Lemon Sponge Cake with Edible Flowers

Lemon Sponge Cake with Elderflower and Edible Flowers

This lemon sponge cake, flavoured with elderflower cordial and decorated with edible flowers, is the perfect show-stopper for a spring celebration. I bring it out for Mothers’ Day and Easter and also for spring birthdays.

There are lots of things that I love about this cake. First off, it is delicious! Lemon and elderflower are great flavour partners. Secondly, it is really easy to make. It is just a simple lemon sponge, perked up with the fantastic floral taste of elderflower cordial, sandwiched with lemon curd and covered in simple lemon and elderflower buttercream. It is also really easy to decorate. You do not need any icing or cake-decoration skills to produce a really striking cake. It is a doddle to cover the cake with the buttercream. Then all you have to do then is to get creative and add the fresh edible flowers. If there are any bits of the icing that are less than perfect, just cover them up with a flower!

As with all sponge cakes, this cake is best if it is eaten as soon as possible. You can make it a day ahead but any longer than that and it won’t be as good. However, you can make the sponge cakes and then freeze them if that makes things easier. After they have cooled, wrap in cling film and put in the freezer. When you are ready to use, allow to defrost and then sandwich them together, add the icing and decorate.

I make my own lemon curd and elderflower cordial and you can find recipes on this blog. However, there is absolutely no need to do this. A good quality shop-bought lemon curd is fine to sandwich the cakes together and there are lots of great ready-made brands of elderflower cordial. Having said that, it is really fun to make your own if you have time!

Using edible flowers – what you need to know

As you might have worked out from the name of my blog, I love using edible flowers. For someone who really appreciates the visual impact of the food that they eat, but has little decorative skill (piping sugar roses really is not my thing), edible flowers are the perfect ingredient. If you have never used edible flowers before, this is what you need to know.

  • There are many varieties of flower that are edible. There are also many that are not either because they don’t taste very nice or because they are harmful if eaten. It is vital that you know what varieties of flowers you can use in your cooking. If in doubt, don’t use it!
  • Similarly, you need to be sure that the flowers that you are using have not been treated with any chemicals (pesticides or fertilisers) that might be harmful to you. The best way to be sure of this, is to obtain your flowers from a location that you know to be safe such as your own garden. Alternatively, you can now buy edible flowers from suppliers such as Ocado or Fine Food Specialist. Do not use flowers from the florist as they will often be chemically treated to prolong their life.
  • Broadly speaking, edible flowers fall into three categories. Firstly, there are flowers that are primarily decorative. They include lilac, primroses, violas and pansies. Secondly, there are flowers that are decorative but also provide a flavour. These include roses, lavender, elderflowers and dandelions which are generally used in sweet recipes and the flowers of many herbs, such as chives or thyme, which are generally used in savoury recipes. Thirdly, there are flowers which actually form part of the dish. These include peppery nasturtiums which can liven up a salad or courgette flowers which can be stuffed and then either fried or steamed.
  • Before you use your edible flowers, you need to make sure that they are clean. I soak mine in a bowl of cold water for around 10 minutes and then let them dry out on a clean kitchen towel for a further 5 minutes.
  • If you are using edible flowers to decorate a cake, you need to add them just before you are ready to serve it up. This is because the flowers will only keep fresh for a few hours once they have been stuck to the cake. I will keep my decorative flowers in a bowl of water until just before I need to use them. They keep fresh for a couple of days if kept in a bowl of water.
Other recipes using edible flowers

If you would like to explore using edible flowers, I have a lot of recipes that use them for decoration and flavour.

Print
Lemon Sponge Cake with Edible Flowers

Lemon Sponge Cake with Elderflower and Edible Flowers

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 810 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This Lemon Sponge Cake, flavoured with elderflower cordial and decorated with edible flowers, is probably the easiest show-stopping cake you will find!


Scale

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 450 g butter
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 400 g self-raising flour
  • 50 g cornflower
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons elderflower cordial
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon

For the decoration

  • 250 g butter
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of elderflower cordial
  • 8 tablespoons of lemon curd
  • Edible flowers (primroses, pansies, roses)

You will also need three 18 cm loose-bottomed sandwich tins.


