Tuesday 17 September 2013

mother's group lemon cake


I got this treasured recipe way back in 2001 from my mother's group friend Cathryn. So although my friends now call it Susie's Lemon Cake it reminds me of the days I first started making it, my early days of motherhood and my Mother's Group.

My copy of the recipe still exists in a printout of the email Cathryn sent me back in June 2001. At the time I was juggling newborn twins and a three year old. They were fantastic, amazing, difficult times!

The message always makes me smile, it reads:

Dear Susie,

Where once there were dance parties now there are Tupperware parties, and you know you are really on the slippery slope of motherhood and approaching middle age she you start swapping cake recipes... But perhaps the saddest thing of all is enjoying the descent!

love Cathryn

I had such a fantastic mother's group. It was one of the things that kept me sane and with a sense of humour through those crazy times of having three kids in three years.

Fifteen years later I'm still close friends with some of the women from the group. I had afternoon tea with Michelle last week, one of my mother's group friends who I met initially at Prenatal classes!

My only advice to new mothers (really, unless they ask) is always to join a mother's group. I say it because I almost missed out on mine. I didn't think it would be my thing. I went to my first meeting reluctantly but came away a convert.

In my Mother's Group I found unconditional support and the sort of information you never find in books. We learnt about parenting together, taking turns in sleep hell and slowly workshopping our way through breastfeeding, bathing, toilet training, discipline, toddler food and play. Most of all we laughed and cried together through the good and bad times.

But back to the lemon cake recipe, a real favourite in this house... Cathryn's version was in imperial measures but I've also shown the metric equivalents I bake with.

Mother's Group Lemon Cake

4 oz (110g) butter
4oz (110g) self raising flour
40z (110g)caster sugar
2 eggs
1 oz (30g) ground almonds
1 Tbsp lemon curd
zest of a lemon

1 oz (30g) caster sugar
juice of half a lemon.

Grease 20cm springform cake tin and line base with baking paper.  Preheat oven to 160C.
Blend butter and sugar and then beat in eggs and all other ingredients.
Put batter in tin and put cake in oven.
Cook 10 minutes at 160 C (320F), then 30 mins at 150C (300) (I do 35 mins)
Turn off heat and leave in oven for 5 minutes
Mix topping and pour over top of cake whilst cake is still hot. (Don't miss the topping, it makes the cake.)
Bake, eat, enjoy.

I'm adding this recipe to my new Cooking & Recipes page where you can find all the recipes I've shared over the years in one place. Both my own recipes and some I've enjoyed cooking of other people's.

p.s. The cake colours go well with my new Belinda Marshall print, don't you think?!
p.p.s. The blog tour for Carina's new embroidery book Sitched Blooms starts today. I'm last stop next week but will be watching along all the beautiful spots along the way.


  1. I LOVE lemon cake. And I loved my mother's group too, we're still friends. xx

  2. You could be telling my story. So very nearly didn't go to baby group, really not my thing, I wasn't giving in to all this mothering stuff, we were going to live life the same as ever but with a little one in tow. Ha ha ha. How naive I was, and unhappy, because obviously my boy had other ideas. Those gals are still some of my best friends and we have shared joys, tears, dramas, the school run and life for 10 years, oh and cake. Always cake!
    Great post. x

  3. Yum Looks so delicious! I will have to give that one a go! Yes I say YAY to mothers group I still catch up with mine 4 yrs on such a great support :)

  4. Sounds yum! Loving seeing Belinda's prints appearing all over blogland today!

  5. Looks good Susie, I do love a lemon cake, though my egg-free recipe looks heavier than your recipe. And ditto about Mothers Group, how time flies!

  6. Luv a lemon cake, I'll be trying this one!!! You are so right about mothers groups, we didn't have them 34years ago. I feel so sorry for my darling daughter-in-law who also missed out on the friendship of mothers group...you see, she had my granddaughter 8weeks prem, then post natel depression hit very badly 8 weeks after baby was discharged from hospital, she joined a local mothers group but after ending up in hospital for several weeks of her struggle the support of other mothers from the group was not there, fortunately 2 years down the track she is involved with a playgroup at a local church & has met some lovely mums & toddlers. Some mums need lots of support from outside the family.

  7. That looks VERY yummy!!!
    And I love the note - it made me smile! :-)

  8. This looks so good - and I have a daughter who loves lemons!x

  9. Mothers Group was my lifesaver, not having any family nearby, and being the first of my set of friends to procreate!

  10. That cake looks delicious -- thanks for the recipe. Now I know what to do with the enormous lemon I was given! My former boss used to make a similar cake but hers was lime and poppyseed. Same concept though -- pour the syrup over the hot cake to make it special!

  11. looks delicious - thanks for sharing! Mothers Group was fun but there were a few competitive types in mine and being a first time mum with a tiny baby (born 3wks earlY) having no idea it got a little overwhelming haha...


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