Whole Lemon (and a litttle Lime) Bars

June 2nd 2018 (1)

Keane’s Deli, Hillsborough, Co Down

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Me writing up this recipe came about due to one of those ‘small world isn’t it’ moments which only seem to happen in Ireland :)

We’d said a sad farewell to Ann’s Delicious when she closed her stall at St George’s Market earlier in the year, but were delighted when she and Donal opened Keane’s Deli in Hillsborough a few months later. On my way to visit a good friend recently, I called into the Deli for a chat with Ann, who not only knew where I was headed, but what I was going to be eating too!

Hashtag smallworld!

One of my treats that day, as well as Miranda’s famous homemade Raspberry and White Chocolate scones, was a delicious Whole Lemon Cake from the Deli, which was so lemony that I resolved there and then to try to make it for myself.

So here are the results of my labours.. It’s ok, you can thank me later  😉


  •  20x20cm square cake tin, lined
  • a food processor – you really must have one for this recipe.

INGREDIENTS: These come in two lots:

The Base:                                                    Whole Lemon Cake (12)

  • 115g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 65g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g Plain flour

The Filling:

  • 1 thin-skinned lemon, about 130g weight.  See NOTES below
  • 1 lime, finely zested and cut in half.
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of Cornflour
  • pinch salt


  • Heat the oven to 160 degrees fan, with a shelf in the middle of the oven.

Make the base

  • Put all the ingredients for the Base into the food processor and whiz until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Pour it all into the prepared tin, and pat down with your fingers

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  • Cook for 20 minutes until lightly golden
  • Remove from the oven (leave the oven on) and pat down any raised bits with the back of a spoon.

Make the filling

  • Prepare the lemon (mine was quite thick-skinned so I cut off the rind from one half as described in the NOTES below)

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  • Remove all pips, cut the lemon into thin slices.

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  • Wipe out the bowl of the food processor.
  • Put in the lemon, add the sugar and blitz until the lemon has been completely broken down
  • Add the butter, Corn flour and salt. Whiz until well combined.

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  • Leave the motor on and add the eggs one at a time through the shute.   Whole Lemon Cake (9)
  • Zest the Lime and add the zest to the bowl.
  • Squeeze in the juice of half the Lime.
  • Give it one more whiz, then pour the whole lot gently onto the base.
  • Put into the oven for about 35-40 minutes until it’s lightly golden and still has a little wobble in the middle.

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  • Leave it to get completely cold in the tin ( you can stick it in the fridge if you like)
  • Using the lining paper, remove the whole cake gently from the tin, run a flat-bladed knife around the edges to loosen the cake from the lining paper, then cut into squares or fingers as you wish.

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Enjoy that lemony zing!

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  • If you only have a thick-skinned lemon, cut it in half, then remove as much zest and pith – particularly the pith – from one half. Leave the other half lemon as it is and proceed with the recipe.

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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