Wowwwsers talk about this cake being tart! I mean tart…it uses the WHOLE lemon!!! I mean the whole lemon not just the zest (like in usual lemon recipes) or juice, the whole thing!!!!

I watched this whole lemon cake being made my the renowned baking goddess Mary Berry on her TV series Mary Berry Cooks. I knew this cake would be amazing for my mum on mothers day as she is such a hugeeeeee fan of anything lemon. I wasn’t so sure, I am a fan of lemon but knowing I’ll be using the whole lemon including the pith make me think will it be bitter and too sour…hmmm.

I missed out the lemon decoration for the topping of the cake as I didn’t have the time to make it…if you want to skip that part too jump to no.4 in the directions.The cake did turn out quite bitter for me so if you only like a bit of lemon you may not like this as much. I gave a piece to my aunt who loves lemon and she liked it too.

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Whole lemon cake
Serves 12
For the decoration
  1. 1 thin-skinned - lemon
  2. 50g - caster sugar
For the cake
  1. 2 small or 1 large - thin-skinned lemon
  2. 275g - soft unsalted butter
  3. 275g - caster sugar
  4. 275g - self raising flour
  5. 2 tsp - baking powder
  6. 4 - eggs(I used medium)
For the filling
  1. 50g - soft butter
  2. 175g - icing sugar
  3. 250g - full-fat Italian mascarpone
  4. 175g - fondant sugar (I only had normal icing sugar)
For the zest decoration
  1. 1. If making the decoration, using a zester, peel long strips of lemon rind. If you haven’t got a zester, thinly peel the lemon, then cut into fine strips. Set aside the remaining lemon.
  2. 2. Place the peel in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and half the caster sugar and boil for one minute. Drain and pat dry, then put onto non-stick parchment paper. Scatter over the remaining sugar and toss to coat the lemon peel. Arrange on the non-stick baking parchment and leave in a warm place to dry out for as long as possible or overnight, until crisp. If you are in a hurry, dry out in a low oven 110°C for 30 minutes.
  3. 3. Cut the zested lemon in half and squeeze the juice. Set it aside to make the icing.
For the cake
  1. 4. In a small saucepan place the two whole (or one large) cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until very soft and tender. Drain, cut the lemons in half and remove any pips.
  2. 5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 8" baking trays.
  3. 6. Add the cooked lemon into a food processor and blend until you have smooth but chunky texture then place the mixture in a small bowl.
  4. 7. Add all the remaining cake ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth. Lift out the blade and stir in just over half of the lemon pulp. Set the rest aside. (I added the sugar and butter and blended until smooth then mixed in the other ingredients until just combined.)
  5. 8. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden-brown and just shrinking from the edge of the tins.
  6. 9. Leave to cool for five minutes, then turn the cakes out, peel off the baking parchment and leave to finish cooling on a wire rack.
For the frosting
  1. 10. For the lemon filling, blend the butter and icing sugar in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the mascarpone, blend again and then add the lemon pulp and blend until just mixed.
  2. 11. Cut both cakes in half so that you have four layers. Spread the lemon cream evenly between the layers, stacking them on top of each other.
  3. 12. Mix the fondant icing sugar with 1-2 tbsp lemon juice (from the lemon used to make the candied zest decoration) to make a thick pouring consistency. Pour the icing over the top of the cake allowing it to drizzle down. Sprinkle the candied lemon rind on top.
  1. You could replace the mascarpone with cream cheese
Adapted from BBC
Adapted from BBC