This divine cake goes just as nicely with a cup of tea as a glass of Champagne. It's delicious warm out of the oven or served at room temperature.
Lemon curd (makes roughly 450g)
- 125 ml lemon juice (the equivalent of 3-4 lemons)
- 3-4 lemons, zested (the equivalent of 3-4 lemons)
- 200 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 100 g butter
Lemon and yoghurt cake
- 240 g butter, softened
- 250 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 175 g full-fat natural yoghurt
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 1 lemon, zested
- 320 g plain flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- baking spray or oil, for greasing the tins
Cream cheese icing
- 300 g butter, softened
- 250 g icing sugar, sifted
- 500 g fresh cream cheese
- unsprayed flowers, to decorate
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. For the lemon curd, place all the ingredients aside from the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to whisk until one or two bubbles are released, but don't let the mixture boil.
2. Remove from and whisk in the butter.
3. Pour through a sieve if desired (you can also leave the lemon zest in). Pour into a sterilised, sealable jar and chill until needed.
4. To make the cake, preheat oven to 160°C. Grease your cake tins lightly with baking spray or oil, and line the bottom with baking paper.
5. Combine butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking between each addition.
6. Whisk the yoghurt with the salt to remove any lumps, then pour into the egg mixture along with the lemon zest.
7. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking powder, then fold this into the egg mixture.
8. Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for 30–35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
9. Transfer the cake tins to a cooling rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing the cakes.
10. Leave the cakes to cool before cutting both in half horizontally with a serrated knife to make 4 layers.
11. To make the cream cheese icing, whip the butter in a large mixing bowl until white and fluffy.
12. Beat in sugar, and then the cream cheese.
13. To assemble the cake, place one layer of the cake on a serving plate. Add a generous dollop of icing and spread out evenly. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of lemon curd and spread all the way to the sides.
14. Add the next layer of the cake. Repeat once more. Repeat again, then add the remaining icing to the top and smooth around the sides. Decorate with the fresh, unsprayed flowers.
• When icing the cake, to get a neater finish, begin with a crumb layer – a coating of cream cheese icing spread over the top – and then place the cake in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes. Remove it from the fridge and do the final layer of icing over the top of the cold crumb layer.
• The lemon curd makes more than you will need, but it keeps well for a few days in the fridge.
• The un-iced cake keeps very well for 2–3 days if well wrapped. You can also freeze it for a couple of months.