Thursday, 11 September 2014

Recipe: Luscious Lemon Cake



As I've had a lot of time between finishing university and starting my new job, I've really got into baking. Lemon cake is one of my favourite desserts to make as it's so tasty yet so simple. As it was my step-grandad's birthday the other week, I decided to make a lemon birthday cake. I was really pleased with the end result so thought I would share with you all...




This is the first occasion cake I've made as I usually just make cakes that may taste good but don't look so great so I was just making things up as I went along with regards to the decoration. You could follow this recipe just to make the cake, if you wish, and skip the decoration. I've just added this for anyone who may want to make the cake for an occasion like I did. All my decorations were bought from Home Bargains and you could decorate the cake however you see fit as once the buttercream is added to the cake it's basically just a blank canvas. The sliced lemons, I would defo recommend though, as it hides any imperfections and makes the cake look a bit more professional.

I took the cake to my family meal and it was all gone about 5 minutes after it was brought out so, hopefully, it was a success!

The recipe is really simple as it's basically the same as Victoria sponge but with the addition of grated lemon so you really can't go wrong. You'll need 2 cake tins and will split this mixture between the two. It will serve 12 :)

Here goes...

Ingredients (for the cake)
4 eggs
225g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
225g soft butter (I use stork)
Grated zest of a large lemon (leave a little bit for decoration)

(For the buttercream)
600g icing sugar
350g soft butter
Lemon juice (about 3-4 tsps)

(Decoration)
Metallic balls and white sand (this is what I used, feel free to decorate as you see fit!)
Lemon sliced into even pieces
Leftover bits of Grated lemon zest

Method

Preheat oven to about 180 degrees

Cream your butter and sugar together first. (I don't even havea whisk and do this whole method with a fork - it's so simple you can't go wrong with it so don't be put off if you think you don't have the right utensils.) Next whisk your eggs individually and add them one by one whilst also adding flour so it becomes easy to mix together. The mixture should have no lumps and be quite sloppy. Then grate the lemon into the mixture.

Divide the mixture between two cake tins and put in the oven for about 20-25 mins.
If you can put something sharp through the cake and no mixture appears on it - it's ready!

Next up is the fun part - the buttercream for the decoration and also to put in between the two cakes.

Buttercream is literally just mixing together icing sugar and butter. I usually make sure the butter is really soft then sieve in the icing sugar gradually. If you want more or less buttercream then just make sure you always have about double the amount of icing sugar to butter. Then add in the lemon juice. You want the consistency to be spreadable but not runny so if it feels runny just add more icing sugar.

Once the cakes have cooled, spread a layer (or two!) of buttercream on top of one and then sandwich them together.

The rest of the buttercream is to completely cover the cake with (top and sides) Use something flat to do this. I just used the back of a knife. Don't worry too much about the bottom of the cake being neat as this will be covered up in the next step!

Add any decoration on straight away so it will stick before the buttercream sets. I added purple metallic balls around the centre of the cake and white decoration sand all over the top. (Kind of forgot I was making the cake for a man but hey-ho!)

Next up is the bit which will hide any imperfections and make your cake look much more professional. Arrange your lemon slices around the bottom of the cake - covering up any uneven bits of  buttercream. My cake looked pretty amateur until I did this and the lemon slices completely transformed the cake as it hides any bits that have gone wrong!

Last but not least, pop a bit of grated lemon zest on top of the cake.

Ta-dah!

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