A Royal Dessert: Lemon Elderflower Cake

I’m going to be honest –  I’m not one of those crazy obsessed royal family people.  I tend to feel bad for them — the way they have to be in the public spotlight all of the time and stand up hours after giving birth to wave at people when all I know Kate wants to do is sit on an icepack and sip on some wine.  I can totally get behind making a version of Kensington Palace’s Royal Wedding Cake though.  This lemon elderflower cake is a perfect mixture of tart from the lemon curd, sweet from the elderflower syrup and St. Germain, and more mellow from the mild whipped cream frosting.  It’s pretty awesome…and perfect for a spring day.

Fun fact: Look how many ingredients the Kensington Palace bakers are using for Saturday’s wedding cake:

🍋 200 Amalfi lemons

🥚 500 organic eggs from Suffolk

🐄 44 lbs of butter

🍰 44 lbs of flour

🍬 44 lbs of sugar

🥃 10 bottles of Sandringham Elderflower Cordial

I’ve made some modifications to the original cake recipe.  Instead of the lemon buttercream frosting the original recipe calls for, I’ve used my own lemon curd.  You can see my blog post from this here.  Tradition dictates a white frosting for the Royal couple — and I’ve used a light but still “frostable” whipped cream frosting.  I think Meghan and Prince Harry have opted for a Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.  And they use Amalfi lemons.  I used lemons from the Giant.

White Cake Layer Ingredients

Yield: 12-15 servings

  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • zest of one lemon
  • 7 lightly beaten egg whites, at room temperature

Elderflower Syrup Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup elderflower liqueur (such as St. Elder or St. Germaine)

Lemon Curd Ingredients 

(I made lemon curd earlier this week.  If you don’t want to make all of this, double the whipped cream frosting recipe, set 1/2 aside for the outside frosting and add lemon zest and lemon extract for the inside layers!) 

  • 4 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Whipped Cream Frosting Ingredients

  •  2 cups (1 pint) Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Small Box (3.3 oz.) White Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix
  • 1/3 cup of Powdered Sugar


Make the cake layers:Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on low speed and add the cold butter one cube at a time, then the lemon zest. After all of the butter has been added, let the mixer run on low speed until the flour mixture resembles fine cornmeal, about 5-7 minutes.
With the mixer still running, add half of the milk and the lemon extract. Increase speed to medium; mixture will be thick. Add the remaining milk and egg whites. Beat until just combined on medium speed. Stop the mixer and scrape down the edges of the bowl. Fold batter with a rubber spatula until the mixture is consistent with no streaks or pockets of flour remaining. Divide batter between prepared pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. Level the cakes evenly using a cake leveler or large serrated knife. Cut each cake layer horizontally (torte) so that you have four thin cake layers.
Make the elderflower syrup:Combine the water and sugar in a large heat-proof measure with a pour spout. Heat in the microwave at 1 minute intervals, stirring intermittently, until the sugar is melted and mixture is clear (about 2 minutes total).Let cool slightly and stir in the elderflower liqueur. Apply the syrup to the cooled cake layers using a pastry brush until the cake is well-saturated but not soggy (you may not have to use all of the syrup).Allow the cakes to stand, uncovered, for 30 minutes while the syrup infuses the layers.
Make the lemon curd:I had some on hand or else — to be frank — there’s no way in hell I’d be making all of this stuff in one day.  If you don’t, make a double-batch of the whipped cream frosting, save 1/2 for the outside layer, and add some lemon extract (1 tsp) and lemon zest (from lemon) to have some frosting for the layers.

Make the whipped cream frosting:

Pro-tip: Put your stainless steel mixing bowl in the freezer for at least an hour prior to making the frosting! 

Add the whipping cream to the cold bowl.  Using a mixer, whip for a few minutes until soft peaks form.

Alternate adding the pudding mix and the powdered sugar and continue mixing.  Watch the frosting carefully as it will set pretty quickly.  If it gets too thick add a little bit of milk (1 teaspoon at a time).

The white layer cake and elderflower syrup is from HGTV.  The whipped cream frosting recipe is from Two Sisters Crafting!  I made my own lemon curd instead of the lemon buttercream frosting for the layers.  This blog post can be found here!

One Comment Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Love to taste it 🙂

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