I asked Jef what he fancied for his birthday cake this year – a gooey chocolate fudge? A classic Victoria sponge? A spicy carrot cake? He had a ponder and decided that what he really wanted was a lemon drizzle cake – with lemon curd and lemon buttercream and lemon icing. I mentally rolled my sleeves up and got planning. This is the result. It’s a an adaptation of a couple of recipes with a twist as lemon drizzle cakes are not usually filled in my experience! So I made two separate cakes, soaked them both with a highly alcoholic syrup of limoncello and lemon juice, and then filled and iced them.
It’s very very very lemony, very moist, and very tall!
So – happy birthday, my love, to you. The funniest, brightest and best husband I could wish for. Thank you for everything you do to make my life more vibrant, happier and more interesting than I ever knew possible.
Makes 1 very tall 6″ cake (original cake recipe here)
For the cake
- 115 g unsalted butter, softened
- 115 g caster sugar
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 180 g ground almonds
- zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 3-4 drops lemon essence
- 125 g self-raising flour, sifted
For the lemon syrup
- 100 g caster sugar
- 45 g lemon juice
- 45 g limoncello
For the lemon curd and buttercream fillings
- 3 tbs lemon curd
- 140g/5oz butter, softened
- 280g/10oz icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp limoncello
- Few drops lemon essence
For the lemon icing
- 225 g icing sugar
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease and line the bottom of 2 6″ cake tins with greaseproof paper.
- Using an electric whisk, beat the butter with the caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one by one, beating each in well. Fold in your ground almonds, lemon essence, the lemon zest and juice and the sifted flour. Spoon the mix into the prepared cake tins and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until lightly golden. You can check to see if the cake is cooked by poking a cocktail stick right into the sponge. Remove it after 5 seconds and if it comes out clean the cake is cooked; if slightly sticky it needs a little longer, so put it back in the oven. Allow the cake to cool on a rack.
- Make your lemon syrup by heating the sugar, limoncello and lemon juice in a pan until the sugar has dissolved. While your cake is still warm, make lots of little holes in the top with a cocktail stick and pour your syrup over. Leave cakes to get completely cold in the tins.
- To make the buttercream, beat together the softened butter, icing sugar, limoncello and lemon essence.
- To make your icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon zest and juice, stirring until smooth.
- Remove the cakes from the tins. Slice each horizontally. Spread the middle pair with lemon curd, the outer pair with buttercream then sandwich together.
- Put the it on a serving plate and pour the icing carefully over the top. If you pour it on to the middle of the cake, then let gravity disperse the icing down the sides, you get the ‘drizzle’ effect! Give it a helping hand with a spoon if you want.