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Prep 1hr45min (+ preparation time for Lemon Drizzle Pound Cakes, Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Striped Meringue Kisses)Bake 20minMakes about 20 serves
Created by Make Me a Baker student Janet Jackson for her graduation, this gorgeous cake brings together a selection of the techniques that she learnt during the 6-month program.
Janet said, "I love to bake cakes and have always admired decorated cakes but have never had the confidence to try one for myself. For my graduation bake, I wanted to bake and decorate a cake using produce from my garden at home and techniques I had learnt through the MMAB program. I trialled many different versions of lemon cake, some with poppy seeds and others with sour cream and Greek yoghurt, before settling on this delicious lemon drizzle cake which is lusciously moist and filled with the zing of freshly picked lemons."
Edible flowers, to decorate (optional)
3 Lemon Drizzle Pound Cakes
2 quantities Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5-15 yellow Striped Meringue Kisses
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
80g unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
60g unsalted butter, chilled, diced
80g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1 tablespoon strained fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Candied Lemon Curls
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) water
- To make the Lemon Curd, use a balloon whisk to whisk the whole egg, egg yolk and sugar in a medium saucepan until smooth. Add the butter, juice and zest and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (if you run your finger across the back of the spoon through the curd a line should remain when ready and the mixture should be 70°C on a sugar thermometer). Do not boil. Stain through a sieve into a bowl (see Baker’s Tips). Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before using.
- To make the Lemon Crumb, preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture just comes together in a dough. Use your fingers to press the dough onto the lined baking tray until about 3mm thick and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until pale golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely on the tray. Once cooled, break up the biscuit and process in the food processor again using the pulse button until a coarse crumb forms. Transfer the crumbs back to the lined tray and bake for a further 8 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool on the tray (see Baker’s Tips).
- To make the Candied Lemon Curls, line a baking tray with baking paper. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the rind from the lemon in long strips. Use a small sharp knife to remove any white pitch from the rind and then cut the rind into long, thin strips. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the lemon rind, bring to a simmer and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the rind is translucent. Remove the saucepan from the heat and use a skewer to remove the lemon strips, one at a time, from the syrup and twist around the round handle of a wooden spoon to make the curls. Allow to stand for about 5 seconds and then remove carefully from the wooden spoon by sliding off the end of the handle, using the skewer to help carefully release them if necessary. Set aside on the lined tray. Repeat with the remaining lemon rind strips.
- To assemble the cake, use a large sharp serrated knife to level the tops of the Lemon Drizzle Pound Cakes if necessary. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate or cake stand. Spoon about a quarter of the Swiss Meringue Buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a #11 (1.1cm) round piping nozzle and pipe a border of buttercream around the top outside edge of the cake. Spoon about ⅓ cup of the chilled lemon curd into the centre of the cake and spread evenly to the buttercream. Spoon about ⅓ cup of the remaining buttercream in small dollops over the lemon curd and use a small palette knife or the back of a metal spoon to spread gently to cover the curd. Continue to layer the cake, curd and buttercream finishing with a cake layer.
- Spread the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream creating a semi-naked look. Decorate with the Striped Meringue Kisses, Lemon Crumb and Candied Lemon Curls and embellish with fresh flowers if desired.
- This recipe will make about 1½ cups of Lemon Curd, but you will only need about 1 cup of the lemon curd for this cake. The leftover curd will keep in a sealed sterilized jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- The Lemon Crumb will keep in an airtight container or jar at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- The Lemon Curls will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Janet baked the cakes the day before and let them stand overnight allowing the lemon drizzle to soak in. The Lemon Curd was made a couple of days ahead of time and stored in the fridge to thicken and develop flavour. She also made the Candied Lemon Curls and Lemon Crumb well ahead of time so she could concentrate on the assembly and decoration of the cake on the day of Graduation.
Prep 20min (+ cooling time)Bake 50-55minMakes 10 serves
Simple yet sublime. This pound cake is infused with a tangy lemon syrup and is perfect to serve on its own with a cuppa or used as a base for a more elaborate celebration cake. This recipe was originally published in BakeClass.
- Melted butter, to grease
250g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
Finely grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
4 eggs, at room temperature
250g (1⅔ cups) plain flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm (base measurement) round cake tin or springform pan with melted butter and line the base with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl until pale and creamy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder. Use a spatula to fold half of the flour mixture through the batter mixture. Fold in the lemon juice and then the remaining flour mixture until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, to make the Lemon Syrup, combine the caster sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside until the cake is cooked.
- Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, brush the top with a little of the syrup. Leave the cake to stand in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Brush the top of the cake with the remaining syrup and set aside to cool.
