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Recipe of the Week: Lisa Faulkner's elderflower, lemon & poppy seed layered cake

2 June 2017
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Perfect for any occasion, Celebrity Masterchef winner Lisa Faulkner brings us this mouth-wateringly delicious cake with a zing, that's dressed to impress. For more tasty recipes from Lisa Faulkner, pick up your copy of HELLO! out now. "This cake is so pretty it could be used for those most bona fide reasons to celebrate – a birthday or even a wedding," Lisa says. "To make the celebration complete, try adding a dash of Belvoir Elderflower Cordial to a glass of fizz or just enjoy a refreshing glass of lightly sparkling Belvoir Elderflower Pressé."

STORY: Lisa Faulkner reveals her top tips for getting children to eat healthily

Serves about 40

Preparation time 45 minutes, plus cooling

Cooking time 60-85 minutes


For the cake

• 10 medium free-range eggs

• Unsalted butter, softened

• Caster sugar

• Self-raising flour

• Finely grated zest of 3 lemons

• 50g/2oz poppy seeds

• 3 tbsp Belvoir Elderflower Cordial


For the icing

• 500g/1lb 2oz unsalted butter, softened

• 1kg/2 1/4lb icing sugar, sifted

• 3 tbsp Belvoir Elderflower Cordial

• 1 tbsp hot water (I use just boiled water from the kettle)

To decorate

• A handful of rose petals

• 1 egg white, lightly beaten

• Caster sugar

• 4 dowel rods

MORE: See all of our delicious recipes here


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4, and grease and line a 16cm/6in deep cake tin and a 23cm/9in deep cake tin.

2. Weigh the eggs in their shells then measure out the same weight of butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour (roughly 600g/1lb 5oz of each ingredient).

3. Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer, or with a hand whisk, until really light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in a jug, and gradually add them to the butter, as you whisk, adding a spoonful of flour to stop it curdling. Add the rest of the flour then stir in the lemon zest, poppy seeds and cordial.

4. Spoon one-third of the cake mixture into the smaller tin then spoon the remaining two-thirds into the large tin. Smooth the top and then bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 60-85 minutes (the small cake will be ready after about 1 hour) until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

5. Meanwhile, to crystallise the rose petals, brush each petal with beaten egg white and pop into a bowl of caster sugar, turning until coated. Shake off any excess and leave to dry on a wire rack. The crystallised petals will keep for 24 hours in a dry cool place – they can be left on the decorated cake for up to 8 hours.

6. For the icing, beat the softened butter until really light then gradually add the icing sugar until you have a stiff butter icing. Add the cordial and 2-3 tbsp of boiling water and beat until light, fluffy and smooth.

7. Use a serrated knife to split each cake in half horizontally. Spread a 1cm/1/2in thick layer of buttercream inside the cakes and sandwich them back together. Place the large cake on a cake stand and use a palette knife to spread an even 1cm/1/2in thick layer of icing over the sides and top of the cake, smoothing it as you go.

8. Place the smaller cake on a 16cm/6in thin cake board and cover the top and sides with buttercream in the same way. Push 4 dowel rods into the cake, in a square in the middle. Mark on them the top of the cake line with a pencil. Remove the rods and cut to length then push back into the cake. Sit the little cake on top of the big cake, with a little blob of icing to secure it.

9. With a palette knife use a little more icing to smooth over the seam between the 2 cakes. The cake is now ready and can be stored in a cool place (but not the fridge) for 24 hours. When ready to serve, scatter over the crystallised rose petals.

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