Royal wedding lemon & elderflower cupcakes

Don’t you just love a royal wedding? After seeing Harry & Meghan’s stunning £50,000 elderflower and lemon cake, I just had to try this. The cake was designed and made by Claire Ptak, who runs a bakery in London. It had beautiful white iced tiers and was made using 200 fresh Amalfi lemons and over 10 bottles of elderflower cordial! I had never tried this combination in a cake before and it sounded divine, so I invented a recipe for little cupcakes, combining the summery British flavours of lemon and elderflower.

I have tried to maximise both these flavours in the cupcake. The cupcake itself is flavoured with lemon zest and elderflower cordial. If you can, try to get your hands on some lemon extract (I used the Waitrose one- it is a strong lemon flavour, made from Sicilian lemons, which gives a lovely taste to the cake).

I purposely made the cake less sweet, so that the syrup, which will drench the little holes in the cake, can add another flavour to the cake. Then a centre hole is dug out of the cupcake, to fill it with sharp lemon curd. Finally, the buttercream is flavoured with again, lemon zest, lemon extract (and a drop of food colouring, which gives a lovely pastel yellow colour) and elderflower.

For the cupcakes: (this recipe makes 12, I had to make more, so doubled the recipe)

  • 120g plain flour
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 40g butter, soft
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 drop of lemon extract (optional)
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial

For the syrup:

  • 40g sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 5 tbsp elderflower cordial

For the icing:

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 80g butter, soft
  • 20ml milk
  • 5 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • Zest from ½ a lemon
  • 1 drop of lemon extract (optional)
  • A drop of yellow food colouring (optional)

Decorations (I used white and yellow sprinkles, wafer flowers and lemon meringues)IMG_4769



  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius/ 338 F/ Gas mark 3.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter with an electric whisk until a grain like consistency.IMG_2327
  3. Then gradually pour in half the milk and continue to whisk.IMG_2328
  4. Mix the rest of the milk, egg, elderflower cordial, lemon zest and lemon extract (if using), in another bowl.IMG_4762
  5. Slowly pour this into the dry mix and whisk together. Continue this for a few minutes until a smooth mixture.
  6. Line a 12 hole baking tray with cupcake cases.
  7. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases. I usually use a ice cream scoop for this, for consistency. IMG_4764.jpg
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile make the syrup. Put all the ingredients into a pan on the heat, and warm until the sugar has all dissolved.IMG_4770.jpg
  10. Then, make the icing. Beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric hand or freestanding whisk until well combined.IMG_2350
  11. Separately, mix together the milk, elderflower cordial, lemon zest, lemon extract and food colouring (if using).
  12. Then add this mixture slowly into the sugar and butter, whisking as you go.
  13. Continue beating this on a high speed for about 5 minutes. The longer you whisk it, the fluffier it will become.IMG_4815
  14. Then once cooked, remove from the oven. With a skewer, insert into the cake- it should come out clean.
  15. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and leave to cool.
  16. Once the cupcakes are cooled, get a small rounded object (I used a straw) and make a hole out of the centre of each cupcake. IMG_4779
  17. Then using a skewer, prick the cupcake, until small holes are made.IMG_4816
  18. Pour 1 tsp of the syrup all over each cupcake, including inside the hole, to reach the cake. IMG_4817
  19. Then using a piping back (I just use a ziplock bag and cut off the end), fill this hole with the lemon curd.IMG_4785.jpg
  20. To get a rustic effect, use a knife to roughly spread the icing onto the cupcake.IMG_4828
  21. Then decorate with the meringues, flowers and sprinkles.

Enjoy with a cup of British tea, my princes and princesses x

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