I’ve gone all fancy today and made a rather beautiful cake to celebrate Mother’s Day! It was also my Mum’s birthday last week so we always do a bit of a double celebration, hence this rather decadent cake lemon sponge cake.
The recipe for the sponge cake itself was taken from the March/April edition of Free-From magazine but I tweaked it a bit to turn it into a lemon version rather than just a plain sponge. Think it makes it better, but that’s just me!
It’s a very simple but effective cake recipe and it’s pretty incredibly free from just about everything….gluten free, dairy free, nut free and egg free.
I was merrily on my way, the cakes had cooled and I grabbed the jar of lemon curd from the cupboard…..and then it hit me. Lemon curd has butter in it. Of course it does. I’m such an idiot. You see people, I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time! GDfree is such a learning curve.
So….a quick google on how to make dairy free lemon curd and a million recipes come up, and now here I am making my own lemon curd. I mean, who does that?
But actually it was pretty ridiculously easy and rather satisfying to have done it. I don’t know…I’m turning into one of those Masterchef contestants that just know how to rustle up a lemon curd, or a hollandaise, or a mayonnaise or a beurre blanc (whatever that is) from memory, whilst the rest of us do it the old fashioned way – yep, we google it and find a recipe!
Of course if you want to make the whole cake and caboodle egg free (if you’re vegan perhaps) then just substitute the lemon curd with jam, but then you won’t get the pat-on-the-back feeling from having made it from scratch now will you, she said smugly.
And if you can’t be bothered (sharp disapproving intake of breath) to make your own lemon curd then just go ahead and buy one. Although interestingly, no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find a dairy-free lemon curd to buy off the shelf anywhere. That’s got to be a niche market that somebody has to fill – ‘Dairy Free Lemon Curd’ people….somebody make it please and get it on the shelves. Preferably of my local Waitrose please thank you.
Back to the cake – the question is it is worth it?! Does it taste delicious…..ummmm…..yup it sure does! Light and fluffy with a lovely sweet lemony finish. Perfect for a sunday afternoon with a cup of tea.
Lemon Flower Cake
You will need this:
- 300g vegetable butter
- 300g caster sugar
- 50ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- zest from 1 large lemon
- 150ml plain soya yogurt
- 300g plain gluten free flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- 1tsp xantham gum
- Pack of ready made white icing
- 300g icing sugar
- 200g vegetable butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
- zest from 1 large lemon
- 200g caster sugar
- zest from 1 large lemon
- 60ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- 100 melted vegetable butter
- 4 egg yolks
- 2tsp cornflour
You make it like this:
Firstly make your lemon curd because it needs to time to thicken and set:
- Blitz together all the ingredients except the veg butter until combined, then slowly add melted veg butter through funnel
- Pour mixture into glass bowl and set over pan of boiling water
- Stir every now and again until it starts to thicken (about 15-20mins or so)
- Once the consistency is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, put into a bowl in the fridge to set
Now make your cakes:
- Beat together the sugar and veg butter until light and fluffy
- Add in the yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest & vanilla, keep beating together (don’t worry if it looks split or lumpy at this stage it will come together after the dry mix is added)
- Sieve over the flour, baking powder & xantham gum and mix with a spoon until all combined and nicely smooth
- Pour half and half into 2 lined circle 8″ baking trays and bake at 180c for 20mins
- Leave to cool completely
Make your buttercream:
- Beat together icing sugar and veg butter with vanilla and lemon zest until creamy
- Put in fridge to set
Now comes the fun bit! Assemble your cake!
- Put one sponge cake on the bottom of your display stand/plate
- Top with lemon curd
- Leaving the other sponge cake on it’s cooling rack top this one with 3/4 of the buttercream mixture
- Carefully (carefully) flip it over upside down onto the lemon curd cake so they are sandwiched together with the lemon curd and buttercream in the middle
- Cover the top and sides (if you can) with remaining buttercream in a thin layer
- Roll out your icing into a thin round shape which needs to be at least the width of your whole cake plus the height x 2 (does that make sense? mine was about 12″ across)
- Roll over the rolling pin and transfer it across to the cake
- Smooth it down all around as best you can and trim off any excess at the bottom
- I decorated mine with fresh flowers, lemon and marzipan fruits (from M&S) – doesn’t it look pretty as a picture?!
And the bonus goodie that you get after having gone to all that effort just for a cake is….a delicious little pot of lemon curd. yummmmmmm. Perfect on toast, drizzled over granola, with meringues and fruit or just by the spoonful!