When Life Hands You Lemons…


Squeeze ’em in people’s eyes!

That’s what my little sister would wish she could do. It’s probably her favourite David & Goliath tee slogan.

I, on the other hand, would bake lemon cake then use the remaining lemon ‘shell’ to perfume my microwave. Or maybe I would make a lemon curd and yearn longingly that it would transport me right back to London. But I do love cake.

So, we’ll settle for this lovely Lemon Layer Cake reminiscent of Primrose Bakery. It positively reminds me of London, when me and the little sister trudged around after a looong day, only to chance upon the bakery… and then finding Hope and Greenwood right up the lane! It was the best. It still is the best.

These two weeks have been a crazy lemony sour, sugary sweet, baking-a-3-layer-cake tiring type of whirlwind. But I can’t complain if it all boils down to two layers of buttery citrus love sandwiching a mighty swirl of lemon buttercream. If it’s going to be a busy week, better have some cake ready!


Lemon Layer Cake, bakes 2 8-inch layers

170g caster sugar
1 ½ cup GF flour mix + 1 heaping tbsp
2 ½ tsp baking powder
25g cornflour
1 cup canola oil, – 2 tbsp
2 tbsp milk (non dairy will work)
4 large eggs (1 whole, 3 separated)
Grated zest and juice of 3 medium lemons

1)      In a bowl, mix the flours and baking powder together. Grease and line 2 8-inch cake pans. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2)      In a big bowl, whisk the 3 egg yolks, 1 whole egg and half the sugar until pale. Add in the oil, milk and lemon zest. Whisk until emulsified.

3)      In the bowl of a KitchenAid, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add in the sugar a little at a time, with the motor running. Stop once you get a meringue with stiff peaks.

4)      Stir the flour into the egg yolk mixture. It will be very sticky. Add in the milk and juice. Mix to combine.

5)      Quickly fold the meringue into the batter until even. It’s okay if the meringue deflates. The important thing is to get a homogenous mixture.

6)      Divide between the two prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and cake pulls away from the side of the tin.

7)      Remove from oven and leave to cool. Invert onto a wire rack. When completely cool, frost with lemon buttercream and enjoy life’s lemons!

Lemon Buttercream Icing from Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated zest of 1-2 unwaxed lemons (or 1 tsp of lemon oil)
500g icing sugar, sifted

1)      In the bowl of a KitchenAid, beat the butter, lemon juice, zest and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy.

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10 Comments

Filed under Books, Cakes, Frostings, Fruit, Recipes

10 responses to “When Life Hands You Lemons…

  1. woot you’re back! i’ve missed your posts! I finally stumbled across a packet of xanthum gum and can now make your ‘starbucks- worthy’ muffins which i’ve bookmarked to make since I first read about them. but now i read your lemon cake post and i do have a few lemons at home which I could really use up..hmmm..what a dilemna!

  2. so pretty, it’s like cupid shot me straight in the heart. i love the way you’ve iced it. x

  3. I’ve never made a cake with this meringue method before. I’ll definitely give it a try.

  4. Lool.. when life hands you lemon. I wish I could do that to some poeple :D. Your cake looks wonderful. This is what I call a perfect cake.

  5. meimei

    I WANTTTTT! Maybe I shall go there soon……:) it looks damn pretty!

  6. oh your cake looks so pretty i love the tiny pastel decorations :O)

  7. You have the cutest sprinkles to finish off your cake decor. I’m envious… =P Glad to see you’re back in action!

  8. Lemon + icing + sprinkles = a perfect start to my day :) Beautiful cake!

  9. The little sprinkles are super cute on the swirly icing, like a little galaxy :)

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