With its sweet, delicate flavor of muscat, elderflower cordial is generally known as a mixer for refreshing spring and summer drinks. We also love using it in desserts, such as this lemony sponge cake infused with elderflower syrup and served with a dollop of sweet whipped cream.
Based on Delia's Smith's classic Victoria sponge, the cake is light and moist with a burst of lemon from added zest and a drizzle of elderflower-lemon syrup soaked into the cake after it bakes. Served with fragrant elderflower cream, it would be lovely for Mother's Day or a weekend brunch.
Cake 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan 8 ounces superfine sugar 4 large eggs Zest of 2 lemons (about 2 tablespoons) 8 ounces self-rising flour 1/4 cup elderflower cordial Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
Cream 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 2 tablespoons elderflower cordial
For the cake Preheat oven to 325°F.
Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer or a spoon), cream the butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy. Mix in the lemon zest.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs together. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture (about 1 teaspoon at a time), beating well after each addition.
Sift a quarter of the flour into the bowl and gently fold with a spatula. Repeat until all the flour is incorporated.
Pour the batter into the pan. Bake in the oven until a tester comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
While the cake is baking, combine 1/4 cup elderflower cordial and lemon juice.
Place the cake (still in the pan) on a wire rack and prick all over with a skewer. Drizzle the elderflower and lemon syrup over the cake so that it seeps into the holes.
Cool cake completely, then remove from pan to serve.
For the cream To make elderflower cream, combine heavy whipping cream and 2 tablespoons elderflower cordial in a mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, a handheld mixer, or a wire whisk.