Lemon, Elderflower and White Chocolate Cake


For the sponges:

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder (flat not heaped)
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1 lemon (zest only)
  • 4tbsp elderflower cordial

For the lemon and elderflower syrup:

  • 75ml elderflower cordial
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 50g granulated sugar

For the white chocolate buttercream:

  • 100g white chocolate
  • 160g egg whites (from approximately 5 medium eggs)
  • 320g caster sugar
  • 320g unsalted butter (softened and cubed)

For the filling:

  • 4tbsp lemon curd
  • 1tsp elderflower cordial


For the sponges:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and oil and line three 6″ cake pans with parchment paper (you can use two tins and make a two layer cake if you prefer)
  2. In the bowl of a standalone mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy (about five minutes), then add the sugar and whisk until completely mixed.
  3. In a separate dish, weigh the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.
  4. Set the mixer on low and slowly add the flour, alternating with the eggs and finishing with the flour mixture.
  5. Continue whisking briefly until all of the ingredients are mixed, then add the elderflower cordial.
  6. Weigh the batter and divide it evenly amongst the baking tins, flattening the tops and baking for 20-25 minutes (or until a knife inserted comes out clean)
  7. Allow to cool in the tin (while the cakes are baking, prepare your syrup; see below).

For the lemon and elderflower syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the cordial, lemon juice, and sugar, and heat over medium heat.
  2. Slightly boil the syrup until the sugar dissolves, swirling it around the pan while it bubbles slowly.
  3. Allow the cakes to cool for five minutes after removing them from the oven, then poke small holes in each sponge with a knife and pour the syrup over each layer.
  4. Before putting out the cakes, allow them to cool fully.

For the white chocolate buttercream:

  1. Prepare the buttercream while the cakes are cooling.
  2. Set aside the white chocolate, which may be melted in a bain-marie (or in brief bursts in a microwave using a microwave-safe bowl)
  3. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites and caster sugar, then place over a bain-marie (make sure the bowl does not contact the water in the saucepan).
  4. Before removing the mixture from the heat, whisk continually until the sugar has completely dissolved (about 10 minutes). The mixture should register 72°C on a sugar thermometer.
  5. Pour the ingredients into the bowl of a standalone mixer and whisk on high for 10 minutes, or until a thick, smooth meringue forms.
  6. Whisk in the butter in small increments until you have a nice whipped buttercream.
  7. Whisk in the white chocolate until smooth.
  8. If your buttercream is overly soft, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm it.

To fill and assemble:

  1. Trim the tops of your sponges with a knife if they’re somewhat domed.
  2. Simply put the lemon curd and elderflower in a small mixing dish and swirl to blend.
  3. To put the cake together, start by placing the bottom layer on a cake stand that is ready to be filled.
  4. Pipe a buttercream ‘fort’ on top of your initial layer on the outside perimeter with a big round nozzle (leaving a small border of sponge on the outside still)
  5. Fill the sponge with a spoonful of buttercream and spread it out with the back of a spoon, then top with a tablespoon of the lemon curd mixture.
  6. Place the next layer on top of the bottom layer and repeat the process.
  7. To attach all three layers, place the last sponge on top and softly push down.
  8. To seal in the crumbs, gently cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream using an angled palette knife and freeze for 30 minutes.
  9. Finish with a second layer of buttercream and smooth around the edges and on top after your crumb coat has chilled; you don’t need to cover the cake fully for the semi-naked feel.
  10. Pipe buttercream ‘kisses’ on top of the cake using a big nozzle, then garnish with fresh elderflower and dried lemon segments.
  11. Cut and savor!

Source: Hannah Bakes

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