix in. I usually use a balloon whisk for the next two steps, but a spoon is fine but will need a bit more elbow grease.
  5. Add the flour, one pot at a time until it is all incorporated.
  6. Pour batter in the baking tin and place in oven.
  7. Cook for 45 mins, use a cake tester or skewer to make sure the cake is cooked through. Depending on your oven it may take a little longer.
  8. While cake is in the oven mix together the sugar and lemon juice for the drizzle and pour onto the cake as soon as it comes out the oven. Make sure to get good coverage!
  9. Place on cooling rack after c. 30mins

Additional Icing:

  1. Make sure the cake is totally cooled then transfer to serving dish.
  2. Mix together the icing sugar, lemon juice and zest. The icing should be a think paste, if it is too runny add a little more icing sugar, if it is too stiff (like a fondant) a few drops of water.
  3. Spoon the icing onto the centre of the cake and carefully spread evenly over the top.
  4. Allow to set for a short time then cut and serve.
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