Yellow and Golden Cakes for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925)

With all the snow falling in England this January, we were getting quite restless in the Literary Kitchen, and so we have thought of making a short video to tell you what we make of food in The Great Gatsby, as well as show you how to make some really easy lemon cakes!




200g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
2 lemons – zest and juice
250g self-raising flour, sieved
1/2 tsp baking powder
70ml milk


60g butter
200g icing sugar
A few drops of yellow food colouring


200g icing sugar
1 egg white
A few drops of yellow food colouring
1/4 teaspoon glycerine

Makes about 18.


1. Soften the butter. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

2. Beat the eggs and add to the mixture with a spoonfull of flour.

3. Add the flour and baking powder and mix.

4. Add the lemon juice and zest, then the milk and whisk to form a completely smooth batter.

5. Bake for 20 minutes (or until golden brown) in a greased tray in an oven which is pre-heated to 180 degrees.

6. Take out of the tray and leave the cakes to cool completely.

7. Make the filling by creaming the icing sugar, butter and food colouring. Cut the cakes in half and add the filling. Or, if you are feeling fancy, inject the filling.

8. Make the icing by whisking the egg white until soft peaks. Then add the icing sugar a spoonfull at a time and whisk until stiff peaks. Add the glycerine and food colouring (if using) and whisk a little more. Pipe onto the cakes and leave to set. We decorated them with lemon zest too.


Our friend Helen, scientist and baker extraordinaire, has made a Great Gatsby themed cake, which is pictured below. We absolutely love her gold decorations and the exquisite flowers. This cake really captures the flair of the novel.

Great Gatsby cake

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