Lemon Elderflower Cake

May 19, 2018: The Royal Wedding Day of HRH Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle

Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day! Ever since Kensington Palace announced that Chef Claire Ptak would make their wedding cake, we have been curious about the recipe for lemon elderflower cake. According to the official announcement, the cake would “incorporate the bright flavors of spring…(and)…be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.”

There are many recipe versions of lemon elderflower cake but we tried the one published in People magazine. Their version is heavy and dense, unlike the light and fluffy cakes that we are used to. It is both rich and refreshing, which is befitting for a royal dessert. We also thinned down the basic buttercream recipe with elderflower liqueur but the floral flavor is faint.  We could not find fresh elderflowers to decorate the cake, so we used silk spring flowers with yellow centers instead to indicate the lemon flavor with this color. Lastly we topped our simple, rustic-style cake with a tiara to add some “Markle sparkle”.

Make a mini lemon elderflower wedding cake to celebrate the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan. Best wishes to them and to all the other couples getting married today!

Recipe

(Adapted from People magazine)

For the lemon cake

  • 4 cups flour (all purpose)
  • 3 teapoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream, room temperature
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed (about 3 lemons)

Directions

Line two 6- and 8-inch round cake pans with waxed paper. Mist the bottom and sides with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixer, beat the butter until creamy.

Gradually add the sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then add half of the sour cream. Continue to alternate the flour and sour cream mixture until well combined and the cake batter is smooth.

Mix in the lemon juice. Divide the batter into the prepared pans, filling them halfway. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Brush away any crumbs.

For the elderflower buttercream frosting

  • 8 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 (1 pound) boxes powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (+/-) elderflower liqueur

Directions

In a mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar.  Thin to a spreadable consistency with elderflower liqueur. Spread a little frosting onto a cake board to act as a “glue” for the bottom layer of the cake.

 

 For the lemon elderflower liquid

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • ¼ cup elderflower liqueur

Directions

In a small bowl, dissolved the sugar in lemon juice and elderflower liqueur. Stir well. Brush this liquid onto the cut layers of the cooled cakes before icing them with elderflower buttercream frosting.

Continue with each cake layer, brushing with lemon elderflower liquid and then frosting it with the elderflower buttercream. Frost the top and sides of the cake.

Decorate as desired. Top with a tiara and add spring flowers. Place on a cake pedestal. Serve and celebrate!

Notes

  • We used two 10-inch round pans for this recipe and sliced the layers in half. The People magazine recipe uses 6- and 8-inch rounds. For our final food photo above, the latter are cake dummies with the bottom 10-inch cake being the real one. Many couples use cake dummies to add height to their wedding cake, cut a real one for photos and serve sheet cakes from the back kitchen to save money.
  • Fruitcake is traditionally served at British weddings. This lemon elderflower cake is a contemporary confection honoring American bride Meghan Markle.
  • Search our blog for more royal-inspired recipes.

 

Monaco (Cocktail Drink)

Monaco (Cocktail)

July 1: The Royal Wedding Day of His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco II and Charlene Wittstock

Less than three months after Prince William of Wales married Catherine Middleton in England on April 29, 2011, another royal wedding is taking place in Monaco, a little city state bordered by France. Prince Albert is marrying Charlene Wittstock, an Olympic swimmer from South Africa, today in a civil ceremony. Their union will be blessed at a religious ceremony the next day on July 2, 2011.

The Monegasque celebrations are not as big as those of the British royals. But Islander still enjoys watching their weddings—and preparing something special for our food blog to commemorate the regal occasion!

For the Monaco royal wedding, she made a mixed drink aptly called a Monaco, which is a popular cocktail among the principality’s northern neighbors. For this recipe, Islander used a Hawaiian beer, particularly Primo, because the logo for this lager features a silhouetted man with a mahiole (feather helmet). In ancient Hawaii, these crowned the heads of the high chiefs and King Kamehameha. So Primo is a perfect ingredient for our adaptation of a Monaco to toast the Grimaldi groom and his bride on their wedding day. Congratulations to the couple and okole maluna!

Recipe

(Adapted from 1001 Cocktails)

Ingredients

  • Splash of grenadine syrup
  • 1/3 glass lemon-lime soda (we used Sprite)
  • 2/3 glass beer/lager (we used Primo beer/Hawaiian lager)

Directions

In a tall (or collins) glass filled with ice cubes, pour the grenadine first. Add the lemon-lime soda and beer. Stir until the flavors and colors turn into a pale pink.

Monaco (Cocktail)

Notes

  • Grenadine adds a royal red color to the cocktail and a taste of the sweet life!
  • The ratio of beer to soda may be adjusted to one’s personal tastes. Other recipes call for an equal amount of both liquids.
  • The French use lemonade instead of lemon-lime soda in their version of the Monaco cocktail drink.
  • Search our blog for more royal recipes.