Lemon Layer Cake

A perfect celebration cake, or an ideal choice when you fancy a bit of baking and don't want to spend ages in the kitchen. High impact, low effort, I'd say.



For the cake -

  • 280g (10oz) margarine or soft butter
  • 280g (10oz) caster sugar
  • the finely grated zest of 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 5 large eggs
  • 280g (10oz) SR flour
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water

For the filling -

  • 2 heaped tablespoons lemon curd

For the cream cheese frosting -

  • 85g (3oz) cream cheese
  • 50g (2oz) soft butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 450g (1lb) icing sugar


You will also need -

2 x 20cm (8") tins - preferably with loose bases


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F (gas mark 4).
  2. Begin by lining the tins. Draw around the base of the tin onto baking parchment and cut out 2 circles. Grease the base and sides of the tins with a little soft butter or margarine on some kitchen roll or baking parchment. Now 'stick' the baking parchment circles inside the 2 tins.
  3. Weigh the butter and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl. Now using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy and has become a lighter colour. This will take around 5 minutes.
  4. Break each egg individually into a cup (just in case any of them have gone bad - trust me it does happen). This also means it is easier to fish out any stray bits of shell. Add each egg, one at a time to the mixture.
  5. Now weigh the SR flour into a bowl and add this to the cake mixture.
  6. Add the lemon zest to the bowl.
  7. Beat the mixture until everything is well combined. You may need to use a spatula to 'clean' the edges of the bowl and to make sure that everything is thoroughly mixed.
  8. Now add a tablespoon of boiling water to the mixture and fold gently to combine.
  9. Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and bake in the oven for 23-25 minutes or until the centre is springy to the touch.
  10. While the cake is baking, get on with making the filling. Beat together the cream cheese, soft butter and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating after each addition.
  11. When the cakes are ready, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool in their tins for a few minutes or until the edges of the cake have shrunk a little from the tin. Now run a sharp knife round the edges of the tins to fully release them and carefully tip the cakes onto a cooling rack.
  12. Be sure that the cake is COMPLETELY cold before decorating it. Spread the lemon curd on the bottom of one of the cakes and the cream cheese frosting on the other - the frosting will be rather stiff so spoon it on gently and then 'ease' the spoonfuls together until they meet. Sandwich the two cakes together (with the lemon curd one on top) and dust the top of the cake with icing sugar - use a sieve or an icing sugar shaker for this.

Keywords: celebration, zesty, afternoon tea, summer