As some of you may know I keep bees and really love using my honey in baking. So why not have a go at this really simple yet show stopping lemon and honey layer cake. Make it in advance and keep it in the fridge for when friends pop round for tea.
You can also view a video on how to make it here:
You will need two 23cm round spring form cake tins greased and lined with non-stick parchment.
For the two cake layers:
235g unsalted butter
235g caster sugar
2 tbsp runny honey
4 large eggs beaten
235g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
Finely grated zest 3 unwaxed lemons
2 tbsp lemon juice
For the filling and topping:
600ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
60g runny honey
200g lemon curd
Crystallized lemon zest decoration:
2 unwaxed lemons
200g granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/320°F/gas 4.
- Cream together the butter, caster sugar and honey until pale and fluffy; this takes about 5 minutes in a kitchen mixer fitted with a paddle, or a little longer with a hand mixer.
- Mix the flour and baking powder together in a bowl.
- Slowly add the eggs along with 1 tablespoon of the flour, mixing all the time until incorporated. Add the remaining flour, zest and lemon juice and mix until well incorporated.
- Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared tins and place them in the oven on the bottom shelf.
- Bake for 30–35 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the cakes: a skewer inserted into the centre should come out completely clean and the cakes should have shrunk away from the sides slightly. They may need a few more minutes.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool.
While the cakes are baking make the filling and decoration:
- Using a strip zester, take the zest off the lemons so you end up with pieces 3–4cm/about 1½ inches long.
- Place the zest strips into a pan with the water and 100g/3½oz of the sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes
- Put the rest of the sugar on a plate. Drain the zest, tip it onto the sugar and stir it all around to coat it. Spread it apart and set aside to dry.
- To make the filling, put the cream in a large bowl with the icing sugar and honey and whisk just until stiff peaks form. Place two thirds of the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a 1cm/½ inch plain round nozzle and the remainder in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
- Next, assemble the cake. Place one of the sponges onto your serving plate the right way up. There’s no need to trim the tops of cakes like this as we can easily hide the dome with the filling and decoration. However, feel free to do so if you want to.
- Spread a thin layer of lemon curd over the sponge, using a palette knife. Don’t go right to the edge; leave about 2cm/¾ inch uncovered. Using the piping bag with the plain nozzle, pipe rounds of cream all around the edge of the sponge, then fill in the middle.
- Place the second sponge gently on top. Using the piping bag with the star nozzle, pipe cream around the edge of the top layer. Cover the exposed sponge on the top of the cake with a good layer of curd. Finish off by placing the crystallized lemon zest on the piped cream around the top.