This year I’ve been cramming in practice wedding cakes wherever I can. I have been asked to do my brother’s wedding cake for the big day in April, which I am both excited and nervous to do! I’ve never done anything like it so have been trying my best to ensure I am ready, and fully equipped to pull it off! This week I made one of the cake tiers for a birthday cake. It was the perfect opportunity to try nail the cake, and in particular, try to get my skills using fondant up to scratch. The cake was a success and the recipe I have been using gives you fantastic results. A gorgeous, tangy lemon cake with a lemon curd buttercream finished with fondant icing for decor. If you’ve got a celebration coming up this recipe will guide you in making the perfect cake!
This is my second time baking this cake and each time I am learning something new/picking up on another lesson learnt for next time. I find this one of the reasons I love baking, each time you feel more and more confident on how you’re going to get it even better the next day. I’m hoping by the time I bake this a couple more times I’ll be confident for the big day!
The trickiest bit on this is getting the fondant icing on right. Especially when you’re an amateur like me! I found plenty of reading links on google and watching youtube a godsend! Watching videos when you’re learning to do something new in baking is something I would 100% recommend. It makes a daunting task seem realistic! I will add my tips into the recipe method to try and help too!
This recipe is incredibly versatile. The end result is ultimately a delicious lemon cake with a clean, blank canvas of icing wrapped around it. The decoration and occasion the cake is for are completely up to you! I did a frozen theme- buying the sugar paper top and snowflake ribbon from Amazon. It really is that simple! Get creative, get on Pinterest and make the cake your own.
The recipe is inspired and adapted from GoodFood.
You will need a 23cm cake tin
For the Sponge:
- 350g Margarine/Butter
- 350g Golden Caster Sugar
- 6 Eggs Beaten
- 140g Plain Flour
- 280g Self Raising Flour
- 4 Lemons
- A drop of Vanilla Essence
- Pinch of Salt.
For the Syrup:
- 2 Lemons
- 100g Golden Caster Sugar
For the Buttercream:
- 125g Butter/Margarine
- 250g Icing Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons of Lemon Curd
- 2 Packets of Fondant Icing
- Preheat the oven 160 degrees then, line and grease your 23cm cake tin.
- The easiest way to do this is to draw around the base of the tin on greaseproof paper and cut out the circle then using the side of the tin as a guide cut a strip of paper to go around the edge of the tin. To grease, I take some kitchen roll, dip it in the butter and rub it all over the cake tin. Place the grease-proof paper in the tin wrapping the strip around (see below)
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until it is light a fluffy using an electric hand-held whisk. Then, add the eggs in a little bit at a time, beating them in at each addition.
- Fold in the flour, then add the zest of 4 lemons and the juice of 3. Mix the lemon flavourings in well. Add in the vanilla and essence and salt
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and even out the top using a spatula. Bake in the oven between 1 hour 20-35 mins. The top will brown quicker than it takes the cake to cook. To avoid a burnt look, cover the top of the cake with tin foil after around 50-60 mins.
- When you take the cake out the oven start making your syrup so you can pour it on whilst it’s still warm. Heat up the zest and juice of 2 lemons with the sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
- Using a skewer poke some holes in the cake right to the bottom for the syrup to sink into. Pour the syrup on the cake a little at a time to allow it to soak up.
- Once the cake has cooled slightly take it out the tin and let it get fully cooled on a wire rack.
- Once the cake has fully cooled you can start on the icing. First of all even out the top of the cake. Make sure you use a long, serrated knife to do this. You can use a ruler to measure the middle and poke a toothpick in as a guide. Do this at points around the cake to have a guide to get it to cut evenly.
- To make the buttercream, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the butter and beat together using the handheld whisk. Once it resembles buttercream add the lemon curd and whisk again.
- Put a cake on a turntable onto the base you want to present it on. Put a few tablespoons of buttercream onto the top and use a palette knife to spread it out. Drag the excess buttercream onto the sides of the cake.
- Using a cake scraper spread the buttercream on the sides evenly, by placing the scraper on the side of the cake and turning the turntable.
- Excess buttercream will gather on the top, spread this back onto the top of the cake with the palette knife. This is your crumb coating.
- Put the cake in the fridge whilst you roll out your fondant to fit/wrap around your cake. To get the fondant workable, microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Roll out on a surface dusted with icing sugar.
- Take the cake out the fridge and repeated step 10+11 to create another layer.
- Place your rolled out icing on the top of your cake. The first thing you need to do is press lightly down on the top to alleviate any pressure pulling on the icing which could rip it. Press the sides down so you have a guide to cut around any excess fondant. Cut the excess off around the edge of the cake using a pizza cutter.
- Using a clean cake scraper with a straight edge if you have one. Drag this around the edge of the cake as you did when you did your crumb coat making circular motions. Make circular motions on the top as well and repeat until you’re happy with the finished product.
- Decorate your cake as you please!