- This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Prep 1hr (+45min cooling and 1-1hr30min chilling time)Bake 20minMakes 12-14 serves
If you're a chocoholic this cake is heaven. And if you're not, it's still heaven! Wickedly rich and strikingly handsome, this layered centrepiece demands attention no matter what the celebration.
melted butter, to grease
250g butter, cubed, softened
330g (1½ cups) caster sugar
3 teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract
225g (1½ cups) plain flour
225g (1½ cups) self-raising flour
250ml (1 cup) milk
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water, cooled
Dark chocolate layer
30g (¼ cup) Dutch cocoa powder, sifted and combined with 60ml (¼ cup) hot tap water, cooled
Milk chocolate layer
1½ tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder, sifted and combined with 1½ tablespoons hot tap water, cooled
Light chocolate layer
2 teaspoons Dutch cocoa powder, sifted and combined with 2 teaspoons hot tap water, cooled
Whipped chocolate ganache
500g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54% cocoa), chopped
300ml pure (pouring / thin) cream
Chocolate drip icing
100g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54% cocoa), chopped
100ml pure (think / pouring) cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
- To make the Cake layers, preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced). Grease four shallow 20cm round cake tins with melted butter and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.
- Prepare the Dark, Milk and Light chocolate layer mixtures and set aside.
- Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition (the mixture will look curdled at this stage).
- Sift together both the flours. Combine the milk and coffee mixture. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on lowest possible speed until just combined. Add the milk and coffee mixture and beat on lowest possible speed until just combined and then beat in the remaining flour mixture until just combined.
- Divide the cake batter between four bowls (each will have about 360 g of mixture). Add the Dark chocolate layer mixture to one portion and stir gently to combine. Add the Milk chocolate layer mixture to one portion and stir gently to combine. Add the Light chocolate layer mixture to one portion and stir gently to combine. Leave the fourth portion as it is
- Spoon each of the batters into a prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Swap the cake tins around and bake for a further 5 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.
- Stand the cakes in the tins for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool (this will take about 30 minutes).
- To make the Whipped chocolate ganache, put the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Stir often with a metal spoon just until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Immediately remove the bowl from the saucepan, cover with plastic wrap and place the fridge for 1-1½ hours, stirring briefly about every 5 minutes, or until cooled and thickened to a spreadable consistency. Use an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to whisk the chocolate mixture in a medium bowl on low speed for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy (be careful not to over whisk).
- To assemble the cake, set aside about a quarter of the Whipped chocolate ganache in a bowl for piping. Place the Dark chocolate cake layer, top side down on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread evenly with about ⅓ cup of the remaining Whipped chocolate ganache. Repeat with the remaining cake layers (from darkest to lightest) with about ⅓ cup of the ganache between each. Spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides of the cake, using a large palette knife to smooth. Place the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.
- To make the Chocolate drip glaze, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Combine the cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until almost simmering. Pour over the chocolate and set aside for 1 minutes. Stir until smooth and well combined. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost cooled to room temperature.
- Spoon the Chocolate drip glaze onto the center of the chilled cake and use the back of a metal tablespoon to spread to cover. Gently push some of the glaze over the edge all the way around to form a drip pattern. Set aside in a cool spot for about 15 minutes or until the glaze is set before cutting.
- This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool spot for up to 3 days.
How to decorate a cake with a drip glaze
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a luscious glossy drip glaze on a cake.
Make sure the iced cake has been chilled for at least 30 minutes before decorating with the glaze as this will help the drips down the side of the cake set before reaching the base of the cake.
Gradually spoon the slightly warm (it should be slightly warmer than room temperature) glaze onto the centre of the cake, allowing it to flow naturally towards the edge.
Then use the back of a metal tablespoon to carefully ‘push’ the glaze towards the outside, smoothing the top and allowing small amounts of the glaze to flow over the edge and down the side of the cake to form a drip pattern.
The key is to take it slowly, not add too much glaze at one time and don’t push too firmly with the spoon as the drips will become large and cover more of the side of the cake than you want.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 30minBake 30-35minMakes 12-15 serves
Originating (and excessively popular) in America, Hummingbird cake is a tropical mix of banana and pineapple, and when layered with an orange cream cheese frosting makes a great celebration cake. Sweet and indulgent, a small slice is all that is needed to satisfy.
150g (1 cup) plain flour
75g (½ cup) self-raising flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
220g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
45g (½ cup) desiccated coconut
2 very ripe large bananas (about 250g each)
440g crushed pineapple in natural juice, drained and juice reserved
2 eggs, lightly whisked
185ml (¾ cup) sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
Orange cream cheese frosting
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 orange, zest finely grated
375g (3 cups) icing sugar mixture, sifted
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush three 20cm round cake tins with extra sunflower oil to lightly grease and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.
- Sift together the plain and self-raising flours, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar and coconut and stir to combine, breaking up any lumps.
- Mash the banana and combine with the drained pineapple, 80 ml (⅓ cup) of the reserved pineapple syrup, eggs and oil. Add to the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until just combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared tins and spread with the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Stand the cakes in the tins for 5 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool (this will take about 1 hour).
- Meanwhile, to make the Orange cream cheese frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter and orange zest until very smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating well after each addition and beat until well combined and really creamy. Divide the Orange cream cheese frosting evenly among 3 bowls.
- Take one portion of the Orange cream cheese frosting and use a palette knife to spread half over one cake layer. Top with a second cake layer and spread with the remaining frosting of the first portion. Top with the remaining cake layer. Spread another portion of frosting over the sides and the remaining portion over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the pecans to decorate
- This cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
Photography by Alan Benson.