Monday, 18 April 2011

Luxurious Lemon Cake

I'm having a bit of a baking week this week and what a lovely cake to start with on such a gloriously sunny morning! Light lemony sponge, layered with lashings of lemon curd and creme fraiche, topped off with candied lemon zest. Perfect for Easter.

The recipe is based on a photograph I cut out of a magazine, probably a few years ago now, which I found stuffed in an old file of cuttings. I couldn't find a cutting of the method, only part the ingredients, so here is my version.


For the sponge:

250g unsalted butter
250g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
250g self raising flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
juice of 1/2 a lemon

For the filling:
200ml creme fraiche
350g lemon curd (homemade tastes best, but using a good quality jar of lemon curd makes this cake much quicker and simpler to make)

For the candied lemon zest:

1 unwaxed lemon
100ml water
100g caster sugar


To make the candied lemon zest:

Start by making the candied lemon zest the day before. To do this, prepare long strips of lemon zest, either using a zester or by peeling strips of zest with a potato peeler and slicing finely. Take care not to peel off the white pith as this will make the candied zest taste bitter. Place in a pan, cover with water and simmer for around 10 minutes. Drain the zest.

Add the measured water and sugar to the pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Add the zest and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has become syrupy.

Remove the zest carefully and place on a non stick baking sheet. Leave to dry out for 24 hours.

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven at 180 C. Grease and line the bases of two 8" sandwich tins. Beat the sugar and butter together then stir in the eggs, lemon zest and juice. Sift the flour and baking powder over the cake mixture and stir gently until combined. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. If you test the middle of the cake with a cake tester or scewer it should come out clean.

Leave to cool before removing from the tins and placing on a wire cooling tray. Once cool, slice in half so that you have 4 layers of sponge.

Stir a little of your lemon curd into the creme fraiche. Then layer up the cake starting with a layer of sponge topped with 1/3 of the lemon curd, then 1/3 creme fraiche mixture. Repeat twice and then place the final layer of sponge on top. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with candied lemon zest.


  1. That looks absolutely beautiful. I am salivating.

  2. A four layer sponge? Lemon curd? While not normally a cake person, I am so there! This looks very tasty indeed, in all the right oozing, wicked ways.