Light sponges and whipped mascarpone filling make this lemon layer cake the ultimate tea-time treat.
I came up with this cake when deciding what to take to work for a charity bake sale. I have to commute so I wanted something easy to carry and put together when I arrived in the office. Lemon cake is notoriously popular in my office and so along with my obligatory red velvet cake I decided to make a lemon drizzle cake with a twist: two sponges soaked in lemon sugar syrup before being sandwiched together with a tangy lemon curd and whipped mascarpone cream filling.
Makes: one eight inch, two layer cake – approx. 8/10 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Two 8 inch sandwich tins
Large mixing bowl
Electric whisk or stand mixer
Medium mixing bowl
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
4 medium eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
Zest of two lemons
1 tablespoon milk
Juice of three lemons (approx. 60ml)
100g granulated sugar
125g mascarpone cheese
125g double cream
4 tablespoons lemon curd
1. Grease and flour two 8 inch sandwich tins. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees.
2. Add the butter, caster sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, lemon zest and milk to a large mixing bowl and, using an electric whisk or stand mixer, beat until well combined, taking care not to over-mix.
3. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and level with a palette knife, creating a slight dip in the centre of the cakes. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown, springy and cooked through (a skewer should come out clean when inserted).
4. Whilst your cakes are cooking combine the lemon juice and granulated sugar in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat until the mixture begins to boil and thicken. Turn off the heat but leave the pan to absorb any residual heat whilst the cake cooks.
5. Once your cakes are cooked, remove from the oven and pour the lemon syrup over the sponges whilst still warm and in the tins. Leave the cakes in the tin to cool for 30 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. As your cakes are cooling, prepare the filling by placing the mascarpone and double cream in a medium mixing bowl and whisking until medium peaks are formed. Add two tablespoons of lemon curd and stir to combine. Place in the fridge to chill until your cakes are cool enough to sandwich.
7. When you’re ready, place one sponge on a cake plate and top with the cream mixture – it doesn’t need to be neat. Add the two remaining tablespoons of lemon curd and marble through the cream. Top with the remaining sponge.
8. Enjoy with copious amounts of tea.
As I had to bake after getting home from work I decided to just throw everything in together and hope that it worked and thankfully it did!
I always try and leave a small well in the centre of my cake mixture in the hope it’ll bake flatter – it seems to make a difference but the perfect flat top still alludes me.
Evenly baked, golden brown (the right side looks lighter because it’s next to my kitchen window!) and springy are the three things you’re looking for with your sponge.
The more cream and lemon curd the better as far as I’m concerned! Every time I’ve made this cake people have remarked on how it is the most lemon-y lemon cake they’ve ever had.
Don’t press the top layer so firmly that the cream oozes it, it should sit quite nicely atop the cream filling (read: I didn’t realise I’d left a gap until going back through the pictures).
The sponges are super light but hold together well when cut making this a sturdy cake to transport or, if you’d like to take a leaf out of my book, assemble on site. I simply wrapped my cakes in clingfilm and placed them in a box along with two kilner jars of filling.
Due to the nature of the filling the cake is best kept in the fridge and brought to room temperature for serving.