Lemon and Sour Cream Madeira Cake with Lemon and Verjuice Icing

Lemon Madeira Cake

I am trying out a product today called Sangiovese verjuice, by Maggie Beer. For those unfamiliar with verjuice, it is the juice of unfermented grapes and Sangiovese verjuice is a sweeter version: perfect for use in baking.

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Maggie Beer. In fact, I posted about her recipe for rosemary and olive bread here. This week, I joined up as a member of Maggie’s online food club, which gives me access to a monthly newsletter, exclusive recipes and, best of all, free postage of any purchases made from the farm shop in the Barossa Valley. Today I received in the mail my first order of verjuice (and  just in case the right people are reading this I would be more than happy to receive a Maggie Beer Hamper for Christmas, wink wink nudge nudge say no more 🙂 ).

I have made a lemon and sour cream madeira cake with a lemon syrup and teamed it up with a recipe of Maggie’s for lemon and verjuice icing. Oh and if you are wondering what verjuice tastes like, it tastes like a slightly sour grape juice – teamed up in an icing with lemon juice it was delicious! My mind is already working overtime thinking of other uses for this product….

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for endorsing this product, all views are strictly my own.

This week I also had an order for a birthday cake for an avid Arsenal football fan. The only parameter I was given was that the cake had to be lemon. I used the same lemon madeira cake base, brushed each layer with a lemon syrup and filled the layers with a lemon curd Italian buttercream. I have handcrafted the figurine out of fondant and gum paste.


Lemon and Sour Cream Madeira Cake with Lemon and Verjuice Icing

Icing: From Maggie Beers recipe for Moist Buttermilk Cake.

Makes 1 x 8″ Cake.


  • 187.5gm butter, cubed and softened
  • 187.5gm caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 132gm plain flour
  • 112gm self raising flour
  • 112gm sour cream
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 100gms  sugar
  • 100mls water.


  • 430gm icing sugar
  • 100gm salted butter, cubed and softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sangiovese verjuice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons.


Pre-heat oven to 160°C. Spray 1 x 8″ cake tin with oil and line bottom and sides with baking paper.

Cream butter, sugar and zest until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at time mixing well between additions.

Fold in flour and sour cream in three separate additions.

Scrape batter into prepared cake tin and use a small pallet knife to smooth batter evenly in the tin.

Bake @ 160°C for approx. 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested.

While cake is baking,  prepare lemon syrup by placing sugar and water in saucepan and heat until sugar has evaporated. Add lemon juice and stir.

Brush top of hot cake with lemon syrup.

Allow cake to cool in cake tin.

Make icing by sifting icing sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add butter, verjuice, zest and juice and mix until fully combined and smooth.

Once cake has cooled, remove from tin. Use a palate knife to spread a generous amount of icing on the top of the cake.

For decoration, I have made crushed toffee shards stacked in the middle of the cake with a piece of candied lemon peel.


19 thoughts on “Lemon and Sour Cream Madeira Cake with Lemon and Verjuice Icing

    1. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      Thanks Tiffany that’s so kind 🙂 I am in the process of making a cake for a 4yr old girl at the moment – very pink and girly… of course I am channelling my inner 4yr old for inspiration 🙂

  1. TheKitchenLioness

    Karen, your themed cake just takes my breath away…

    The Lemon and Sour Cream Cake sounds l´just like the kind of cake that I would love to bake myslef – fresh, innovative and simply delicious!

    1. TheKitchenLioness

      ..so many typos in there…of course, that should read”The Lemon and Sour Cream Cake sounds just like the kind of cake that I would love to bake myself – fresh, innovative and simply delicious!”

      Sorry about that, Karen!

  2. laurasmess

    I’m definitely a huge Maggie Beer fan myself! I regularly buy her verjuice, red wine vinegar and quince paste… so delicious. Love the sound of this cake! Sour cream in cakes is a new love of mine… it gives the crumb such a delicious moistness and just the slightest of tangs. The sangiovese verjuice in the icing sounds great. And that Arsenal cake? WOW. You’re amazing Karen!!! Incredible artistry! xx

    1. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      The quince paste and her pate are awesome! When we went to the farm shop on a holiday in the Barossa we tried samples of all sorts of goodies. I still think the burnt fig ice cream is my favourite!

  3. Jas@AbsolutelyJas

    Gorgeous, as usual, and I love the idea of verjuice to add some zing to the icing. I love Maggie Beer too, she’s just one of those people that I think that I wouldn’t be able to help but hug her if I ever met her 🙂 BTW, I had a request for scones for work morning tea tomorrow so I’m making both your ginger beer and white chocolate and cranberry recipes tonight!

      1. Jas@AbsolutelyJas

        The scones were fabulous, and were completely demolished. I also loved the excuse to crack out my cream gun 😀

  4. Gather and Graze

    Maggie Beer’s verjuice is such a wonderful product (something always on hand in my fridge), but I’ve never tried the sangiovese version. Sounds like a gorgeous addition to the icing – a nice little extra zing! Your cakes both look wonderful Karen – so clever you are in moulding these characters by hand – love the fondant soccer player and ball! I’m sure the recipient was absolutely delighted with his cake!

    1. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      Oh the soccer ball was interesting to make, I had to get Mr LG to make me miniature templates of hexagons and pentagons so that I could make the ball. We even had to buy a protractor so he could make them the exact size to fit around the ball. I can honestly say I never thought when I last used a protractor in maths class at school that I would ever use one again especially in decorating cakes 🙂

  5. David

    Karen – as always, your work is stunning! Seriously, it is gorgeous. The cake sounds amazing and the topping of toffee shards is a great idea. I need to get some verjuice to see what it is like…


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