Lemon and lime cake with orange blossom icing

You can serve 18 guests a slice of this generously proportioned three-tier cake, which is bursting with citrus. The cake is then delicately garnished with lavender, lemon or lime curd and roughly chopped pistachios. Photograph by Mike Rooke. Props and styling by Mike Watson.

  • 1 hr preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 18
  • Print


  • 300 gram unsalted butter, softened
  • 300 gram golden, unrefined caster sugar
  • 6 organic eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300 gram ground almonds
  • 75 gram spelt flour (or buckwheat flour to make it gluten-free)
  • pinch sea salt
  • zest and juice 1 large unwaxed lemon
  • zest and juice 1 large unwaxed lime
Orange blossom icing
  • 300 gram creme fraiche
  • 100 gram unrefined golden icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon orange blossom water (available from middle eastern and specialty food stores)
  • roughly chopped pistachios
  • lemon or lime curd
  • fresh lavender heads (pick from the top of a large unsprayed bush to avoid any contaminants)


  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 180°C fanbake. Grease and line three 14cm tins.
  • 2
    In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla.
  • 3
    Gradually fold in the ground almonds, flour and salt, then the zest and juice of the lemon and lime.
  • 4
    Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins and bake for around 30 minutes. The cakes are ready when they are golden, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • 5
    Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for around 10 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, make the orange blossom icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients until a smooth, glossy consistency is reached.
  • 7
    Once the cakes are completely cool, spread a layer of icing onto one layer and place another layer on top. Repeat with the final layer. Apply a neat coating of icing to the top of the cake and decorate with chopped pistachios, lemon or lime curd piped with a piping bag or squeezed with a squeezy bottle, and fresh lavender heads.
  • 8
    The cake can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to three days. Serve at room temperature.

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