Royal Wedding Cake: Lemon Elderflower Cake

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For our Royal Wedding Birthday Party, I absolutely had to create my own version of the Royal Wedding Cake. This Lemon Elderflower Cake is bright, citrusy and delicate and decorated with a shabby-chic finesse. It’s the perfect cake for a special brunch or a British-themed party when you really want to wow your guests.

This Lemon Elderflower Cake is perfect for a bridal shower or engagement party. Inspired by the cake at Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding, this cake is the best lemon cake you will ever taste!

Royal Wedding Cake Recipe

My daughter has long been obsessed with Meghan Markle and all things royalty. She has watched the royal wedding three times and even likes to wear a wedding dress costume around the house, imagining her own elegant wedding one day.

We actually road tripped in England just after the royal wedding and toured Kensington Palace, which only added to her obsession.

So naturally, when it came to her 8th birthday party, Ella really wanted a Royal Wedding theme.

We settled somewhere in between a full-blown Wedding theme and a more general British theme. It was so much fun to plan, and probably one of the best parties we’ve ever thrown – just as much fun for the kids as it was for the adults.

The centerpiece for our food table was this elegant lemon elderflower cake inspired by the one chosen by Meghan and Harry. (You can see their version here. It was made by Claire Ptat of Violet Cakes in London.)

Lemon Elderflower Flavors

Obviously, the recipe for the royal wedding cake isn’t public (yet) so I just took the flavor inspiration and did my own thing.

This cake is a light and fluffy lemon cake with elderflower cordial brushed on for a gentle flavor infusion. There is a light lemon curd layer in between each of the cake layers, and then the whole thing is roughly frosted with a lemon and elderflower buttercream, and then topped with sugar paste (gum paste) flowers.

When I first asked our party guests who wanted a slice of lemon elderflower cake, I got a lot of raised eyebrows – and not a lot of interest. However, a few people tried and their exclamations of how good it was convinced others to try it. (My one friend whispered to me, “you should have just called it a lemon cake, stop making things sound weird.” Pfft.) Truly, it’s just a really delicious lemon cake – the elderflower is delicate and just helps balance the cake perfectly.

If you’ve never had elderflower, it has a light, floral, sweet and slightly citrusy taste. I am absolutely obsessed with it. I bought several bottles of this elderflower cordial while we were in England, and have found a couple artisanal elderflower sodas (presses) since returning.

(I also really like this Saint Germaine Elderflower Liqueur – and it would work for substituting for the cordial in this recipe if you’d prefer a slightly boozy cake.)

If you can’t get your hands on elderflower cordial (or elderflower liqueur) in time to make this recipe, it can be omitted or replaced with another sweet, somewhat citrusy syrup like orange or lychee.

Edible Flower Decorations

For the edible flower decorations, I purchased gum paste flowers from a local bakery. I’ve made my own before and they are really easy, but I had a whole party to throw and didn’t have a few hours to spend making a bunch of pretty sugar flowers that no one was going to eat.

You can order gumpaste flowers online, or if you’re feeling creative, buy a kit to make your own. I have a kit similar to this from Wilton.

Alternatively, you can use fresh, edible flowers or make some pretty buttercream flowers.

Other Uses for Elderflower Cordial or Liqueur

If you buy a bottle of elderflower cordial for this recipe, there are so many ways you can enjoy it! I like mixing it with some sparkling water, but you can also make:

If you have access to fresh elderflowers, you can alternatively make your own elderflower cordial.

This cake can be made into individual cupcakes, and you can swap out my homemade lemon curd for a good-quality store-bought version if you’re nervous about making it from scratch. (I definitely don’t recommend swapping in a boxed cake mix or canned frosting for this recipe, though.)

Lemon Elderflower Cake Ingredients

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: if you want to just make a 3-layer, 6″ round cake, you can half this recipe.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

Note: I’m sorry in advance for not having assembly pictures of this cake. I started to run out of time before the party and had to just focus on getting it made! The cake even FELL OVER on the way to the party venue and I had to re-assemble and re-frost it with a spoon when I got there. There are also no pictures of that.

How to Make a Royal Wedding Cake: Lemon Elderflower Cake

Preheat oven to 350F

Grease and flower you cake pans. I also like to add a small circle or square of parchment paper to the bottom to help with easy removal. Set aside.

In a large bowl (or the bowl to your stand mixer), cream together the butter and lemon zest, until smooth and light-coloured.

Add the white sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs, preferably one at a time, allowed each egg to be incorporated into the mixture fully before adding another.

Add the vanilla and mix until combined.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, fully incorporate, then add the milk, half of the flour, and then the lemon juice.

Divide the batter among the prepared cake pans.

Bake the 9” cakes for 30-35 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Bake the 6” cakes for 25 minutes.

While the cakes are baking, prepare the lemon curd.

How to Make Lemon Curd

In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter.

Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes, until the curd is thick and can coat the back of a spoon.

Transfer the lemon curd into a metal or glass bowl and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to set. (Can refrigerate overnight.)

How to Make Elderflower Buttercream

Beat together the vanilla extract, elderflower cordial, butter and powdered icing sugar for 2 minutes.

Add the heavy cream and beat to incorporate.

Adjust the consistency with additional powdered icing sugar if you need it to be stiffer.

