May 10, 2018
Lemon Elderflower Cake!
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A three-layer lemon & elderflower cake with an elderflower drizzle, blackberry jam, and elderflower buttercream.
So.. you might, or if you have been on Mars, might have not heard… that there is a royal wedding coming soon. I’m not sure if it is confirmed or not, but there have been several mentions of the flavour, or one of, being lemon & elderflower.
I couldn’t resist posting a recipe for this one, whether its used in the royal wedding cake or not. Elderflower is one of my most favourite flavours in the world, but I have only ever really had drinks with the cordials. In cake form? DREAMY.
I have made a few elderflower cakes in practice for all of this, but mixing it with a dash of lemon is the best. You can easily just use elderflower if you want, and leave out the lemon zest in the cake, but I adore the combinations of flavours. I use one of the bottlegreen elderflower cordials, but there are so many out there that taste wonderful. Its just such a fresh spring flavour.
I decided to use the elderflower cordial in the sponge, along with the lemon zest, and then make it even more elderflower by adding in some elderflower drizzle (rather than lemon drizzle) and elderflower buttercream.
The drizzle is basically the same as how a lemon drizzle would behave, because you mix the cordial with some caster sugar. I always use a touch of sugar in my drizzles as I prefer it to just drizzling over the cordial (or lemon) on its own, but thats up to you.
I feel the drizzle keeps the cake wonderfully ~moist~ and it gives it an extra kick of flavour. Drizzles really are the best things when it comes to keeping cakes fresh, and I use them quite often when I want to make a cake last, but with something like this its all about the flavour.
You could try a flavoured elderflower cordial, or stick to a lemon drizzle, but I feel in this particular cake using a lemon drizzle would be a tad overpowering as elderflower is so delicate.
I went for the elderflower buttercream as I thought it would be wonderful. Buttercream itself is sweet, but in a way adding in the elderflower cordial increases and decreases the sweetness.
I don’t personally find cordial that sweet, but I know some people do. Its just as I have said before such a pleasant flavour. You just need to make a usual buttercream, and use the cordial to loosen it instead of water or milk.
I obviously went for a drip cake type recipe, as I just couldn’t resist. I realise the cake is slopping slightly in the pictures, but it was a tad hot in my kitchen, and I got a little carried away with the lemon curd in the middle.. so my bad. However, I still love how it looks!
The pop of colour for the blackberries helps, as the white chocolate drip near enough matches the buttercream. To be fair though, white chocolate and lemon go so well together I had to use it. It tastes soooo good in every slice.
As you can see, its a bit of a beast of a cake, but there are notes in the recipe of how to make it smaller. I always have to make my recipes the biggest, and best they can be to really test them out, but this was devoured extremely quickly.
Everyone mentioned how summery and spring like the recipe was, and thats what I was aiming for. Three layers of delicious elderflower cake with lemon, an elderflower drizzle, an elderflower buttercream, and more. Enjoy! X
Lemon Elderflower Cake!
- 400 g unsalted butter (room temp)
- 400 g caster sugar
- 400 g self raising flour
- 8 medium eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 100 ml elderflower cordial
- zest of 1 lemon
- 125 g caster sugar
- 150 ml elderflower cordial
- 400 g unsalted butter (room temp)
- 800 g icing sugar
- 100 ml elderflower cordial
- 150 g white chocolate
- 50 ml double cream
- Lemon slices
- Lemon curd or blackberry jam
For the Cake!
- Heat the oven to 180ºc/160ºfan and line three 20cm/8inch cake tins with baking parchment – leave to the side.
- In a stand mixer, beat together the unsalted butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in the flour, eggs, baking powder and beat again briefly until combined – try not to overbeat!
- Add in the elderflower cordial and lemon zest, and mix in.
- Divide the mixture between the three tins and smooth it over – bake for 25-30minutes until the cakes are golden and when the cake springs back (skewer should also come out clean)
For the Drizzle!
- Whisk together the sugar and elderflower cordial.
- Once the cakes are baked, drizzle over the cordial mix, and leave the cake to cool in the tin.
For the Buttercream!
- In a stand mixer, beat the butter with an electric mixer until it is smooth and loose and then beat in the icing sugar 1/3 at a time until its fully combined. Keep beating the buttercream for 5-6 minutes on a medium speed so it starts to get fluffier and lighter.
- Add in the elderflower cordial and beat again for 3-4 minutes. If its too stiff, add a bit more cordial in, but you want it to be relatively stiff to not slip off the cake!
For the Decoration!
