When-life-gives-you-lemons cake recipe!

Sometimes, cake is the only answer. Fact. This recipe is for a corker of a cake if I do say so myself. Lemon cake is such a classic; it’s not too stodgy, not too sweet, and perfectly light. It’s a real crowd pleaser too, and so super easy to make. For this recipe, I’ve just modified a Victoria sponge by adding a little lemon juice and zest. And if like me you’re an everything-in-the-same-bowl kinda human then you are going to love this!


For the cake

225g self-raising flour
225g caster sugar
225g butter
4 medium eggs
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon

For the filling

225g icing sugar
112g softened butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 jar of lemon curd

Optional lemon icing

Juice of one lemon
200g icing sugar


  1. First things first you’re going to want to preheat your oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Grease 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins, and line both with a circle of baking paper in the bottom.
  2. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the flour, sugar, butter, lemon juice and zest. Mix everything together using an electric mixer, starting on a low speed, and gradually increasing to a medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as you go to make sure everything is incorporated. If you don’t have an electric mixer you can use good old-fashioned muscle. For this method, I would recommend creaming the butter and sugar together first. This way you will get tiny little pockets of air in the mix, making your sponge nice and light. Then gradually add in your eggs, followed by the flour, lemon juice and zest. Mix together until well combined.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the sandwich tins, and gently smooth off the tops with a spatula.
  4. Pop the tins into the centre of the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Make sure to not open the oven door while they’re cooking, otherwise you’ll have some concave cakes! But have a peek through the door to check on them after 20 minutes.
  5. Once the cakes are cooked all the way through, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool in their tins for 10 minutes. Then run a palette knife around the edge of the cakes to loosen them from their tins.  Carefully turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile you can be getting on with your buttercream. For a quick and dirty job, beat the butter, icing sugar, and vanilla extract together until well combined. For extra fluffy butter cream, beat the butter on it’s own for a few minutes using an electric mixer until fluffy and very pale. Then add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract, this time mixing by hand with a wooden spoon to avoid icing sugar clouds. (Unless you have a very gentle mixer.) Mix until well combined.
  7. Now it’s time to assemble the cake. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate or cake board, and level off the top carefully with a serrated knife. Layer with the lemon curd and buttercream, and place the second cake on top.
  8. You can finish it off there with a sprinkle of icing sugar if you prefer, but for some extra lemony goodness top with lemon drizzle icing. To make the lemon icing, add the lemon juice to a mixing bowl followed by the icing sugar. Stir until well combined. The texture of the icing should be fairly stiff but should be able to slowly fall off a spoon. Pour the icing onto the middle of the cake, and let it spread down the sides. You can help it along with the back of a spoon if you want.

And there you have it! A deliciously simple lemon cake. Enjoy!



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