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Lemon & Elderflower Cake Recipe

Posted April 29, 2018 by Squires Kitchen Shop


This pretty pastel lemon & elderflower layer cake can be made with or without the tulip biscuits.
White Chocolate Lemon & Elderflower Cake

You will need

Lemon and Elderflower Sponge

Lemon and Elderflower Syrup

Lemon Curd

White Chocolate Buttercream


Makes one 15cm (6”) layer cake

Making the Sponges

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F/gas mark 4). Grease and line three 15cm (6”) cake tins.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar together for approximately five minutes, or until pale and fluffy.
  3. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a separate bowl, then stir through the lemon zest.
  4. With the mixer on a low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the eggs until just combined. Stir in the elderflower cordial.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the three cake tins and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the sponges are golden brown and spring back when lightly touched.

Making the Lemon and Elderflower Syrup

  1. Whilst the sponges are baking, pour the cordial, lemon juice and sugar into a small saucepan set over a medium heat.
  2. Gently heat the syrup, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly.

Soaking the Sponges

  1. Once the sponges have been removed from the oven, leave them to cool in the tins for five minutes.
  2. Use a cocktail stick to pierce small holes in the top of each sponge. Pour the syrup over the sponges and leave them to cool completely.

Making the Lemon Curd

  1. Zest one of the lemons into a heatproof bowl. Squeeze the juice from this, and the remaining two lemons, into the bowl and add the sugar. Set the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and gently heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Sieve the mixture into a clean heatproof bowl to remove the zest. Add the egg and return the bowl to the bain-marie.
  3. Stirring continuously, gently heat the curd until it is thick and holds its shape when folded back on itself. This will take approximately 10–15 minutes.
  4. Remove the bain-marie from the heat and allow the curd to cool for two minutes. Stir in the butter.
  5. Pass the curd through a sieve into a clean bowl or blitz it with a handheld blender until smooth. Cover the surface of the curd with cling film and refrigerate.

Making the Buttercream

  1. Pour the white chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set it on top of a pan of simmering water until melted.
  2. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and place this over the bain-marie, taking care that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t make contact with the water in the saucepan. Whisk the egg whites continuously until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture reaches 72˚C (162˚F).
  3. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on a high speed for approximately 10 minutes until the bottom of the bowl feels cool and a stiff, glossy meringue has formed.
  4. With the mixer on a medium speed, gradually add the butter, 1–2tbsp at a time. Continue beating the mixture until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy. Stir in the melted white chocolate and mix until well combined.

Top Tip If the buttercream starts to split whilst adding the butter, heat 1–2tbsp of the mixture in a microwave for 20 seconds then return it to the bowl and whisk on a high speed for 30 seconds to recombine. If the buttercream is too soft, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before continuing to whisk until thick and spreadable.

Assembling the Cake

  1. Trim and level the sponges using a cake leveller or serrated knife, ensuring each layer is the same depth.
  2. Place the first cake layer on a 15cm (6”) cake board, using a little buttercream to fix it in place.
  3. Spread a layer of white chocolate buttercream over the top of the sponge then add 1tbsp of lemon curd on top. Place the second sponge layer on top of the first and repeat the filling. Top with the final cake layer and press down slightly to ensure that the cake is secure and level.
  4. Use a palette knife to evenly coat the top and side of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Remove any excess buttercream using a metal side scraper. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes or until the buttercream has set.
  5. Apply a second coat of buttercream, taking care to keep the corners sharp and the sides as straight as possible. Refrigerate for a further 30 minutes.
  6. Roll out 650g (1lb 7oz) of Vintage Ivory sugarpaste to a 4mm (3/16”) thickness. Lay the sugarpaste over the cake, securing the top and sides with a cake smoother and trimming away any excess around the base.
  7. Roll out the remaining 600g (1lb 5¼oz) of Vintage Ivory sugarpaste to a 4mm (3/16”) thickness. Brush the surface of the 23cm (9”) cake drum with cooled, boiled water. Lay the sugarpaste over the drum, smoothing the surface with a cake smoother and trimming away any excess with a sharp knife. Set the cake and drum aside to firm overnight.
  8. Once firm, place the cake in the centre of the covered cake drum, using a little royal icing to secure it in place. Wrap the Hot Pink ribbon around the base of the cake, trim it to size and fix it at the back using royal icing. Repeat to fix Sweet Lavender ribbon over the top of the Hot Pink ribbon, lining it up with the base of the cake.
  9. Wrap the remaining Hot Pink ribbon around the edge of the cake drum, fixing it in place using double-sided tape. Attach the Sweet Lavender ribbon on top and trim it to size. Tie the remaining Sweet Lavender ribbon into a small bow and secure it to the front of the cake drum using a small piece of double-sided tape.
  10. If you’re adding tulip biscuits around the edge of the cake, follow the instructions opposite then use a little royal icing to secure them around the side of the covered cake, alternating the colours.
Naked Celebration cake footer image
Iced Tulip Biscuits

You will need

Lemon Biscuits


  • SK Professional Instant-Mix Royal Icing: 500g (1lb 1¾oz) White
  • SK Professional Paste Food Colour: Rose and Violet
  • Piping bags
  • PME Supatube piping nozzle: no. 1.5

Makes 10–12 large biscuits

Making the Biscuits

  1. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar together for approximately five minutes or until pale and fluffy.
  2. Beat the eggs and gradually add them to the mixture, followed by the lemon zest and vanilla.
  3. Fold in the flour in two batches until a soft dough forms. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate it for approximately one hour.
  4. Roll out the biscuit dough to a thickness of approximately 4mm (3/16”). Cut out as many tulips as you can using the tulip cookie cutter and transfer them to baking trays lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate the biscuits for a further 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F/gas mark 4).
  6. Bake the biscuits for 10–12 minutes, or until firm and golden brown around the edges. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and leave them to cool completely.

Icing the Biscuits

  1. Make up the royal icing to a stiff-peak consistency, following the instructions on the packet. Divide the icing between two bowls and use Violet and Rose paste food colours to colour one half pale pink and the other pale purple. Keep the icing covered with cling film when not in use.
  2. Fit a piping bag with a no. 1.5 piping nozzle and fill it with the pale pink royal icing, reserving 1–2tbsp of it for adding details in step 5. Pipe a neat outline around the edge of half of the tulip biscuits.
  3. Add 8–10ml (¼fl oz) of cooled, boiled water to the remaining pale pink royal icing to bring it to an off-peak consistency. Use the off-peak royal icing to flood the outlined biscuits. Use a cocktail stick to coax the icing to the edges of the biscuit, if necessary.
  4. Repeat steps 2–3 using the pale purple royal icing to outline and flood the remaining tulip biscuits. Set the cookies aside to dry overnight.
  5. Fit a piping bag with a no 1.5 piping nozzle. Use the reserved pale pink and pale purple stiff-peak royal icing to pipe petal details over the iced biscuits. Set the biscuits aside to dry.

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