It was my mum’s birthday recently so I wanted to make her a cake. She may not be keen on me having shown the age on the picture though – maybe I should have blurred it out! I’ve been wanting to make a sponge cake for a while as I don’t seem to have much luck with getting a flat cake. I came across this recipe as I was looking for an alternative to a lemon drizzle cake and I found this on another blog, Hello! Hooray! and apparently it was specially commissioned by the GDST for the 140th anniversary of the Girls’ Day School Trust. The blog actually had the idea to include some buttercream in the filling which I chose to try.
- 225g butter, softened
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2 level teaspoons baking powder
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- About 4 tbsp lemon curd
- 250g icing sugar, sifted (plus extra for dusting)
- 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 25ml semi skimmed milk
- Finely grated zest of half a lemon
First, prepare your baking tins by lightly greasing two 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tins and lining the bases with a circle of non-stick baking parchment and pre-heat the oven to 180C /160 Fan / Gas 4.
This recipe uses the all in one method but I followed the blog and went for the creaming method (see Tips). So you can either add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined, or cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl first before beating the eggs into another bowl or jug and add the grated lemon zest then mix well. Add this mixture to the butter and sugar a little at a time and mix it well then sift in the flour and baking powder and combine together.
Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and level with a spatula or spoon then bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until well-risen and golden. I found mine took about 30 minutes although they did rise evenly on this occasion – hurrah!
Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for a short time then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When they’ve cooled, make the buttercream by creaming together the butter and icing sugar before adding the milk and lemon zest and beating until smooth.
Spread one sponge with the lemon curd and then the buttercream then put the other cake on top and dust with icing sugar. I chose at this point to make some icing before cutting out some letters and flowers by way of decoration.
Unfortunately, and for some reason, my cake sunk in the middle – disaster! It was definitely cooked thorough when I took it out of the oven and I suspect that the filling and icing on the top didn’t help matters but wasn’t the cause. I was so impressed when it had risen evenly too…oh well, more practice needed!
Despite this, it was a lovely cake although it was huge! I would usually only make a 2 egg sponge cake so this was a bit of a treat and lasted a good few days. The sponge had a nice subtle lemon taste and a lovely texture while the lemon curd and buttercream was a welcome addition – I love lemon! Perhaps I will have to attempt my own lemon curd at some point – this time I used shop bought…