Lemon Drizzle Layer Cake

I seem to making a lot more sweet things at the moment – I’m not sure if it’s the time of year or just a general cake craving, but I’m quite enjoying it. I’ll be back on the savoury soon: I’ve spent a lot of time over the last week cooking, and have some exciting recipes to post up over the next few weeks. For now, though, have another cake!

I first made this for Easter way back in 2010. We took it to my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Wales, and Mum told me it was the best cake I’d ever made (I will carry those words with me forever). It’s everything I want in a lemon cake – I’m a huge fan of them, and this is a gorgeous, zingy burst of sharp, sweet and zesty all at the same time.

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Ingredients:
Sponge:
– 200g butter
– 250g granulated sugar
– 3 eggs
– zest of 2 lemons
– 125g self-raising flour
– 125g spelt flour
– ½tsp baking powder
– juice of 1 lemon, made up to 100ml with milk
You will also need 2x 18cm sandwich tins

Drizzle:
– juice of ½ lemon
– 25g caster sugar

Buttercream:
– 75g butter
– 225g icing sugar
– zest of 1 lemon
– 2-3 tbsp lemon curd

Decoration:
– 100g icing sugar
– approx 2 tbsp lemon juice
– few drops yellow food colouring (optional)
– 50g dark chocolate
– 45g box mini eggs
– edible glitter (optional)

1. Begin by preheating the oven to 180°C and greasing your cake tins. Then, in a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the lemon zest. Sift in the flours and baking powder and gently fold in until no white streaks remain, then stir in the lemon juice and milk mixture.

3. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the two tins, then bake for 30-35 minutes, until a knife inserted in the centre of the sponge comes out clean. Meanwhile, mix together the lemon juice and caster sugar for the drizzle. As soon as the cakes have come out of the oven, prick them all over with a cocktail stick then pour over the drizzle mixture. Allow to cool completely.

4. To make the buttercream, use a handmixer to whisk together the butter and icing sugar (add the icing sugar a little at a time), then finally stir through the lemon zest. Smooth the buttercream over the top of one of the sponges, then spread on the lemon curd before placing the second sponge on top.

5. To decorate the cake, mix the icing sugar with the food colouring (if using) and just enough lemon juice to make a smooth icing. You want it to be runny enough to cover the cake, but thick enough that it won’t run off. Use a vegetable peeler to make shavings with the chocolate and create a nest effect on the top of the cake, then place the mini eggs in the middle. Finish by sprinkling over a pinch of edible glitter.

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Happy Easter, everyone! x

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