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.
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.
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.
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|
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More Lemon & Elderflower recipes…
|Lemon & Elderflower Cupcakes|
Lemon & Elderflower Cake
Lemon and elderflower cake, with a naked cake design
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
Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line three 8" cake tins
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
Add the lemon zest and mix in
Add the eggs, two at a time, and whisk between each addition. Then add the elderflower cordial, and whisk in
Using a hand whisk, gently whisk in the self raising flour
Divide the mixture between the tins, I like to weigh it out for accuracy so the layers are even
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
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
If the cakes have domed on top, level them off with a cake leveller or a serrated knife
Put one of the sponges on a cake board, and then onto a decorating turntable and brush some of the elderflower cordial over it
Spread a layer of buttercream over the sponge and smooth it out, then add the second sponge and repeat the process
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
Cover the cake in a base layer, or crumb coat, of buttercream
Pipe some buttercream around the top of the cake and add your chosen decorations
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!
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