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4.84 from 37 votes
Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream cut open so you can see the layers.
Lemon Cake Recipe with Lemon Buttercream
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins

My Lemon Cake recipe with lemon buttercream frosting is zippy, lemony, moist, and sweet — everything you could want in a spring dessert!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 people
Author: Gemma Stafford
For the Lemon Cake:
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) butter (at room temperature)
  • cups (12oz/340g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup (8floz/225ml) milk
  • ¼ cup (2floz/57ml) lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (2floz/57ml) neutral flavored oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract (optional)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 ⅔ cups (13⅓oz/378g) all-purpose flour
  • cup (1½oz/40g) cornstarch
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the Lemon Buttercream:
  • cups (12oz/340g) butter (at room temperature)
  • 6 cups (24oz/680g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
To Make the Lemon Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter, flour, and line with parchment three 8-inch (20cm) round cake pans. Set aside.

  2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, and then add the eggs one at a time until fully combined.

  3. In a measuring cup with a pour spout, combine the milk, lemon juice, oil, lemon extract, and lemon zest. Gradually add the liquid to the butter mixture until thoroughly mixed.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually beat into the batter just until evenly combined.

  5. Divide the batter between your prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes if using two pans and 20-25 minutes if using 3 pans, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

  6. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pans before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

To Make the Buttercream Frosting:
  1. While the cake is cooling, prepare the lemon buttercream: with an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, then gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until fully combined.

  2. Into the butter mixture, pour in the lemon juice, cream or milk, and lemon zest and beat until combined.

  3. When the cake is thoroughly cooled, level your layers and frost.

  4. Store this cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.