Lemon sponge




  • 2.5 kg self-raising flour
  • 1.5 kg caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp baking powder
  • Zest of 8 lemons
  • 2.5 liters non-dairy milk
  • 1-liter vegetable oil
  • 200 ml elderflower syrup (recipe below)



  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line 6 deep, round cake tins (two 25 cm in diameter, two 20 cm, and two 15 cm).
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and lemon zest in a very large bowl.
  3. Pour in the non-dairy milk and oil, stirring until everything is combined.
  4. Divide the batter among the tins, filling each one to the same level. Tap them all on the work surface to pop any bubbles, then place in the oven.
  5. After 45 minutes, remove the 15 cm sponges and insert a skewer into each. If it comes out clean, allow cooling. If not, return the sponges to the oven and test again every 5 minutes. Inevitably, your larger sponges will take longer to bake (around 1 hour for the 20 cm ones and 1 hour and 15 minutes for the 25 cm ones) but be sure to keep an eye on them, as all ovens are different.
  6. Once all the sponges are baked, use a pastry brush to cover them with a generous layer of warm
  7. elderflower syrup.
  8. Allow cooling a little in the tins before transferring to a wire rack.
    Make sure the sponges have cooled all the way through before attempting to assemble your cake. If you have time, wrap them in cling film and allow to rest overnight.

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