Elderflower and Lemon Cake

Elderflower and Lemon Cake

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10 people



  • 240 grams butter, softened Plus a little more to grease the pans
  • 240 grams white caster sugar
  • 1 zest unwaxed lemon
  • 4 medium free range eggs
  • 240 grams self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 60 ml undiluted elderflower cordial (I love Belvoir)

Drizzle for the cake

  • 1/2 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 60 ml elderflower cordial, undiluted
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar preferably golden but you can use white
  • 60 ml limoncello if you don't have limoncello, make up the volume with extra elderflower cordial


  • 250 grams unsalted butter room temperature
  • 200 grams marscarpone cheese room temperature
  • 70 ml double cream room temperature
  • 250-400 grams sifted icing sugar depending on how sweet you like your icing
  • 2-3 tbsp elderflower cordial or leftover drizzle


The Cakes

  1. Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4. Grease and line two 8 inch, deep cake tins.

  2. 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.

  3. Gently fold in the sifted flour and salt, adding enough undiluted cordial (up to 60ml) to create a dropping consistency ( the mixture should drop off a spoon when lightly tapped).

  4. Divide the mixture between the two tins (weigh each tin to easily judge roughly the same amount of mix). Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Don't be tempted to open the door while they're cooking, but after 20 minutes do look through the door to check them.

  5. The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in their tins for five to ten minutes.
  6. Remove them from their tins and set aside to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. While the cakes are cooling make the lemon & elderflower syrup by combining the (120ml) undiluted elderflower cordial/limoncello, lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and adjust flavouring according to your taste (adding more cordial or limoncello). I used 60ml Cordial and 60ml of limoncello.
  8. Using a pastry brush, spread the elderflower and lemon syrup on each cake layer.

The Buttercream

  1. Make the buttercream icing by whisking in the bowl of a stand mixer the butter, mascarpone, double cream and icing sugar together until thick and smooth. 

  2. Meanwhile, sift your icing sugar.

  3. With the mixer running on medium speed, add your icing sugar 20g (2 tbs) at a time until you have incorporated 250g of it. Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl, and taste your buttercream. Continue adding sugar slowly until it is at the sweetness you prefer. More sugar will create a more stiff buttercream, but it will still hold its shape well with only 250g of sugar. Add the elderflower cordial or spare drizzle and mix to taste.

  4. Place the base of one of the cakes on a plate or cake stand and spread with mascarpone icing.
  5. Add the next layer top side down.
  6. 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.