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Lemon curd sponge cake

It’s pretty hard to beat a featherlight sponge cake and this one’s no exception.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 10 - 12
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking plus chilling, cooling
Lemon curd sponge cake
Lemon curd sponge cake

It's pretty hard to beat a featherlight sponge cake and this one's no exception. It's fragrant with lemon rind and filled with a mouth-puckering lemon curd and lightly sweetened crème fraîche. A little candied lemon rind in syrup makes a nice finishing touch, but a simple dusting of icing sugar would also work well.
Pictured with hazelnut and raspberry daquiose.


  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 100 gm plain flour (2/3 cup)
  • 50 gm cornflour (1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 40 gm melted butter
  • 250 gm crème fraîche
  • 150 ml pouring cream
  • 30 gm icing sugar, sieved
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
Lemon curd cream
  • 250 ml lemon juice (1 cup)
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 165 gm caster sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 150 gm butter, diced
  • 1 titanium-strength gelatine leaf, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 150 gm crème fraîche


  • 1
    For lemon curd cream, whisk lemon juice and rind, yolks, eggs and sugar in a saucepan to combine, add butter, then stir continuously over medium-high heat until mixture thickly coats the back of the spoon (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in gelatine. Transfer to a container, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (3-4 hours). Whisk in crème fraîche and refrigerate until required. Lemon curd cream will keep for up to 5 days.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180C. Butter two 22cm diameter cake tins, line bases with baking paper and dust with flour. Whisk caster sugar, eggs, lemon rind and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until pale and tripled in volume (6-8 minutes). Sieve in flour, cornflour and baking powder in 2 batches, fold to combine, then fold in butter. Divide batter evenly between prepared tins, smooth tops and bake until golden brown and centres spring back when lightly pressed (8-10 minutes). Cool in tins for 10 minutes, then cool completely on wire racks.
  • 3
    Whisk crème fraîche, cream, icing sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl to soft peaks and refrigerate until required.
  • 4
    To serve, spread half the lemon curd cream over one cake, top with half the crème fraîche mixture, then top with remaining cake. Spread with remaining crème fraîche mixture, then, without using a nozzle, pipe remaining lemon curd cream on top and serve.
  • Author: Emma Knowles