Wedding cake - zingy lemon

Wedding cake - zingy lemon

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(34 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs Plus cooling

More effort

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

  • kcal269
  • fat8g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars0.17g
  • fibre20g
  • protein4g
  • salt0g
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  • 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


  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.

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Comments (119)

dawncr57's picture

Hi! I am making the lemon cake for my granddaughter's christening cake, having 2 tiers both in lemon.
Can you help me out with the quanitity and cooking time needed for a 5" / 13cm cake tin size pleas?
Thank you very much!

mrsshambo's picture

My niece asked me to make her wedding cake but as both of us are coeliac we are having a problem finding recipies that suit. Would it be possible to make these cakes with gluten free flour? Has anybody done so and how did they turn out?

jeannie111's picture

Hi, I am a Coeliac too and have made this cake a number of times. I just substitute the flours with my prescription all purpose flour - works great!

annekay3a's picture

I forgot to rate before posting!

annekay3a's picture

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

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

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.


Questions (45)

ersatzvanilla's picture

Does anybody know why the zingy lemon cake does not rise very well? I made this cake last week, and ended up having to do another cake afterwards as the first one was only 2inches tall and clearly not deep enough to split and fill. Each cake took a full 2 hrs to bake. But the cake was delicious and had a fantastic cutting texture. Any tips on how to get it to rise more would be gratefully received. Thanks.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there. You need to make sure you have encoporated enough air into the mixture in order to get a good rise, make sure you beat the mixture until it is pale, light and fluffy.

haroldhamster's picture

Just a quick egg question - did folk use medium or large?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. Medium eggs are called for in this recipe. In fact, unless otherwise stated all recipes on the site containing eggs require them to be medium in size.

Best wishes, BBC Good Food team

Marie 2's picture

Just seen this recipe and was wondering if you ever got an answer to your question as I would like to try this sponge but would like to know what size eggs to use?


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