Lemon Cake Recipe

Moist and velvety lemon cake recipe with lemon buttercream and lemon curd! For a true lemon lover!
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Print Recipe
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves: 8 cups
slice of lemon cake with lemon curd and lemon buttercream

Lemon Buttermilk Cake With Homemade Lemon Curd And Zesty Lemon Buttercream 

I’ve been perfecting this lemon cake recipe for years until I got it just right. The secret to this velvet texture and the pure lemon flavor is lots of lemon zest, buttermilk and using lemon curd in the filling and in the easy buttercream! This lemon cake recipe is truly a lemon lover’s dream!

lemon cake

I honestly thought I hated lemon cake for the longest time. Every time I had lemon-flavored anything it just did not sit well. Turns out I just hate fake lemon flavoring. It reminds me of cough drops. Not exactly what I’m looking for in a lemon cake.

After learning how to bake from scratch in pastry school, I decided to adapt my vanilla cake into a lemon cake. Omg what a difference! Lemon cake is now officially one of my favorite flavors of cake. If you love lemon as much as I do, check out my lemon raspberry cake and my lemon blueberry cake

lemon cake with lemon curd drip

What makes this lemon cake so moist?

This lemon cake recipe, much like my other cake recipes like vanilla cake and white velvet buttermilk cake has some key ingredients for maximum moistness and melt-in-your-mouth velvet texture. 

  1. Buttermilk – breaks down the gluten in cake flour and reacts with acidic ingredients to create a very light and fluffy cake that is extremely tender!
  2. Cake flour – cake flour has less gluten in it than AP flour, resulting in a very tender cake crumb. **note, you can’t do that trick where you replace AP flour with cornstarch or you’ll end up with cornbread. 
  3. Reverse mixing method – The reverse mixing method is the process of coating your dry ingredients with butter before you add the liquids. This butter “shortens” the gluten strands and gives the cake it’s velvet crumb.
  4. Oil – Very important in butter cakes to keep your cakes from drying out. When a cake is cold, the butter in the cake get’s hard and can make the cake taste dry. Cakes should always be consumed at room temperature for best results. 

slice of moist lemon cake with lemon curd and easy buttercream frosting on a wooden plate

What’s the best way to incorporate lots of lemon flavor into a lemon cake recipe?

This lemon cake gets it citrus zing from lots of lemon zest, lemon juice and a little extract in the cake batter. You can pump up the zest if you want more lemon flavor or add in 1/4 lemon curd to the cake batter for those ultimate lemon lovers out there (like me). I have even used lemon oil in my buttercream but it’s pretty expensive. 

Lemon cake goes so well with so many flavors but especially other fruits! We love lemon curd filling with our strawberry cake recipe or fill the lemon cake recipe with some yummy marion berry buttercream!

lemon cake ingredients

What size pans can you use for this lemon cake recipe?

This lemon cake can be used in any size pan. One lemon cake recipe will make three 6″x2″ cake layers or two 8″x2″ layers. I tend to be a chronic cake pan over-filler because I like my cake layers to be a full 2″ tall. Fill your cake pans 3/4 of the way full (or about 1/2″ of space between the top of the cake batter and the top of the pan.

how full to fill cake pans

For cake layers 12″ or larger, I use a heating core. A heating core helps the center of the cake bake faster so your edges don’t dry out. You can also use a flower nail if you don’t have a heating core. You can also double and triple this recipe without having to make any adjustments.

Is this lemon cake recipe good for cupcakes?

You can turn most cake recipes into cupcakes but leave out the oil since it makes the cupcakes too greasy. Not all cake translates into cupcakes well. These are the steps I use to test a cake recipe out for cupcakes. 

  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. 
  2. Fill your liner 2/3 of the way full (about 3 Tablespoons of cake batter). Over-filling your liners can cause them to overflow and collapse. 
  3. Bake cupcakes for 5 minutes then reduce the temperature to 350ºF. This helps set the dome.
  4. Continue baking the cupcakes for an additional 12 minutes and check the centers. If they are still soft and not set, continue baking. Most cupcakes are done between 18-25 minutes. 
  5. Once your cupcakes are done baking, remove the pan from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before taking them out of the cupcake pan. 

