To celebrate the royal wedding in style, the lovely people at Splenda challenged us to make a cake good enough for royalty.
If royal baker Claire Ptak is making a lemon and elderflower cake for the wedding, then so are we!
our easy lemon & elderflower cake with summer berries is a bit of a showstopper (if I might say so myself), but it’s simple enough to make with children. My little ones have loved being involved in our very own Royal Wedding Bake Off.
My four absolutely love a lemon loaf, so we decided to use our lemon drizzle cake recipe as a starting point for our layered cake. When you bake with Splenda, to get a nice golden result, it’s always best to use ground nuts in the recipe, so we replaced some of the flour with ground almonds, our favourite nut flour for cakes. Wriggly made the cakes with me last night.
Beanie and Crevette were desperate to decorate our cake and we wanted to make it as pretty as a fraisier, our favourite cake. We found (and washed) elderflower in the park, so that was ideal for finishing touches!
If you want to make the cake ahead, you can do most of the preparation a couple of days before. You can make the cakes and the lemon curd. When completely cool, wrap the cakes individually in cling film and keep the lemon curd covered in the fridge, then you can make the cream filling and assemble at the last minute.
The lemon curd recipe is the full-proof one I’ve used since I was 8 or 9 years old. It’s the lemon curd recipe I use and it’s not as tangy as the one I make regularly, so it’s perfect as the first lemon curd for children to make themselves.
With no further ado, here is the recipe for our Easy Lemon & Elderflower Cake with Summer Berries.
Easy Lemon & Elderflower Cake
For the cakes
- 350 g unsalted butter cubed and left at room temperature for an hour
- 9 tablespoons Splenda Granulated
- 6 medium free range eggs
- 220 g plain flour
- 130 g ground almonds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons elderflower cordial
For the lemon curd
- 1 medium free range egg beaten
- 3 tablespoons Splenda Granulated
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- juice of two lemons
- 1 glass of water 250ml
- 1 knob of butter
For the cream filling
- 100 g double cream
- 1 teaspoon SPLENDA® Granulated
- 100 g full fat Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon elderflower cordial
Flowers and summer berries, to decorate
For the sponges
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (gas mark 5 / 356°F).
- Grease 3 x 18cm round cake tins and line with baking paper.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a freestanding mixer and whisk until light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the 9 tablespoons of Splenda and continue to whisk until fully combined.
- In a separate bowl, place the flour, ground almonds baking powder and lemon zest. Give it all a stir.
- Set the mixer on a low speed and add a couple of tablespoons of the flour mix, then one egg, alternating until you have incorporated all the eggs and flour mix. Add in the elderflower cordial and whisk for an another 10 seconds.
- Split the batter evenly between the baking tins, flatten the top and bake for 20-25 minutes, until light golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes to cool in their tins for 15 minutes then place on a wire rack.
For the lemon curd
- Mix all ingredients (apart from the butter) in a pan until fully combined. Place over a low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon. This should take about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add in the butter.
For the cream filling
- When you are ready to assemble the cake, add the cream to a large bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the yoghurt, Splenda and cordial.
Assembling the cake
- Set one sponge on a cake stand and evenly spread over a third of the cream mixture, making sure it goes right to the edge.
- Place the second sponge on top and repeat the process with half of the lemon curd.
- Top with the last sponge layer. Spread half the remaining cream over the top of the cake and use a palette knife to spread the rest of the cream mixture around the cake, to give the edges of the sponge a smooth finish.
- Garnish the top of the cake and with dollops of lemon curd, summer berries and elderflower heads.
I don’t know about you, but with the weather warming up and the sun finally being out, I just want to look and feel my best. I want my skin to glow and my hair to look healthy and shiny. Check these tips by Helen Bond, Splenda dietician, for glowing skin, shiny hair and strong nails.
“Now’s the moment to start making small tweaks to your diet and lifestyle to feel your glowiest, healthiest self.
- Squash a grape
Grapes, especially their skins, contain the reputed anti-ageing antioxidant resveratrol, which emerging evidence suggests may help maintain young looking skin by ‘mopping up’ harmful free radicals. Sip on a small glass (150ml) of purple grape juice, as an alcohol-free alternative to red wine.
- Eat your greens
Kale isn’t just packed with skin friendly nutrients – one portion gives you 124% and 60% of your daily quota of skin-firming vitamins C and A – it’s also rich in the carotenoid lutein. A good daily intake of this yellow antioxidant pigment will help keep your eyes healthy and may also protect your skin against the damaging effects of sunlight; reducing the appearance of wrinkles by improving skin elasticity.
- Go nuts
Tree nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios and hazelnuts are full of nutrients, bursting with healthy unsaturated fats, satiating protein, gut healthy fibre, and B vitamins like riboflavin, biotin and niacin and zinc, which play an important role in maintaining healthy, happy glowing skin.
- Go with the grain
Wholegrains and other fibre-rich foods, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, barley, buckwheat and spelt release energy slowly and steadily – helping to fill you up. They’re also rich in B vitamins, important for healthy skin, and prebiotic fibre, which provides food for good bacteria in the gut. Happy gut, happy you!
- Outstanding oats
Oats aren’t just a tasty and comforting breakfast cereal, they’re a low GI food, which has been found to help improve acne symptoms and have a positive effect on your digestive health. Oats also contain soluble fibre, which fills you up and reduces any excess wind to make you feel less bloated. Forgo the tablespoon (15g) of syrup and opt for a swirl of a sugar-free liquid sweetener like SPLENDA ZERO™; a little extra sweetness, without the extra 49 calories and 12g sugar.
- Beautiful berries
Berries such as blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrants are good sources of vitamin C, which is vital for the formation of collagen as it gives the skin structure and elasticity. Berries also contain plant compounds, like anthocyanins, that help strengthen the tiny blood vessels in the skin, helping to stop any unsightly thread veins.
- Naturally sweet potatoes
Unlike normal potatoes, sweet potatoes count as one of your 5-A-Day and are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A and is one of the most important vitamins for skin health. Vitamin A helps skin retain its firmness and helps protects it against UV sun damage by providing an SPF effect from the inside, out.
- Not just for Popeye
Early evidence suggests Vitamin K may help to eliminate the appearance of dark under eye circles, through its role in blood clotting. A portion (80g) of spinach provides 236mcg of Vitamin K – over three times the daily recommended amount for a 60kg woman – and is rich in Vitamin C, which helps the skin make good quality collagen.
- Reel in the oily fish
Salmon, along with fresh tuna, sardines and mackerel give us omega-3 fats – essential fats that help to keep skin cells water-tight and well hydrated, as well helping to reduce any inflammation. The body cannot make omega-3s, so you must get then through your diet. If you don’t like fish then enjoy plant omega-3s in flaxseeds, walnuts and chia seeds.
- Sprinkle on turmeric
As well as turmeric’s myriad of purported health benefits, it’s believed to be beneficial for spots, thanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of its active ingredient curcumin. So, to avoid a ‘break out’ on the big day, try adding a dash of turmeric to orange juice, smoothies, soups and curries.”
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Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Splenda and the tips under the recipe are by Splenda dietician Helen Bond, but the recipe, all photos and opinions are my own.