A moist sponge cake made with olive oil in place of traditional butter and flavoured with fresh citrus fruits. The cake is finished with a zesty sugar crust and served with elderflower flavoured whipped cream for that quintessentially British summer taste.

Baked in the rectangular stoneware dish, the cake is perfect for portioning into slices or squares. Serve with morning coffee, afternoon tea or as a dessert.

Preparation time: 25-30 minutes

Cooking time: 45-50 minutes in the oven + 8-10 minutes for the syrup *Makes 8 pieces




200g (7oz) caster sugar

2 small lemons

1 orange

3 medium eggs

175ml (6floz) mild olive oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

225g (8oz) self-raising flour

 Citrus syrup

1 lemon

1 orange

85g (3oz) caster sugar

Elderflower Cream

300ml (10½floz) double cream

2 tablespoons concentrated elderflower cordial

Baking parchment



Preheat the oven 170°C/ 325°F/ Gas Mark 3. For fan assisted electric ovens reduce the temperature by 10-20°C

To make the cake

  1. Line the base of the dish with a strip of baking paper.
  2. Finely zest the 2 lemons and 1 orange into a large bowl stir in the sugar and rub together.
  3. Whisk in the eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract and salt. Sift in the flour and combine the ingredients. Squeeze the juice from only the lemons and beat 4-5 tablespoons of the juice into the cake batter. Pour the batter into the prepared dish.
  4. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the centre springs back when lightly pressed. If the cake begins to overbrown towards the end of cooking cover loosely with some baking paper.

To make the citrus syrup

  1. Remove the peel from the orange using a vegetable peeler taking care not to include the white pith. Slice the peel into very fine matchsticks and place them into a small pan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and the orange into a measuring jug. Add enough water to top the juice up to 150ml (¼pint) and pour into the pan. Place on a well fitting lid and cook over a low heat for 8-10 minutes to soften the peel. Allow the mixture to cool completely then stir in the caster sugar.
  2. Pierce the top of the warm cake using a fork in 10-15 places, pour over the citrus syrup and leave the cake to cool. The juice will soak into the cake leaving the peel and a sugar crust on top.
  3. To make the elderflower cream; whip the double cream until it reaches soft peaks then beat in the elderflower cordial.

Cut the cake into slices or squares and serve with a spoonful of the cream.


Cook’s notes

Oranges can vary greatly in size choose a medium size around 250-280g (9-10oz) each.


UK Terms                                                     US Terms

Caster sugar                                                 Superfine granulated sugar

Medium eggs                                                Large eggs

Self-raising flour                                           Self-rising flour

Double cream                                               Heavy cream