Easy peasy May Day cake

by Katherine Frelon

A showstopping lemon drizzle cake from Katherine Frelon

This makes such a pretty centre piece and you don’t have to be a great baker or arty to achieve it! I decorate a cake board with fondant icing or use a lovely cake stand wide enough for the round cake and the cupcakes. You can buy a two-tiered victoria sponge or lemon drizzle from the Market, or for those who wish to make the cake themselves, I have included my grandmother’s recipe for lemon drizzle cake.


For the lemon drizzle cake:
225g butter, softened
2 lemons
225g sugar
6 fresh free range eggs
275g self-raising flour, sieved
1 tsp baking powder
A splash of milk
Several different coloured fondant icings
12 scented cupcakes of your choice

For the syrup:
80g sugar
1 lemon

1 10" or 12" cake tin
A piece of dowling, 25-30cm long
Coloured ribbons
Toothpicks or little picks with flag decorations on them
Fresh flowers, to decorate


Grease and line your baking tins and preheat the oven to 200C.

Whisk the butter, zest of 2 lemons and sugar together in a mixer until pale and fluffy, scraping down the bowl on several occasions to make sure it is all well combined.

Whisk the eggs together with a fork in a jug. You should aim to get big fat bubbles—remember the more air you can incorporate, the lighter the cake.

Reduce the speed on the mixer and gradually add the whisked eggs, whisking each time with a fork before adding more. If you see the cake is slightly on the edge of curdling, add a small amount of flour.

When all the egg is in, turn off the machine. Fold in the sieved flour and baking powder. Add the juice of 1 lemon and a splash of milk, then fold through gently. Divide between the tins and cook until golden and well risen.

Make the syrup in a small saucepan by adding the sugar and lemon juice and simmering until syrupy. Cool. When the cakes come out of the oven, prick with a skewer and spoon over the lemon syrup. Cool, then remove from the tins.

To assemble, cover a cake board with coloured fondant icing. Cover the top of the large cake with either coloured fondant icing or a dusting of icing sugar. Place the cake in the middle of the board.

Decorate the cupcakes using different coloured fondant icings to make fondant flowers, or use bought ones. Position the cupcakes around the central cake.

Using 2 different coloured ribbons, cover the dowling by alternately spiralling the ribbons around it, and fix at the bottom with tape.

Push the dowling through the centre of the large cake. Fix 12 pieces of coloured ribbon to the centre pole and secure with double sided sticky tape, then cover that with a small piece of ribbon to hide all the edges.

Place each ribbon in the centre of each cupcake and secure with a toothpick or a floral flag.

ALTERNATIVE: If you are in a rush, make an all-in-one cake and add 1 tsp extra baking powder.

Recipe: Katherine Frelon