6 x (- bottle of beer) = 12 x (slice of cake)

As if January wasn’t depressing enough, HWW and I are doing a Dryathlon this month.   Apparently, by giving up alcohol for a month, we’ll ‘clear our heads, feel fitter and save money’.  

Hmmm.  I can honestly say that my head feels exactly the same, I don’t feel any fitter (replacing alcohol with chocolate didn’t really help) and, as the alcohol is ridiculously cheap here (a six pack of beer is cheaper than a litre of fresh apple juice), I don’t feel we’ve saved much money either.  All we’ve done is make ourselves miserable.  Sparkling Water Friday is definitely not as much fun as Prosecco Friday.

Today I made a pseudo-healthy cake to give us a treat, without piling on too many pounds.  This Glazed Lemon Loaf contains lemon juice and is butter free, so you can almost convince yourself that it’s better for you than eating fresh fruit and vegetables.  As long as you don’t eat the whole thing yourself in one go – obviously, not something I would ever do…

Glazed Lemon Loaf

Glazed Lemon Loaf


  • 190g cups plain flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarb of soda
  • Finely shredded zest of 3 lemons
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 60ml milk
  • Juice of 3 lemons (about 60ml)
  • 60ml cup oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the Glaze:

  • 70g sugar
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 20ml.)


Preheat oven to 175 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4.  Line a loaf tin with baking paper

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt together in a large bowl.  In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla until blended.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Using a rubber spatula, mix until they are just combined, forming a thick, slightly lumpy batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until golden brown and it feels springy to the touch when pressed lightly in the middle, about 35 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and, using a skewer, make 8 uniformly spaced holes in the cake.

To make the glaze, combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat.  Continue to boil until the mixture is bubbling and frothy on the surface, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and immediately pour evenly over the surface of the hot cake.

Let the glazed cake cool completely in the pan on the rack.  Turn upright onto a serving plate.  I topped it with lemon icing at this point (lemon juice and icing sugar mixed together).

Eat compulsively until you can have a glass of wine again.


29 thoughts on “6 x (- bottle of beer) = 12 x (slice of cake)”

  1. Isn’t January a bore? I’ve given up sweet things (previously one of my main foodgroups) but started eating loads more carbs than before. Who knows if it’s worth the effort. Good luck!


    1. Yes, I’m sure giving up alcohol isn’t good for your health – we’ve both had a stream of colds, aches and pains this month! Am sorely tempted to dig out a bottle of Limoncello…BUT NO! Must finish what I’ve started; not long to go now (it just feels like it!)


  2. The cake seems the perfect accompaniment to a good gin and tonic. Or have i missed the point? Mind you there’s not much that isn’t a perfect accompaniment to a good G&T.


  3. I contemplated doing dry January…for about 10 hours on the 1st January, then decided lifes too short…That cake looks fab and easy, might try and get the preteen to make one for me!


  4. Cake looks yummy but it doesn’t even begin to make up for a month not drinking! Why is life so much more fun with a glass in your hand??


    1. Absolutely agree that wine in moderation is good for you and look forward to taking my medicine again 😉 I think the dryathalon turned into a battle of wills between me and HWW to see who would give up first!


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