Simple, luscious Lemon Cake – a simple sponge recipe perfect for a laid back treat, or decorated for an occasion. Drizzled with lemon juice, the sponges are extra moist, which means it’s perfect to make a day or two in advance!
Unlike a lot of my recipe posts which are inspired by whatever I fancy baking at the time, this one came about for a very specific reason. As I mentioned, my boyfriend and I have just come back from an amazing holiday in Australia, but what I didn’t tell you at the time was that we got engaged!
Since we’ve been back, life’s been even more busy and hectic than before (although certainly in a good way!) and so it was an absolute relief for us to be invited away for the weekend by a friend. I thought a celebration cake was more than appropriate to make – and using one of my favourite flavours, this luscious Lemon Layer cake came about.
This cake uses my usual sponge recipe but with a real punch of lemon in the sponge and the buttercream. Not only full of lemon zest, I’ve also smothered the sponges in lemon juice before cooling and covering in buttercream. The purpose of this was two fold – 1) I was making the cake the day before serving, which means it can be difficult to still have that ‘freshly baked’ texture, and 2) who doesn’t love a good, moist (sorry, I know lots of people hate the word, but it’s just so appropriate!) sponge cake.
I suppose the process of adding lemon juice to a sponge is hardly new – it is exactly what you would do with a lemon drizzle, just minus the sugar. I think since coming back from holiday I have continued to be conscious of my sugar intake (thanks Jamie O!) and there will be more on this soon!
So for now, I hope you can enjoy this cake and I hope your buttercream covering goes smoother than mine (the pun was certainly intended here – I’m still very much working on my decorating skills!). With the holiday season fast approaching, you never know when you too might need a quick celebration cake up your sleeve!
Makes 1 medium size cake, approximately 10 slices. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes, plus baking and cooling time.
- 240g dairy free butter
- 240g golden caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 240g self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 heaped tbsp dairy free yoghurt
- zest of 2 lemons
- plus – juice of 1 lemon
- 125g dairy free butter
- 15g trex
- 255g icing sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- 2-3 tbsp sprinkles
- 2 tbsp 100s & 1000s
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line 2 x 20cm tins with baking paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one by one and mix until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking powder, yoghurt and lemon zest and mix again until just combined.
- Split evenly between the two tins and bake for 30 – 35 minutes minutes until risen, golden brown, and a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack. Once on the wire rack, use a skewer to prick the sponges all over, and then spoon the lemon juice over the sponges, using the back of the spoon to evenly cover the sponge.
- When the sponges are completely cool, make the buttercream. Add all of the buttercream ingredients except for the sprinkles and 100s & 1000s to a large bowl, and using electric mixers, mix until smooth and fluffy.
- Put one cake onto a serving plate and spread 1/4 of the buttercream onto the top, leaving a 1 cm edge uncovered all the way round.
- Place the second cake on top, and then using a pallet knife, spread a thin layer of the buttercream all over the top and edges, and the put the cake and remaining buttercream in the fridge for about 30 minutes. (Tip: This is called a crumb coat – by applying a thin layer of buttercream all over, it stops any crumbs getting into your top layer of buttercream, and it gives the cake a much smoother finish.)
- After 30 minutes, take the cake and buttercream out of the fridge. Add the sprinkles to the remaining buttercream, and then evenly spread over the top and sides of the cake using the pallet knife.
- Decorate with 100s & 1000s if wished.