Friday, 12 June 2015

Lemon-Elderflower Layer Cake

I love making layer cakes! They're so fun to stack up and decorate, and I always enjoy the challenge of a tall cake! I recently whipped up this Lemon-Elderflower Layer Cake for afternoon tea with family, and it was really delicious!

Three moist sponges infused with lemon and elderflower are stacked together with a delicate elderflower frosting and drizzled with lemon-curd sauce before the cake is finished with a tangy lemon icing. The perfect summer cake!

Lemon-Elderflower Cake
Recipe by Charis Mitchell
Serves 12-18

For the sponges
3C self raising flour (or plain flour + 2tsp baking powder)
2C sugar
2tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt
2/3C vegetable oil
2 + 1/3C dairy free milk
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1Tbsp elderflower cordial/syrup

For the frosting
5Tbsp vegan butter spread/margarine
3 1/2C powdered sugar
1Tbsp elderflower cordial/syrup
2Tbsp dairy free milk

For the lemon curd sauce
1C sugar
1/2C lemon juice
1/4C almond or soy milk
4Tbsp (heaped) cornstarch
6tsp water
4tsp (heaped) vegan butter spread

For the lemon icing
2C powdered sugar
Juice and zest of one lemon

Make the sponges
Preheat the oven to 150/325 and grease and line three circular cake tins.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients and the lemon zest and whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick.
Pour equal amounts into the three pans and smack them each on the counter a couple of times to pop any excess air bubbles that have formed. Bake for 20-25mins, or until a knife inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the pans and transfer to wire racks to cool completely while you prepare the other elements.

Make the lemon sauce
In a small saucepan over a medium heat whisk stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the milk and stir. Mix the cornflour and water together until they form a smooth liquid and pour it into the pan. Whisk vigorously while over the heat and allow the sauce to thicken up nicely. Once thickened, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes before stirring in the vegan butter spread.
Pour the sauce into a jar and pop into the fridge to cool before using.

Make the frosting
Cream together the vegan butter spread and sugar. Add the elderflower cordial and as much milk as is needed to form a thick but pipeable frosting. Scoop 1/3 of the frosting into a piping bag and seal at the top.

Make the lemon icing
In a small mixing bowl combine the powdered sugar, lemon zest and juice and mix well until you have a thick, tangy icing.

Place your first cake layer onto a cake plate or stand. Pipe an even circle of frosting around the edge of the cake, then use half of the leftover frosting (not in the piping bag) to fill the circle. (You don't have to do the piping, but I find it gives a nice finish to the cake) Spread some of the lemon sauce on top of the frosting layer and top with the second sponge cake. Repeat this frosting and sauce process with the next layer and top with the final sponge cake. Top with the lemon icing and decorate with whatever you like! (I used some flowers, little pearl sprinkles and some strips of lemon zest.

The cake lasts about a week in the fridge.


  1. This is beautiful Charis. We are well and truly in winter here in Tasmania Australia, but a nice big wedge of something as lovely as this might just remind me that spring is around the corner. Cheers for sharing this with us all :)

  2. This looks delicious ! defiantly going to try this :) what vegan butter spread do you use when making your frostings? mine is always to soft. x

    1. Thank you! I use Vitalite spread for my frostings, often if they're too soft you can just add some more powdered sugar to thicken it up!