Taste and adjust flavor with additional elderflower cordial, as desired.

You can thin out the frosting as needed with more heavy cream or elderflower cordial.

Scoop 1 1/2 cups of the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

To assemble the lemon elderflower cake:

Remove the cakes from the cake pans. Trim off any rounded domes and freeze for future cake pop use.

Use a toothpick or kebab stick to poke 1/2″ holes all over the tops of the cakes.

Brush with the elderflower cordial using a pastry brush.

Pipe an small amount of frosting along the top edge of each layer cake to hold in the lemon curd.

Apply a thin layer of lemon curd to each cake. (Alternatively, you can have a thin layer of buttercream and top with a thin layer of lemon curd.)

Stack and repeat with all 9″ layers of cake.

Use an offset spatula to frost the cake (roughly) and then repeat with the 6″ cakes on top, creating your tiered cake.

Use the piping bag to swirl frosting on the edges. To do this, start on the top layer of the bottom tier and place the piping tip against the bottom of the top tier. Apply even pressure as you rotate your wrist and move along the edge of the cake.

Repeat on the top tier.

Adorn with edible flowers, silver drageens, or other garnishes of your choice.

 

Pin this Royal Wedding Cake:

If you love lemon desserts, you are going to love this Lemon Elderflower Cake inspired by the Royal Wedding Cake. Tart, sweet and perfectly balanced, it's perfect for any special occasion

Grab your free printable for our lemon elderflower cake recipe:

Yield: 1-6 tiered cake, approximately 30 servings

Royal Wedding Cake: Lemon Elderflower Cake

A decadent and unique take on a classic lemon cake, this Lemon Elderflower Cake is inspired by the Royal Wedding Cake of Meghan and Harry.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Lemon Elderflower Cake:

  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk room temperature
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Elderflower cordial, as needed

For the Lemon Curd:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Elderflower Buttercream ingredients:

  • 2 cups butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 10 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons elderflower cordial, or more to taste

Optional Garnishes:

  • Edible gumpaste flowers
  • 1/4 cup silver dragoon balls

Instructions

How to Make a Lemon Elderflower Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease and flower you cake pans. I also like to add a small circle or square of parchment paper to the bottom to help with easy removal. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl (or the bowl to your stand mixer), cream together the butter and lemon zest, until smooth and light-coloured.
  4. Add the white sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs, preferably one at a time, allowed each egg to be incorporated into the mixture fully before adding another.
  6. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  7. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  8. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, fully incorporate, then add the milk, half of the flour, and then the lemon juice.
  9. Divide the batter among the prepared cake pans.
  10. Bake the 9” cakes for 30-35 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Bake the 6” cakes for 25 minutes.
  12. While the cakes are baking, prepare the lemon curd.

How to Make Lemon Curd

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes, until the curd is thick and can coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Transfer the lemon curd into a metal or glass bowl and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to set. (Can refrigerate overnight.)

How to Make Elderflower Buttercream

  1. Beat together the vanilla extract, elderflower cordial, butter and powdered icing sugar for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the heavy cream and beat to incorporate.
  3. Adjust the consistency with additional powdered icing sugar if you need it to be stiffer.
  4. Taste and adjust flavor with additional elderflower cordial, as desired.
  5. You can thin out the frosting as needed with more heavy cream or elderflower cordial.
  6. Scoop 1 1/2 cups of the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

To assemble the lemon elderflower cake:

  1. Remove the cakes from the cake pans. Trim off any rounded domes and freeze for future cake pop use.
  2. Use a toothpick or kebab stick to poke 1/2" holes all over the tops of the cakes.
  3. Brush with the elderflower cordial using a pastry brush.
  4. Pipe an small amount of frosting along the top edge of each layer cake to hold in the lemon curd.
  5. Apply a thin layer of lemon curd to each cake. (Alternatively, you can have a thin layer of buttercream and top with a thin layer of lemon curd.)
  6. Stack and repeat with all 9" layers of cake.
  7. Use an offset spatula to frost the cake (roughly) and then repeat with the 6" cakes on top, creating your tiered cake.
  8. Use the piping bag to swirl frosting on the edges. To do this, start on the top layer of the bottom tier and place the piping tip against the bottom of the top tier. Apply even pressure as you rotate your wrist and move along the edge of the cake.
  9. Repeat on the top tier.
  10. Adorn with edible flowers, silver dragoons, or other garnishes of your choice.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

30

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 593Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 320mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 1gSugar: 63gProtein: 5g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

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Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

This Royal Wedding Cake was such a hit at our British Themed Party and hands-down the best lemon cake I have ever tasted!

For more delicious lemon desserts, check out our No-Bake Lemon Lush recipe (with video) or our Lemon Sticky Rolls recipe.

This Lemon Elderflower Cake is perfect for a bridal shower or engagement party. Inspired by the cake at Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding, this cake is the best lemon cake you will ever taste! How to make a lemon elderflower cake just like the one at Meghan and Harry's Royal Wedding. Simply the best lemon cake you will ever taste! If you love lemon desserts, you are going to love this Lemon Elderflower Cake inspired by the Royal Wedding Cake. Tart, sweet and perfectly balanced, it's perfect for any special occasion How to make a lemon elderflower cake just like the one at Meghan and Harry's Royal Wedding. Simply the best lemon cake you will ever taste!

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