Lemongrass is one of the most exciting flavours when it comes to savoury cooking, it instantly reminds me of Thai food which has to be one of my favourites. The combination of lemongrass, lime, ginger, coconut and chilli brings joy to all my taste buds. Whilst ginger also reminds me of those Thai flavours, I love a good slice of ginger cake and this got me thinking, maybe I could incorporate lemongrass in a similar fashion to this.

With this inspiration in mind, I came up with the idea of a lemongrass cake with a lime buttercream. I decided to steam it to give the cake that moist, light texture that keeps you wanting more. I don’t have a steamer so I simply used a roasting tin with a rack and filled below the rack with some boiling water. I then placed the cake on the rack and covered it with the lid (or you can use tin foil, just make sure that there is enough room for the cake to rise) and let the oven do the rest.




The cake;

  • 2-3 fresh lemon grass (extra finely chopped)
  • 1 lime zest
  • 8oz self raising flour
  • 8oz butter
  • 8oz light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 drops of vanilla essence

Lime buttercream

  • 300g soft unsalted butter
  • 350g caster sugar
  • Juice of one lime
  • Green food colouring (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C/400° F.
  2. In a bowl add the sieved flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Whisk together for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add one tbsp of warm water to the finely chopped lemongrass and crush with a spoon in a bowl to make a paste. Throw that in to the mix, followed by the lime zest, baking powder and vanilla essence.
  4. Give it another whisk for a few more minutes.
  5. Divide into two shallow tins lined with grease proof paper (bottom and sides) as evenly as possible.
  6. Add the boiling water into the tray enough to fill just below the rack level. Add one half of the cake to the rack and cook for 25 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. Repeat again with the second half. Make sure that you top up the boiling water once the first cake comes out of the oven.
  7. Whilst the second half is cooking, make the buttercream by mixing all the ingredients and beating until it becomes a smooth paste. Then add, drop by drop, the green food colouring until you get your desired shade.
  8. Once both halves of the cakes are cool, add your buttercream filling in between both halves like a sandwich, then spread on top and around the sides if you like.
  9. Slice!


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