Wedding cake - zingy lemon

Wedding cake - zingy lemon

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(32 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

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  • 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 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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2006

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tartybaker's picture
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This is a really easy recipe to follow. I needed to make this in my 10 inch round cake tin(3 inch deep) I did not need to alter any of the recipe quantities. I baked at 140c for 65 mins then turned down to 120c for 15 mins. The cake was done perfectly after this time.
I left it to cool in the tin for 15 mins. I did not put the lemon syrup on the top. Other reviewers said it did not need it. I agree, the cake was beautifully moist & had a lovely lemon aroma.
I was hoping to slice in two but it just isn't deep enough. I would need to bake another one to do this but, then it would be way too deep. Next time, I think I would make it in x 2 12 inch tins, it would then be the perfect depth for 2 sandwhiched together.
I wrapped it in cling film & foil & will freeze it. I need to use it for a fundraising event in a couple of weeks.

Rifty's picture

Hi, know this is an old post but hope someone will read it! Can anyone tell me if this is good to make as a base tier for a 5 tier wedding cake, base being 15"!

amul's picture

Hope I'm not too late. The reply depends on whether the other 4 tiers will sit on top. If they do, then may I suggest that you place a thin cake board about 12" - 13" on your base cake. Camaflague (?) it with a thin layer of icing. This will dispel your concerns. Be sure to tell the venue manager. I hope this helps. Enjoy the day and apologies if I am too late

ayesha89's picture

Hi, I know this is an old post but I hope someone sees this! I'm making my friends wedding cake and having trial runs- as other lemon cakes have failed me :( any idea how I scale this for an 11in round cake and how long to bake it for on what oven temp? Any advice of would greatly appreciate!! Thanks!!

wendylb's picture

I may be too late now but I scale my recipes using the CakeBakers app called 'Cakeometer; which is ace...I have scaled this recipe for different sizes, although never an 11 otherwise I would post here the amounts x

crazyzoarhaina's picture

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dideedoo62's picture

I just checked the cake after 1hr15min and it is wobbling and runny in the middle. I hope it doesn't sink from opening the door?? It states two cooking times, the very top one 2hrs. How long have others cooked the cake for in an 8" round tin?

Tmumpy55's picture

I recently made all three layers for my grandson's wedding cake and it tasted wonderful, with a close run for favourite between the lemon and chocolate layers. Would definitely use this recipe again. Dowelling definitely needed to support 2nd and 3rd layers. I froze the chocolate and lemon layers until 3 days before the wedding, using that time to buttercream, letting that 'set' and finally icing. Thank you not only for the recipe but all the very helpful comments posted.

beckylew1's picture

I've just checked the cake after 1hr 15 minutes and it's wobbling! Hope it's not ruined now I've opened the oven. Followed the recipe word for word. Is it a typo? Should it be 2hr 15 minutes? It's nowhere near baked. :(

heather2014's picture

Sorry I meant 10inch round not 8 inch

heather2014's picture

Hi please can I have the recipe for an 8inch round. I also tried to make this yesterday using cake release and the cake burnt around the bottom sides and top. Is this because the tin was not lined with paper? I cooked it at the correct temperature for the correct amount of time and the sides and base were not crispy but they were definately burnt. Thanks

nikkinor's picture

I know some earlier comments/questions have asked for times etc for different sized cakes so this may help.
I adapted this recipe as I wanted a 10" square and a 6" square cake to make into a castle birthday cake. I doubled the ingredients which was enough mixture for both cakes. I cooked the 10 inch one for 1hour and 50mins and the 6 inch one for 1 hour and 25 minutes at the same temperature as the recipe. I sliced the cakes in half but they were deep enough to cut into three if required.
I used lemon curd (shop bought-sorry) for the filling and covered with fondant icing. I did not double the syrup ingredients but only used half of it anyway. I found that as some of the syrup went over the top of the cake this made the icing soggy after a few days so would leave out next time as the cakes were moist enough anyway.
I would not hesitate to make this again- it disappeared really quickly with people going back for second helpings and asking for the recipe.

daffers's picture

I made this cake for Easter as a practice for a future tier of a wedding cake. Very easy to make and tasted wonderful, very zingy as the name suggests. I only used about 80mls of the syrup and this kept the cake very moist. I did however need to give it an extra 7mins as mix still coming out uncooked on skewer after recommended time. will definitely make again.

Kiraniya's picture

I scaled down the recipe to 2/3 the quantities, and used regular caster sugar, about 80ml of lemon juice and the zest of 2 lemons to make a 7inch round or an 8inch heart cake.

I agree with other commentators that this cake doesn't really rise enough for it to be cut into 3 layers - I didn't cut it at all but baked a second 2/3 quantity cake to use as a second layer. I also didn't use the syrup as it was lovely, moist, tangy and so fresh without it!

As I was making this as a birthday, I covered it with lemon buttercream, and it went down a treat!!! Brilliant recipe :)

marijas's picture

I baked this on Friday, iced it on Saturday and served it on Sunday. As with many of the other posters, I found that the given cooking time wasn't sufficient whatsoever. My 'skewer' (I use a raw spaghetti) came out covered in cake batter. This isn't very acceptable in my opinion of a recipe posted on Good Food. To make up for this, I put the temperature of the oven up slightly by 15 degrees and cooked it for another 15 minutes, at which point the skewer came out perfectly dry. The cake rose beautifully but on the day, contrary to many of the other commentators, it wasn't that moist at all. I imagine that was because I put up the oven temperature. So while the taste is good, the recipe is seriously flawed.

Tigerlillybud's picture

This recipe is the one I was most worried about when making my granddaughters christening cake, I opted to choose this for the top layer just in case the lemon was a little too much, it went down a storm and was the favourite ahead of chocolate and victoria sponge tiers. I now am making this again for a christening cake this weekend, also for a 60th birthday cake in December. I will make the larger size though as mine didn't rise too much either.

Marie 2's picture

what size eggs did you use?

ninnynookums's picture

Can anyone tell me how long this cake will stay fresh once iced. I need to make chocolate and lemon tiers to go with 2 fruit tiers on my son's wedding cake. But i have to transport it to Scotland 5 days before the wedding!! Will be pleased for any tips. Thanks

jerebe's picture

I made this cake on a Thursday night, wrapped in grease proof and foil overnight, decorated Friday night, ready for daughters 21st party on Saturday night. We cut it Monday night, her actual birthday and was moist for about 2-3 days after, as we covered it in foil. I didn't use the lemon drizzle as others said it made it too wet, it was fine without it.

cazthesexychef's picture

I made this cake as one of the layers for my sisters wedding last Saturday it went down a storm... I also used the basic recipe for a vanilla bean cake for another tier, Fantastic raves.. Cake orders are through the roof !!!
I would use this for all layers another time just using dowels and boards for support...
Thank You to the creator of the recipe....