As the person who does most of the baking in my family, I was tasked with bringing a cake to our Mother’s Day get together. I’m not saying my family are picky, but there’s a big list of things people can’t or won’t eat, but everyone loves a lemon cake. It was suggested I make a lemon drizzle cake, but I had a jar of lemon curd in the cupboard and I wanted to put it to good use. Instead I baked this lemon curd sponge cake, and it was as delicious as it was pretty.
It’s based on my failsafe Victoria Sponge recipe, but it uses a whole jar of zingy lemon curd. It’s definitely a cake I’ll be baking again and again. Because I was baking for Mother’s Day, I did pipe some buttercream on the top and add some pretty daisies, but you don’t have to do this if you don’t want. It’s still an absolute banger of a bake without its fancy hat!
I added some lemon curd into my sponge mix, which did make the sponge layers a little darker than you may like. If you wanted a lighter coloured cake with the lemon flavour, you could swap this out for the zest of a lemon and a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Lemon Curd Sponge Cake
200g caster sugar
200g softened butter or margarine (I use Stork)
4 medium eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of lemon curd
1.5 tbsp milk
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the buttercream:
150g softened unsalted butter
300g icing sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon curd
1 more tablespoon of lemon curd for spreading between the layers
Dr. Oetker Wafer Daisies, or similar
Icing sugar, a sprinkle
How to make a Lemon Curd Sponge Cake:
Heat your fan oven to 190c. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins. I also lined the bottom of each tin with a circle of baking parchment. In a large bowl, beat your butter and sugar together until fluffy (I used a hand mixer). Add the eggs, milk and lemon curd and combine, then add the flour and baking powder and mix together until you have a smooth batter.
Divide the mixture equally between the two tins. You can weigh them to make sure they’re fairly equal if you’d like. Bake in your pre-heated oven for around 20 mins until golden and they’re cooked. Remove from the tins and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
Leave your cakes to cool fully. While your cakes are cooling, now is a good time to make your lemon curd buttercream. In a bowl and using a mixer or electric hand whisk, beat your butter until it is soft. Add your icing sugar, and taking care not to create an icing sugar cloud, beat the butter and sugar together. Add the lemon curd and once that’s combined, taste it and see if you want to add a bit more lemon curd, which you absolutely can do. Once you’re happy with you buttercream, it’s time to assemble your cake.
Put your first layer on a cake board, or cake stand, or whatever you’re presenting it on. If you’re worried about it sliding around, a small dollop of buttercream on the bottom will stick your first layer in place and stop it moving around. Generously top the first layer with some of the buttercream, spread it evenly across the cake.
Just to really hammer home that it was a lemon curd sponge cake, I then spread a thin layer of lemon curd over the buttercream, and sandwiched the second layer on top of that.
Now, if you’re wanting to decorate it further, like I did, then now is the time to get a piping bag and a nozzle. I use a Wilton 2D nozzle and I’d like to make it clear than I’m firmly am amateur level cake decorator; so if I can do this, you can too! Fill the piping bag with your leftover buttercream and just practice a few times on a chopping board or plate. I was wanting to do a crescent shape of little start shaped dollops. These are easy to do as you just squeeze equal amounts on, and then if you top with a scattering of wafer daises; then they can hide any imperfections. Here’s some more expert guidance on the wilton blog, which I do recommend you take a look at.
I didn’t love the look of the small gap between the layers, so I piped around the gaps and then smoothed it out with the back of a knife. It does look like there’s a huge amount of buttercream inside, but there really isn’t.
For one final flourish, a small dusting of icing sugar makes it look at least 5% prettier. And that’s it, your lemon curd sponge cake is ready to be cut up into greedy slices and devoured.
It’s such a pretty cake and really light and spring-like. It’s a good store cupboard bake too, and worth keeping a jar of lemon curd in for, for when the baking mood strikes!