Most delicious Lemon Cake

As seen in Good magazine’s 50th celebrations issue, this delightful Lemon Cake by Bluebell’s Cakery creator Karla Goodwin is a beautiful treat to whip up next time you have cause to celebrate

Recipe Karla Goodwin. Styling Sarah Heeringa

“A firm favourite amongst our customers, we also like to stir through a tablespoon or two of poppy seeds to give added texture,” says Goodwin. 

400g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
400g unsalted butter, at room temperature
400g caster sugar
zest of 7 lemons
8 free-range eggs
⅔ cup sour cream


juice of 7 lemons
equal quantity caster sugar

Icing and decoration

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g full fat cream cheese, at room temperture
7 cups icing sugar
zest & juice from 1 lemon
edible and wired inedible flowers

Preheat the oven to bake 180°C. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins with baking paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and mix through. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. (Don’t worry if the mixture curdles at this point, it will come together once the flour is added.)

Add half of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, then add half of the sour cream and stir through. Add the remaining dry ingredients and sour cream, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing well. 

Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and smooth the tops with a knife so they are level. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched.

Syrup Measure the lemon juice and combine with an equal quantity of sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.

When the cakes are cooked, remove from the oven and pierce several holes in the top with a wooden skewer or toothpick. Brush the syrup over the tops of the cakes (reserving half of the syrup for the underside of the cakes). Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack. Use the remaining syrup to brush the bottom of the cakes and leave to cool completely. 

Icing Beat the butter in a large bowl until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until well incorporated. Slowly add the icing sugar in three batches, mixing well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and zest and beat on high speed for a few minutes until the icing is light in colour and fluffy.

To assemble Remove the baking paper from the bottom of the cakes and place one cake onto your cake board or plate. Trim the top of the cake with a sharp knife so it is level and flat. Use a palette knife to scoop several tablespoons of icing on top, and spread outwards from the middle to the edges. Place the second cake on top and repeat the trimming and icing process. Add more icing to the top and spread outwards to the edges and down over the sides. Using a pastry scraper at a 90 degree angle to the cake, scrape around the sides until smooth. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes. Once chilled, cover the entire cake with another layer of the lemon icing, 5-10mm thick, smoothing the sides and top with a pastry scraper. Decorate with the edible and wired flowers and serve at room temperature.

Karla Goodwin owns Bluebell’s Cakery, one of Auckland’s top boutique bakeries and cafes. Karla learned her craft at London’s reowned Primrose Bakery and Bluebell’s specialises in celebration cakes, wedding cakes and hand-iced cupcakes. bluebellscakery.com

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