Royal Wedding Cake Fever – When Harry and Meghan give you lemons…
– Quick! Reach for the Elderflower!
I seriously surprised myself with this recipe. Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t have made the effort to create a new recipe if it wasn’t for the Royal Wedding Special we filmed for Channel 4 but it is the Royal choice this year, so it gave me the push I needed and boy was it worth it. Prince Harry and Meghan – I owe you!
You can read all about my cake journey here: Royal Wedding Horse and Carriage Cake but I thought you might like to have a go at baking your own.
This has been such a massive hit and it’s the combination of the cake, the syrup and the buttercream that just hits you with that zing.
This recipe makes half (yes half) of the 10 inch square, 5 inch deep layer of the cake I made. Square tins do take a lot of batter and I purposefully bake this cake ‘low and slow’ so it rises evenly but not so high.
Obviously you can scale the recipe down if you want to.
For the cake:
8 large eggs
525g unsalted butter (room temperature)
525g self-raising flour
525g caster sugar
Rind of 4 lemons
200ml of elderflower cordial or 1 tsp Elderflower Essence
1-2 tablespoons milk or yoghurt (optional)
For the Lemon and Elderflower Sugar Syrup:
Juice of 4 lemons
250g caster sugar
100ml elderflower cordial or 1/2 tsp Elderflower Essence
For the Lemon and Elderflower Buttercream:
500g unsalted butter
1kg icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Home-made sugar syrup to taste (see above)
1-2 tablespoons milk or water (for preferred consistency
For the cake:
- Pre-heat the oven to 150c (gas mark 2)
- Line 10″ square cake tin with baking parchment and lightly smear with butter/cake release spray.
- Mix the butter and sugar, preferably in a mixer with the K beater attachment.
- Add one egg and one tablespoon of flour and mix briefly on low until just incorporated.
- Repeat with all the eggs, including 1 tablespoon of flour each time.
- Add in the remaining flour and fold in with a spatula.
- Fold in the lemon zest and elderflower cordial (or essence)
- Fold in milk/yoghurt (optional)
- Add to cake tin and bake on middle shelf for 60 minutes or when a test probe comes out clean
For the Lemon and Elderflower Sugar Syrup
Sugar Syrup is pretty much my answer to everything. Drizzled on a cake it makes the cake moist and tasty. Brushed on ganache it makes a great glue before a fondant layer and this lemon and elderflower syrup added to buttercream completely transforms it into a citrus party in your mouth.
But I will be honest, I rarely actually measure my sugar. I throw it in (so sue me!) But it is liberating to know that you don’t have to be precise. It’s just a case of having enough sugar to create that syrup texture and knock the edge off that acidic sharpness.
- Pour the lemon juice into and elderflower cordial/essence into a small saucepan and place on the hob on a low heat.
- Add the sugar and mix gently. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the mix reduces to a light syrup consistency. (Bear in mind that when the syrup begins to cool it will thicken). You will need to leave it for longer if you are using the elderflower cordial as there is more liquid to reduce.
For the Lemon and Elderflower Buttercream
- Soften Butter in the mixer if possible
- Add icing sugar in stages and increase mixing speed as it is incorporated.
- Mix on high for at least 5-10 minutes until colour lightens and consistency is smooth.
- Add sugar syrup to taste. (After using a little of the 4 lemon syrup for drizzling I ended up using all that remained. We do like things lemony here!)
- Add a little milk or water if you want a slightly smoother consistency
I have plenty of blog posts/videos on how to make buttercream. This really is my basic recipe with the sugar syrup added and I ALWAYS bang on about the method. I’m not kidding. It makes a difference. So do check out my other posts and recipes here: Basic Buttercream Recipe