How to make elderflower drizzle cake, by Michelin-starred chef Tommy Banks

Tommy Banks, head chef at The Black Swan at Oldstead, shares a delicious summery recipe to make the most of the elderflower as it comes into bloom.

Tommy became Britain’s youngest Michelin-starred chef back in 2013, and The Black Swan has won all manner of awards — including being named the world’s ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’ on TripAdvisor in 2017.

And if you’re looking for something to go with it? A glass of Ed Brown’s Elderflower ‘Champagne’ seems the ideal tipple — here’s the recipe for that.

Recipe: Elderflower drizzle cake by Tommy Banks


For the cake

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten (about 170g)
  • 1-2tbsp milk

For the elderflower cream

  • 220ml double cream
  • 10 ripe elderflower heads
  • 120g sheep’s yoghurt

For the drizzle

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 300ml water
  • 4g citric acid
  • 20 ripe elderflower heads

For the elderflower jam

  • 50g elderflowers (petals picked)
  • 75g violas or marigolds (petals picked)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 310ml water
  • 6g pectin
  • 50ml elderflower cordial
  • Juice of 1 lemon


To make the jam, place the petals in a bowl and stir in the sugar. Cover and leave in fridge overnight.

Bring remaining ingredients to a simmer in a large pan. Add macerated flowers and bring to boil. Boil jam slowly for 2-3 minutes. Test jam by placing a teaspoon of the hot mixture on a cold plate to see if sets. Once ready, pour into a sterilised jar.

Now, make the elderflower cream. In a saucepan combine cream and elderflower heads and bring almost to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover the pan with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight to cool completely.

Pre-heat oven to 190ºC (170ºC Fan) and line two 18cm round sandwich tins with baking parchment. Place butter and sugar in a bowl and cream on high speed until the mixture is almost white. Scrape down sides of the bowl and whisk again on high speed, gradually pouring in the beaten eggs a few tablespoons at a time. You should have a very light and glossy mixture. Carefully fold in the flour then 1tbsp milk, and an extra one if necessary.

Divide mixture between two tins, and bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Meanwhile, combine drizzle ingredients into a pan, and bring to boil. Pour liquid into fine sieve to remove elderflower heads and set aside.

Remove cakes from oven, poke holes all over them and spoon over drizzle. Let it soak in and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

Remove cream from fridge, strain through a fine sieve, squeezing out the elderflowers with the back of a soon. You should have about 200g. Whip cream with a balloon whisk until it is thick then carefully fold in yoghurt.

Sandwich sponges together with elderflower cream and elderflower jam and serve.

Elderflower cordial recipe

Elderflower cordial is one of the most rewarding and easiest things to make. Grab a basket and get picking.

How to make elderflower cordial and wine

The English summer is thought to start when the elder blossoms and ends when the berries ripen. Country Life recommends