Lemon birthday cake

Go wild with lots of different varieties and colours of sweets when decorating Annie Riggs deliciously light lemon layer cake
Lemon birthday cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus 10 minutes cooling
  • Effort: easy


  • 400 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 225 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 250 ml soured cream, at room temperature
  • 2 lemons, grated zest of both and juice of 1
  • assorted sweets, such as dolly mixtures, Smarties

For the frosting

  • 350 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 600 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp lemon curd


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease two 20cm round springform cake tins and line the bases with greased baking parchment.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder together.

3. Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale, light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula from time to time.

4. With the mixer on a low speed, add the flour and soured cream alternately to the mixture in batches. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix until smooth.

5. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to wire cooling racks. Turn the cakes the right way up and leave to cool completely.

6. For the frosting: cream the butter and icing sugar until smooth and pale. Add the lemon curd and mix again until smooth.

7. When you are ready to assemble the cake, take a large, serrated knife and slice each cake in half horizontally to give 4 even layers.

8. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread with 2 heaped tablespoons of frosting. Top with another cake layer and frosting. Repeat until you have 4 layers of cake and 3 of frosting. Cover the top and sides of the whole cake with the remaining frosting, spreading evenly with a palette knife.

9. Decorate the cake with your choice of assorted sweets, but do this no more than 1-2 hours before serving, otherwise they will soften and bleed into the frosting.

Extract from Birthday Cakes for Kids - by Annie Rigg published by Ryland Peters and Small

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