- Once the cakes are cooled, put the first layer on the serving plate spread some of the buttercream onto the top of the first layer, spread over a little lemon curd, add the second cake on top, and then top again with some of buttercream, lemon curd or blackberry jam, and then add the final sponge layer.
- Only use about 2 tbsp of buttercream per layer so that you have enough to decorate with!
- With the leftover buttercream, as you can see, I covered the sides (and top) too! Do a first layer of around the edge and top using a large metal scraper and refriergate for 10 minutes. Repeat again with a slightly thicker layer of buttercream.
- I slather it on all over using an off-set spatula, and then run the metal scraper round till its smooth. The more you put on, the thicker it’ll be as because you are making it smooth, more comes off than you realise with smoothing it over.
- Melt the white chocolate carefully with the double cream to make a ganache. Using a disposable piping bags, pipe it round the edge of the cake, edging over slight bits to create the drip. You don’t need to use too much per drip as it’ll drop quite far down by itself!
- Leave the chocolate to set a bit, and pipe on any extra buttercream, add some lemon slices, and some blackberries if you wish!
- I seriously recommend using a metal scraper for the decoration of the buttercream, and the disposable piping bags for the drip... I wouldn't be anywhere without them!
- All of the decorations are completely optional – but I love this style of cake! To make a smaller version of the cake, use 300g of everything in the cake, 6 medium eggs, 1 tsp of baking powder, 75ml cordial, and it might take an extra 5-10 minutes to bake and use 2/3 of the decoration recipes!
- This cake will last in an airtight container for 3 days!
- I used white chocolate for the drip, but you can use whatever you like! Or leave it off!
- I used lemon slices and blackberries out of personal preference, but feel free to decorate how you please!
Find my other Cake Recipes on my Recipes Page!
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Ha Jane I’m planning on making this for my birthday. Is it possible to swap out the buttercream for fresh whipped double cream as I’m not a fan of buttercream.
Hiya! Yes, this should be fine! Enjoy! x
I love your recipes! I’m making a wedding cake in a few weeks and need to convert this for a 10” cake. What do I need to multiply the ingredients by? Thank you so much, Emma x
Hiya! I recommend using 1.6x the recipe! Also, baking time will increase. Hope this helps! x
For the smaller size recipe what size tins should I use ? Thanks xx
Hi Jane, I’d like to try this for a wedding cake layer. Could you please advise how to scale up the recipe for a 12” and how many layers you’d suggest. Many thanks.
Can I make the elderflower cake and freeze it then decorate when needed?
Yes absolutely, you can freeze it for up to 3 months! I often decorate from frozen as I find it easier! Hope this helps! x
Hi Jane, I’m planning on making this for my friend’s 40th birthday but just wondering what is the best way to make the white chocolate drip? In the microwave, in a pan or another way? I’m not sure as I know white chocolate can be a funny thing.
Thank you xx
Hiya! Take a look at my white chocolate drip cake – I show how to there! Hope this helps! x
how do you convert medium eggs to large eggs please – do you have a weight for the medium eggs please?
Hiya! Try to get the weight of them as close to the flour/sugar etc mix as close as possible! Hope this helps! x
I’ve baked this twice now and it seems the sugar content is making it catch on the top and burn, where am I going wrong?? I used your recipes all the time but I can’t seem to nail this one
One problem with the butter Cream when it is left to sit between layers on a large cake it goes yellow. I cover in cling film, one piece against the butter Cream and another piece over the bowl. Not very appealing. I did try to rewhisk but that didn’t work. I ended up making another load of butter Cream just so I could finish the cake.
Hiya! Im so sorry, I don’t quite understand – this cake has ever turned yellow? x
Can you recommend if there is any way to convert the recipe for larger or smaller tin sizes?
Can I replace the butter with stork for a lighter sponge?
Yes absolutely you can! x
Hi Jane, I’m planning on doing this cake as a 3 layer 9inch cake for the middle tier of a 3 tiered wedding cake. I’m looking for a fluffy lemon cake but one that will hold as a middle tier well (so not too soft!) and wondering if this recipe is suitable? I am also butter icing the whole cake on the Saturday and refrigerating the cake until the wedding on the Monday. Will this cake recipe dry out in the fridge ? Have u any tips to help with this? And also any good chocolate and carrot recipes to use for the other two layers which won’t run into the same issues given the conditions? Sorry manyyy questions! X
Hiya! The cake should be fine as long as not cut into, and will be stable as long as you dowel it correctly! You can also search my blog for these recipes! Hope this helps! x
How would I make this into a four layer?
