Summer Lemon and Elderflower Cake


For the sponge:
170g golden caster sugar
115g butter or margarine (Mum always uses margarine, so if you want her classic taste then I would use it.)
2 large free-range eggs
170g self-raising flour
4 tablespoons milk
Grated rind of 2 lemons

Elderflower topping:
2 tablespoons elderflower cordial
The juice of one lemon

Featured in:
July 2021

OK, so this may seem like a peculiar time of the year to share a lemon cake recipe but in fact this simple cake is delightfully light, zesty and wonderfully refreshing and the perfect accompaniment to a picnic on one of our fabulous golden Lincolnshire beaches, or afternoon tea on a shady summer lawn. It’s my mum’s recipe, in turn passed down from her mum so it has a special place in my heart and is an absolute classic from my childhood.

Mum always made two at the same time (simply double the recipe) – one for eating now and one for the freezer so we could share the joy at any time.

• Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC (fan), grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.

• In a large bowl cream the margarine (or butter) and sugar until light and fluffy. I use an electric hand whisk for this.

• Add the eggs and a little flour and beat in. Then add the remaining flour and milk and beat in, followed by the lemon rind.

• Bake for 45 min or until golden and risen and slightly firm to touch.

• Whilst it’s in the oven, mix the topping by warming the elderflower cordial and lemon juice in a pan until just warm.

• The moment the cake comes out of the oven, pour the warm lemon juice over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar – the sugar becomes the most wonderfully intense lemon sherbet topping which is simply fabulous! Leave it to cool completely in the loaf tin.

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