This impressive giant lemon cupcake can be served on birthdays or any special occasion. Vary the decoration depending on your celebration.
If you like the flavours of lemon drizzle cake but want something a little more show-stopping than a classic drizzle cake, this is the recipe for you. The decoration will require a little time and patience but the results are worth it. It’s also really easy to adapt if you fancy something different.
For the shell: (optional)
- 397g yellow candy melts or 400g good quality chocolate
For the cake:
- 330g self raising flour, sifted
- 40g cornflour
- 330g golden caster sugar
- 330g of unsalted butter softened
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 6 large eggs
- 6 tbsp of milk
- Zest and juice of two large lemons
- 3 tbsp lemon curd (to sandwich cakes together)
For the buttercream:
- 500g of icing sugar
- 120g of unsalted butter
- 2 tsp of lemon zest
- 3-4 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
For the decorations:
- 50g white sugar paste coloured yellow, we used Sugarflair gel egg yellow
- 20g white sugar paste coloured green, we used Sugarflair holly green
- 20g chocolate fondant
You will need:
- A giant cupcake tin or mould
- Sunflowers silicone fondant mould
- If you want to make the shell, do this first. Grease the giant cupcake mould using a cake release spray such as Wilton cake release. Fill a pan with water to approximately a quarter of its capacity and place a heatproof bowl over the top. Don’t let the bowl touch the water otherwise the melts will burn. Empty the yellow candy melts into the bowl and heat gently until the candy has melted and it’s smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and using a silicone brush, brush around the inside of the bottom and sides of the giant cupcake mould making it as even as possible so as to create a shell for the bottom of the cake. Place in the fridge to harden for 30 minutes or until set, then remove the shell from the tin and grease the tin for the cake.
- Heat the oven to 170C (150C fan, Gas 3). In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Sift the flours and the baking powder together and add 1/3 to the butter and sugar with 2 eggs. Beat until just combined then repeat until all the flour and eggs have been added. Add the milk and the zest and juice of the lemons and beat again.
- Transfer the batter to the greased tin. Only fill each compartment to around ⅔ full. If you have leftover mixture you could make regular cupcakes. Bake for between 50 mins and 1 hour. The cake will be done when it is springy to the touch. Once cooked, allow to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make your sunflowers. Spray your mould with some release spray. Then place a small amount of chocolate fondant in the centre, followed by yellow for the petals and green for the leaves. Pop the flowers out of the mould and leave to dry on some greaseproof paper. Repeat until you have used all the fondant and sugar paste.
- Make the buttercream by adding the icing sugar, butter, lemon zest and juice to a large bowl. Beat until fluffy and combined. Cover with a damp cloth until you are ready to use it.
- When the cake is cool, trim the base slightly so it fits into the candy shell you prepared earlier. I trim off all the grooves and slice it into three. Sandwich the layers together with lemon curd and buttercream then carefully place into the candy shell. Top with more buttercream to secure the top of the cake.
- Lightly cover the top of the cake in buttercream. Using a turntable will make this easier.
- Pipe the remainder of the buttercream onto the top of the cake in a rose pattern. I used a Wilton 1B flower nozzle.
- When you have finished piping add the sunflowers you made earlier and decorate with a ribbon and cake buckle, if liked.
Top tips for making a giant lemon cupcake
Having the appropriate equipment is the most important bit of advice we can give you if you want the best results. We have some ideas for alternative decorations if you need some inspiration as well as guidelines on how to store the cake.
Victoria also recommends using candy melts or chocolate that has 70 per cent or more cocoa content when making the shell for the cupcake. She had the best results using the Green & Blacks brand. Before making the cake, read our guide on how to ice cupcakes if you’ve never tried this before.
What other equipment or tools do I need to make a giant lemon cupcake?
Victoria recommends using Wilton cake release to grease your chosen tin as it makes it much easier to remove it. She also uses the Wilton 1B large flower nozzle but other tools are available. For the best piping finish it’s also recommended to use a piping bag. Victoria uses disposable ones but you can buy reusable ones from specialist baking shops and stores online.
How else could I decorate a giant lemon cupcake?
Instead of piping the buttercream you could spread and swirl it on with a palette knife. If you top the cake with raspberries instead of the icing flowers. The flavours would work really nicely together. Candied peel or very fine slices of fresh lemon would also look attractive and gives people a hint at the flavour of the cake. Alternatively you could cover the cake in edible sprinkles or chocolate chips. You could also keep it plain and simply stick some candles in!
How to store this giant lemon cupcake
Keep this cake in a large cake tin or airtight container at room temperature. If you have leftovers after your party it’s best to eat in 2-3 days. You may want to consider cutting it into slices to store more easily.
The easiest way to achieve the striking design of this cake is to start with the right tin or mould. It makes assembling the cake much easier and you’ll have a good base to start decorating.