Megan Markle and Prince Harry opted for a non-traditional rich fruity wedding cake and instead had a light, organic lemon and elderflower cake, reflecting the couple’s interest in seasonal ingredients, sustainability, provenance and flavour.
Elderflowers are only in season for a very short time each year (usually the end of May to the beginning of July) and the arrival of the creamy, frothy blossoms in the hedgerow traditionally marks the beginning of summer.
Whether you have a wedding to bake for or simply want to make a summery, sweet treat, these delicious elderflower and lemon inspired bakes from Belvoir Fruit Farms are worth celebrating themselves.
Elderflower and Lemon Drizzle Cake, serves 12
- 225g/8oz butter, softened
- 225g/8oz caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 225g/8oz self-raising flour, sifted
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 100ml Belvoir Elderflower Cordial
- 30ml granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4.
- Grease a (20cm) round, deep loose-based tin and base line with baking parchment.
- Place the butter sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Use an electric whisk to beat the butter and sugar together until they are pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, whisking well between additions and adding two tablespoons of the flour with the last egg – this will prevent curdling.
- Sift over the remaining flour, then gently fold in with a metal spoon along with two tablespoons of hot water. Spoon into the prepared tin, level the surface and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until it is shrinking away from the sides of the tin. A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Cool in the tin for five minutes.
- Squeeze the lemon juice, then sieve to remove the bits, stir in the cordial. Use the fine skewer to prick the cake all over, pour over the syrup then sprinkle over the sugar – it should sink in but leave a crunchy crust. Leave to cool completely before removing the cake from the tin. Serve in wedges.
Mini Elderflower and Lemon Loaf Cakes (gluten free), makes 10
You will need six mini cardboard loaf cases (8x4x4cm), available online or from kitchen supply shops or large supermarkets. Alternatively, bake eight little cakes in muffin cases.
- 10 individual non-stick loaf cases
- 40g pistachios, roughly chopped, plus a few extra to decorate
- 160g ground almonds
- 40g rice flour
- 1 and a half tsp gluten-free baking powder
- Half a tsp fine salt
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g caster sugar
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
FOR THE SYRUP AND GLACÉ ICING
- 150g icing sugar, sifted
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2tbsp Belvoir Elderflower Cordial (you may need a little extra)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
- Place the individual loaf cases on a rectangular tray which will hold them all in one tight layer.
- Lightly roast the pistachios for five minutes on a baking tray. Place the ground almonds, rice flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
- In an electric mixer, or using a bowl and electric whisk, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and almond mixture alternately, beating well between each addition.
- Drizzle in the lemon juice and finally fold in the pistachios. Divide the mixture evenly between the cases. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until risen and the centres bounce back when lightly touched.
TO MAKE THE SYRUP
While the cakes are baking, in a small bowl mix a tablespoon of icing sugar together with the lemon juice and elderflower cordial. On removal from the oven, immediately prick the surface of the cakes with a cocktail stick and spoon over half of the syrup. Allow the loaves to cool down completely.
TO MAKE THE GLACÉ ICING
Gradually add the remaining syrup one teaspoon at a time to the rest of the icing sugar until it is the consistency of pourable double cream. Add a little extra elderflower cordial if the icing is too thick.
Drizzle the icing over the cooled cakes and scatter with the remaining pistachios. Allow the icing to set before serving.