Rub-in method lemon cakes

Saturday September 24 2016

By Maria Murore

There are many methods of cake making and one of the simplest is the ’rubbing-in’ method. This easy, no-fuss method involves rubbing the fat (often in the form of butter or margarine) into wheat flour, before adding eggs and any other liquids such as milk or water to form a batter that is later baked into a cake.

Generally, the ‘rubbing- in’ method is used in recipes where the weight of fat is not more than half that of flour, for example, 100g of fat with 200g flour. One of the advantages of this method is that you do not have to use an electric mixer or expend a lot of energy in combining the ingredients required to make the cake.

Ingredients for the dressing

200g plain flour 100g margarine
A 10ml spoon (2 tsp) baking powder 60g sugar
A pinch salt 2 small eggs
125ml milk A little margarine for greasing
Finely grated rind of 1 large or 2 small lemons
You will need
• One 15cm (6’’) round baking tin
• Grease-proof or waxed paper or
brown pape
• A pair of scissors


For the Dressing
1. Grease the base and sides of the baking tin with a little margarine.
2.Put the tin on the paper for lining it, trace around its outline and cut it out. Measure the height of the sides of the tin and cut out strips of lining paper of same height, to line the sides of the tin.


Grease one side of the circle and use it to cover the base of the tin, greased side facing upward. Do the same for the sides of the tin, using a little margarine to stick one piece of paper to another. The greased side should be facing up.
3. In a bowl sieve together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the sugar and lemon rind and mix well.
4. Add the margarine to the flour mixture and rub it in with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
5. Beat the eggs with some of the milk and stir into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Add a little more milk if necessary, to give a consistency which just drops off the end of the spoon.
6. Put the mixture into the prepared baking tin and smooth the top.
7. Heat the oven at 180C/350F and put the cake in the oven after it has heated up for at least 15 minutes. Bake the cake in the centre of the middle shelf for 1 hour. Insert a toothpick in the centre of the cake and if it comes out without any crumbs stuck to it, the cake is baked. If not, bake for a further 30 minutes. Cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, before turning it out to cool completely on a wire rack.