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 (118)

cantonwitch's picture

I made cake in 20cm tin and used 2/3 quantities-seemed to be ok though not sure if as deep as original. Can anyone tell me what depth should be/what depth tin should be used?
Am new to this site, is it possible to view answers to other people's questions?

elara99's picture

I'm keen to try this out as practice for my wedding cake. However, I really just want a plain sponge, not a lemony one. Please could people let me know how strongly flavoured it is? any ideas what I could substitute for the zest and juice of the lemons?

Also I was wondering about using the "Easy vanilla cake" cake recipe that is used for Good Food's "Simple elegance wedding cake", instead of this one (with fruit cake and choc sponge for the other 2 tiers), any thoughts from you lovely helpful folks out there?

Thanks ever so much, I look forward to seeing if I get any replies :)

beaglebuddy's picture

I made the lemon, chocolate and fruit cake all for my own wedding in May. I made all 3 weeks before the wedding, stored the fruit cake and froze the chocolate and lemon as a back up in case I didnt have time to make fresh ones. 4 days before the wedding I made fresh ones, filled them 3 days before and iced 2 days before. They all tasted amazing, even the caterer was bowled over by the lemon one. The frozen ones were just as good as the fresh so if timing is an issue then do this.

tbracken's picture

Hi, I am making the chocolate layer and the lemon cake layer on a smaller scale for my grandaughter's first birthday. Can anyone help with resizing the ingredients required for a 5inch tin?


md1jml's picture

I want to make this lemon cake and the fruit cake for my wedding later this year. However I need both the recipes adjusting for 30cm cake tins to match the chocolate layer. Any ideas?
BTW the chocolate cake is delicious!

sweetingue's picture

I have just made the cake, but i have had the same problem as the other lady, the syrup is just sitting on the top of cake. It appears to have just set on the top, despite putting holes in cake. Anyone know what i have done wrong?

summed's picture

Making this for my daughter's wedding. I have made a trial one and it was fantastic.

julieandnickathome's picture

Hi, I'm making my friends wedding cake and she would like it all lemon as we're also using white choc! How do I up/down scale this recipe. We're having 6", 8", 10" and 12" square so not sure how to work out exact quantities!! Help...

lab_dancer's picture

I have just made this cake as part of the wedding cake. can anyone tell me how this is supposed to be stored? is it supposed to be refrigerated? Thanks

victoriajane52's picture

to resize the lemon recipe for a 7" tin, divide amounts by 5, then multiply by 3 - use 4 medium eggs. I added extra lemon as the 'trial' wedding cake was a lovely texture and buttery flavour just not zingy enough. All in all a great success - the chocolate cake recipe is the best I have ever made.

inkedmink's picture

i need to make this in a 7 ! round tin . Can someone please help me with the sizing of the recipe please . Thanks

dewbien's picture

I made this cake for my brother's wedding and it went down a treat. A very simple recipe.

trap-doortraveller's picture

Lovely recipe!! Made it for friend's mother's Golden Wedding cake and my mum for Mother's Day. I did put good lemon curd in the buttercream. Planning to make it as part of my daughter's wedding cake this August.

sarahscot's picture

Are you supposed to keep the syrup warm before you pour it over? My syrup was down to room temp and ended up just setting on the top like icing rather than soaking in. Didn't matter in the end though as my husband left it out over night after faithfully promising he'd wrap it up once it was cooled!! I'd made double quantity too as it was to be the bottom layer of a square wedding cake (12"). Also, should you put it back in the tin before pouring on the syrup so it doesn;t go straight through?

hayleygrice's picture

To add as well, I cooked it for the suggested time of 1 hr 15 and it worked. You just need to judge your oven I think.

And the portion sizes are based on the little slivers you get at weddings - if you were making this as a "cake" to cut into wedges, you get about 16 decent sized slices.

hayleygrice's picture

I made this cake for Christmas as an alternative to fruit cake as it iced well (see seperate recipe for building the cake). It also kept well (about 2 weeks) which is unusual for a sponge cake. It is so lemony and delicious, I am going to make it again for Easter.

When eating it after about a week, we took off the icing and microwaved it for 20 seconds which made a great dessert with custard.

It's really simple to make too which was appealing!

cariadesign's picture

If I halve this recipe for 25 people, do I cook it for the same length of time?

sbrobso1's picture

confused about cooking time.
cooking time =2 hrs , yet recipe says to put cake in oven for 1 hr 15 min.
took about 1hr 50min. in my oven.

tastes great and slices really well.


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