Inspect your results. If the cupcake didn’t rise enough, put more batter in next time. If it over-flowed, put in less. Take note of how long it took for the cupcakes to bake. 

Use grease-proof liners to help combat the liners becoming transparent after baking.

Is there a substitute for lemon extract?

If you don’t have any lemon extract, you can’t just replace it with lemon juice. Lemon juice doesn’t have a ton of lemon flavor unless you use a lot. Lemon extract is a high concentration of lemon flavor mixed with alcohol that will evaporate leaving the lemon flavor. If you are looking for a replacement for lemon extract, adding 1 tsp of extra lemon zest would be a better choice.

lemon extract

Lemon curd filling

Lemon curd is an excellent way to add a boost of lemon flavor to your lemon cake. Sure you could buy lemon curd but why when making it is so easy and tastes SO MUCH BETTER.

lemon curd recipe

If you’re new to making curd, the process is pretty simple. Basically, you combine a juice (like lemon, orange, lime etc) with sugar and whisk it over a double boiler with egg yolks until it thickens. This is a great way to use up any leftover egg yolks you have laying around if you’ve recently made white cake or meringue. 

The trick is to make sure the curd reaches 170ºF so that it’s nice and thick. If you’re having problems getting your curd to be thick enough, combine 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch with 1oz of cold water and whisk until it’s smooth. Add the cornstarch slurry to the curd and continue heating until thickened. 

Pour your curd into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (make sure the plastic wrap is touching the surface of the curd) and let it cool in the fridge overnight before you use it. 

How to make easy lemon buttercream

I decided to make a lemon version of my easy buttercream for this lemon cake recipe. A lemon cream cheese frosting would also be absolutely delicious. The secret to making this lemon buttercream is to make sure you use a whisk attachment to start out with. No need to bring ingredients to room temperature. Just combine the pasteurized egg whites and powdered sugar and whip on high for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in your softened chunks of butter, salt, and extract. 

Increase the speed of your mixer to high and let it whip until it’s super light and creamy. This can take 10-15 minutes depending on your mixer. Give your buttercream a taste, if it tastes too buttery, continue whipping. 

easy buttercream frosting

Once your buttercream is nice and fluffy you can add in your lemon curd and switch out your whisk for a paddle attachment. Mix on low for another 10 minutes to remove bubbles and make your buttercream nice and smooth. 

How to make a lemon layer cake with lemon curd drip

First time making a cake? Watch my how to make your first cake tutorial to learn all about stacking and filling a cake the professional way. 

  1. I like to bake my lemon cake layers the day before I need them to let them rest. Wrap them in plastic wrap and leave them on the countertop overnight but you can also chill them for easier handling. 
  2. I also make my lemon curd the day before I need it to give it time to cool down. Make sure you cover the top of your lemon curd with plastic wrap so it’s touching the surface to prevent a weird skin from forming. 
  3. You can make the buttercream the day before or the day of. I do the day of so that it’s nice and smooth. Add about 1 cup of your lemon curd to your buttercream with 1 tsp of lemon extract and some more lemon zest if desired. Mix until smooth. 
  4. Trim off the brown edges around the tops, bottoms, and sides of the cake for a prettier cake slice. Not necessary but if you’re a perfectionist like me, then you don’t want to miss this step. 
  5. Place your cake on cardboard round and work on a turntable for ease. Create a dam of buttercream around the outside of your first layer of cake. Fill the center with about 1/4″ of lemon curd and smooth out. Repeat with the second layer of cake. 
  6. Crumb coat your cake with a thin layer of buttercream and chill overnight or in the freezer for about 1 hour. 
  7. Finish your cake in a final coat of buttercream and decorate with some more lemon curd for the drip and freshly cut lemons. 

lemon cake recipe

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Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

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slice of lemon cake with lemon curd and lemon buttercream

Lemon Cake Recipe

Moist and velvety lemon cake recipe with lemon buttercream and lemon curd! For a true lemon lover!
5 from 57 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 520kcal

