• Serves: 10
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Harry and Meghan have broken with tradition and chosen a fresh and floral flavour for their wedding cake! Lemon and elderflower are a match made in culinary heaven and you can bake your own (mini) Royal wedding cake at home. Now although we will never know the exact recipe, we’ve made our own version by using visual inspiration from their wedding cake maker’s Instagram page : @violetcakeslondon

Perfect for serving on May 19th, don’t you think?


Here's how it's done...

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Here's What You'll Need...

Lemon cake

Makes 4x6in layers or 2x9in layers

  • 240ml whole milk
  • 175ml liquid egg whites
  • 3 unwaxed lemons, zest only
  • 3 tsp elderflower cordial or lemon juice
  • 250g plain flour
  • 340g granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 170g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 meringue nests, crumbled (optional)
  • Fresh flowers, to decorate


Elderflower syrup

  • 100ml elderflower cordial
  • 100g granulated sugar


Lemon Italian meringue buttercream

  • 360g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 100ml water
  • 175ml liquid egg whites
  • 600g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into big chunks
  • 3 heaping tbsp lemon curd at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or more, to taste


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Here's how it's done...

  • 1

    Preheat the oven 180°C /160°C Fan. Spray 4x6in or 2x9in cake tins with cake release or grease with butter. Line the bottom of the tins with baking paper and spray or grease. If using butter, dust with flour shaking out any excess.

  • 2

    Mix the milk, egg whites, lemon zest and elderflower cordial together in a measuring jug and set aside.

  • 3

    Add the flour, sugar, cornflour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix together briefly to combine.

  • 4

    Add the cubed butter while beating on low speed until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

  • 5

    Gradually add the liquid ingredients, beating on low speed initially and then increasing to maximum. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides. Mix for another 30 seconds until the batter is completely smooth.

  • 6

    Divide evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake for 20 minutes if using small tins and up to 25 if using larger ones. The cakes are ready when springy to the touch and coming away from the edges of the tins.

  • 7

    Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of the tins and carefully turn cakes out onto a cooling rack.

  • 8

    Put the cordial and sugar in a saucepan. Mix together and cook over low heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly then brush the syrup sparingly over the cakes.

  • 9

    Make the buttercream. Put the sugar, honey and water in a deep saucepan stir to combine. Bring to the boil over high heat and check the temperature with a digital or jam thermometer. Cook until it reaches 120°C.

  • 10

    Meanwhile, put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk at maximum speed until you have soft peaks.

  • 11

    Slowly and carefully pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites, while mixing, down the side of the mixing bowl. Continue to whisk for several minutes until you have a glossy meringue and the bowl feels just barely warm to the touch.

  • 12

    Add the butter, a few chunks at a time, and continue whisking at maximum speed until it is all incorporated.

  • 13

    The buttercream may briefly separate or look curdled, but keep whisking and it will soon become glossy and smooth. Add the lemon juice and curd and whisk until combined.

  • 14

    Pipe or spread an even layer of buttercream over the bottom cake layer and sprinkle with crumbled meringue if using. Repeat with second and third layer and top with the fourth.

  • 15

    Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top and sides and use a palette knife and side scraper to smooth. Place the cake in the freezer for 20 minutes.

  • 16

    Smooth a generous amount of buttercream over the top and sides of the cake in an even layer.

  • 17

    Top the finished cake with fresh flowers – make sure you use unsprayed flowers or edible flowers.

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Lemon and Elderflower Layer Cake
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By Lucy Parissi on 03.04.18

Guest Contributor

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