Elderflower & lemon celebration cake served on a cake stand and decorated with fresh flowers

Lemon & elderflower celebration cake

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(39 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 40 mins

More effort

Serves 15-18

Decorate this simple elderflower and lemon cake with edible flowers for a showstopping celebration dessert. It's perfect for a wedding or birthday

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving (18)

  • kcal715
  • fat38g
  • saturates24g
  • carbs86g
  • sugars67g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt1.13g
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  • oil, for greasing
  • 6 medium eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 100g natural yoghurt
  • 50ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 450g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 3 tbsp elderflower cordial

For the icing

  • 250g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 300g full fat cream cheese
  • 700g icing sugar
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • fresh flowers to decorate


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of 3 x 20cm cake tins with baking parchment. In a jug, whisk the eggs, yogurt and milk. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, using an electric hand whisk. When you have a light and fluffy mixture, add the flour, the liquid in the jug and the lemon zest. Mix again until smooth. Divide the cake mixture between the tins, level the surfaces and bake for 40 mins.

  2. Mix the lemon juice and elderflower cordial. When the cakes are cooked, poke all over the surface with a cocktail stick then spoon the lemon and elderflower syrup over the cakes. Leave to cool in the tins. Once cool, you can wrap in cling film and keep for 3 days before icing.

  3. To make the icing, beat the butter until smooth with an electric hand whisk. Add half the icing sugar, use a spatula to mash the mixture together (this will help to prevent an icing sugar cloud) then whisk again. Add the remaining icing sugar, cream cheese and lemon zest, mash again, then whisk again until smooth.

  4. Stack the cakes on a cake stand with plenty of icing between each layer. Pile most of the remaining icing on top, then use a palette knife to spread it across the top and down the sides, covering the cake in swirls (don’t worry about it looking too perfect). Add the final bit of icing to the top and use it to cover any patches where the cake is poking through. Decorate with fresh flowers. 

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Comments, questions and tips

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Jenny D'Souza's picture
Jenny D'Souza
22nd Jul, 2018
I made this cake for my mums 70th and it was a huge hit. After a tip from a friend, I made the icing then put it in the fridge for a couple of hours before icing the cake so it was less runny and it was a great thick consistency. Also as I iced cake day before I kept it in the fridge. It tasted great and had kept well.
27th Jun, 2018
I've made this cake twice now. The first time I measured all the ingredients as given and had enough mix for a 4 tier cake and 6 muffins. The second time i cut the measures by a third and it made a 3 tier cake. Both times the icing has been far too runny so i'm still working on that one. However, the cake is so delicious and moist and everyone loved it.
16th Jun, 2018
Lovely cake. Very simple to make. I made two layers for small family gathering for my birthday (isn’t it good eh having to make one’s own birthday cake!) Anyway, my gannets devoured it with lots of positive comments.
Joanna Schoultz's picture
Joanna Schoultz
25th May, 2018
Perfect sponges but the icing was too thin and runny, measures were correct, where did I go wrong....???
21st Jul, 2018
agree with Sally, you must use full fat and unless you have access to some impressive french cream cheese then its Philadelphia or nothing
20th Jun, 2018
You probably used reduced fat cream cheese. It has to be full fat or it won't work. I've made that mistake myself.
21st May, 2018
I made this cake, and everyone loved it. A few notes: Since this is a poke=style cake, it is extremely important to use parchment paper on the bottom of the layers. I learned that the hard way. Also, I made 2 10" layers, and the batter came out evenly divided. I was making a cake to serve about 25 people, and that option worked best for me. I had to substitute Ikea Elderflower Concentrate for liqueur, and it was fine. I live in California, and Elderflower products are almost nonexistent. All in all, this is now a favorite recipe and I am going to use it again. I got a lot of compliments on the flavor and the texture of the cake. It was served at a birthday celebration that was set for the same day as the Royal Wedding. Everyone loved the idea of sharing the same cake as was used at the royal event.
Annabel Cardenas's picture
Annabel Cardenas
20th May, 2018
Quite a dense but a moist and delicious cake. I made this in celebration of the Royal Wedding and served it up alongside some pink champagne - and It received some wonderful compliments such as "The most delicious cake i've had in my life' - 5 stars from me!
Fit lass
19th May, 2018
Forgot to rate in my previous comment
Fit lass
19th May, 2018
This cake is so moist and delicious! I did make a couple of alterations due to what I had in my cupboards, as it was a quick decision to make it. Firstly, I halved all the ingredients, and just used two 7" (21cm) tins. Instead of lemon zest in the sponge mixture, I used 1 tsp. lemon extract, then when it came out of the oven, I poured 1 tbsp. of elderflower liqueur over each sponge (2 tbsp. in total). For the icing, I used 90g of both butter and full fat Philadelphia cheese, and 200 g of icing sugar, which was the perfect consistency, not runny. This was just enough to sandwich and top the cake. I then sprinkled some freeze dried raspberries over the top to finish it off. Absolutely delicious, and I will be making this again!


21st May, 2018
It didnt specify whether to use salted or unsalted butter. Which type of butter is best for this cake?
goodfoodteam's picture
24th May, 2018
Thanks for your question. We used salted butter in this recipe.
Fit lass
22nd May, 2018
I actually used a shop brand equivalent of Stork tub baking spread, and it still turned out delicious! I often substitute butter for this, and I personally can't taste the difference.


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