I’m planning on making it for a gender reveal🤍
Hi can I just use lemon instead of the elderflower? Just wanting a lemon drip cake.
Hiya! Yes you can – you can merge it with my lemon celebration cake recipe! x
I make the cake and it was on the eggy side – do you think the eggs should be weighed – also the elderflower cordial seem to be too much liquid – do you adjust this usually.
thank you Shaz
Ah yes, this sounds like too much egg so weigh in shells! And no, I always use that amount of elderflower!
Hi Jane, I’m thinking of using this recipe for my grandson’s christening cake, would it be okay covered in fondant and as a 2 tier?
Yes absolutely, though I would recommend chilling it first! Hope this helps! x
This recipe looks fantastic. I am making a three tiered wedding cake for a friend next month, and the bottom cake (12 inch) will be lemon-I’d like to use this recipe. How would I make 2 x 12 inch lemon cake layers from this? Thank you.
I love this recipe and have made it twice before! I was wondering would it work as just a lemon cake by swapping the elderflower cordial with lemon juice? Also doing the Same with the buttercream? I Love your book by the way 🙂
Hi – id like to use this recipe to make a wedding cake. Will this recipe freeze well? And if so would you freeze before or after the drizzle stage of the recipe?
Hey, ahhh this is so exciting! yes it will freeze but freeze after the drizzle x
Do you chill the cake before adding the white choc drip?
Hey, you can do to make it easier yes!x
Absolutely love this recipe I’ve made it for two people’s birthday’s already. I want to make it again but as a Lemon Drizzle cake for an 80th. The lady loves Lemon Drizzle but I want it to look special. What would I need to change on this recipe?
Hey! Thank you so much! have a lemon drizzle cake recipe so i would advise using that! I hope she loves it xx
Can’t wait to try this! I tried your raspberry and white chocolate muffins and they were delicious!
If I want to turn this into a loaf cake or lemon cupcakes, how much elderflower cordial do I use?
You could half the entire recipe to make 12-14 cupcakes quite easily! x
Hiya! Would you adjust the sponge recipe at all if not using any elderflower? I don’t want it to become dry but don’t want to use any elderflower x
No, you can just leave it out x
What would I do differently for a 9inch cake tin?
Hi, I’m excited to attempt this! Was just wondering if I could use elderflower gin rather than cordial?
I would say it would be best to use it for the drizzle as you would get enough ‘gin’ flavour from that – I wouldn’t use gin for all of the bits personally! x
Love your blog, it seems to be the only website I go on lately! I’m wanting to do this cake but as a two layer 7” sponge and usually I would divide the ingredients by the size of the tin in the recipe then multiply by the size I want to use (if that makes any sense haha) and I was wondering if there was an easier/more straight forward way to alter the measurements?
Many thanks! X
Hey!! Ahh thank you! I actually use this website – you can either just input the tin sizes to see the difference, or input all of the ingredients! http://www.cakebaker1.co.uk/apps-for-bakers/baking-tin-size-conversion-calculator/
Superb recipe and cake as always from my go to baking site
Hi Jane I made this cake once before as a practice (have to make it again for a 50th) and it was delicious! I intentionally put very little lemon curd as it was a trial but I just wondering how much lemon curd you would recommend using per layer?
I usually use a few tbsps per layer, but generally anything works as long as it doesn’t over flow! x
Hi, I am making this for a Diamond Wedding Anniversary celebration – what size cake board would you suggest? (I’ve never used one before!) Thanks
I always personally use a board 2″ bigger than a cake, so for an 8″ sponge, you’d use a 10″ board xx
I’m a big fan of yours (especially the amazing cheesecakes!).
I would love to make this but as a two tier 8 inch cake. How should I adjust the quantities please?
Hey! There is notes on the recipe card about a two layer version xx
I noticed that with this being a white chocolate drip, you haven’t added double cream or oil like you would for milk/dark chocolate drips. If i wanted to make it coloured, would I just add food colouring and nothing more to the white chocolate?
Hey! Yes I don’t personally usually bother for white chocolate as the ratios are completely different! You could definitely colour white chocolate (As long as you using a good quality colour) or you can make a white chocolate cream ganache and colour it that way!
Jane, is the drizzle suppose to have some lemon in too?
No, the recipe is correct.
Is the drizzle meant to soak in? The cake tastes delicious but I’m not sure if it’s soggy or just right!! Not sure whether yo make it again without the drizzle….
Would this recipe work using one deep 8″ cake tin, then split the cake into three once cooked.
It can – but I would bake it at 140C, and for a lot longer so it’s less likely to dry out!
