Lemon & Elderflower Cake

Lemon & Elderflower Cake

Ever since a certain royal wedding cake, lemon and elderflower has sky rocketed in popularity. If you’d like to recreate this royal trend at your wedding, or next celebration, this Lemon & Elderflower Cake is the perfect way to do so. It’s a lemon and elderflower sponge, brushed with elderflower cordial after baking, then covered in lemon buttercream. I’ve decorated this cake in the naked cake style, where you can see the sponge layers through the buttercream. This creates a rustic, yet elegant appearance. It will happily take centre stage to impress your guests on your special day!

Step by step…

To make the sponge, I mixed together butter and sugar, then added lemon zest.

I added eggs and elderflower cordial and whisked them in. Then I added self raising flour, and gently whisked in it. I divided the mixture between the tins and baked them for 45 minutes until golden.

To make the buttercream I mixed together the butter and icing sugar, then added the lemon extract and mixed until smooth. I also made some fondant flowers to decorate the cake with.

I layered up the sponges, brushing some elderflower cordial over each sponge, then covered the cake in buttercream.

Lemon & Elderflower Cake

Tips for making the Lemon & Elderflower Cake:

  • If you don’t want to decorate the cakes with the fondant flowers I have used, you could also decorate them with sprinkles, some lemon zest, macarons, shop bought sugar or wafer flowers, or edible flowers.
  • If you’d like the adapt this recipe to smaller or large cake tins, you can use my Conversion Guide.
  • You can freeze the cake without the buttercream and decorations. Wrap it well in cling film and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • I used a shop bought elderflower cordial by a brand called Belvoir, if you have access to elderflower plants, you can make your own cordial. There are many recipes available online.

Lemon & Elderflower Cake

What is a naked cake?

A naked cake is a cake with a very thin layer of buttercream spread over it, so thin that you can see the cake sponge and layers peaking through. The trend is believed to have been started by Christina Tosi of the Milk Bar restaurant, and once celebrity weddings followed the trend, the rest of the world was not far behind! Naked cakes have a pretty, yet rustic appearance, and they can be very simply decorated with fruit or flowers. They are extremely popular at weddings, and it’s easy to see why from their elegant look.

Lemon & Elderflower Cake

Recommended equipment & ingredients*

8″ cake tins Mixing bowls Cooling rack
Kitchen scales Flower cutter & veiner press Wilton 8B Piping nozzle
Silicone rolling pin Silicone mat

*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting The Baking Explorer!

Lemon & Elderflower Cake

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5 from 6 votes

Lemon & Elderflower Cake

Lemon and elderflower cake, with a naked cake design

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 16
Author thebakingexplorer


For the sponge

  • 500 g Butter or baking spread
  • 500 g Caster sugar
  • 3 Lemons zest only
  • 9 Eggs large
  • 6 tbsp Elderflower cordial
  • 500 g Self raising flour

For brushing onto the baked sponges

  • 3 tbsp Elderflower cordial

For the buttercream

  • 350 g Butter or baking spread
  • 700 kg Icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Lemon extract

For the decoration

  • 100 g White ready to roll fondant
  • 1 Lemon


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line three 8" cake tins

  2. To make the sponge cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. You can use an electric mixer or by hand with spoon

  3. Add the lemon zest and mix in

  4. Add the eggs, two at a time, and whisk between each addition. Then add the elderflower cordial, and whisk in

  5. Using a hand whisk, gently whisk in the self raising flour

  6. Divide the mixture between the tins, I like to weigh it out for accuracy so the layers are even

  7. Bake them for 45-50 minutes or until they are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave them to fully cool either in the tins or remove from the tin and place on cooling racks

  8. To make the buttercream mix the butter and icing sugar together. Once it starts to come together add the lemon extract and mix until smooth. I use my electric hand whisk to do this but you can also do it by hand with a spoon

  9. If the cakes have domed on top, level them off with a cake leveller or a serrated knife

  10. Put one of the sponges on a cake board, and then onto a decorating turntable and brush some of the elderflower cordial over it

  11. Spread a layer of buttercream over the sponge and smooth it out, then add the second sponge and repeat the process

  12. Add the final sponge layer, this time, brush the cordial on to it, then flip it over and add on top of the other sponges

  13. Cover the cake in a base layer, or crumb coat, of buttercream

  14. Pipe some buttercream around the top of the cake and add your chosen decorations

  15. Move the cake onto a serving plate or cake stand to serve. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for 2-3 days

If you like this, check out more of my Cake recipes!

Lemon & Elderflower Cake

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Lemon & Elderflower Cake

22 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Kat…seriously, this cake is way too pretty to eat! Pinning and stumbling this beauty!

  2. This cake is so stunning Kat and I love the flavours you've used. I love elderflower and I'm excited to have finally found a tree near me to collect my own next spring.

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