For Brew Monday, Michael from the Great British Bake Off has shared his showstopping cup of tea lemon cake recipe with us.
This is one of my favourite cakes to make, with my favourite flavours. The sharpness of the lemon cake is complemented perfectly by the smooth white chocolate buttercream and the sweet raspberry jam.
Though it looks intimidating, this recipe is actually fairly simple once broken down into individual components. I find it easier to make the cake one evening, then ice it the next.
If you don’t fancy using a hemisphere cake tin, this will make enough mixture for a standard-sized bundt cake or a couple of 6-inch rounds which you can sandwich with the filling. You’ll have some extra lemon syrup which you can always use to make home-made lemonade or add to cocktails!
For the cake
- 350g plain flour, sifted
- 50g corn flour, sifted
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 200ml buttermilk
- 50ml lemon juice
- 250g unsalted butter (soft, at room temperature)
- 400g caster sugar
- 5 lemons (zest)
- 2 tsp lemon extract
- 4 large eggs
For the lemon syrup
- 100g caster sugar
- 40ml water
- 60ml lemon juice
For the filling
- 500g unsalted butter (soft, at room temperature)
- 500g icing sugar
- 400g white chocolate
- Raspberry jam
For the decoration
- Fondant icing
- Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4. Grease and flour a 21cm diameter hemisphere cake tin and rest in a traditional cake tin to keep it steady.
- Sift together the flour, corn flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk with the lemon juice and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, lemon zest and extract until pale and fluffy – this will take about 5 minutes with a mixer.
- On a low/medium speed, add the eggs one at a time to incorporate. Add a bit of flour if it curdles slightly.
- Using a large spoon or spatula, alternately fold in the flour mix and the buttermilk mix.
- Fill the tin ¾ full and bake for around 40-45 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
7. Bring the sugar and the water to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool, then stir in the lemon juice and set aside.
Back to the cake
8. Cool for 5 minutes, then poke 20-30 holes in the top of the cake and drizzle in the lemon syrup slowly – allowing it to penetrate the sponge.
9. Cool for a further 5 minutes before turning the cake onto a cooling rack allowing to cool fully.
10.Melt the white chocolate and allow to cool slightly, while you beat the butter until fluffy.
11. Gradually add the icing sugar to the butter and beat until incorporated and creamy.
12. Pour in the cooled melted chocolate, beating on a low speed until combined.
13. Cut the cooled cake in half horizontally and spread a layer of buttercream on top of the bottom half. Spread a disc of raspberry jam in the centre, leaving a 2cm gap around the edge. Sandwich the top half on top.
14. Spread the whole cake with a thin layer of buttercream, keeping it as smooth as possible. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
15. Once the buttercream has hardened slightly, remove from the fridge. Add a second thin layer of buttercream and smoothen as much as possible.
16. Roll out fondant to a thin circle and smooth on top of the cake for a neat finish. Allow to set for 2 hours before inverting the cake onto a plate and adding a brown disc of fondant to the flat surface for the ‘tea’. Decorate with additional fondant (including a handle) as you wish!