This year was the first year I have worked on my birthday. I’ve sat exams on it and studied on it, but always managed to coincide it with a holiday so I’ve never actually been to work on it. One of the things about working on your birthday in Denmark (and as far as I can tell everywhere but Ireland) is that you have to make your birthday cake, and give it to other people, instead of the other way around. Apparently you are also meant to buy people drinks if you go to the bar, but given that a pint here costs around €8, I’m going to try and avoid that one as long as possible. This was meant to be a double layer Victoria sponge style cake, but I realised too late that my cake tin was in fact 9 inches instead of 7, so I ended up with two very thin sponge layers, and had to make a third one. The photos are a bit rubbish, they were taken in between wrapping presents for my other half who strangely shares my birthday, packing for a weekend in Copenhagen and putting together a grammar test for my pupils. It was a bit of a hectic day.
Makes 1 three layer 9 inch cake. If you want a two layer 7 inch cake, as was intended by Darina Allen who came up with this recipe, reduce the ingredients for the cake by 1/3.
- 190g butter, softened
- 260g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 260g flour
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-2 tablespoons buttermilk or milk
- Finely grated zest of one lemon
- Icing sugar to top
For the lemon curd
- 50g butter
- 110g caster sugar
- Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten together
- First, make the lemon curd.
- Melt the butter over a gentle heat.
- Mix in the sugar, lemon juice and rind.
- Add in the eggs.
- Stir over a low heat until the mixture thickens to a good coating consistency.
- If like mine yours goes a little clumpy at the end because you briefly got distracted, sieve after cooking.
- Leave to cool.
- To make the cake, first cream the butter, lemon zest and sugar together until fluffy.
- Add the eggs in one a time, mixing well.
- Sift the flour and baking powder in.
- Mix all the ingredients together and add in the milk if it needs a bit of moisture.
- Grease and line a 9 inch cake tin.
- Pour in 1/3 of the cake mix.
- Bake in the oven at 180C for approximately 20 minutes, until the top is a little bit golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Turn onto a wire rack to cool and repeat twice with the remaining mixture.
- When the cakes are entirely cooled, spread the lemon curd on one, sandwich another cake on top, spread lemon curd on that and sandwich with the top layer.
- How much of the lemon curd you use it up to you, I had about 1-2 tablespoons left which next time I’d probably horse on the cake as well.
- Top by sprinkling with icing sugar.