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Raspberry Elderflower and Lemon Cake

This cake is the definition of summer. All the best flavours rolled up into one cake. A super light and fluffy lemon chiffon cake soaked with an elderflower syrup, layered with a homemade raspberry jam and elderflower meringue buttercream. What's not to love! This cake is perfect for a celebration or just a Saturday afternoon. I actually made this cake for my Mum's birthday, it was a sunny afternoon and we enjoyed eating it in the garden. Safe to say it didn't last long! So I am giving you this recipe to try out and I hope you like it as much as me!

The flavours of this cake are predominantly raspberry and elderflower but the subtle lemon in the background really makes this cake extra yummy.

So I have to admit, this cake is a challenge to make, so here are some tips and tricks to help out!

Tips and Tricks for this recipe:

  • Don't grease your cake tins! Because this sponges relies on the whipped egg white to rise, it needs the sides of the tin to grip onto. If they are greasy, they won't rise.

  • Cool them upside down for 10 minutes. I know that sounds weird, but once they are out of the oven, still in the tin, flip them upside down. This will prevent them from sinking.

  • Invest in a good cake scraper. This is for those cake makers among you! If you want a more professional look to your cake, use a metal scraper. It will change your life! (well not literally, but it's pretty great)

  • Be patient. If you are like me and get impatient when baking as you want to do everything as quick as possible. Don't! Making these types of cakes takes time. Letting the cake cool down, chilling in between masking and decorating. Trust me, it will make it so much easier and look so much better!

  • When making the buttercream and adding the butter, at one point, it will look split. But don't worry! Continue whisking and it will come together!

Makes one 6 inch (15cm) cake. You will need three 6 inch round tins

You will need:

  • Cake turntable

  • Metal scraper and /or medium palette knife


For the sponge:

6 eggs

180g Sugar

90g Oil (neutral flavour like sunflower oil )

120g lemon juice

150g Plain Flour

9g Baking Powder

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

For the syrup:

75g Water

125g Elderflower Cordial

200g Sugar

For the Jam:

275g Fresh Raspberries

150g Sugar

For the buttercream:

270g Caster Sugar

75g Water

135g Egg White

330g Unsalted Butter, softened.

2 tbsp. Elderflower Cordial


1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Line the base of you pans with greaseproof paper. Not the sides!

2. Separate your eggs. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a free standing mixer. Place the yolks in a medium bowl.

3. Add the sugar and vanilla to the yolks, whisk together until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the lemon juice and oil. Then fold in the flour and baking powder.

4. Meanwhile whip the egg whites until they are foamy and stiff.

5. Take 1/3 of the egg whites and lightly whisk into the egg yolk mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg white. Make sure not to over mix otherwise the sponge will be dense and will sink when baked.

6. Divide the mixture into the three tins. And place in the oven, ideally on the same shelf. Bake for about 20-25minutes. Until golden brown and when a knife is inserted it comes out clean.

7. Leave to cool upside down on a wire rack. (It is best to leave them until they are completely cold. Ideally leave them overnight.

8. Now for the jam. In a pan, place the raspberries and sugar together and bring to a simmer, leave on a low to medium heat stirring occasionally and cook until you reach 105 degrees on a sugar thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer, take a spoonful of jam and leave on a cool plate. If the jam sets in a couple minutes or so, it is ready. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool.

9. To make the syrup, place the water, elderflower cordial and sugar in a small pan, bring to the boil and set aside.

10. For the buttercream. Put the egg whites into the bowl of a free standing mixer, with the whisk attachment. Place the sugar and water in a pan, and bring to the boil. Cook until the sugar reaches 121 degrees (you will need a sugar thermometer). Meanwhile whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks. When the sugar is at temperature, add the sugar slowly to the eggs whilst whisking on a slow speed. Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed of the mixer, and whisk until a meringue is formed and is stiff.

11. Once the meringue has cooled down, gradually add the butter in small pieces. (Make sure that the butter is soft and not too firm otherwise it won't mix into the meringue, but don't make it too soft that its melting! The buttercream won't be stiff enough to use.)

12. Once all the butter has been added, mix in the elderflower cordial. Leave on the side until it's ready.

Now for the assembly:

1. Have all your components ready to go. On a clean work surface, place all your sponges on the table, trim the tops off all your cakes.

2. Soak the sponges on both sides with the syrup. Place one of the sponges on top of a small board. ideally the same size as the sponges. Fill a piping bag with some of the buttercream, and pipe a ring around the edge of the sponge. Fill the centre with the raspberry jam, leave some for the decoration.

3. Place another sponge on top and just pipe buttercream on top, using a small palette knife to smooth over.

4. Then place the final sponge on top, trimmed side down. Now put in the fridge, leave to chill for about 30 minutes or so.

5. Prepare your work station with a turntable, without this it will be quite tricky but you can use a cake stand. It will be more difficult! You will also need a cloth, palette knife and scraper.

6. Place the cake on top of the turntable, add a large spoonful of the buttercream on top of the cake. Using your palette knife, spread the buttercream around the cake and the sides. You may need to add more or less buttercream. Turn the table as you spread the buttercream around. Once you've covered the cake in buttercream. Use the scraper (make sure to keep it straight and continually touching the turntable) to scrape off any excess buttercream. Then using your palette knife to remove any excess buttercream that may have been left. At this stage it is ok to see some of the sponge. If you like this look you can leave it there and decorate. However, this cake I've added an extra layer of buttercream to make it completely smooth. Now chill the cake at this stage for another 30 minutes, until the buttercream has set.

7. For the final mask, you will need to repeat the same step as before, however, when using the scraper, I recommend using some hot water. This will ensure the buttercream is smooth and you won't see any air


8. Leave to chill again for another 30 minutes, using a palette knife spread some of the jam around the sides of the cake. Mix some of the jam with the remaining buttercream and pipe a design as you wish on top. You can be creative!

9. Store in the fridge but leave it to come to room temperature before eating it. The cake will last around 4 days!


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