As spring inches ever closer with sunshine, green grass, and warm breezes, this cheery lemon tea cake recipe dusted with elderflowers is just the thing to celebrate the end of winter.
This cake is super lemony flavored with both lemon juice and lemon zest, so you can't help but feel downright chipper after a nice, big wedge. It's also tender, moist, and wonderfully fragrant while baking, so all your senses come to life.
It's the sort of cake you want to eat when the world feels a bit dreary and dark, when things aren't going smoothly, or you're just a bit out of sorts. It's a wonderful gift to bring to someone who's under the weather and needs a bit of cheering, and you really can't go wrong with this as a centerpiece for a "Hooray for Spring!" tea party.
The other great thing about this lemon tea cake is how brilliantly quick and easy it is to make. Just leave the butter out to soften on the counter the night before and you'll have this cake whipped up and in the oven in just a few minutes.
It's also a forgiving cake. Let's say you were the sort of person who, like me, baked the cake early one morning before work so you could cheer up exhausted co-workers and in the bumbling fog of the wee hours dropped said cake not once, but twice. Don't worry, it's still going to be awesome.
If you are not a butterfingers like yours truly, you'll be able to ice this beauty and carry it to the table with pride. However, don't lose heart if it does drop or get partially stuck in the pan when you try to plate it. Simply nudge it back together, give it a generous drizzle of lemony icing, then tuck in edible flowers to cover any cracks.
How to Make this Lemon Tea Cake
Softened butter and unwaxed lemons are the keys to success with this batter.
Cold butter will only frustrate and lead to a batter filled with chunks of butter instead of one that is creamy and smooth. If you forget to leave the butter out to soften, just pop it in the microwave for 5-second bursts until it is soft but not melted.
Waxy lemons will still flavor your cake, but you really don't want to be eating wax. If you can only get waxed ones, place them in hot water for 20 seconds or so, then give them a good scrub to remove as much of the wax as you can. It takes a bit more effort, but you won't be sorry.
Top it All Off
This lemon tea cake is truly a celebration of lemony goodness, and a zesty icing is the cherry on top. Simply add powdered sugar to freshly squeezed lemon juice until you achieve the right consistency for a drizzle. Then drizzle away in a haphazard manner until you get the look you want.
Simple garnishes are just right for this cake. Scatter it with fresh elderflower blossoms and fresh lemon zest and you're done. If there aren't any blossoms growing in your area yet, try edible dried flower petals like calendula, rose, or lavender to achieve a similar look.
This bright, lemony cake pairs wonderfully with teas that are light and fruity like our Huckleberry Happiness black tea, laced with elderberries, Aronia berries, black currants, blueberries, hibiscus, cornflowers, and huckleberry essence.
Blackberry Mojito black tea is also delicious with its lovely blend of spearmint, blackberries, hazelnut pieces, lime essence, and maple extract. Strawberry Honeysuckle black tea is another great option with its summery blend of strawberries, raspberry leaves, calendula, and honeysuckle essence.
Lemon Tea Cake Recipe
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup softened salted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 unwaxed lemons, juiced and zested
- 1 and 1/4 cup white self-raising flour
- Juice from 1/2 unwaxed lemon (reserve zest for garnish)
- Powdered sugar
- Fresh elderflowers
- Lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350F.
In medium mixing bowl add white sugar and butter and beat together until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and beat well.
Add lemon juice and zest from two lemons and beat well.
Fold in flour until smooth.
Pour into non-stick bundt pan or a springform pan lined with baking paper.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan for five minutes then remove to cooling rack. Let cool completely.
While cake is cooling, place second measure of lemon juice in a bowl and add powdered sugar a spoonful at a time until the icing is white, smooth, and easily to drizzle over the cake.
With a spoon, drizzle the icing over the cake then sprinkle with fresh elderflowers and lemon zest.
Serve alone or with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.