Wedding cake - zingy lemon

Wedding cake - zingy lemon

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(42 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…

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…

  • 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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Alan Bolton's picture
Alan Bolton
18th Jan, 2020
Hi my cake tin is 18cm or 7inches how do I adjust the recipe?
Susan Moran's picture
Susan Moran
3rd Oct, 2019
What size tin is this receipe for please
24th Jun, 2019
Does this cake freeze well?
9th Apr, 2019
Thank you for the recipe the cake was divine.
4th Apr, 2019
I have now made this cake four times, the last three taking careful note of all the tips regards room temperature for eggs and butter, creaming the butter and sugar properly, making sure to measure lemon juice correctly etc. Not once have I produced a cake deeper than 2 inches in the 23cm tin, so have had to make 2 of them for both wedding cakes where I have used the recipe. I am an experienced baker, so I am at a loss as to why I cannot make this recipe work to make a 4 inch high cake. I guess I will have to scale up the ingredients if I make a future attempt. Not impressed.
Carley Wallace's picture
Carley Wallace
29th Nov, 2018
Hello! This recipe looks awesome and I can't wait to try it for my sisters wedding. I do have a question about the oven temp. My Canadian oven doesn't have a gas and fan setting. As I need one temp,wbat would you recommend me baking this at? I thought 350f but I wanna double check!
21st Aug, 2018
Thank you Jane Hornby for this recipe. I used a 23cm tin for the second tier of a wedding cake, and poured elderflower liqueur onto the cake while still warm. It froze beautifully, and I filled it with lemon buttercream before icing it. It made a perfect platform for flowers, and the cake was moist, sharp and delicious. So much so, that it all went very quickly (120 guests). I would definitely use this recipe again, for everyday as well as for special occasions.
16th Mar, 2017
I made this for my brother's wedding 6 years ago and since then has been my go to lemon cake recipe. I scale it up and down as needed and even make cupcakes with it. One of the best lemon cakes i've ever eaten (if I do say so myself :))
6th Jan, 2017
I made the whole wedding cake for my daughter's best friend's wedding and it was very successful - everyone loved it! Have just used the Zingy Lemon Cake recipe to make a Baby Shower cake for the same friend. Again it worked really well. As a previous person commented, it is important that the eggs and butter are at room temperature. I always assume large eggs when baking. And yes, I have produced a great 4" deep cake each time!
27th Nov, 2016
Lemon juice in cake mix meant it didn't rise at all. Went in the bin


8th Feb, 2020
Has anyone done this in a 20cm tin and if so how did you adjust the quantities and baking time please? I want to do 3 x 20cm stacked cakes
CassieBest's picture
10th Feb, 2020
Hi anniejohnston, Thanks for your question. Unfortunately we are unable to give exact quantities and cooking times without testing the recipe for these. We'd suggest looking at our creating a wedding cake recipe: as well as our wedding cake recipe collection: I hope this helps, Cassie (Senior Food Editor, BBC Good Food)
1st Aug, 2019
Hi looking to use this recipe for a wedding cake i have next week. However i have to make a banana flavour cake can i just take the lemon out? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Aug, 2019
Thanks for your question. This recipe cannot be easily adapted into a banana cake. Take a look at our wedding cake recipe collection for alternative cakes. We do not have a banana cake specifically designed as a celebration cake but there are a variety of other options to choose from: We also have a variety of banana cakes in this collection:
10th May, 2019
How much ingredients would I need to make this cake in a 12 inch square tin please?
goodfoodteam's picture
11th May, 2019
Thanks for your question. Unfortunately we can't give exact measurements or cooking times without retesting the cake. This is the equivalent of a 9" cake. Our simple elegance wedding cake recipe has some more information about sizing up cakes. You can view it here:
16th Aug, 2018
Do you use large or medium eggs?
goodfoodteam's picture
21st Aug, 2018
Thanks for your question. Our baking recipes use medium eggs unless otherwise stated.
9th Jun, 2018
I would like to make this recipe for a 6, 9 and 12 inch wedding cake. Can you tell me how I adjust the recipe please. The wedding is next Saturday, so an urgent reply needed. Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
13th Jun, 2018
Thanks for your question. Unfortunately we are unable to give exact quantities and cooking times without testing the recipe for these. We'd suggest looking at our creating a wedding cake recipe: as well as our wedding cake recipe collection:


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