Olive Magazine
Lemon Layer Cake With Lemon Curd

Lemon cake

Published: January 27, 2017 at 2:27 pm
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
    • + cooling
  • Easy
  • Serves 12

A showstopping, lemony sponge cake with a delicious lemon curd icing and beautiful edible crystallised violets and primroses on top


Try our lemon layer cake recipe, then check out our lemon drizzle cake, vegan lemon drizzle cake, lemon loaf cake and lemon and blueberry cake.

For more classic cake recipes, why not try our vanilla cake, coffee cake or carrot cake.

Love the zingy flavour and creamy texture of lemon curd? Us too. It's even better in a cake, when you can use lemon curd as one of the key components in a really indulgent icing recipe. Just sandwich each sponge layer together with a normal lemon buttercream (butter, icing sugar and fresh lemon juice and zest), remembering to top the buttercream with a healthy swirl of lemon curd before adding the next sponge layer. We've used a whole jar of lemon curd for this recipe, but you can always reduce that amount if you haven't much of a sweet tooth.

If you want to make your layer cake even more special, try making your own lemon curd for it. Our recipe is so simple: all you need is butter, golden caster sugar, lemons and eggs, plus an hour-or-so of free time. It's well worth the effort and your jar of curd will last for up to two weeks if kept in the fridge. 

Easy lemon curd


  • 250g butter, plus a little for the tin
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1-2 tsp milk


  • 250g butter, very soft
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 jar lemon curd
  • crystallised flowers, to decorate


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line the bases of 3 x 20cm sandwich tins. Beat the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs and lemon zest together with beaters until you have a smooth batter. Add enough milk so the mix just drops off a spoon.

  • STEP 2

    Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, swapping the tins around halfway through so that they brown evenly. When they’re ready, a skewer poked in should come out clean. Cool on wire racks, cooked-side up.

  • STEP 3

    Make the icing by beating the soft butter with the icing sugar, lemon zest and juice until light and fluffy. Use 2/3 to fill the cake and top each layer with some lemon curd. Frost the top with the rest of the buttercream and finish with sugar flowers.

Are you looking for birthday cake ideas? We've got loads of suggestions right here: 

mojito cake

Shimmering edible flowers really make this cake what it is. We buy ours from eatmyflowers.co.uk, who sell everything from crystallised violets to spray roses.

Or alternatively, why not grow your own edible flowers to use with this cake recipe? Our friends over at gardenersworld.com recommend pretty nasturtium flowers (the leaves are edible too). You can learn how to grow edible nasturtiums right here

nasturtium flowers

Plus, we've perfected three buttercream recipes too, click here for our expert tips.

Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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