Strawberry, Lemon & Elderflower Cake

This is the cake 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!


Fresh strawberry buttercream frosting:

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. The cooking process helps to concentrate the flavour so you get a nice strawberry hit. Cooking them also reduces the water content so you get a kind of ‘jam’ which, when cooled, can be incorporated into your icing with ease. You may need to adjust the amount of icing sugar to get the right consistency as the frosting can come out a bit runnier than you may be used to. The strawberries provide a nice pale pink colour to the icing but you can add a few drops of pink/red gel food colouring to the icing to make the colour stronger.

Strawberry, Lemon & Elderflower Cake

4.32 from 16 votes
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Course: Cake
Keywords: baking, elderflower, recipe, strawberry cake, summer
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes



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


  • 75 g fresh strawberries , hulled and roughly chopped (plus a few for decoration)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 100 g unsalted butter , softened
  • 200-300 g icing sugar (powdered sugar)


  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line an 20 x 20cm square tin or a 25 x 17 cm rectangle tin.
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • 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 60ml. Let it cool - this is your strawberry ‘jam’.
  • Beat the softened butter together with 200g of the icing sugar. Gradually mix in the strawberry 'jam', until you have a loose but spreadable consistency. You can add more icing sugar to thicken, if needed. Spread this over the cooled cake and top with the extra strawberries (I slice them) to decorate. 
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!

11 thoughts on “Strawberry, Lemon & Elderflower Cake”

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

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

  4. 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

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