- 250g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (plus extra for greasing cake tin)
- 1tbsp grated lemon zest
- 250g (8oz) unrefined caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 275g (9oz) self-raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 100ml (3½fl oz) buttermilk
- Juice of 1 lemon
- FOR THE SYRUP:
- 150g (5oz) unrefined caster sugar
- 50ml (2fl oz) water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- FOR THE CANDIED LEMON SLICES:
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 450g (140oz) caster sugar
- FOR THE ICING:
- 500ml (16fl oz) water
- 300g (10oz) icing sugar, sifted
- 80ml (2¾fl oz) lemon juice
- Heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Grease a 23cm (9in) round cake tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper.
- Put the butter, zest and sugar into an electric mixer and beat on a medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Break the eggs into a jug and lightly beat, then gradually pour them into the butter and sugar while the mixture continues running. As you pour in the eggs, add 4 tablespoons of flour, one at a time, at regular intervals.
- Sift the remainder of the flour and the baking powdered into the mixer, gently folding in with a large metal spoon. Add the buttermilk and lemon juice and gently combine.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and firm to the touch.
- While the cake is baking, make the syrup and candied lemon slices. For the syrup combine the sugar, lemon juice and water in a saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and set aside.
- For the candied lemons slices, combine the water with the sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a gently boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lemon slices and simmer for another 5 minutes, until the fruit is soft but not falling apart. With a slotted spoon, remove the slices and place on greaseproof paper.
- Remove the cake form the oven and poke holes all over the top of it with a skewer of toothpick. Spoon the warm syrup over the cake and set aside to cool.
- Make the icing by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl. Beat in enough lemon juice to make a thick, pouring consistency. Spread over the cake allowing some of it to run down the sides. Arrange the candied lemon slices on top.
To test if the cake is cooked, a skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.