Ingredients

Lemon Cake Ingredients

  • 13 ounces (368 g) Cake flour
  • 13 ounces (369 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 2 teaspoon (2 teaspoon) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 8 ounces (227 g) unsalted butter Softened but not melted
  • 10 ounces (284 g) buttermilk Or regular milk with 1 Tbsp white vinegar added
  • 3 ounces (85 g) vegetable oil Or canola oil
  • 3 Large (3 Large) Eggs 1 large egg weighs about 1.67oz
  • 1 Tablespoon (1 Tablespoon) Lemon Zest About one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons (2 teaspoons) Lemon Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons (2 Tablespoons) Lemon Juice Fresh or bottled is ok

Lemon Curd

  • 8 ounces (227 g) Lemon Juice Fresh or bottled is ok
  • 1 Tablespoon (1 Tablespoon) Lemon Zest About one lemon
  • 6 ounces (170 g) Granulated Sugar
  • 5 (5 ) Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1/4 teaspoon) salt
  • 4 ounces (113 g) Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons cold water

Lemon Buttercream

  • 8 ounces (227 g) Pasteurized Egg Whites Can be found in the egg section in a carton, usually on the top shelf
  • 32 ounces (907 g) Unsalted Butter Softened but not melted
  • 32 ounces (907 g) Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (2 teaspoons) lemon extract
  • 4 ounces (113 g) Lemon Curd
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon) salt

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer

Instructions

Lemon Cake Instructions

  • Important Things To Note Before You Start
    1. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature or even a little warm (eggs, buttermilk, butter, etc) to ensure your batter does not break or curdle. 
    2. Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 
    3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in it's place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
    4. Chill your cakes before frosting and filling. You can cover a frosted and chilled cake in fondant if you wish. This cake is also great for stacking. I always keep my cakes chilled in the refrigerator before delivery for easy transporting. 
  • Preheat your oven to 335º F/168º C
    Prepare your cake pans with cake goop or another pan release. For square pans or cakes over 12", I also use parchment paper.
  • Combine the 4oz of buttermilk with the oil and set aside.
  • To the remaining 6oz of buttermilk, add your eggs, lemon zest, lemon extract, and lemon juice. Whisk lightly to break up the eggs and set aside.
  • Place cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment attached.
  • Turn the mixer onto the lowest speed. Add in your softened butter in small chunks mix until the flour mixture resembles coarse sand.
  • Add your oil/milk mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and mix on medium (speed 4 on KitchenAid) for 2 full minutes to develop the cake's structure.
  • Scrape the bowl. This is an important step. If you skip it, you will have hard lumps of flour and unmixed ingredients in your batter. If you do it later, they will not mix in fully.
  • Slowly add in the milk/egg mixture in 3 parts, letting the batter mix for 10 seconds between additions. Stop to scrape the bowl once more halfway through.
    Your batter should be thick and not separated. If it is separated, some of your ingredients could have been too cold or you added your liquids too quickly.
  • Fill your cake pans 3/4 full with cake batter. Give the pan a little tap on each side to level out the batter and get rid of any air bubbles. You can also weigh your cake pans to ensure that each pan has the same amount of cake batter.
  • Smaller cakes will bake faster than larger cakes. Start with 30 minutes for 6" or 8" cakes and add time as needed. Each oven is different so adjust your baking time as needed. Cakes are baked when a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center.
    Remove cakes from the oven and give them a tap on the countertop to release air and prevent too much shrinking.
  • After cakes have cooled for 10 minutes or the pans are cool enough to touch, flip the cakes over onto a cooling rack and let cool until barely warm. Wrap your cakes in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator before frosting so they are easier to handle. You can also put them in the freezer if you are in a hurry for them to cool down.
  • Once the cakes are chilled you can now trim, fill and decorate your cake as you wish.