Instructions

  1. First make your cakes. Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Cream the butter with the sugar.  (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier.)
  3. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.  If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
  4. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour and the cornflower.
  5. Add the milk, elderflower cordial and the grated lemon zest.
  6. Grease your Victoria Sandwich tins or containers and then add the cake mixture.
  7. Bake your cakes in the oven for around 35 minutes.  They are done when they are golden brown, springy to the touch and have shrunk away from the edge of the tin.  You can test this by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake – if it comes out cleanly with no mixture attached, your cake is done.
  8. Allow your cakes to cool on a rack before removing them from the tins or containers. 
  9. Next prepare the icing and decoration. Beat the butter and icing sugar together in a food processor or using a hand blender.  Add the lemon juice and elderflower cordial and beat until the mixture is pale and smooth.
  1. Spread 4 tablespoons of lemon curd on top of one of the cakes.  Place the second cake on top of it.  Spread 4 tablespoons of lemon curd on top of the second cake.  Place the third cake on top of it.
  2. Spread the lemon buttercream over the top and sides of the cake.  
  3. Decorate with edible flowers.  

 

 

 


Notes

  1. Make sure that you are using varieties of flower that are safe to eat and that they have not been chemically-treated.  Wash flowers before  use.

Keywords: cake, lemon, elderflower, edible flowers

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Feast Glorious Feast, and #BakingCrumbs with Apply To Face Blog and #Fiesta Friday with Fiesta Friday and [email protected], Spoons and Spatulas

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.

1+

Lime Cheesecake

Easy, make-ahead, no-cook Lime Cheesecake

This Lime Cheesecake is the perfect dessert for a celebration or a family dinner. You can make it in advance, it does not require cooking and it has a fantastic combination of creaminess with zesty citrus. It is not too heavy which, combined with its citrus zest, makes it the perfect ending to a special meal.

I make all types of cheesecakes, and also desserts such as Banoffee Pie which have a similar biscuit base. There is something about the combination of the smashed-up buttery biscuit with a creamy topping which seems to be popular with all ages! Smashing up the biscuits is also quite therapeutic..

This is a no-bake recipe. I think the way that it works is almost magical. The citrus juices react with the cream cheese and the cream causing it to solidify. The mixture may seem too liquid when it is first combined but, once it has been poured into the tin and left for a couple of hours, it will have firmed up.

All things citrus – lovely limes and lovely lemons..

I love all things citrus and would take the lemon or lime flavoured dessert over chocolate any day of the week. (I accept I may be in the minority!) If you share my love of citrus, and like this Lime Cheesecake, you might also like some of my other recipes such as Lemon Pavlova, Lemon Curd Ice Cream, Lemon Drizzle Cake or Blood Orange Cake.

Easy Lime Cheesecake

Print
Lime Cheesecake

Lime Cheesecake

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Cheesecake
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This tangy, make-ahead no-cook lime cheesecake is such an easy dessert.  Its not too heavy and its zesty citrus flavour is perfect at the end of special meal.

 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 175 g digestive biscuits
  • 75 g butter
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 350 g cream cheese
  • 150 ml double cream
  • Fresh lime slices to decorate (optional)

Lime Cheesecake


Instructions

  1. Crush the digestive biscuits into crumbs.  I have two methods to do this – both equally therapeutic.  Either I put the biscuits in a plastic sandwich bag and then bash with a rolling pin or I put the biscuits in a metal bowl (the one from my food processor is perfect) and bash with a rolling pin.
  2. Melt the butter.  I generally do this by putting it in a bowl and heating briefly in the microwave.
  3. Stir the melted butter into the crumbs.
  4. Press the buttery crumbs into a 20 cm loose-based flan or cake tin.  Put the tin into the fridge while you get on and prepare the other ingredients.  The butter will cool and solidify and mean that the base of your cheesecake is stable.
  5. In a bowl, mix the zest and juice of the limes and lemon with the sugar and cream cheese.
  6. Beat the double cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold it into the mixture.   The mixture will look lumpy and also a bit runny.  Do not worry – it is supposed to look like that!
  7. Spoon the mixture over the biscuit crumb base. 
  8. Leave the cheesecake in the fridge for several hours, ideally overnight, to set.  The acid from the citrus fruit will react with the cream and cream cheese and form a firm mixture so that it should be easy to remove from the tin when you are ready to eat it.
  9. If you wish, you can decorate the top of the cheesecake with fresh lime slices or some grated lime zest.

 

Lime Cheesecake


Keywords: cheesecake, lime, lemon

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Recipes Made Easy and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday and [email protected]

Products from Amazon.co.uk

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.

Lime Drizzle Cake with Coconut

Lime Drizzle Cake with Coconut

Easy loaf cake combining tropical flavours of lime and coconut

Lemon Curd

Easy Lemon Curd

It is so easy to make your own Lemon Curd to use in a range of desserts and cakes or simply to eat on fresh bread!

