It was my birthday earlier this week and I debated what to make as a birthday cake for work. I wanted to make something 'wow' and thought about a red velvet cake or a chocolate cake (always a favourite). I'd already made hummingbird cake and carrot cake earlier this year. In the end, I settled for a simple yet delicious lemon cake - another favourite flavour. Sometimes simple is best. The cake rose beautifully and it tasted light and citrusy. Definitely one to make again and again.
For the cake
225g golden caster sugar
225g self-raising flour, sifted
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
grated zest and juice of 2 large juicy lemons (otherwise use 3 lemons)
Lemon Buttercream icing
110g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated zest of 1-2 unwaxed lemons (you need 2 teaspoons)
500g icing sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 170c.
- Grease and line two 20cm cake tins.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is smooth and pale.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Add the eggs to the creamed mixture, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition, alternating the dry ingredients, and finally the grated zest and lemon juice.
- Beat well after each addition, but again do not overbeat.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until raised and golden brown.
- Insert a skewer into the centre of one of those cakes - it should come out clean if it is cooked.
- Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool.
- Peel the greaseproof paper from the bases of the cakes.
- Once they are cool, sandwich the layers together with lemon buttercream icing and cover the top of the cake with more.
- Decorate with sugared lemon slices or sugar flowers or both.