Lemon Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
For the cake:
  • 200g (or ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g (or 1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • the zest of 2 lemons (about 1 packed tablespoon)
  • 200g (or 1½ cup + 5 teaspoons) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
For the syrup:
  • 50g (or ¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 60ml (or ¼ cup) water
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon juice (from the zested lemons)
For the filling:
  • 300ml (or 1¼ cup) whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 150g (or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons) homemade or store bought lemon curd
  • 500g (or a little over a pound) fresh raspberries
  • zest of 1 lemon
Start with the cakes:
  1. Preheat your oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting) and line two 18-cm or 7-inch round cake pans with baking parchment. Use a little butter to stick the parchment against the sides of the pans.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter with a mixer until fluffy. Add the sugar and mix until creamed, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs on at a time, mixing well (about 1 minute) after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula when needed. After all of the eggs have been mixed in, add the vanilla and the lemon zest. Mix briefly to combine.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and, using a rubber spatula, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once the dry ingredients have somewhat absorbed the wet ingredients, mix briefly with the mixer until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix for another 10 seconds.
  4. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, place the pans in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centers of the cakes comes out clean.
  5. Take the cakes out of the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before turning them out of the pans. Leave to cool to room temperature.
As the cakes cool, make the lemon syrup and prepare the filling:
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring with a metal spoon until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Take the syrup off the heat, pour it in a mug and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Whip up the cream and sugar until the mixture holds soft peaks.
Once the cakes have cooled to room temperature…
  1. … place one of the cakes on a rotating cake stand. With a fork, prick the top of the cake all over. Using a pastry brush, brush an ample amount of syrup over the top of the cake. Because of the little fork pricks, the syrup will seep into the cake a little.
  2. Plop half the whipped cream on top of the cake and, using a rubber spatula, spread the cream in an even layer, pushing it to the edges of the cake.
  3. Carefully drop spoonfuls of the lemon curd on top of the whipped cream, making sure to only use half the lemon curd and dropping it close to the edges of the whipped cream layer. Using a clean rubber spatula, spread the lemon curd in an even layer, ‘pushing’ it towards (and in some places over) the edge of the whipped cream layer. Try not to mix the whipped cream and lemon curd as you do this.
  4. Scatter one third of the raspberries on top of the lemon curd and place the second cake on top. Press it down lightly.
  5. Prick the top of the second cake all over with a fork too, brush with the syrup, then spread the remaining cream on top in an even layer. Again, use a rubber spatula to ‘push’ it towards the edge of the cake.
  6. Spoon the remaining lemon curd on top and spread it in an even layer, again making sure to push it over the edge of the whipped cream in some places (to create those dramatic, delicious lemon curd drips). Pile the remaining raspberries on top. Finally, sprinkle the zest of a lemon over the cake to make it look even prettier.
  7. This cake is best served a few hours after assembly. Enjoy!
This cake is a messy one! It doesn’t cut particularly well, because of the thick layers of whipped cream and lemon curd and the raspberries. So have some napkins ready!
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at https://thetoughcookie.com/2014/04/13/lemon-cake-easter/