If you had your fill of chocolate this Easter, you might be looking for an alternative… and this light lemon cake is a great option.
This is a simple sponge cake recipe with the addition of lemon juice and zest. A delicious lemon curd and buttercream filling are the perfect final touch.
Ingredients (these quantities make 2 round cakes. You can sandwich these together to get one big cake, or cut each cake in half to get two smaller layer cakes. I did the latter):
- 250g / 8 oz butter or margarine
- 250g / 8 oz caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 250g / 8 oz self-raising flour
- 1 large lemon
- For the buttercream: 125 g / 4 oz butter and 250 g / 8 oz icing sugar
- Lemon curd for the filling – I was fortunate enough to be able to use my mum’s splendid homemade lemon curd, but shop-bought will do just as well 🙂
Grease and line two 8-inch / 20 cm, round cake tins with baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F / Gas Mark 4.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, beating after adding each egg.
Using a fine grater, grate the lemon rind and add the zest to your mixture. Juice the lemon and add a tablespoon of juice to the mixture.
At this point I want to say that my cakes only had the lightest lemon flavour. If you want a stronger lemon flavour in your sponge, add extra lemon rind.
Add the flour. Stir until you have a smooth mixture. Divide your mixture in two and spoon into your cake tins. Like this:
Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown and a knife inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean.
Leave the cakes to cool in their tins before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
To make the buttercream, blend 125 g butter and 250 g icing sugar together until you have a smooth paste. If your buttercream is too thick, add a splash of milk and stir well.
Now you can either:
- sandwich your two cakes together to make one big cake. OR…
- use a serrated knife to cut each cake horizontally so you end up with two smaller layer cakes – this is what I did.
Once you have cut your cakes horizontally, remove the top layer and spread a layer of lemon curd on the bottom layer of sponge. Then add a layer of buttercream. You can pipe the buttercream on if you find it makes it easier to spread. Put the top layer back on top of the bottom layer and filling.
You can dust the top of the cake with icing sugar as a finishing touch. This cake is perfect for afternoon tea. Light, sweet and sharp. One slice is never enough!
If you’re looking for other lemon cake recipes…
Try my simple lemon sponge cake with feathered icing.