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Lionel’s Lemon Cake
By Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel

For the cake:
250g (8oz) butter, softened
250g (8oz) caster sugar
250g (8oz) self-raising flour
4 medium eggs
2 tbsp milk
Very finely grated rind of 2 lemons
For the syrup:
4 level tbsp granulated sugar
4tbsp water
Juice 3 lemons
1 tbsp of dark rum
For the filling:
8 level tbsp lemon curd
For the frosting:
125g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
250g (8oz) icing sugar
4 level tbsp lemon curd
Pinch of salt
2 x 18cm (7in) solid base sandwich tins, buttered and baselined
  1. Set the oven to gas mark 4 or 180°C.
  2. To make the cake: Beat the butter and lemon zest. Add the remaining ingredients to it and beat until smooth. Divide mixture between sandwich tins, and level the surface.
  3. Bake cakes in the centre of oven for 30-35 mins, or until they have risen and feel just firm to the touch in the centre.
  4. Meanwhile, to make syrup: Pour 4tbsp water into a small pan; add sugar. Place pan on a low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Using granulated sugar gives a crunchy crust. Increase heat and bring mixture to the boil; boil rapidly for 1 min, then remove pan from heat and add lemon juice and dark rum.
  5. When cakes are cooked, remove from oven and leave to cool for 1 minute.  Poke holes into the top, but not all the way through.  Pour syrup over each one slowly and carefully, taking care to fill the holes. Leave cakes in tins for about 10 minutes until syrup has soaked in, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Cut each cake in half horizontally, to give 4 layers in total. Sandwich together with 2tbsp lemon curd spread between each layer.
  7. To make the frosting: Beat butter until very soft, then add remaining ingredients and beat well until fluffy. Spread over the top and sides of the cake.

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