The perfect Mother’s Day cake – a simple lemon sponge cake recipe with a beautiful decoration of fondant flowers.
For the cake
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
For the filling
300g icing sugar (plus extra for rolling out the fondant)
80g salted butter
20ml whole milk
30ml lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon curd
For the decoration
300g white fondant icing
50g pale yellow fondant icing
Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, butter and lemon zest until you have a sandy consistency.
Add the egg to the milk and whisk together well. Gradually add the the milk/egg mix to the flour mix, stirring continually to form a smooth batter.
Divide the batter evenly between two 10cm non-stick baking tins (approximately 3/5ths of each tin should be 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.
While the cakes are baking, mix all of the icing ingredients (except the lemon curd) together for several minutes until light, fluffy, and pale in colour. Add more milk/lemon juice or icing sugar to change the consistency if necessary – the icing should hold its shape without being too stiff.
When the cakes are cooled, slice the tops off to make them level, then sandwich them some of the icing and a thin layer of lemon curd.
Use the rest of the icing to cover the whole cake in a very thin layer (this is called a ‘crumb coating’, and it helps the fondant stick to the cake). Place the coated cake in the fridge for fifteen minutes.
While the cake is chilling, roll out the white fondant icing on an icing-sugared surface until approx 5mm thick. Remove the cake from the fridge, lay the icing over the top and smooth down the sides. Cut off the excess fondant.
Cut daisy petals from the pale yellow sugar paste and flower centres from the excess white paste, and fix to the cake as shown in the image above, using a little water.