Cake Spring Summer

Strawberry, Lemon & Elderflower Cake

September crept up on me this year, partially because we had a VERY hot few days in the UK recently so I was blissfully unaware that summer is coming to an end. Uni starts in a few weeks and I’m internally starting to panic about the fact that I only have 1 year left of education. I’m partially excited to finish and start being a *real* person but also, like everyone else, pretty terrified about that too.

This is the cake-form of my denial that summer is ending and that reality will hit soon when I return to Leeds. It features a fresh strawberry buttercream and elderflower cordial – can’t get more summery than THAT. As I find layer cakes endlessly frustrating to make, I decided to go sheet cake style here. They’re very easy to make and decorate so are much better for my level of patience!

Strawberries are definitely something that taste best in season. But as we’re cooking them down into a jam for the frosting here, using slightly crappy strawberries (or frozen ones!) is definitely a good option.


Strawberry, Lemon & Elderflower Cake

Strawberry, Lemon & Elderflower Cake

Yield: serves 12


  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 160g unsalted butter
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated (you need the juice for the buttercream)
  • 3 eggs
  • 250ml plain yogurt
  • 120g plain white flour
  • 150g plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp elderflower cordial


  • 100g fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped (plus a few for decoration)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 70g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100-200g icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line an 20 x 20cm square tin or a 25 x 17 cm rectangle tin.
  2. Cream the sugar, butter and lemon zest together in a large mixing bowl until fluffy and soft. Beat in the eggs one at a time - it’s okay if it looks like the mixture is curdling. Stir in the yogurt. Add in both flours, the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and fold in gently until just combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until it’s golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Dilute the elderflower cordial with 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl and spoon this over the warm cake to soak in. Set aside to cool before frosting.

For the buttercream:

  1. Blitz the strawberries and lemon juice together in a blender/food processor or in a jug using a hand blender. Pour the blended mixture into a medium pot and heat over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced down to about 80 to 60ml. Let it cool - this is your strawberry ‘jam’.
  2. Beat the softened butter together with the cooled strawberry ‘jam’. Gradually mix in the icing sugar, adding up to 300g until you have a spreadable consistency. Spread this over the cooled cake and top with the extra strawberries (I slice them) to decorate. 

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  • Jessie Snyder September 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Your photography is my favorite. Ever. Loving the color of that frosting too! <3

  • thebakingskillet September 6, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    This is truly summery and so pretty! Adore the garnish.

  • Fatimah September 7, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    i love your photos!! that frosting is perfect xx

  • Hila September 8, 2017 at 2:04 am

    I just wanted to say that the book has finally arrived at my door today morning, and as I grabbed and opened it I just couldn’t stop myself from flipping another page and starring at the stunning photos –
    I’m a cookbook hoarder and a pastry chef so oftentimes when I’m getting another book it’s all boils down to the same old shticks and I’m used to mark some recipes and react with “meh”, but not this time –
    Girl, you rock! finally! we have a renowned recipe developer who supports healthy eating habits without all the pseudoscience bullshit like detoxing and stuff.
    The chapters are separated in a way that makes much more sense to me (with the “little plates” and “bigger meals”), every ingredient is affordable, the “skeleton” system at the end is brilliant, and I’ve already made a list to go grocery-shopping today for some recipes.
    Definitely a hit and worth every single buck!

  • thebrickkitchen September 9, 2017 at 4:03 am

    YES to sheet cakes over layer cakes! I’ve never used elderflower cordial before (not sure it’s as available here in australia/NZ, or maybe I’m just really unobservant?) so feel like I need to give that a shot this summer! good luck heading back to uni, I’m sure you’ll kill it!

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  • Susan September 10, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    that frosting looks amaziinggg


  • Sabrina Best September 10, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    how wonderfully different, at least to me, with Elderflower, love the jam-ified strawberry as well, thank you for this beautiful recipe (photography too)!

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  • Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek September 14, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Loving the look of this cake so much! When it popped up in my email, I got excited to stop by and see the recipe and post. Also, congrats on one more year of uni! I’d love to hear what you want to do with your food sci degree! So exciting. xoxo

  • bakingamess October 9, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    This looks like such a great bake! Simple and elegant and sounds so tasty

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