I do love a lemon cake, and this recipe makes a lovely light lemony sponge. The amounts for the frosting are approximate because I add and taste as I go along.
Set the oven to 170 deg C and grease and prepare two standard cake tins. I like to put baking parchment in the base and I tend to use springform tins because its easier to pop the cakes out once they’re done.
170g butter (or Nuttelex Buttery or other vegan butter/substitute if you are dairy free)
200g caster sugar
4 eggs beaten
320g plain flour
4 tablespoons of cornflour
Half a teaspoon of salt
One and a half teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of milk (you can use soy, almond, coconut, or a mixture if you are dairy free)
A quarter of a cup (60 mls) of vegetable oil (don’t use olive oil – it will taste too olivey)
The zest of 2 lemons and 60mls of lemon juice (wash the lemons before zesting them)
Approx 150g of butter or non-dairy substitute
Approx 125g (1 cup) of icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Zest of 1 lemon plus some of the juice (see method)
- Set the oven to 180 deg C (or 175 fan assisted).
- Using an electric whisk, whisk the butter and sugar until light and creamy (2-3 minutes).
- Add the eggs and whisk again for a minute or two.
- Stir and fold in the dry ingredients – flour, cornflour, salt, lemon zest and baking powder.
- Stir in the wet ingredients – milk, lemon juice, and oil.
- The batter should be fairly liquid rather than thick . It’s okay if it is a little bit lumpy, but try to smooth out any big lumps.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tins.
- Bake for approx 20-30 minutes, but check them after 20 minutes. When they are lightly golden brown and a skewer or fork comes out of the mixture clean – they’re done.
- Leave them for 5 minutes, then take the cakes out of the tins and cool on a cooling rack.
- Using an electric whisk, whisk the butter or substitute until light and creamy.
- Add the icing sugar slowly – it should thicken up.
- Stir in the lemon zest.
- Add some of the lemon juice and whisk again. Keep adding the lemon juice until the frosting is spreadable but not too runny. If you add too much lemon juice, add more icing sugar to thicken it up again. Taste the frosting to make sure it tastes good and isn’t too greasy or too acidic – adjust the sugar and lemon juice as required. If too lemony, you can always add water instead of juice to make it looser.
- Place the base of the cake on a suitable plate or stand (you can line it with baking parchment if you like).
- Spread half of the frosting in the middle of the cake and sandwich the halves together.
- Spread or pipe the rest on top of the cake.
- Put the kettle on… it’s tea and cake time !