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Cupcake Jemma’s lemon & Yuzu curd sponge

Cupcake Jemma’s lemon & Yuzu curd sponge

“A sweet and tangy combination of fluffy lemon sponge, with zingy curd and lemony buttercream, topped with pretty edible flowers – my favourite!” Recipe © Jemma Wilson.

  • PREPARATION TIME : 1 hour 30 minutes, plus cooling


  • CURD
  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 60ml yuzu juice (the bottled stuff is perfect, or swap for lime juice)
  • 1 lemon
  • 60g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 375g soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing (at room temperature)
  • 375g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 375g caster sugar
  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 5 lemons
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • ½ a lemon
  • 340g icing sugar


Step 1
To make the curd, separate 5 of the eggs (keep the whites for making meringues another day), adding the yolks to a heatproof bowl, then crack in the remaining egg.

Step 2
Add the sugar and yuzu juice, finely grate in the lemon zest and squeeze in the juice, then place over a pan of gently simmering water on a low heat.

Step 3
Stir gently with a balloon whisk while it’s heating up – keep it moving at all times, until the mixture starts to thicken (at around 10 to 12 minutes) – you’re aiming for ribbon stage, which is when the curd on the whisk drops down but sits on top of the curd underneath and doesn’t melt in. Remove from the heat.

Step 4
Finely chop and add the cold butter, then stir together until melted. While it’s still hot, push through a sieve and cover, then cool. Place in the fridge until needed.

Step 5
Preheat the oven to 170ºC fan/375ºF/gas 5. Grease and line 3 x 20cm sandwich cake tins and dust the sides with flour.

Step 6
To make the sponges, place the butter and sugar in a large bowl, then beat with an electric mixer for 5 minutes, or until pale and fluffy.

Step 7
Crack in the eggs one at a time, whisking well before adding the next. Finely grate in the lemon zest.

Step 8
Sift the flour into the mixture and fold through, but don’t mix too much at this stage.

Step 9
Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon, add the vanilla extract and gently fold through.

Step 10
Equally divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins, smoothing it out with a palette knife.

Step 11
Bake the cakes for 22 to 25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool.

Step 12
To make the buttercream, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until pale and smooth.

Step 13
Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, then add to the butter in two stages, beating well between each.

Step 14
Gradually squeeze in the lemon juice and beat for a further 3 to 5 minutes, or until almost white. Cover until ready to use.

Step 15
Once the cakes have cooled, use a sharp serrated knife to trim the tops off two of the cakes to make the surfaces nice and flat.

Step 16
Place one of the trimmed sponges onto a serving plate or cake stand, securing underneath with a blob of buttercream.

Step 17
Pipe the buttercream in small dots around the outside of the sponge (this will act as a barrier for your curd). Pipe one large dot into the centre, then pipe a circle of dots between the centre dot and your outer circle – this will create two circular channels for your curd.

Step 18
Pipe the curd into the channels, then place the second sponge on top and repeat.

Step 19
Top with the remaining sponge, dust lightly with icing sugar, then decorate with edible flowers. Serve with a nice pot of tea.


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