There are a few elements to this cake but it's worth the effort. You can use any leftover lemon curd to fill tart shells or top a pavlova.... or eat it out of the fridge with your finger, like I do. This cake is best eaten on the day or the day after prep.
FOR THE CAKE
335g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
185g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing cake tin
220g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
FOR THE LEMON CURD
110g of sugar
2 large unwaxed lemons, juiced and zest finely grated
3 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
100g unsalted butter, cubed
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
handful of fresh thyme sprigs
280g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
The Lemon Curd
Place the sugar, lemon zest and juice in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and slowly add the beaten eggs, stirring constantly to combine.
Grab a whisk, return the saucepan to a low heat and add the butter one cube at a time, whisking constantly until the curd has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you make the rest of the cake.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 20cm cake tin with butter then dust with flour and shake off excess. This technique ensures your cake won't stick to the tin, all without the use of baking paper.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat with electric beaters until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Remove stalks from the thyme sprigs and discard them. Add the thyme leaves and all other ingredients to a large bowl and beat together with electric beaters until pale and fluffy.
To Assemble the Cake
Carefully slice the cooled cake in half and set the top half aside. Spread a (very) generous amount of the curd onto the bottom half of the cake, making sure to go right to the edges. Replace the top half of the sponge. If the top is very domed, simply slice off a thin layer to flatten it and help keep the buttercream in its place. Now spread a (very) generous layer of buttercream on top. Ready to serve, enjoy.