It is my mum’s birthday today. As a result I was up until 1:30am making her cake. She does this every year, the rest of us conveniently schedule something that will keep us out and the kitchen clear the day or two before our birthdays but with mum I have to wait until she goes to bed and then get cracking! I’m used to this, however, and I had sort of planned for it. Cakes always take twice as long to cool when you’re in a hurry though, don’t they?
She likes lemon so this year I thought I would do a lemon cake. She had also been talking about, although never actually baking, a lemon meringue cake filled with lemon curd and marscapone. I knew I wouldn’t have time to be playing about with meringue but I cheerfully borrowed the lemon curd and marscapone filling. I’m very glad I did. The resulting cake was light, lemony and bright. Everything I had hoped for. I only discovered lemon curd recently but I love it!
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g golden caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
4 eggs, beaten
200g self raising flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp milk
4 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 jar lemon curd
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
– Heat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease (and line if necessary) 2 sandwich tins.
– Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
– Add the lemon zest.
– Gradually add the eggs a little at a time and beat well between additions.
– Fold in the flour.
– Add the lemon juice and stir through then add the milk and mix well to combine into a smooth mixture.
– Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins and smooth the tops. (For total accuracy and equal layers, weigh them but I never usually bother.)
– Place in the oven, on the same shelf if at all possible, and bake for 30-35 minutes, checking after 20 and swapping tins around.
– Test with a skewer to see if it’s cooked, if the skewer comes out clean then it’s ready.
– Turn out and leave to cool completely on wire racks.
– Pick which will be the top and which the bottom.
– Place the bottom on your chosen serving plate.
– In a small bowl mix together the marscapone and icing sugar.
– Spread the marscapone evenly over the cake.
– Spoon lemon curd over the marscapone layer, using the back of the spoon to swirl it evenly over the marscapone.
– Add the top cake and gently press down to secure it.
– In another small bowl mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice. (I forgot to weigh this stage and did it by eye. You may need to alter these measurements if the icing is too dry or too fluid. It wants to move but very slowly or else it will flow off your cake!)
– Carefully spoon/pour the icing into the centre of the top of the cake and try to guide it out towards the edges smoothly with the back of the spoon. It will drip off the edges. This is life.
– While the icing is still wet add your decorations of choice then leave to set before serving.