For a super easy and fun King Charles Coronation Cake, this Union Jack traybake cake is the best show stopper you will find. This cake is such a people-pleaser, it can feed a lot of friends and is topped with the best fresh berries. This is a perfect cake for a Coronation street party.
Who doesn’t love cake? The easy coronation cake is so easy to make, it’s a simple sponge with a little lemon zest to add a wonderful fresh taste.
This union jack traybake cake is the perfect way to celebrate the extra bank holiday and the coronation! This easy coronation cake will have everyone reaching for seconds and even the little ones eating summer berries!
A lemon coronation cake that can be whipped up really quickly the morning of your street party or even the day before if you’re pushed for time.
This cake for the coronation tastes amazing and looks even better. I promise you’ll be making this summer berry traybake over and over again until the strawberry season is over.
Why you’ll love this King Charles Coronation cake
I love decorating cakes, it’s fun and you can get the whole family involved! To decorate this summer traybake I used berries to form a union jack flag, perfect for the patriotic coronation cake.
You can decorate your union jack cake however you want, if you do decide to decorate with your own pattern then let me know in the comments below. I’d love to see it.
This recipe makes 12 generous slices of cake or you can easily divide it into 48 smaller pieces if you’re trying to feed the whole party. This makes it perfect for a coronation street party where everyone wants a little slice.
How long will it take for Charles to be coronated?
Is there a Coronation Cake for King Charles III?
What is King Charles Favourite cake?
What cake did the Queen have at her coronation?
What can you serve with a Union Jack traybake cake?
Can I freeze the Coronation cake?
For the full recipe and instructions scroll to the bottom of the page for the recipe card.
No summer berry traybake would be complete without lots of summer berries!
For this easy coronation cake, I used blueberries for the background and then strawberries and raspberries for the red parts. I adore fresh strawberries in summer and these berries pair so well with the delicious cream cheese frosting.
Cream cheese frosting is not everyone’s cup of tea but I just adore it! It’s sweet but not too sweet and has a wonderful tang to it that pairs perfectly with the sweet summer berries.
Using cream cheese for a King Charles Coronation cake feels a bit weird, I know but trust me, once you’ve made cream cheese frosting, you’ll never go back to simple buttercream.
LEMON JUICE AND ZEST
I love a little hint of lemon as it balances the sweetness of the cake and adds a sharpness. It just takes your simple sponge cake up a level, and if not for the coronation, then when? You don’t need much, just use a zester, or a grater if you don’t have a zester, to scrape some lemon zest into your cake mix.
How to make Easy Coronation Cake – step by step
As always, start by preheating your oven and greasing/lining your baking tin (this is so important!)
In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. This will take longer than you think so give it time.
Add your eggs.
Sieve in the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixing bowl.
Mix in the lemon zest until well incorporated.
Gently add in the milk. If it starts to curdle add 1 tablespoon of plain flour.
Pour the mix into the prepared tin and level out. Gently tap the tin on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
Bake for about 40 minutes until the centre of the cake is cooked – you can use a cake tester or skewer to check. If the tester comes out clean the cake is cooked. If it has pieces of uncooked cake on leave the cake to cook for a few minutes more and test again.
Leave in the tin to cool for 30 minutes and then remove from the tin to cool completely. You don’t want to be icing a warm cake!
Cream Cheese Buttercream
Make sure the unsalted butter is at room temperature as it will help make it a lot easier to make.
Using a hand mixer, mix the butter and icing sugar until combined and fluffy.
Add the cream cheese and mix until smooth. It should be thick and hold its shape. If your frosting goes too runny add a tablespoon of icing sugar at a time and keep whisking until it thickens, this will also sweeten it.
Once your cake is completely cool, you can spread a nice even layer of frosting over it and decorate it with your summer berries. Personally, I’m a big fan of frosting so I spread a thick layer of frosting over my coronation cake. But you can use less (or more) depending on your preference.
I used a photo of Union Jack just to help me get all the colours in the right place when adding the summer berries. Nothing worse than a wonky Union Jack cake!
Building a Union Jack on the Coronation Cake
I started making the Union Jack cake by placing the strawberries first to mark out the central cross. The strawberries are big so help to structure the rest of the design.
From there I used raspberries to mark the diagonal lines on the cake.
Then to finish off all you need to do is fill in the spaces left over with blueberries. This is a little time-consuming but worth it for the end result, decorating the traybake cake took me about 15 minutes.
Just try not to eat too many berries along the way!
Top Tips for making a Coronation Cake
This tip works for the easy coronation cake or any sponge you make:
When you are prepping your kitchen for baking, make sure you take your eggs(if you’re in the US) and butter out of the fridge. Room temperature ingredients combine better and can help you to avoid your cake mix from curdling.
Secondly, wash your berries! I know it sounds simple but you’d be surprised how often I almost forget. Ensure all your summer berries are clean before decorating your union jack cake. After all, this is a pudding fit for a King and the King does not eat dirty strawberries!
Drink Serving Suggestions for the Coronation Cake
What celebration can’t be made better with champagne? It’s light, fizzy and perfect for garden parties. This Union Jack cake pairs perfectly with a lovely tall glass of champagne. If you have any berries leftover from decorating, you can add them into your glass!
Or freeze some berries and pop them in champagne (or prosecco) to make fruity ice cubes.
No English street party would be complete without a strong cuppa. If we have sunny weather (I am hoping for a sunny bank holiday) then you could enjoy this King Charles Coronation cake outside with a cup of Earl Grey or English Breakfast Tea in your favourite china.
