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Hi Bold Bakers!
If there’s one cake recipe that will jumpstart you from winter blues to sunny spring days, it’s my lemon cake with lemon buttercream. I could make many arguments as to why lemon desserts are so perfect (any time of the year, if we’re honest), but for the sake of simplicity and saving you some time, I’ll just say they’re so darn good!
I think a lot of people are a bit confused when they are presented with a cake that features lemon so prominently. Dessert? With one of the key ingredients being sour? It isn’t until they have that bite of the zippy, lemony, moist, and sweet cake that they’re converted to lemon-dessert-believers. My gorgeous lemon meringue cake has been a fan favorite for years!
The acid in the lemon juice doesn’t just add a refreshing zip of flavor either—it helps keep the cake as moist as can be! There’s some serious science going on inside your oven, but you don’t need a degree in chemistry to know that the results are magical.
I pair this homemade yellow cake with homemade lemon buttercream, which comes together super quickly, and is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Shake off the winter blues with this one!
What Is Lemon Cake?
This is a homemade yellow cake flavored with lemon juice and then frosted with lemon buttercream, made with lemon juice and zest, that creates a dessert that isn’t too sweet and certainly isn’t mouth-puckering sour. It’s perfect for welcoming warmer weather when people want a lighter, citrusy dessert!
Lemon goes so well with both sweet and savory dishes. Lemons should always be a staple item in your refrigerator! In an airtight container, they should stay fresh for up to a whole month!
What You Need To Make Lemon Cake With Lemon Buttercream
How To Make Lemon Cake
This three-tiered cake comes together in no time, and the lemon buttercream is even easier! Here is how you make the perfect spring-time dessert (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter, flour, and line your 8-inch (20cm) round cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Then, one at a time, add in the eggs until they are fully combined.
- Combine the milk, lemon juice, oil, lemon extract, and lemon zest into a measuring cup. Gradually add the liquid to the butter mixture until it is thoroughly mixed.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Gradually beat this mixture into the batter until it is just evenly combined.
- Divide the batter between your prepped pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes if you are using two pans, and 20-25 minutes if using 3 pans until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then invert them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- As the cakes cool, prepare the lemon buttercream. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Then, gradually add the powder sugar. Beat until it is fully combined.
- Pour the lemon juice, cream or milk, and lemon zest into the butter mixture and beat until combined.
- Once the cake is thoroughly cooled, level your layers and frost.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making This Cake
- Always use room temperature ingredients when making cakes. It will give you the best rise and most even mixing.
- To intensify the lemon flavor in the cake, you can make a lemon juice concentrate: place ½ cup (4floz/115ml) lemon juice in a small pan and let simmer away until it is reduced by half. Let cool completely and use this in place of the lemon juice called for in the cake.
- You can make a lemon-poppyseed cake by add 3 tablespoons of poppy seeds to the batter along with the dry ingredients.
- Use my homemade lemon curd between the cake layers along with the buttercream for an extra lemony kick!
- For something a little special and different, make a lavender-lemon buttercream by mixing 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh or dried culinary lavender into your buttercream.
How To Store This Cake
You can store this spring cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Make More Lemon Desserts!
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!
Full (and printable) recipe below!