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Elderflower & Lemon cake

Elderflower & Lemon cake

Originally from Claire Ptak's Violet Bakery Cookbook and made for Harry & Meghan's wedding in 2018, we adapted this recipe for cupcakes. Here are our tips for picture perfct results; use a scoop when you dispense your mix into your cases, so they are all the exact same size to bake evenly and in the same time, approx 16mins but that will depend on your oven. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the elderflower syrup, as they have for this cake, before icing.

NB: The rule is you brush a hot syrup onto a cold cake/cupcakes or a cold syrup on to a hot cake/cupcakes as soon as they are out of the oven.


220g butter, softened, plus a little extra to grease the pans
220g white caster sugar
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
4 free range eggs (weighing a total of 220g in their shells), lightly beaten
220g self raising four, sifted.
pinch of salt
3-4 tablespoons undiluted elderflower cordial

Lemon & Elderflower Syrup
freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
100ml undiluted elderflower cordial
2 tablespoons caster sugar (preferably golden but you can use white

Buttercream Icing
250g butter
500gm icing sugar sifted
1 tsp flavouring. E.g vanilla
2-4 tbsp milk


Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4. Grease and line two 6 inch, deep cake tins
Beat the butter,sugar and lemon zest together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, a little at a time, beating well in between each addition.

Gently fold in the sifted flour and salt, adding enough undiluted cordial (3-4 tablespoons) to create a dropping consistency ( the mixture should drop off a spoon when lightly tapped). Divide the mixture between the two tins (weigh each tin to easily judge roughly the same amount of mix). Put in both tins on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven, they should have shrunk slightly away from the tin and a skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean. Leave in the tins to cool for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

While the cakes are cooling make the lemon & elderflower syrup by combining the (100ml) undiluted elderflower cordial, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl.

Then make your Buttercream icing: Beat the butter until pale, beat in 1/2 the icing sugar, then beat in milk , then beat in the remaining icing sugar. Colour and flavour it as desired.

When cakes are cool, wrap in clingfilm and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will make them easier to cut. Using a cake divider or bread knife level the tops of the cakes if necessary and cut each cake in half evenly. Using a pastry brush, bush the elderflower and lemon syrup on the cut side of each cake layer.
Place the base of one of the cakes on a plate or cake stand and spread with mascarpone icing. add the next layer cut side down. Repeat with remaining layers, ensuring that the top layer is placed cut side down.

If you like the 'naked' look thinly spread the rest of the icing on sides of the cake and then add on the top making a thicker layer. Top with fresh freesias or roses, making sure that you remove them before cutting and eating the cake!

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