Wedding cake - zingy lemon

Wedding cake - zingy lemon

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(33 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs Plus cooling

Moderately easy

Serves 30
Tier two of our three tier wedding cake, this gives a real citrus hit and the drenching of lemon syrup keeps it beautifully moist

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition per serving

  • kcalories269
  • fat8g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars0.17g
  • fibre20g
  • protein4g
  • salt0g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 350g unsalted butter, softened
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 6 egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 140g plain flour
  • 280g self-raising flour
  • zest of 4 lemons, juice of 3 (about 100ml/3½fl oz)



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

For the syrup

  • zest and juice 2 lemons



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 100g golden caster sugar

Compare prices

Want to see what this recipe costs at different supermarkets? Compare in one place here:


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan140C/gas 3. Prepare the inside and outside of a 23cm tin, as before. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs a little at a time. Add a tbsp of the plain flour if it starts to split. Fold in the flours and a pinch of salt, followed by the lemon zest and juice.

  2. Spoon the mix into the tin and bake for 1 hr 35 mins or until well-risen and golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Meanwhile, make the syrup by heating the sugar, lemon zest and juice in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

  3. Once the cake is out of the oven, leave to cool until it’s just warm, then use a skewer to poke holes down to the bottom all over the cake. Pour the syrup over, letting it completely soak in after each addition. Leave to cool completely, then either wrap or fill and ice the cake. The unfilled cake will keep well if you wrap it with baking parchment and cling film for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (114)

annekay3a's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I made this cake as one tier for my nephew's wedding. It was a lovely cake to make and tasted delicious - I had rave reviews on the day. Before the big day, I had also made a tester for the bride and groom to try; what didn't get eaten as a taster was used at the christening of my new twin grandchildren where it also went down very well - so, I think this cake is suitable for a range of occasions.
I'm a fairly experienced baker but as I'm not used to making wedding cakes, for a big event, I would definitely recommend making a mini taster version as it helped me to iron out any possible problems I might otherwise have had.

maryannf's picture

I wish to make this for my daughter's wedding for 120 people. Will the three tiers provide enough cake for this number?

tarkytarks's picture

Lizzyla - don't freeze the cake with buttercream on. You need to do that bit once it defrosts. You can make the buttercream up a few days in advance and put it in the fridge, just let it get to room temp and give it a good beat/mix again before you use it.

lizzyla's picture

Hi, would it be possible to fill this with buttercream before freezing it? Has anyone tried that?

lizzyla's picture

Has anyone converted these recipes to make a three tier cake in 26cms, 20cms and 15cms pans? Or is there an easy way to do this.I'm assuming the chocolate cake recipe wouldn't be quite enough to make the largest and smallest tiers? Not too worried about doing the fruit cake, just the lemon and choc versions..

vndebbie's picture

How long did everyone cook it for? 1 hour 15 or 2 hours? Confusing instructions!

tartybaker123's picture

I would like to make this cake for my mom's 78th birthday but can anyone please tell me if the sponge is sharpe as I don't want it to be. Thank you, replies very much appreciated.

michy64's picture

Im making the chocolate cake for 9 inch round and lemon cake for a. 6 inch round can anyone help with quantities and cooking times need asap for my wedding cake. Many thanks

lelimey's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I love lemon cake and chose to make this in spite of having another lemon cake recipe I thought I'd never better.. well this did! It was just delicious and the perfect sweet/tart combination. Can't recommend it enough.

jodutton's picture

MrsMac, this was the same for me. I assumed it would be the same depth as in the picture, which looks to be about 4-5" but it's barely even two! Good job I was making in advance and freezing, rather than waiting until Monday (this is 1/4 of my giant jubilee flag cake).

jodutton's picture

I've just made this but it hardly rose at all, so I have just one half of a cake. I'm going to have to make it again now. I don't understand.

lisamparry's picture

Would like to make this in a 6 inch square tin, any ideas what quantities I would use?

katiann's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I'm not an experienced baker but I made this cake for the first time and it was delicious and had rave reviews from my family. Don't understand why yours was such a disaster mrsmac.

janemacification's picture

i made this, NEVER again. it didnt rise, in order to fill it, i had to make two. i'm an experienced baker and followed recipe to the letter.

cazz19779's picture

Made this cake in a 10 inch square tin, was very nice, although mine didn't turn out to be that deep, deep enough for a wedding cake. Will try to convert the ingredients to make a 4 inch deep cake.

cazz19779's picture

I'm going to be trying out these recipes before I use them for wedding cakes i'm going to be making. Are the recipes for 3inch deep cake tins because I've read on a previous comment that they are deep cakes. Can someone reply and let me know as I don't want to have to replace my tins to 4inch deep ones as all of my are 3inch deep.

annerose's picture

Please help me I want to make this tier not as lemon but as vanilla, (see easy vanilla cake) I am new to baking and afraid to mess it up, can anyone help by telling me how much of each ingredient i need for the vanilla tier, to serve 30 people. Thank you!!

lynnie-cooks's picture

I have made this recipe many times, and am wondering if any of you had used it for a giantcupcake? Does it work and how long would the cooking time be?

rosiequelch's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Made this for the first time yesterday in a Rayburn at heat setting 3 (roughly equivalent to Gas 3) in a 6" square tin. Used the cold shelf to avoid the top burning and didn't need to use foil to protect the top even though it took 2 hours to cook, came out well risen and springy. Had the same problem with the syrup thickening too much to soak in by the time the cake was cooked and cooled halfway, but agree that it doesn't need it as it's beautifully moist. Used a mix of shredless orange curd and Cointreau to brush the cut surfaces, top and sides. Filled with the buttercream and covered with Zesty Orange Marzipan from this site to get a St Clements flavour. Not going to be able to comment on how well it lasts as everybody in the office loves it and are fighting over the crumbs :)


Questions (38)

Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved…

Be the first to ask a question about this recipe…


Tips (0)

Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…

Skills & know how

As well as helping you decide what to cook we can also help you to cook it. From tips on cookery techniques to facts and information about health and nutrition, we’ve a wealth of foodie know how for you to explore.

About BBC Good Food

We’re all about good recipes, and about quality home cooking that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for some healthy inspiration or learning how to cook a decadent dessert, we’ve trustworthy guidance for all your foodie needs.

Our recipes

All our recipes are tested thoroughly by us to make sure they’re suitable for your kitchen at home. We know many of you are concerned about healthy eating, so we send them to a qualified nutritionist for thorough analysis too.

Tell us what you think…

Love the new look or think we’ve missed the mark? We want to hear your thoughts – good and bad – to make sure we make the new website as useful as possible.


Subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine and get triple-tested recipes delivered to your door, every month.


Discover the dates and details of all the BBC Good Food Shows.


See your favourite chefs on Sky Channel 247, Virgin TV 260 and find their recipes at

Good Food Apps

Download the BBC Good Food Recipes, tips & cooking tools app and get good food on the go.