Lemon and Blackberry Tiramisu Cake

A lemon layer cake with a lemon mascarpone cream and blackberries

This is a belated and accidental Halloween dessert success. Belated in that I didn’t get it up on the blog quickly enough ad accidental because I was making a simple lemon cake and it transformed along the way!

Lemon and Blackberry Tiramisu Cake with Lemon Meringue Kisses photo taken from above
Lemon and Blackberry Tiramisu Cake with Lemon Meringue Kisses

I started by making a simple lemon cake and some meringue pieces but before I could fill the cake with some simple lemon curd and buttercream the plan changed and it was going to be dessert for Sunday lunch instead of the planned Saturday afternoon cake with a cup of tea.

I decided to go all out and blend it with a Limoncello Tiramisu idea I’ve been thinking about trying since our trip to Italy in the summer. Blackberries were added as a way to make it more Autumn, add some colour and break up the lemon flavour. I made this up as I went along, but it came out tasting great! Here’s my recipe if you want to recreate this happy mish mash of flavours!


Makes one large dessert to feed 12.

Time needed: 2 hours


For the meringue kisses:

  • 1 egg white
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 drops lemon extract

For the cake:

  • 225g soft unsalted butter or baking margarine
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/8 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the mascarpone cream:

  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 eggs (separated)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp limoncello

To fill the cake:

  • 2 small punnets blackberries
  • 1/2 jar good quality lemon curd


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make your meringue kisses by whisking one egg which to stiff peaks ( I use an electric hand whisk). Slowly add your 50g caster sugar until fully combined and glossy. Add a couple of drops of lemon extract (be sparing or it’s overpowering). Put your meringue into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe lots of small kisses. Put into the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 110°C. Bake for at least an hour until the meringues easily come off the paper. Leave to cool in the oven. This is easy to do ahead of time a couple of days before as the meringues will keep well in an airtight container.
  3. Make your sponge cake.  Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and lemon extract and beat well. Beat the eggs in a small jug with the vanilla extract and get your flour ready.
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour to the creamed butter and sugar and beat well to combine. Add 1/2 of the beaten egg and beat well. Repeat: another 1/3 of the flour, beat, 1/2 egg, beat, 1/3 flour, beat.
  5. Divide the batter between two lined and greased 20cm sandwich tins. Bake for 20-25  minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack.
  6. Make your mascarpone cream. In one bowl whisk your egg whites to soft peaks and add then whisk in 1/2 tbsp caster sugar. In a second bowl whisk the cream and limoncello together to soft peaks. In a third bowl whisk the mascarpone with the egg yolks until well combined then add 2 tbsp sugar and whisk for 3 minutes. Add the egg white mixture and the cream to the mascarpone mixture and fold carefully to combine.
  7. Assemble the cake. Once completely cooled, use a cake leveller to cut both the sponge cakes in half to make 4 thin layers of cake. Choose 12 of the best meringue kisses and set aside for the top. Crush the remaining ones into large pieces. Get the lemon curd and blackberries ready. Choose the best ‘top’ cake layer to be the top of the cake and set aside.
  8. On your presentation plate, place a layer of cake. Add 1/3 of the mascarpone cream filling and spread to the edges. Add a generous dollop of lemon curd and spread this out carefully to make a thin layer of lemon curd on top of the cream. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the crushed meringue and 1/3 of the blackberries. Repeat with the next two layers (leaving a large spoonful of the mascarpone cream back) then add the top layer of cake you set aside.
  9. Get your best 12 meringue kisses and using the remaining cream put a small amount on the bottom of each meringue and place them around the top of the cake. A light dusting of icing sugar finishes it off perfectly.
4-layer lemon and blackberry tiramisu cake with carved pumpkins in the background.
The finished cake with background Halloween decorations!


Courgette and Lime Cake

Courgette and Lime Cake Blog Graphic

This has been a popular cake since I first started making it and is probably the cake I’ve had the most recipe requests for. Tom ordered a similar cake at a cafe once and it was so good that I looked for a recipe online to try and recreate it at home. The Courgette and Lime Cake recipe that I found proved to be a good one, and with one or two tweaks it’s become a firm favourite. Here’s my recipe which was very popular at a recent MacMillan Coffee morning.

Table of cakes at a MacMillan coffee morning
Delicious Cakes and Bakes for MacMillan


Makes 24 squares.

Time needed: 2 hours


For the cake
  • 6 eggs
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 300g caster sugar
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 500g courgette (grated)
For the frosting
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250g full fat cream cheese (I use Philadelphia)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 40g chopped pistachios
  • Lime zest (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160°C fan. Grease and line a large rectangular baking tin (I used a 20x30cm).
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, vegetable oil and sugar until combined then add the lime zest and mix well. Add in the flour, bicarb and baking powder and beat well (I use a stand mixer on a medium speed for a couple of minutes). Add in the courgette and stir to combine, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  4. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  5. For the frosting, beat the butter with an electric whisk or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the icing sugar and salt and beat until it forms a crumbly paste. Add the cream cheese then mix slowly to combine. Turn up the speed and beat until light and fluffy but take care not to overmix as this can break down the cream cheese.
  6. Add the lime juice to the frosting slowly bit by bit, tasting as you go, until you have a good flavour but stop before the frosting gets too runny. You won’t need all the lime juice but you want the frosting to have a nice zing.
  7. Once the cake has fully cooled, spread the frosting over the top and then sprinkle with the chopped pistachios. You could also add some lime zest to decorate.
  8. Put the cake in the fridge for 1 hour (or until ready to serve) to firm up the frosting. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Squares of courgette and lime cake on a plate
Squares of cake ready to enjoy!

Optional Twists

This cake also works well as a round layer cake. Half the recipe will make two 20cm sponges and the icing can be used between the layers and on top. To make it extra special you can frost the whole thing and make a pattern with the pistachio nuts as I did for the birthday cake below!

Round courgette and lime cake with 60th birthday candles
A 60th birthday success!