Lemon-on-Lemon Celebration Cake

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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

Lemon Curd
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

Lemon Crumb
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
½ lemon


    1. 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.
    2. 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).
    3. 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.
    4. 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 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.
    5. 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.

    Baker's Tips

    • 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.