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Citronmåne – Danish lemon moon marzipan cake

Citronmåne - Danish lemon moon marzipan cake recipe hyggestyle

Damp, fragrant and dense, this is my version of that Scandinavian supermarket staple, the Danish lemon half-moon cake. Popular in Denmark as an emergency purchase when friends are visiting (and a constant presence in my mum’s kitchen since I was little), it can usually be found on the shelves of most petrol stations. Legend has it that just as New York’s finest love their doughnuts, the Danish police force adore their citronmåne! Here the addition of ground almonds to the Scandi recipe adds a lovely texture, while the zesty icing will perk up any coffee gathering; pop the marzipan in the fridge for an hour or so before you start cooking and you will find it much easier to grate. 



200g sugar

200g butter, softened

200g plain flour

4 eggs

50g ground almonds

100g marzipan

1 tsp baking powder

1 lemon

200g icing sugar

25g flaked almonds to decorate


  1. Pop the marzipan in the fridge to chill while you preheat the oven to 160 degrees and grease and line a 25cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Zest and juice the lemon.
  3. Place the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, add half the zest and mix gently for three to four minutes; this will release the oils from the lemon skin ensuring the sugar is beautifully fragrant.
  4. Add the butter to the lemon sugar and whisk until pale and fluffy; while the mixer does its work, grate the marzipan.
  5. Crack the eggs into the mixer one at a time and stir in, adding a spoonful of flour each time. 
  6. Tip the remaining flour, marzipan, almonds and baking powder into the bowl along with half the lemon juice (this should be roughly one and a half tablespoons of liquid). Beat gently until the mixture is smooth then scrape into the prepared tin.
  7. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden and a skewer poked in comes out clean.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. 
  9. To make the topping, sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl. Stir in the remaining lemon juice then add boiling water, a spoonful at a time, until the icing is thick and smooth (you want an icing the consistency of thick cream so it doesn’t pour off the sides straight away).
  10. Flip the cake upside down to give you a nice flat surface for decorating. Tip the icing into the centre of the sponge then gently nudge it towards the edge of the cake using the back of a spoon (if it gets too sticky and starts dragging cake crumbs around, you can dip the spoon in hot water so it just glides along!).
  11. Scatter the remaining zest over the top of the cake along with the flaked almonds, then leave to set for an hour or so before serving.



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