Lemon drop afternoon tea cake

Abby Moule's lemon cake is perfect with a steaming cuppa.

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time30 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
130g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
40g softened salted butter, plus extra for greasing pan
Zest of one lemon
120ml whole milk
1 egg

For the Icing

300g icing sugar
80g salted butter
20ml whole milk
30ml lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon curd
300g white fondant sugar paste
50g pale yellow fondant sugar paste
1) Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, butter and zest into a mixing bowl and mix to an even sandy consistency. Measure out the milk in a jug, add the egg and whisk well.

2) Drizzle the milk/egg into the flour whilst mixing, to form a smooth batter/mixture. Grease two 10cm non-stick baking tins and preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.

3) Divide the batter evenly until approximately 3/5ths of the tin is filled. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top bounces back to the touch. Remove the cakes from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

4) In the meantime, make the icing by mixing all the ingredients together for several minutes until light and fluffy. It is hard to over mix icing, so just keep going until it is really pale and fluffy. Add more milk/lemon juice or icing sugar to change the consistency if necessary; you should aim for something that holds its shape without being too stiff.

5) When the cakes are cooled, evenly slice the top off each then divide each cake into two slices, using either a large knife and a good eye, or a cake leveller. Fill with some of the icing on one side and a thin layer of lemon curd on the other and stack two layers together to make two miniature cakes.

6) Cover each miniature cake with a very thin layer of icing called a 'crumb coating'. Place in the fridge for fifteen minutes while you prepare the white fondant sugar paste.

7) Roll out the white fondant icing on an icing-sugared surface until approx 5mm thick. Remove the cakes from the fridge and lay the icing over the top of the first cake, moving around the sides to smooth down the folds of excess icing by 'cupping and lifting' the paste.

8) When complete, cut off the excess and cover the other cake in the same way. Cut daisy petals from the pale yellow sugar paste and flower centres from some spare white paste and fix to the cake with a little water. Serve for afternoon tea.

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