Wedding cake - zingy lemon

Wedding cake - zingy lemon

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(29 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs Plus cooling

Skill level

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 info

Nutrition per serving



  • 350g unsalted butter, softened
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 140g plain flour
  • 280g self-raising flour
  • zest of 4 lemons, juice of 3 (about 100ml/3½fl oz)

For the syrup

  • zest and juice 2 lemons
  • 100g golden caster sugar

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  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 15 mins 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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2006

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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
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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
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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 :)

imabadpixie's picture

For all those asking about SIZING this receipe can i suggest either GOOGLING how to convert receipes or using ? Otherwise just remember a round tin is worth 1" more than a square tin (8" square = 9" round). I usually use a formular based on square cakes so if i want to convert a 8" square receipe into a 12" then i use 144/64 x receipe quantity. In this receipe that would mean using 13-14 eggs and 9 lemons.

loobianca's picture

This question has been asked before and as with many of the questions, it has not yet been answered.
Could someone please tell me the depth/height of the lemon and the chocolate cakes?? Thanks

vicki_tiger's picture

Hi everyone I am making this cake for the first time well technically the second time :0), I just wanted to share my 'horror' story incase anyone has made the same mistake and had a 'moment' like me, as I saw the comment from woodenspoon saying about the cake being raw, thought perhaps you had possibly done what I did yesterday. I wrote down the recepie and got to baking and after about 2 hours of baking the cake was still not cooked so I decided to give up on it, I then logged online this morning to check the recepie and realised that I has only written down plain flour and not the self raising flour. I thought it looked a little heavy when putting it into the tin but I haven't really baked a large cake before just cupcakes, so thought I would just go with it. I can happily say my new cake is currently in the oven and looks to be rising nicely. Thank you for this recepie.

nikkimarchant's picture

I have made the chocolate and lemon cake several times and they have always been delicious. One time I added the lemon syrup when the cakes were cold and the syrup just rested on the top. These recipes have been great to adapt for gluten free cakes by using a mix of gluten free flour ground almonds and coconut flour to replace the wheat flour. To adapt any recipe from round to square is in the region of minus 1 inch ie. 9 inch round is 8 inch square.

rambo197's picture

How long ca this cake be frozen for?

rambo197's picture

How long can this cake be frozen for?

coops79's picture
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Of the three layers, this was the one that got the most praise (although they were all lovely!)

SandySanga's picture
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This is one truely amazing recipe! made this in a square pan (was dying to use the new one my hubby brought me :D) and i cant fault it at all, a recipe that wont dissapoint i wish there where more like this! will try the choco and fruit one next time, this cake is going to be a frequent vistor in my kitchen!!

lindachomanicz's picture
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I put the buttercream and lemon curd in the middle and put the icing straight on the cake using apricot jam to stick it to the sponge, good luck with your cake.

jillian_robinson's picture

hello i have tried this recipe using orange instead of lemon and all the family loved it. I would like to know what quantities i need to use for a 12 inch square cake tin for a wedding cake???? would much appreciate some help on this