Lemon Pavlova

Lemon Pavlova

Light, citrus dessert using fresh lemon curd

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

Easy, ice cream using fresh lemon curd

Candied Lemon and Lime Slices - cake decoration

Candied Lemon and Lime Slices

Sweet citrus slices for use in decorating cakes and desserts

0

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

This Lemon Curd Ice Cream is my perfect summer dessert. Lemon is one of my favourite flavours – in both sweet and savoury dishes – and I love home-made ice cream. This recipe produces a rich, creamy ice cream, using a combination of double cream and Greek Yogurt, which is given a citrus zing from Lemon Curd. Some of the curd is used to flavour the ice cream and the remainder is stirred through at the end so that you get a ripple of extra tasty Lemon Curd in each mouthful!

Quick and easy, three ingredient recipe

This is probably the quickest and easiest ice cream recipe. It only has three ingredients – cream, Greek yogurt and Lemon Curd – and takes a matter of minutes to combine them. I think the ice cream tastes better if you use home-made Lemon Curd. It has a citrus zestiness that you just don’t get with the shop-bought version. I have a foolproof, quick recipe for making Lemon Curd and you can use it for lots of other things as well as ice-cream. It is great just spread on bread or as a filling for cakes or you could try making my Lemon Pavlova. However, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own Lemon Curd, you can use shop-bought.

You can use an ice cream maker to make this ice cream but it is not essential. If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.

Products from Amazon.co.uk

Ice Cream dreams…

Once you start making, and eating, your own ice cream, it can become a bit addictive! There are lots of other recipes for home-made botanical ice cream on this blog so you might like to try Rose Ice Cream, Lavender Ice Cream, Elderflower Ice Cream, Thyme, Honey and Mascarpone Ice Cream or Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream.

Print
Lemon Curd Ice Cream

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: Serves 68 1x
  • Category: Ice Cream
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This creamy, tangy  three-ingredient Lemon Curd Ice Cream is probably the easiest ice cream recipe that you will find.  


Scale

Ingredients

  • 400 ml double cream
  • 400 ml Greek yogurt
  • 400 ml Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd Ice Cream


Instructions

  1. Whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks.
  2. Stir the Greek yogurt and 300 ml of the Lemon Curd into the whisked cream.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the fridge in a covered bowl to become thoroughly chilled.
  4. When you are ready to make the ice-cream, transfer the mixture to your ice-cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions.  If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.
  5. Once the mixture has thickened, stir inn the remaining 100 ml of Lemon Curd so that it forms a “ripple” through the ice cream.    Transfer to a container and keep in the freezer until you wish to eat it.

Lemon Curd Ice Cream


Notes

This recipe is much better if you use home-made Lemon Curd and you can find a fool-proof recipe on this blog.  However, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own, you can use good quality shop-bought Lemon Curd.

Keywords: ice cream, lemon, lemon curd, lemon dessert

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.

1+

Lemon Pavlova

Lemon Pavlova

Lemon Pavlova, what’s not to like? I love lemon and I love meringue, so for me this is pretty much the perfect dessert. Even better, it is really easy to make! One of the great things about pavlovas is that while they have that show-stopping, celebratory vibe, they are actually extremely simple to produce even for inexperienced cooks. Another of my favourites is Rose and Raspberry Pavlova which is a twist on a more traditional pavlova recipe.

This recipe for Lemon Pavlova first came into my family through my Aunt Pat who led a rather glamorous life as a literary agent in the 1950s and 1960s. Part of her not-terribly-onerous job involved taking trips from London to New York in order to meet authors and publishers. Needless to say, food and copious amounts of alcohol figured prominently during these visits. This Lemon Pavlova was made for Aunt Pat by an admirer who lived in New York. Despite the Pavlova, the relationship didn’t last but the recipe became a firm family favourite. I always think of it as a kind of deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie but without the pie! I think it is brilliant as just having the lemon and the meringue makes it a much lighter dessert.

Lovely Lemon Curd…

The lemon flavour in this Pavlova is provided by Lemon Curd. If you are pushed for time, you can, if you must, use shop-bought Lemon Curd. However, the Lemon Pavlova will truly be so much better if you use home-made Lemon Curd. It only takes ten minutes to make and my Easy Lemon Curd Recipe is fool-proof. Once you’ve made it, it keeps in the fridge for three weeks and can be used in lots of different ways – as a spread, as a cake filling and, of course, as a dessert ingredient. My recipe for easy Lemon Curd Ice Cream is also a great way to use Lemon Curd – home-made or shop bought!

And lovely lemon recipes..

