Impact of anti-lockdown protest on Covid cases won't be known for days

Sour cream lemon syrup cake

Like many other small businesses, cake maker Mariska Schoeman’s online store, Sweet Talk, evolved due to necessity during the hardships of Covid-19. Creativity set in and she came up with her idea of cake jars, which can be shipped nationwide, and the concept proved to be a hit with customers around the country. Now, Mariska’s expanded the business to include her very first physical store in Auckland’s Grey Lynn. The new Sweet Talk store will offer a variety of delicious baking including cupcakes and the popular cake jars, as well as beautiful flower gift bundles and more. There will be a barista on site for customers to order fresh coffee along with their baking. Here, Mariska shares her recipe for a deliciously moist sour cream lemon syrup cake.



215g milk
35g vinegar
200g sour cream
325g sugar
375g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 lemons, zest only
2 eggs
300g canola oil
150g raspberries, fresh or frozen


50g lemon juice
50g sugar


250g mascarpone
80g icing sugar
To taste lemon juice
freeze-dried fruit, lemon curd, to decorate (optional)


  1. Grease a cake 9-inch cake (or you can use 2 x 7-8 inch pans) with butter or canola oil pray and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 160 degrees bake (not fan bake)
  3. In a bowl, mix milk and vinegar together and set aside. This will curdle the milk and make buttermilk.
  4. Heat the sour cream in a microwave-safe bowl for increments of 30 seconds, mixing with a spoon in between each increment until there are no lumps and it is smooth in consistency (like yoghurt)
  5. In a big bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, add all of the dry ingredients and the lemon zest together.
  6. Give this dry mix a whisk to distribute the sugar and baking agents evenly
  7. Make a deep well in the centre of your dry mix.
  8. Add eggs to milk mixture and whisk together, then add this to the well in your dry mix
  9. Add the oil to the well and mix the batter with a whisk, paddle attachment or electric hand mixer, scraping down the sides often until the mixture has no lumps.
  10. Add the sour cream and mix until smooth. Fold in the raspberries
  11. Place your cakes in the centre of your oven and test for done-ness at 45 minutes. Your baking time will vary depending on your tin size and oven so you will need to check for “done-ness” by piercing the centre with a knife or skewer. This cake is supposed to bake slowly so don't worry if your cake is not yet done. Bake further in 10-15 minute increments checking each time. Your cake is ready when the top is golden and your skewer comes out clean or with minimal crumbs.
  12. For the syrup: While the cake is baking, make your lemon syrup.
  13. Mix lemon juice with sugar in a pot and place on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup over the cakes as soon as they come out of the oven and are still in their tins.
  14. For the icing: Mix the mascarpone with the icing sugar and add lemon juice to taste
  15. To assemble: Allow cakes to cool completely and top with sweet mascarpone. Decorate with freeze-dried fruit, fresh lemon slices and raspberries or fresh flowers.

This cake will last for up to 7 days in an airtight container refrigerated.

  • Serves: 8-12

Sweet Talk Store: 24 Virginia Avenue East, Eden Terrace Grey Lynn Auckland.

For an “In my kitchen” Q&A with Mariska Schoeman, click here.

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