Recipe | Lemon curd swirl sponge cake

This lemon curd swirl sponge cake is easy to make and has great lemon flavour

Easy recipe lemon curd swirl sponge layer cake uk

I wanted to make a lemon cake, but I’ve been disappointed in the past with recipes which produce a sponge with only a hint of citrus rather than a decent lemon flavour. So I decided to experiment and come up with something myself. I adapted one of my favourite recipes – for raspberry ripple sponge cake – to make it using lemon curd. And it was a success!

This recipe gives a beautifully fluffy sponge packed full of lemon flavour. It also happens to look rather pretty without the need for any extra decoration after baking.


  • 250g / 8.8 oz butter or baking margarine
  • 250g / 8.8 oz caster sugar
  • 4 large or medium eggs
  • 250g / 8.8. oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • Finely grated zest/rind of 2 medium – large lemons
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (1 for the mixture and 1 for the curd)
  • 125 g / 4.4 oz lemon curd (75g for in the mixture and up to 50g to sandwich the finished cakes together)


Grease and line two 8-inch (20 cm), round cake tins. This recipe would also work in rectangular or square tins, you’ll just need to adjust quantities and cooking times.

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C (140 degrees C fan), 320 degrees F or Gas Mark 3.

Mix together the lemon rind and sugar. It might be easier to use your hands to do this. If you coat all the rind with sugar it won’t stick together and should spread out more evenly through the mix.

Cream together the butter with the sugar-rind mix. Use electric hand beaters or a stand mixer if you have them. Beat together for at least two minutes.

Add the eggs, beating your mixture after adding each egg. Then add the vanilla extract and 1 tbsp of the lemon juice. Finally, add the flour and baking powder and fold in gently until fully combined and the mixture is smooth.

Divide your mixture in two and spoon into the cake tins. If you want the division to be very even, put the tin on the scales – there’ll be approx. 500 g (17.5 oz) of mixture in each tin. Use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture to the edges of the tins and into an even layer.

Put 75 g (2.6 oz) of lemon curd (I bought a jar from the supermarket) in a bowl. Add the other 1 tbsp lemon juice to this curd and mix through to make the curd runnier.

Recipe lemon curd swirl sponge cake uk

Now “inject” the curd into the mixture in your cake tins. There are two ways of doing this depending on what equipment you have to hand.

If you have a 5 ml medicine syringe (if you have children, it’s likely you’ll have one had one of these at some point – they sometimes come with children’s medicines), use this to suck up some of the curd mixture and inject 2.5 ml blobs of curd into the mixture in the tins. Inject all over the cake in a random pattern but don’t go too close to the edges.

Recipe how to make lemon curd swirl sponge cake uk

If you don’t have a syringe, don’t worry. Just use the back of a teaspoon to make a number of small wells all over the mixture in the tins. Press the teaspoon into the mixture but don’t go right to the bottom of the tin. Spoon teaspoonfuls of your curd mixture into these wells.

Then use a knife or skewer to swirl the curd through the mixture. Like this:

Easy recipe lemon curd swirl sponge cake uk

Bake your cakes for about 40 minutes or until risen, lightly brown and a knife or skewer inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tins before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Recipe lemon curd swirl sponge layer cake uk

Put one of the lemon sponge cakes on your serving plate. Spread a thin layer of the remaining lemon curd all over the top of the cake and sandwich the other lemon curd swirl sponge cake on top.

Recipe finished lemon curd swirl sponge layer cake uk

The cake will keep very well for up to 5 days in a airtight container stored in a cool, dry place. Good luck making it last that long!

Easy quick recipe lemon curd swirl sponge cake uk

A happy experiment and a lovely summery non-chocolate option!

Remember, you can find over 100 recipes, including other lemon options, in my Recipe Index.

A plea from this baker/writer

If you’ve read this far and have found this recipe, or any of my recipes useful, please consider returning the favour by buying one of my books! The ebooks cost less than a coffee and they are free with Kindle Unlimited.

Claire Huston romance novels Twitter pinned pic June 2022

Claire Huston / Art and Soul

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