Lemon Curd Instructions

  • Bring about a ½” to 1” of water to a boil in a large saucepan
  • In a large glass bowl or non-reactive metal bowl whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, zest, sugar, and salt. Place the bowl over the saucepan.
  • Bring the water to a simmer and whisk the mixture constantly until it thickens and them temperature reads about 170ºF.
  • Whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry, add it into the bubbling mixture, stirring constantly and cook for 1-2 more minutes until the cornstarch is clear.
  • Remove the curd from the heat. Immediately add your butter in small pieces to the curd. Whisk until it until its smooth. Strain the mixture to remove any large pieces of zest or seeds.
  • Cover the curd with plastic wrap so that it is touching the surface of the curd without any air bubbles in between, this will prevent a skin from forming on the top of the curd.
    Refrigerate until cool before using.

Lemon Buttercream Instructions

  • Place egg whites and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high 2-3 minutes to combine.
  • Add in butter in small chunks then lemon extract and salt. Whip on high until light and fluffy and white. Add in your lemon curd and mix to combine.
    Optional: switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for 15-20 minutes until all air bubbles are gone.

Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start
  1. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature or even a little warm (eggs, buttermilk, butter, etc) to ensure your batter does not break or curdle. 
  2. Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 
  3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in it's place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
  4. Chill your cakes before frosting and filling. You can cover a frosted and chilled cake in fondant if you wish. This cake is also great for stacking. I always keep my cakes chilled in the refrigerator before delivery for easy transporting. 

Nutrition

Calories: 520kcal (26%) | Carbohydrates: 57g (19%) | Protein: 4g (8%) | Fat: 32g (49%) | Saturated Fat: 21g (105%) | Cholesterol: 95mg (32%) | Sodium: 189mg (8%) | Potassium: 97mg (3%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 45g (50%) | Vitamin A: 920IU (18%) | Vitamin C: 4mg (5%) | Calcium: 45mg (5%) | Iron: 0.4mg (2%)
The best lemon cake recipe made with real lemon zest
This lemon buttermilk cake recipe made from scratch is filled with homemade lemon curd and frosted with a zesty lemon buttercream. This cake is a HUGE hit even if you aren’t a lemon lover!

 

169 comments on “Lemon Cake Recipe

  1. I just made your lemon cake today, but I used the recipe (I doubled the recipe) from your vanilla/chocolate (making the vanilla into lemon). It’s from the printed recipe format that has the Vanilla Cake on top broken into single, double, triple recipes.
    I see that the recipe above for lemon cake is different. Can this recipe be doubled? I usually make tall cakes so I often double my recipes, and I usually like to make in 6″ rounds.
    For lemon, which recipe is your go to?
    Thank You!!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this recipe the other day, but as cupcakes and they were absolutely delicious. Girls at working were raving about them. Light and fluffy. I did a lemon meringue butter cream that just gave it that extra hint of lemon.
    Thank you for a great recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    My niece loves this cake! She requests it every year for her birthday!

  4. 5 stars
    I am a personal fan of citrus type cakes, not to mention I absolutely love the recipes lizzo posts on here. So I tried this cake as cupcakes and filled with lemon curd with a lemon buttercream frosting with a little lemon zest for garnish and sent them to my daughters work, everyone loved them so much that I had an order for more the next day. Lol. I love it.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this after looking for a good lemon cake recipe. I have no need to look further! This cake is AMAZING!!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes so that we can make them and taste a little bit of heaven! I also had a bride that wanted only vanilla almond until she came to her tasting. She then added lemon cupcakes to her order just so she could have lemon too! I’m telling you, it’s the best!!

    1. That’s what I love to hear! I’m a total lemon lover so this one is my favorite! I hate fake lemon flavor though! Zest is where it’s at!

  6. Is the lemon curd for just the buttercream or does the recipe make enough for the filling as the picture shows. And are the oz by weight or volume or both.

  7. There is just oz listed for dry and liquid ingredients, is this oz by weigh or volume or both? Is the curd recipe just for the buttercream or also as a filling like the picture?

      1. Depending on where you are ounces is used for volume as well. 8oz is one cup. Sometimes it gets very confusing because weight and volume don’t yield the same result. Thanks!

      2. I need to make this cake today as my husband turns 50 tomorrow ? and I do not have a kitchen scale! Do you have cup measurements for this recipe to make it easier? He is a huge lemon fan.

