A chocolate cake is usually a safe choice for a party, but there are always a contrary few who will insist on not liking chocolate even though it’s clearly the best food ever invented. For those, I made a lemon cake.

Like the Chocolate birthday cake, I decorated it with a scattering of sweets – Dolly Mixtures, Midget Gems, Love Hearts and some Lemon Sherbets that I smashed into dangerous shards. The risk of ripping your mouth open when you bite into a slice of cake makes eating it that bit more interesting.

Lemon birthday cake
Serves 8–10

150g room temperature butter plus extra for greasing
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
150g self raising flour
110g room temperature butter
125g icing sugar, sifted
3 tsp milk
Zest of 1 lemon
225g icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Dolly Mixtures, smashed Lemon Sherbets, Love Hearts and Midget Gems, to decorate

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C. Grease 2 x 20cm round sandwich cake tins with butter and line the bases with parchment.

Make the cake: Beat the butter until it’s soft and creamy and then beat with the caster sugar until pale, fluffy and combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the lemon zest and juice. Sift in the flour and fold in.

Spoon into the cake tins and level the tops. Bake for 20–25 minutes until risen and springy to the touch. Cool in the tins for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely, flat sides down.

Make the buttercream icing: Beat the butter until soft and creamy, then stir in icing sugar, 1/3 at a time with 1 tsp milk each time. Stir in the lemon zest.

Place 1 cake rounded side down on your work surface and spread with the buttercream icing. Top with the other cake, flat side down, and press down gently to sandwich them together.

Make the lemon icing: Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice. You want a fairly thick icing, but if it’s too thick, add a few teaspoons of cold water until you get a nice consistency.

Spread the icing over the top of the cake with a palette knife so it’s thickly covered. Stick the sweets into the icing and leave to set. The cake is best served on the day it’s made, but it’ll keep for a few days in an airtight container.

Tagged with: BakingBirthday cakeBritishCakes

12 Responses to Lemon birthday cake for Sister Number 1

  1. Sally says:


    I have some birthdays coming up I am so going to make one of these

  2. Su-Lin says:

    Too cute! Love the candy and glitter decorations on both these cakes!

  3. Greedy Diva says:

    I love lemon cake, but usually make it with just lemon and icing sugar on top – that generous lathering of icing looks totally fab!

  4. LexEat! says:

    Lemon cake is my fave! I usually don’t ice it and pour syrup over instead.

    Do you need another sister?!

  5. SN 2 says:

    As difficult as this is for me to say…but I actually preferred the lemon to the chocolate one! Oh please chocolate gods, do not punish me! But it was deelish!!!

  6. Kavita says:

    This was so tasty but very naughty to bring it out after multiple courses of Tapas

  7. Lisa says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhh…..oh that is just so very pretty. And with the hint of danger too!

  8. The Grubworm says:

    Wow – that is a birthday cake and a half, and as for the shard laden topping – no birthday’s complete without a bit of screaming 😉

  9. Frankie says:

    This is so very pretty! I love lemon cake and had never thought about it as a birthday cake before. Have just started a new baking blog ‘Frankie’s Fancie’s’ would love to know what you think. xx

  10. Sarah says:

    I love lemon cake! I made lemon cupcakes for my sister’s birthday last year, went down a treat! The sweets on top is genius – will definitely be trying that next time!

  11. Love the idea of the sweets tipped out on top,might steal that.

  12. Natalie says:

    Oh god that looks good!

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