Bank Holiday Cocktails
I love a summer cocktail. I have a list of fruity and sweet cocktails on my blog, including some classic G&Ts, prosecco spritzer and so much more!
These are my favourites for 2023:
This list contains affiliate links
You don’t need anything too fancy to make this King Charles Coronation cake:
Substitutions and variations for the Union Jack Cake
- Making a cake fit for a King is made much easier when you add in chocolate! You could add two tablespoons of cocoa powder to your cake mix to make a chocolate coronation cake.
- Another great way to pimp up this Coronation cake recipe is to add chopped white chocolate to the mixture. The mix of lemon and white chocolate is absolutely delicious.
- If you make a chocolate cake I would make simple vanilla (or chocolate if you’re going for a full chocolate dessert) buttercream frosting and then decorate the top with your favourite chocolates. The King likes Cadbury chocolate buttons but I’m partial to a Malteaser.
- If you’re not a fan of fresh fruit or you accidentally ate all your strawberries before decorating then fear not! You can substitute the fresh fruit topping on the King’s coronation cake for your favourite fruity jam (or marmalade in honour of the late Queen). Spread a generous amount over your cake and then add your frosting.
- You could even decorate the summer traybake cake with sprinkles!
Storing Union Jack Cake / Making ahead of time options
The cake itself can be made a few days in advance as the cake when wrapped up in clingfilm (once cold) can last 5 days. Once decorated with cream cheese frosting and berries it’s much better to enjoy on the same day.
If you do have any leftovers, pop them in an airtight container and they will keep for up to 5 days. They don’t need to be kept in the fridge, but a cool dark cupboard is best.
You may find that your sponge starts to dry out a little after a few days but it still tastes amazing! ( I suggest adding more frosting to make up for it).
Easy Coronation Cake FAQS
The coronation ceremony held on May 6th will likely last for a few hours The queen’s ceremony lasted just more than 3 hours. King Charles has been King since his mother queen Elizabeth II died in September.
There is not currently an official cake for the coronation, besides my easy coronation cake of course! The union jack flag decorated on top in summer berries is perfect for the King Charles Coronation cake.
Supposedly, King Charles’s favourite cake is the traditional fruit cake. I imagine it is extremely boozy because they are the best. Personally, I love a triple chocolate cake but the King can choose whatever he wants!
Queen Elizabeth II had a traditional cake studded with dates and nuts topped with caramel and coconut at her coronation. This is a cake she loved to make herself in the palace kitchens and has since been named Queen Elizabeth cake.
The Union Jack traybake makes for a wonderful dessert to accompany your street party sandwiches, an afternoon tea or perhaps you’re ready to enjoy a cuppa and a slice of cake at 11 o’clock.
You can freeze the cake but the decorations and icing won’t freeze well. Take the undecorated cake and wrap it tightly in cling film before freezing. It will last really well for up to 3 months.
What can you serve with a Union Jack traybake cake?
You can serve your favourite summer berries cocktail with a Union Jack traybake cake. I love a summer berries G&T as it pairs perfectly with the union jack traybake.
Other Coronation recipes you might like
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King Charles Coronation Cake
King Charles Coronation Lemon Cake Ingredients
- 400 g (13.4 oz) unsalted butter (or baking block like Stork)
- 100 g (3.5 oz) light brown soft sugar
- 250 g (1.25 cups) caster sugar
- 4 medium (4 medium) eggs
- 375 g (3 cups) plain flour / all purpose flour
- 0.5 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) baking powder
- small pinch (small pinch) salt
- 0.5 lemon (juice and zest)
- 80 ml (80 ml) semi skimmed milk
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting and Decoration Ingredients
- 125 g (4.4 oz) unsalted butter
- 150 g (1.25 cups) icing sugar / confectioners sugar
- 180 g (6.35 oz) cream cheese
- 400 g Strawberries
- 250 g raspberries
- 400 g Blueberries
- 0.5 lemon (juice and zest)
Making the coronation cake
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Grease and line a 9 inch by 12 inch traybake cake tin with greaseproof paper.
- In a large mixing bowl or in a mixer cream together the 400g butter, 100 light brown soft sugar and 250g caster sugar until light and fluffy.
- Gently add the 4 medium eggs one at a time.
- Sieve the 375g flour, 0.5 tsp baking powder and pinch of salt into the mixing bowl.
- Mix in the lemon juice and zest.
- Gently add in the 80ml milk little at a time. If it starts to curdle add 1 tablespoon of plain flour.
- Pour the mix into the prepared tin and level out. Gently tap the tin on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the centre of the cake is cooked – use a cake tester or skewer to check. If the tester comes out clean the cake is cooked. If it has pieces of uncooked cake on leave the cake to cook for a few minutes more and test again.
- Leave in the tin to cool for 30 minutes and then remove from the tin to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Buttercream
- Make sure the unsalted butter is at room temperature as it will help make it a lot easier to make.
- Using a hand mixer, mix the 125g butter and 150g icing sugar together.
- Add the 180g cream cheese and zest of one lemon to create a smooth mix. It should be more thick than runny and will hold its shape. If it's too runny add a tablespoon of icing sugar at a time and whisk until it thickens up.
- Smear the cream cheese buttercream thickly over the cold cake.
- Decorate the cake with the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in the shape of the Union Jack. Start with the strawberries in the cross. Add the diagonal blueberries and then fill in the gaps with blueberries.
- It makes 12 large slices but we often make these bitesize pieces where you can actually get 48 pieces out of the cake.
- The cake will last for up to 5 days in an air tight container.
- Store somewhere cool but not the fridge.
- For the best results use the eggs and butter from room temperature.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.