Wedding cake - zingy lemon

Wedding cake - zingy lemon

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(37 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 eggs, 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, questions and tips

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Marie 2
5th Feb, 2014
what size eggs did you use?
6th Oct, 2013
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
4th Nov, 2013
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.
4th Sep, 2013
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....
Marie 2
5th Feb, 2014
Did you just omit the lemon and add vanilla bean to this actual recipe to come up with your vanilla cake?
3rd Jun, 2013
Is it possible to use this recipe for all three layers of a wedding cake? Would it be sturdy enough to hold the weight? Thanks
27th May, 2013
This is the best cake I have eaten in quite a long time. I made it for a wedding this past saturday. I used lemon curd filling between the cake after cutting it into two. Then I used buttercream to cover the whole cake; before using fondant and referigerated for 2 days before the event. The guests loved it & I got an order for this particular one for an upcoming anniversary. Thanks whoever uploaded it.
17th May, 2013
Fab recipe for a wedding cake. Delicious, would definately make again and again
21st Apr, 2013
Just wish I'd had Mary Berry to hand when attempting this one. Although I did the scewer test the cake dropped when it cooled and was a bit of a doughy texture. The mixture did separate a bit when I started adding the eggs and I did add a bit of flour then. Any suggestions welcome. I'm supposed to be making this for my daughters wedding in August and having trial run(s). At this rate I'll be popping down to Waitrose last minute :(
18th Apr, 2013
I made this cake after a disaster with Mich Turner recipes and it was my life saver! I used an 8" square cake tin, kept the same quantities as above and it came out perfect. The cake was delicious and will def use again! Thank you so much for this recipe! Also I noticed that lots of posts are querying what to do if they want to change the recipe to scale up/down tin sizes, I used a website called which has a 'cakeometer' which calculates the differences. It does not however provide cooking times, so just be sensible and keep an eye on things!


17th Mar, 2015
Hi wandered if anyone knows this answer ?
31st Jan, 2015
Can this zingy lemon layer be used as the base? Will it support the rich chocolate and light fruit cake?
goodfoodteam's picture
2nd Mar, 2015
Hi twhite. Thanks for your question. We haven't tested this recipe as the base layer so cannot guarantee perfect results and it would also mean adjusting the recipes for the layers above so that they are the right size. However, if you decide to go ahead, you could try using cake rods or drinking straws to support the cake; just push them into the cake at regualar intervals, trim them so that they stick out just about 0.5mm taller than the cake and make sure the layers sitting on top are on thin cake boards. Hope this helps, let us know how it goes. 
31st Jan, 2015
I posted a question on 4th Jan, and a month later still have received no reply. What sort of website is this, when GoodFood don't respond at all?
goodfoodteam's picture
2nd Feb, 2015
Hi JCH, really sorry to keep you waiting. Normally we like to answer the user questions as soon as possible. However, your question is a bit more specialist as the recipe relates to baking and the method will have been triple tested at the temperatures given and for the times shown so we are concerned that it hasn't been successful for you and has taken a long time to bake for others too. We are in the process of fitting a full retest of this recipe into our kitchen schedule and will let you know the results as soon as we can. Can I ask, how long did it take to completely cook through in the end at 140C fan? 
goodfoodteam's picture
2nd Mar, 2015
Hi again JCH, thank you for your patience. We have now retested the cake again in our kitchen and taking our findings, your questions and the other comments into account we have amended the recipe to suggest cooking for 1hr 35mins or until risen, golden and a skewer comes out cleanly. Many thanks again for bringing this to our attention.
4th Jan, 2015
Like some of the other users of this recipe I cooked this for 1hr 15 min at fan 140, but it was completely uncooked in the middle. (I have an oven thermometer which clearly showed 140 throughout.) Should I have cooked it for 2 hours, as it said at the top of the recipe (and if not, why does it say 2hrs?)? Or should I have cooked it at 160 even though I have a fan oven?
21st Oct, 2014
I need to double the quantities of the zingy lemon cake, could you please give me a temperature and cooking time. It will be cooked in the 23cm tin as before. Thank you. Marion
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Nov, 2014
Hi there thanks for your question, we would not recommend you doubling the ingredients for the same size tin, it is likely to overfill the tin and not cook through. Instead make two cakes for best results.
23rd Oct, 2014
Could you kindly answer my question as I need to bake a double size soon. Thank you. Marion


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