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Thursday 17 January 2013

Let Her Eat Cake: Love on the Run Cake

I'm Laura H and I'm very excited to introduce myself as DS's new resident cake-maker. (Hello!) I'll be picking up the Let Her Eat Cake column where the lovely Alex E left off, with a weekly offering of crumbly, spongy, jammy, creamy goodness.

Glamour + decadence + absinthe = the Belle Époque. Cake is definitely the missing link. Originally, I was planning this as a special for New Year, a ‘Let’s-Party-Like-it’s-1899’ Cake. That was until I discovered the l’amour en fuite, or love on the run cocktail.

It’s a blend of classic flavours: Lillet Blanc, (citrusy vermouth), absinthe and my personal favourite, St Germain elderflower liqueur. A forbidden love affair between cake and cocktail took place, and the Love on the Run Cake was born! Elderflower scented lemon sponge, elderflower cream and a wicked green fairy absinthe icing…

Love on the Run Cake
You’ll need
  • 6oz (175g) unsalted butter
  • 6oz (175g) caster sugar
  • 6oz (175g) self-raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 lemon (zest and ½ the juice)
  • 2 tbsp. apricot jam
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp. icing sugar
  • Around 1 cup elderflower liqueur
  • (You could also use elderflower cordial)
  • 1 tub ready-made buttercream icing
  • 1 tsp. green food colouring
  • 1 tbsp. absinthe
Make it!
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 C (Gas mark 3 / 325 F)
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.
  4. Add to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating well to make sure it doesn’t curdle.
  5. Gently stir in the lemon zest and juice.
  6. Sift a quarter of the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Fold in gently and repeat until all the flour is used and the mixture has a dropping consistency.
  7. Grease and line the bottoms of two 7-inch sandwich tins and divide the batter equally between them.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Try to resist the temptation to open the door for a look. Make mental note to clean oven glass.
  9. The cakes are done when they are golden and spring back when poked with a finger.
  10. Turn out onto a wire rack. Whilst cooling drizzle each half with a tbsp. of elderflower liqueur.

For the filling:
  1. Whisk together the icing sugar and cream until stiff.
  2. Stir in the liqueur a teaspoon at a time until it’s elderflowery enough for you.
  3. Spread the undersides of the cakes with a thin layer of apricot jam.
  4. Repeat with half the cream and squidge together.
  5. Top with the remaining cream.
Dress it up!
  1. Begin by cheating and open a tub of buttercream style icing and spooning half into a bowl (around 200g)
  2. Stir in the food colouring and absinthe and mix until combined.
  3. Decorate using a pallet knife, finger or piping bag.
  4. Just to be OTT, I went the whole hog and sprinkled mine with gold dust covered popping candy.


  1. Interesting recipe. Not sure that absinthe would be an effective flavouring - or particularly pleasant. Very expensive to get all these ingredients in, as well!

    1. Doesn't everyone have a bottle of absinthe lurking about somewhere?

  2. I'll bet other liqueures could be equally exciting if paired well -- what about crème de cassi and Grey Goose poire? We've all got this stuff hanging on after Christmas/New Year, but find ourselves striving for reasons to drink it [just not neat?]...

  3. I totally agree, this is an opportunity to use up any sticky, half-empty random liqueurs at the back of the cupboard! Poire would be lovely, and would compliment the elderflower really well. Absinthe is surprisingly subtle in this, a slightly herby hint to compliment the sweet, floral elderflower.


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