      3. Sorry all my measurements are by weight for accuracy otherwise the cake can fail. Kitchen scales are available at most grocery stores in the kitchen aisle

  8. 5 stars
    Absolutely AMAZING ? kudos my love y just added I little of poppy seeds cause my daughter requested it an wow ? just speechless! ????????????

    1. When making as cupcakes, it is mentioned to leave out the oil. If I do this should I replace that amount of oil with butter?

  9. Outstanding!! Beautiful and so incredibly delicious!! Thank you for sharing!!

  10. Could I use orange instead? I was looking for an orange cake recipe.

  11. pls can i use baking margarine n remove d oil

  12. 5 stars
    I made this lemon cake for my church picnic dessert stand last summer, and it was a HUGE hit! It sold out almost instantly. I was wondering if I could substitute other citrus for the lemon. My dad’s birthday is coming up and he loves Oranges! Is this a possibility?

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you so much for your reply!! I love your blog, it has really helped me!

  13. How do you pasteurize your own egg whites after separating them from the shell? I’ve done this before but for meringue with sugar over a double boiler. Do you think this would work with just egg whites?

  14. 5 stars
    Hi! I was wondering if I need to brush the cake layers with sugar syrup before frosting? Thank you!

  15. 5 stars
    First off, thank you Liz for sharing your delicious recipes with us! I’m making this cake for my friends’ 40th along with the berry buttercream. Her husband is currently on deployment and we are surprising her with a few hours of girl time. Just one question, do the eggs and milk need to be room temperature? Thank you again!

  16. Hi, I absolutely love this recipe! Best lemon cake I’ve ever made. I have tried making cupcakes twice with this recipe, but they collapsed in the middle after removing from the oven. I think I may have over filled my cupcakes. How do you convert cake recipes to cupcakes? Also, stupid question here, after the initial 2 minute mixing, at what speed and for how long do I mix in the rest of the liquids? Do I need to beat for 2 minutes after each liquid addition? Thanks!

      1. Thank you! My friends loved this and asked for more last night. You are just fantastic! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  17. Hi Liz, this recipe is delicious, I am curios though, Mine never turns out thick like yours. Could mixing it on speed 5 to incorporate the remaining liquid cause that? I’m wondering if this recipe is even better when the batter is not as thin as mine usually is. I’ve been scratch baking for years, I follow the recipe exactly.

  18. What if cake flour is not available? What to use instead? Or can I make the cake flour at home adding corn starch to all purpose flour?

    1. Using AP flour will not work the same. If you only have access to AP flour then use a recipe that calls for that type of flour. I have a white cake recipe that uses AP flour and you can simply replace vanilla with lemon and add in lemon zest.

  19. 5 stars
    Hi Liz!!
    Thank you for all your incredible recipes!!!
    Wondering, when should I mix in the whole lemon zest in my cake batter???

  20. For the lemon curd is the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit?

  21. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I would like to make this for an upcoming wedding. How would I adjust this recipe for a 1/2 sheet cake?

    1. Unless you have a very large mixer then you’ll have to make two 1 1/2 batches of cake batter for a total of 3 batches of cake batter to fill a 1/2 sheet pan

  22. Hi Liz, how long can this cake with the curd and buttercream sit at room temperature? Thanks!

      1. Terrific! Thanks so much for being an awesome teacher and mentor!

  23. My question is will the buttercream hold up in the heat? I am So excited to try this recipe. I have Been searching for a good lemon cake.

  24. 5 stars
    This is an excellent recipe. I wanted to be sure I thanked you for it. You really know what you are doing and I appreciate your knowledge! Awesome cake! Thank you!

  25. Yikes! Just realized I left the lemon buttercream on the counter overnight. Will it still be ok with the lemon curd in it or should I scrap it?

  26. Hello this will be my first time trying to bake this cake can you tell me how do I pasteurize my eggs Never heard of this before thank you so much

    1. Pasteurized eggs are already heat-treated so that they are food safe (similar to what is done to milk to make it safe to drink). It is sold with the eggs, typically in a box. I assume you are wanting to make the easy buttercream.

  27. I m in love with your cakes.. I would love to try this recipe. Can you please tell me what to substitute for egg in this cake as I am pure vegetarian.

