The garden is looking delightful and now is the moment for tea on the lawn. Another slice of cake, anyone?

Tea on the lawn, complete with a proper tablecloth, teapot and cups and saucers, is one of the loveliest delights of the season. Up there with Wimbledon, picnics in meadows of wildflowers and punting on the river, it is a symbol of the best of summer in the UK. So, in those moments when the sun is shining, we shall be donning our tea dresses, whipping up a cake and inviting our friends over for a spot of high tea and low conversation on the lawn (for inspiration, do pay a visit to Paula Sutcliffe over at Hill House Vintage, who does this better than most). All the better if it slips into the early evening and the tea morphs into a gin fizz. These are the summery cakes we’ll be trying our hands at.

Main image: Mary Berry

Persian Love Cake

Red Magazine

This is a real knockout of a cake, and tastes every bit as delicious as it looks pretty. We love the delicate Persian flavours and scents that come through courtesy of the rose water and the almonds. The sweet drizzle of icing sugar and the scatter of rose petals makes this one almost too divine to eat. Almost, but not quite. Find the recipe here.

Summer Cake Recipe

Good To Know

What is a summer teatime feast without strawberries? This simple Victoria sponge-style cake is just the thing to pack them into and, thanks to its pink icing, it’s as pretty as a picture too. A word of warning: a glass of Pimm’s to wash it down is pretty much a non-negotiable. Find the recipe here.

Blueberry And Lemon Poke Cake

Olive Magazine

This beautiful cake requires a little bit of work – though not too tricky, it takes an hour and 45 minutes to knock up – but we say it’s worth every ounce of effort if you have the time. The seasonal and delicious blueberry compote sits atop a classic lemon sponge base, while the cream cheese icing completes the whole affair with indulgent panache. Just the way we like it. Find the recipe here.

Classic Lemon Tart

Mary Berry

Technically, this may be a tart rather than a cake, but the principle is the same: it serves several and goes perfectly with a cup of tea. And plus, thanks to its citrussy zing, it is exactly right for serving on a hot summer’s day with a cooling cup of something fragrant, poured from a proper teapot. All hail the queen of baking, who – as ever – hits the sweet spot with this one. Find the recipe here.

Peach Cake With Lemon And Thyme

Olive Magazine

Strawberries may be the fruit we most closely associate with summer, but that doesn’t mean that some of the other delights of the season don’t also lend themselves brilliantly to baking. This one, by Anna Glover for Olive Magazine, is an absolute triumph. The floral peaches are pepped up perfectly by the zingy lemon, and the whole affair is soft and summery – with a deliciously unexpected twist courtesy of the thyme. One hundred per cent worth donning a garden party frock for. Find the recipe here.

Eton Mess Roulade

Delicious Magazine

Is it a cake? Is it a pudding? Do we care? No, we do not, just so long as we get to devour this beauty with a cup of tea or a glass of English sparkling wine. It’s quick to make, looks domestic god/goddess level impressive and hits every spot, both culinary and nostalgic. A clear winner. Find the recipe here.

Clementine Cake


Thanks to our repeated renditions of this dazzling recipe, we can attest to the fact that it is not only exquisite to eat, but incredibly easy to make too. Simply boil the clementines and then whizz them up when softened enough, before adding the fragrant pulp to the mixture of grounds almonds, sugar, six eggs and baking powder. This is delicious all year round; in summer, we’d suggest making the swap of the slightly more autumnal clementines for lemons to strike a summery note. And, if you fancy it, why not drizzle a little icing on the top? A perfectly simple, wonderfully moist and extremely moreish cake. Find the recipe here.

By Nancy Alsop
July 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.