This was a test run for my Christmas Gifts bakeathon - it's been a while since I've made this cake but it never fails to taste amazing. It's technically a traditional madeira but I like to bump up the flavour by using some lemon oil in the mix. This is equally lovely au naturel for a teatime treat, but I decided to gild it by adding a lemon-flavoured soft royal icing and then scattered lots of edible gold stars on top. This did make it to work & was demolished in record time! It works very well either as a loaf or a tray bake - just reduce the cooking time to about 35 minutes for the shallower tin.
I'm planning to make little individual lemon cakes for Christmas - small enough to eat without feeling guilty that you've devoured one all by yourself...
Luscious Lemon Cake with a Starry Icing
225g Butter, softened
225g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Oil
Finely grated zest of 1 Lemon
225g Self-Raising Flour
150g Royal Icing
Juice of 1 Lemon
Edible Gold Stars
Heat your oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4. Grease & line your cake tin. Use baking paper for a shallow tin or loaf liners for a 2lb loaf tin.
Beat the butter & sugar together until pale & creamy, then add the eggs one at a time and the lemon oil.
Now sift in the flour & lemon zest and mix until well combined.
Pour the mixture into your tin & level the top with a spoon.
Bake for 30 mins (traybake) or 45mins (loaf tin) until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven & allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
When the cake is cool, make the royal icing according to the packet directions (beat well with an electric mixer for 5 minutes) & spread over the cake. Now scatter lots of gold stars over the top before the icing sets.