Claire Walker’s Really Exceptional Whole Lemon Cake

“Runners run because they love running. Joggers jog because they love cake”

Stuart Heritage in The Guardian

I’m not kidding – this lemon cake really is enough to turn runners into joggers. It  IS exceptionally lemony. It has an intense taste of lemons, it’s moist, and it looks gorgeous. What’s the key? Instead of merely flavouring with lemon juice, lemon pulp is incorporated into the mix (don’t be put off – it’s easy and quick to do). The mix, incidentally, is also irresistible….

This is the second cake to come out of Eleanor White’s art course in Ullapool (the first was Ullapool Art Cake) and it is the brainchild of fellow student, Claire Walker.

If you need any further evidence of the amazingness of this cake you may be interested to know that not only has it passed the three-quarters/one-quarter office test (75% gone within 15 minutes), but it also spontaneously attracted no less than four requests for the recipe.

It’s incredibly moist.

If you have kept it for a couple of days and it starts to get a bit dry you could drizzle over some limoncello!

You will need two 8”/20 cm cake tins, lined, and if not, certainly greased.

This is what to do:

Recipe for really exceptional whole lemon cake

Make the cake, the filling, the frosting, and the decoration as described below and assemble in the usual way: cutting it in half horizontally; filling it with the filling, frosting it with the frosting; and decorating it with the garnish.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 lemons
  • 9 oz/250g/1 brick of butter
  • 9 oz/250g/1¼ cups golden caster sugar
  • 9 oz/250g/1¾ cups self-raising flour (or that amount of plain flour plus 1¼ tsp baking powder)
  • An additional 2 level tsp baking powder
  • 4 free range eggs

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2 oz/60g/¼ cup butter
  • 6 oz/180g/1¼ cups icing sugar
  • 9 oz/250g mascarpone

Ingredients for the decoration:

  • Rind of 2 lemons (use the juice for the frosting)
  • 2 oz/60g/4 tbsp golden caster sugar

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 7 oz/200g/1½ cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon pulp (from the pulp you’ve already made for the cake so no extra ingredients needed)
  • Juice of two lemons (use the rind for the decoration)



For the cake:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C
  2. Put the two lemons in a saucepan and cover with water
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for about half an hour until soft and tender
  4. Drain, cut the lemons in half, and remove the pips
  5. Put into a food processor and blend to a pulp
  6. Reserve two tbsps of the pulp and put the rest in a mixing bowl
  7. Mix in the rest of the cake ingredients
  8. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins
  9. Bake in the oven for about half an hour, or until golden brown (meanwhile making the decoration, the filling, and the frosting)
  10. Leave to cool, peeling off the paper
For the decoration:
  1. Using a zester (a knife will do if you don’t have one) peel long strips of lemon rind
  2. Set aside the remaining lemons to provide the juice for the frosting
  3. Put the strips of rind in a saucepan, cover with water and two tbsps sugar and boil for a minute
  4. Drain, pat dry, and put onto some parchment or silicone paper
  5. Scatter over the rest of the sugar (2 tbsps) and leave in a warm place (bottom left aga oven) for about half an hour
For the filling:
  1. Simply mix the ingredients
For the frosting:
  1. Again, simply mix the ingredients.
It makes a brilliant Easter cake.
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