Beautiful Bakes: Lemon Curd Sponge Cake

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!

Beautiful Bakes: Lemon Curd Sponge Cake

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.

Beautiful Bakes: Lemon Curd Sponge Cake

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

Optional extras:
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.

Beautiful Bakes: Lemon Curd Sponge Cake

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.

Beautiful Bakes: Lemon Curd Sponge Cake

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!

Beautiful Bakes: Lemon Curd Sponge Cake

Children’s Books: Five Brilliant Books About Spring

Believe it or not, it’s spring (as I type this there is snow on the ground and the heating is on full blast). Spring is one of our favourite seasons; with the first garden flowers of the year popping up; some blue skies, and the birth of new life. We always like to visit a local farm in spring, helping to feed the orphan lambs is a particular joy. As ever, we like to keep our reading seasonal too, so here are five sensational books about spring we love…

Five Sensational Books About Spring

Spring by Gerda Muller is one of a series of four books without words, which lead the young child through the seasons of the year. Full of fun and active illustrations, this chunky board book shows the joys of playing with lambs, sowing seeds, painting Easter eggs and watching baby birds. It’s the most wonderful book to share with little ones this spring!

Children's Books: Five Sensational Books About Spring

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Join the tiny seed on an adventure as it becomes a giant flower! In autumn, a strong wind blows flower seeds high in the air and carries them far across the land. One by one, many of the seeds are lost. They are burned by the sun, fall into the ocean, or eaten by birds. But some seeds survive the long winter and, come spring, sprout into plants. The delicate plants face new dangers; being trampled by playing children or picked as a gift for a friend. Soon only the tiniest seed remains, growing into a giant flower and, when autumn returns, sending its own seeds into the wind to start the process over again.

Little Baa by Kim Lewis. For me, spring isn’t spring until I’ve seen and preferably snuggled a lamb. This book is perfect for lamb-lovers like me! One spring day, Little Baa jumps, skips and runs in the field. Soon he leaves his friends far behind – and his Ma too; but Little Baa’s Ma misses him and searches for him. Will she ever find her Little Baa?

Animal Seasons: Rabbit’s Spring Adventure by Anita Loughrey. Animal Seasons are a beautifully illustrated series of picture books for young children and emerging readers and they are great for learning a little more about the natural world. In this spring adventure, Rabbit leaves his warren and discovers that the woods are full of new life. There’s so much to discover that poor Rabbit loses his way, but who will help him find his way back home?

A Year in Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklam. When I was a child, I was completely enchanted by the Brambly Hedge stories. I still have my little collection of books today. The mice of Brambly Hedge have many beautifully illustrated adventures throughout the year. They mark the seasons with feasts and festivities and, of course, the mice never miss an opportunity to have a little party. This wonderful collection would make a great gift for any child and it really is a collection to treasure.

If you enjoyed these books about spring, you might also enjoy my five classic books about bears.

Children's Books: Five Sensational Books About Spring

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Gardening: Spring tidying your garden

Now that spring has sprung and the weather is a bit nicer, I’m a bit more inclined to get out in the garden and give it a tidy. Last weekend we spend a happy few hours tidying our garden after the winter, sweeping up leaves and debris, pulling up dead plants, cutting back overgrown climbers, pruning dead branches from shrubs and cutting the grass. We’re planning another tidying up session over the Easter weekend and I’ve bought some new plants to go in the beds to fill some gaps.


Spring is a busy time for me in the garden, I always feel if you put some effort in early then you can sit back later and enjoy your garden. Our flower beds and veg patch are quite easy to look after, bar some weeding and watering. I’m pretty happy with how it’s taking shape after nearly 5 years of creating a family garden from bare earth.

The real problem in our garden is the grass. It’s boggy in parts, with clay underneath, and it’s a haven for moss and weeds. We seem to spend hours tending to it. One of the biggest problems with the lawn is the edging. We’ve built raised beds for some parts of the lawn, but for others the grass just butts up against the flowerbed and it’s a constant battle keeping the edge neat and the grass away from my plants.

Edging seems like the answer to our problems, keeping the lawn and border separate and making it easier to keep the lawn neat and tidy. Fitting it shouldn’t take too long and it should give the garden an instant lift. We just have to figure out how to deal with the moss now, any suggestions for that are very welcome! Moss is the bane of our gardening lives!

My Sunday Photo 24.1.16

Has spring sprung? The daffodils have been tricked by Mother Nature and some have had their showy yellow heads out since before Christmas, the topsy-turvy weather has made for a confusing time for spring bulbs.

This weekend we went for a long walk in the park and whilst the skies were blue and the sun was shining, there was a distinct nip in the air. I spied the tiniest of snowdrops, traditionally the first sign for me of a little bit of hope that winter is turning into spring, but they were competing with crocus, daffodils and primroses. If you look carefully around the park the beds are littered with tiny colourful buds of hope. 

Hope has perhaps sprung too early this year, but aren’t we all guilty of a bit of misplaced hope sometimes. I can’t help but feel that we’re in for an unusual year weather-wise. Maybe an unusual year full stop, who knows.