Looks amazing. How would I convert to use a loaf tin please?
Have a look at my Lemon & Lime Drizzle cake for weights/timings, and add elderflower into that one x
I’m really looking forward to trying out this recipe!
Can I just ask, why does the recipe need self raising flour and baking powder?
It’s just to make it a smidge lighter 🙂
Hey I was wondering if this recipe could be made into cupcakes please and would you keep the measures the same? Thank you 😊
This recipe would make between 30-35 cupcakes, its best to look at either one of my lemon recipes or the vanilla cupcake recipe, and add the elderflower into that.
I made this yesterday, just the 2 layer one, and it has disappeared rather embarrassingly quickly (although half did end up in the ambulance station with my paramedic husband). It is the best of the recipes I’ve made from your blog, which is saying something.
Ah thats so cute! And thats so good, a lot of what I bake ends up in a local police station for them all to eat so i’m sure they appreciated it!!
This look delicious! I’m due to make this for a friend’s wedding at their request!
She’s given me a 10″ cake tin for it and I only need two layers, so would you suggest I keep the recipe the same or halve it?
Definitely don’t halve it – for a 10″ cake I usually do 1.6 times the original recipe because its actually considerably bigger – so I’d suggest making this quantity, or even a little more even though you only need two layers.
Another amazing recipe, I made this gluten free as well it worked out great! Jane’s recipes are fool proof (for me, anyway) keep up the good work! Xx
I found that my cakes looked fabulous while in the oven but the top wrinkled up a lot when I took them out. I have read that this can be caused by too much liquid. Do you have any advice? It still smells amazing
I made this recipe into cupcakes and they were the most delicious cakes I’ve ever made or eaten! The sponge was so light and the buttercream soft and creamy. Everyone that ate them said they were amazing, even my other half who usually isn’t a fan of lemon or elderflower! He asked me to make more!
Thank you for another great recipe!
Ahh yay!! x
Hi Jane, I would like to make this as a 4 layer 8” cake. Can you please advise the quantities required.? Thank you
Add on another 1/3 of everything and bake in four tins rather than three x
This is one of the best cakes I have ever made – and I’ve made a lot of cakes!! Thank you! Perfect for the Royal Wedding celebrations!
I want to make this in 3 x 7inch tins, can I use the measurements in you’re notes? Would you think there fit?
Love you’re blog
Thank you in advance
Looking at the ingredients for the main cake part it looks like the Victoria Sponge recipe. If I was to follow the Victoria Sponge recipe but leave out the milk and put 100ml of elderflower cordial would that make the cake too wet? I just prefer your all in one mix than having to cream the butter and sugar. Thank you
You can just make this in the all in one way as well. But then follow the rest of the ingredients and method after that. x
Brill recipe again Jane, for the smaller size what size tin would u use 2 6″ and 6 medium eggs? X
Thank you! Yes 6 Medium Eggs, and I would still use two 8″, rather than three! X
Thank you so much for your fantastic recipes, Jane. I don’t know WHAT I’d do without your blog! I want to bake this for a friend’s birthday on Saturday. I’ve recently moved to the UK from South Africa & I’m unfamiliar with elderflower cordial. Where can I find it & which brand is good? I’d like to make the drizzle slightly lemony. I love lemon flavour. Could I leave out some of elderflower & replace it with lemon juice? What would you suggest?
Elderflower cordial is available in all supermarkets – its like a squash drink. You could use lemon in the drizzle, but it will overpower the elderflower flavour which is a lot more subtle, but thats up to you!
Thanks very much, Jane 😊
I used the Ikea Elderflower cordial – it was delish
Would I be able to substitute St. Germain Elderflower liquor?
Would I be able to use St.Germaine Elderflower liquor in this recipe?
I’ve never tried it so I’m not sure, but its worth a try!
This looks absolutely gorgeous!, I’m so excited for the wedding!.
Thank you so much!!
OMG Jane, the Lemon and Elderflower cake is amazing, the sponge is sooooo light. Well done, amazing recipe.
This looks amazing – can’t wait to try!
Something I’ve always wondered is how do you get your buttercream so white?!
I use supermarket own brand unsalted butter from anywhere, whip it really good at first, and the add the sugar! x
Hi Jane, love your blog and your recipes, they always turn out looking and tasting amazing. Do you think this would work with a lemon cream cheese frosting, I have a lot of cream cheese I need to use up next week and would love to make this for a community café I bake for on the Friday before the royal wedding. Thanks Sara
Yeah I’m sure it would! X