Lemon cake is something I had never made before this recipe. But with the glorious weather we’re experiencing in the UK at the moment, I wanted a fresher sponge flavour and nothing too heavy. This Lemon Cake is it! Glorious light sponge littered with poppy seeds and soaked in lemon and orange syrup, sandwiched with lemon curd and topped with icing.
Adapted from my memorised sponge recipe (so useful to remember if you can – 8oz self raising flour, 8oz caster sugar, 4 eggs, 8oz butter) it couldn’t be simpler to make! The perfect warm-weather cake! Just an FYI – this is vegetarian, but not vegan!
Ingredients for the Sponge
8oz self raising flour
8oz caster sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
The (finely) grated zest of 1 1/2 Lemons
8oz butter or margarine
Ingredients for the Syrup
The juice of 1 Lemon
The juice of 1/2 Orange
4 tablespoons icing sugar
Cocktail stick (to make holes in the sponge)
Ingredients for the Icing
4oz icing sugar
1 tablespoon water
Lemon curd for the filling
1 teaspoon poppy seeds to decorate
Three slices lemon to decorate
Method for the Sponge
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and grease/line two round sandwich tins
- In a large bowl, whisk together your butter and sugar until it’s creamy in colour and smooth
- Whisk in your eggs until fully combined and smooth, then add your poppy seeds and lemon zest and mix well
- Sieve in your flour to the mixture and fold in a figure of 8 motion using a metal spoon
- Once the mixture is fully combined, split it between your two tins.
- Pop in the oven for 25 minutes until a knife comes out clean (with no batter on)
- Once the sponges are ready, remove them from the oven and set them aside in their tins
Method for the Syrup
- While your sponge is in the oven, add your lemon and orange juice to a pan on a medium heat and stir in your icing sugar
- Keep stirring and keep on the heat until the liquid is thick and syrupy in texture
- The syrup needs to be added to the cake while it’s still hot, so it gets a chance to soak into the sponge. Using your cocktail stick, poke small holes all over both sponge layers
- Pour your syrup all over each sponge layer, then (keeping them in their tins) set them aside to cool completely
Method for the Icing
- Add the water to the sugar and mix until you create a smooth liquid paste. If the icing is still too solid, add a dash more water until the icing can drip off the spoon (but you don’t want it to run)
How to Layer the Cake
- Turn your sponges out of their tins and place the bottom layer on your cake plate/stand
- Spread Lemon curd across the top of the layer, until it’s covered. Then sandwich the other sponge on top
- Pour your icing on top and spread slowly to the edges. Don’t worry if it drips down the sides, this adds to the character!
- Top with your Lemon slices and sprinkle poppy seeds on top, then you’re ready to serve!
As a side note, this cake works without poppy seeds if you don’t have any or can’t get your hands on any. Don’t forget to tag me on instagram if you make this recipe, I love seeing your versions!
The dress I’m wearing is a new favourite from H&M. It matches the cushions I fell in love with for our (yet to be bought) garden furniture. It also happens to have lemons on it. Because, you have to bake a lemon cake wearing your favourite lemon dress…right?