Lemon cake

Lemon cake

showstopping, lemony sponge cake with a delicious lemon curd icing and beautiful edible crystallised violets and primroses on top

  • Serves 12
  • Easy

Try our lemon layer cake recipe

Love the zingy flavour and creamy texture of lemon curd? Us too. It’s even better in a cake, when you can use lemon curd as one of the key components in a really indulgent icing recipe. Just sandwich each sponge layer together with a normal lemon buttercream (butter, icing sugar and fresh lemon juice and zest), remembering to top the buttercream with a healthy swirl of lemon curd before adding the next sponge layer. We’ve used a whole jar of lemon curd for this recipe, but you can always reduce that amount if you haven’t much of a sweet tooth.

If you want to make your layer cake even more special, try it. Our recipe is so simple: all you need is butter, golden caster sugar, lemons and eggs, plus an hour-or-so of free time. It’s well worth the effort and your jar of curd will last for up to two weeks if kept in the fridge. 



  • butter 250g, plus a little for the tin
  • golden caster sugar 250g
  • self-raising flour 250g
  • baking powder 1 tsp
  • eggs 4 large
  • lemons 2, zested
  • milk 1-2 tsp


  • butter 250g, very soft
  • icing sugar 500g
  • lemons 3, zested and juiced
  • lemon curd 1 jar
  • crystallised flowers to decorate



  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line the bases of 3 x 20cm sandwich tins. Beat the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs and lemon zest together with beaters until you have a smooth batter. Add enough milk so the mix just drops off a spoon.

  • STEP 2

    Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, swapping the tins around halfway through so that they brown evenly. When they’re ready, a skewer poked in should come out clean. Cool on wire racks, cooked-side up.

  • STEP 3

    Make the icing by beating the soft butter with the icing sugar, lemon zest and juice until light and fluffy. Use 2/3 to fill the cake and top each layer with some lemon curd. Frost the top with the rest of the buttercream and finish with sugar flowers.

    Nutritional Information

    • Kcals724
    • Fat22.7g
    • Carbs91.2g
    • Fibre0.9g
    • Protein4.4g
    • Salt1.1g

Behind the Recipe

Besides the flavor and texture, this cake is loved is because of its ease. Very basic ingredients including a base of creamed butter + sugar, eggs, lemon, buttermilk, and flour. I love the additional tang buttermilk gives the cake, but you can use whole milk or 2% milk instead. I left out the brown sugar and replaced with more granulated sugar. No rhyme or reason here– just didn’t feel like reaching for both types of sugar this time. Between the cake and frosting, you’ll need 2-3 lemons. Both the juice and zest.

here is your dish is ready

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