I love the flavour of lemon in both sweet and savoury recipes. If you also love its citrus zing, you might like my sweet recipes for Lemon Drizzle Cake and Lemon Shortbread or my savoury recipe for Spiced Carrots with Honey and Lemon.

Print
Lemon Pavlova

Lemon Pavlova

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 people 1x
  • Category: Meringue
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This easy Lemon Pavlova recipe is the perfect combination of whipped cream, zesty Lemon Curd and crisp meringue. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225 caster sugar
  •  teaspoon cornflour
  •  teaspoon lemon juice
  • 300 ml Lemon Curd (you can use ready-made Curd but home-made is better)
  • 300 ml double cream

Lemon Pavlova


Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 140 C/275 F/Gas Mark 1.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with salt until they form stiff peaks.
  3. Add two tablespoons of sugar and continue to whisk until combined and the mixture is thick and glossy.
  4. Fold the rest of the sugar, the cornflour and the lemon juice into the whisked egg whites.
  5. Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment or silicon paper.
  6. Spoon the egg white mixture onto the baking sheet to form a large circle or oval.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour until the exterior of the meringue is hard to the touch.
  8. Allow to cool.
  9. When ready to serve, spoon the Lemon Curd over the top of the meringue base.
  10. Then whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks and then spread it on top of the Lemon Curd

Lemon Pavlova


Notes

I have a foolproof recipe for Lemon Curd, which is very quick and easy to make and tastes so much better than the shop-bought version.

Keywords: lemon pavlova, lemon meringue, lemon desserts

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.

2+

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe

Easy, home-made Lemon Curd

This Easy Lemon Curd Recipe will enable you to make fresh, zesty lemon curd in a matter of minutes. It is so easy to make and is totally different from over-sweetened shop-bought lemon curd which just does not have anything like the same level of sharp lemony flavour. This is one of those recipes where the minimal effort really pays off with a product that is so much better than the ready-made version.

Many people think it is hard to make Lemon Curd and worry about ending up with lemon-flavoured scrambled eggs rather than smooth curd. Do not worry! The acid in the lemon juice prevents the eggs scrambling when they are heated. All you need to do is cook over a low heat and make sure you stir the mixture while it is thickening. The whole recipe only takes around 10 minutes – quicker than going down to the shops to buy a jar of ready-made Lemon Curd.

You can make Curd from a number of other tropical fruit such as lime, orange, mango and passion fruit. I think it works best with strongly flavoured fruit – if you are a fan of rhubarb, have a look at my recipe for Rhubarb Curd.

There are so many uses for Easy Lemon Curd..

So what can you do with Lemon Curd? Well, lots and lots of things, actually! First off, it is great as a spread on bread as an alternative to jam or honey. It is also great stirred into plain yogurt or spooned over vanilla ice cream. However, in my opinion, it really comes into its own as a cooking ingredient. Its punch of lemony flavour is fantastic in all kinds of sweet dishes. It is particularly useful as a filling for cakes and in all kinds of puddings.

Other lemon-flavoured recipes

Lemon is one of my favourite flavours. I will always go for the lemon cake rather than the chocolate cake! If you like lemon too, you might like my Lemon Pavlova or easy Lemon Curd Ice Cream, both of which use my home-made Lemon Curd. Or you could check out some of my other lemon-flavoured recipes such as my Lemon Drizzle Cake, Lemon Biscuits and Lemon Verbena Ice Cream.

Print
Lemon Curd

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 300 ml lemon curd 1x
  • Category: Curd
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This Easy Lemon Curd Recipe is fool-proof and only takes ten minutes.  In less time than it takes to go to the shop to buy ready-made Lemon Curd, you can have the far superior zesty, lemony home-made version.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 85 g butter
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs

Lemon Curd


Instructions

  1. Finely grate the zest of the lemons into a small, heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Squeeze the lemons and add their juice to the saucepan together with the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat the eggs and add these to the saucepan.
  4. Put the saucepan over a very low heat and stir until the butter has melted and the ingredients have combined.
  5. Continue stirring over the low heat until the mixture has thickened.  This should take around five minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture into sterilised jam jars and allow to cool.

Lemon Curd


Notes

Make sure you use unwaxed lemons which are available in most supermarkets.  You want lemon zest rather than wax in your curd!

Don’t worry about ending up with scrambled eggs!  The acid in the lemon juice will prevent this.

You can sterilise your jam jars by washing them in warm, soapy water, rinsing well and then drying off for 15 minutes in an oven set at 140C/120C fan/gas 1.

The lemon curd will keep for three weeks in the refridgerator.

Keywords: lemon curd, curd

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.

1+