It’s that time of year when I make my own birthday cake and the inspiration was Nadiya’s lemon drizzle cake, the one that helped her win the Great British Bake Off final. It was totally worth making. My birthday fell on a Monday this year so in the morning I had a slice with cava just to soften the blow. Then I took some to work for my fellow teachers. We all looked happier. Finally I went the whole hog and took it in to class – the kids sang me a cheerful happy birthday then applauded the plan: a cake song, video (yes, listening comprehension) and real cake. They were very thin slices so please don’t judge me. A little sugar in your life is fine plus lemons and raspberries are um… full of vitamin C? This cake is so delicious. Nadiya had a great idea: lemon drizzle with curd in a layer cake covered in amazing marshmallow fondant which isn’t that sweet but yummy and a little chewy. And my raspberry and rose buttercream complements the lemonicious loveliness. Yum. 🙂
Please click here for the post that initially inspired me to make this cake, Nadiya’s lemon drizzle cake … kind of at Gingerbread Jenn’s blog. It’s worth going there just to read her hilarious story behind the making of the cake. And click here for Nadiya’s original my big fat wedding cake recipe.
Lemon drizzle cake – I followed Nadiya’s recipe but used two low 20cm/8in diametre spring-form sandwich tins and plain flour. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F (static, non-convection oven) or 160°C/320°F (fan-assisted/convection). Lightly butter your baking tins, line the bottom of your tins and flour the sides.
- 225g/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 225g/1 cup caster/superfine sugar
- 4 medium free-range eggs (230 to 240g), beaten
- finely grated zest of 3 lemons
- 225g/1 and 3/4 cups plus 1 and 3/4 tsp self-raising flour – I made my own with 216g/1 and 3/4 cups plain cake flour, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon (1g) fine sea salt
- optional: a couple of tablespoons of freshly-squeezed lemon juice (I folded this in at the end because my cake batter was a bit stiff, so I could get ‘dropping’ consistency where you hold it up and it drops with a plop from the rubber spatula)
Whisk in the lemon zest. Fold in the flour.
If your batter is a little stiff fold in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice then another if necessary to get dropping consistency, where the batter drops off your lifted spatula with a ‘plop’. Fill the moulds and spread out the batter evenly with the back of a metal spoon or small spatula knife.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (it depends on your oven) till an inserted skewer comes out clean and if you press lightly with your finger the top springs back a little.
The drizzle syrup – warm the lemon juice and sugar, bring just to the boil then allow to cool. Make holes all over your cake with a skewer and spoon or brush your lemon sponges with the syrup when they are still warm.
- freshly-squeezed juice of 2 lemons (100ml/g)
- 75g/1/3 cup caster/superfine sugar
Lemon curd – I followed my own go-to recipe.
- 1 egg (60g) and 1 egg yolk (20g) – from medium-large eggs
- half a tablespoon cornflour stirred and diluted in a teaspoon or more cold water
- finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
- 75ml/g freshly-squeezed lemon juice (about 1 and a half or 2 lemons)
- 100g/1/2 cup less 1 teaspoon golden or white caster/superfine sugar (or granulated)
- 40g/3 tablespoons good-quality unsalted butter
Raspberry and rose swiss buttercream (or make Nadiya’s easier lemon buttercream). You can find detailed instructions and photos for the raspberry buttercream at my Ispahan cupcakes recipe.
- 3 medium to large fresh egg whites (110-120g)
- 115g/scant two thirds of a cup caster sugar
- 170g/3/4 cup butter (softened and consistency of hair cream: beurre pommade)
- quarter teaspoon rose water, to taste
- 150g/1/2 cup raspberry purée with a teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- pinch of salt
It’s a swiss buttercream: whisk the egg whites and sugar lightly in a big bowl over a bain marie till they reach 70°C/160°F then take off heat and whisk on the stand mixer or by hand till cool and stiff peak. Whisk in the softened butter (at room temperature) one tablespoon at a time. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature then finally whisk in the remaining ingredients. If they start separating keep whisking and you can heat a little over the stove to bring everything back to the same temperature and smooth.
Place one sponge on a cake base and trim the top to flatten with a long serrated knife if necessary. Spread the lemon curd over it, then pipe a layer of raspberry and rose buttercream. Put the second sponge on top. Scrape any remaining cream around the cake evenly with a small metal spatula knife, to create a protective crumb coat. Chill in the fridge while you make the fondant.
Marshmallow fondant – I followed Nadiya’s recipe but I don’t have a microwave so I melted my marshmallows over a bain marie (with a tablespoon of water). This took around 20 minutes and I stirred occasionally till it was all melted. I added a little yellow food colouring instead of white. Also, there was a lot of fondant so next time I’d only make two-thirds, using these quantities:
- 200g/7oz white marshmallows and a tablespoon of water
- yellow food colouring powder (a knife tip)
- 367g/3 cups less 1 teaspoon icing/powdered sugar, sifted
- 4% cold-pressed olive oil (or some other vegetable oil) for greasing your hands and work surface when kneading the fondant
- a little cornflour/cornstarch for dusting the work surface and rolling pin when rolling out the fondant
Covering in fondant
Cut around the bottom, leaving about 1cm then press into the sides to make a neat edge.
Final optional decorations
- marzipan roses
- fresh rose petals
- ribbon, to place around the base
So I’ll be off now sweet reader. Oops, must offer you a slice of this lovely lemon drizzle and raspberry layer cake first.
Thanks for stopping by and I wish you a lemonicious week ahead! Happy baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x