    Would really appreciate your input. Thank you ?

    1. Sorry Pooja but I am not familiar with using egg replacements so I can’t way what would work. I think there are commercial egg replacers you can buy but I haven’t tried any of them.

  28. This cake looks amazing, however I am curious about the recipe, it is calling for 2tps lemon extract and then another teaspoon of lemon extract, is that correct, for a total of 3 teaspoons ?

  29. So is it 2tsp lemon extract, and what is the other extract, Is it vanilla ? The recipe does not reflect the update, sorry to be a pest, I am making this cake tomorrow and just want to make sure. I love all of your recipes and tutorials. Thank you so much.

    1. Did you ever get an answer to this question?
      It lists lemon extract twice?

  30. how many cups of cake batter are required to put into a 6 inch round pan to make a perfect cake? thank you for the information.

  31. Sorry, one more question. The lemon cake picture shows 3 layers but the recipes states 2 8″ cake pans. Is the batter enough for 2 or 3 layers? Thanks again.

  32. Hi all I am making a wedding cake and they want a lemon cake and a pineapple cake . I will be using the lemon recipe but will need to double it for the amount of batter I will need. Do I need to change any thing or just double the weights. Also can I use this recipe for the pineapple cake by using pineapple juice and maybe rum flavoring. Leavening out the lemon juice.??? Thank You

    1. Yes you can double the weights. For pineapple cake the flavor is very hard to make inside a cake. Your best bet is to use a pineapple cake filling

  33. Hello,

    I am so interested in trying this recipe, but was curious what sort of adjustments I need to make for high altitude. I recently moved to 8750′ and have read lots of different ways recipes might need to be adjusted. I haven’t done much cake baking since I’ve been here, so I was curious if you had a go-to adjustment for a cake like this. Thanks!

    1. Sorry I don’t know, I live in the Oregon Valley so very low. I think you can google some instructions on how to adjust for high altitude. I think you have to reduce leavening.

  34. Hey love your recipes , can you please make authentic ferror rocher cake.
    I would be really grateful
    Thanks in advance
    Xoxo

  35. I got ahead of myself and put the lemon curd in before getting the butter and eggs whipped. It is a curdled effect.( although it still tastes good, its not going to frost right,) Is there any way to repair this?

  36. 5 stars
    Thank you Liz
    Lemon cake was hit yesterday, every one enjoyed it
    Cake flour was not available I used your white cake recipe and replaced vanilla and almond with lemon essence and lemon zest
    It was too yummy

  37. Hi! Can I use lemon juice instead of lemon extract for the cake?

  38. Hi, I love this cake recipe, but both times I made the lemon curd it didn’t thicken and was far too runny to use on the cake. Any ideas what the problem might have been?

    1. Sounds like it just wasn’t cooked to the proper temperature to thicken it. You can also add cornstarch after the fact to thicken it up.

  39. Hello – Thanks for such a yummy looking recipe – I actually have 3 different cake orders right now that all want a lemon cake.I am trying to figure out how much I would need for (3) 12×2 layers. How many cups of better will your (2) 8×2 layer yield – I could use that as a multiplier.
    Suzanne

  40. Hi Liz
    Will this cake withstand fondant please?

    1. Yes, all my scratch cakes have been covered in fondant. I also chill my cakes before serving them to keep them from sagging.

    2. Can this be made GF by substituting Bobs Red Mill 1-1?

  41. Hi 🙂
    How come there is lemon juice used in the batter in the video but not listen in the cake batter ingredients?

  42. I haven’t tasted the cake yet ( it was given for an event I didn’t attend) but the consensus was that the cake was great and the frosting was awful. I did taste the frosting and I agreed but was too late to make another. It had way too much butter so the frosting had the consistency of sweetened butter. I’ll do the cake again but with a different frosting

    1. Sounds like your frosting was not whipped enough. If you haven’t made it before it can be hard to know what to look for but truly when it is whipped properly, it tastes like ice cream. Whip until it’s super light and fluffy and then taste it. If it still tastes like butter, keep whipping to incorporate more air.

  43. 5 stars
    I usually don’t comment, but this cake was amazing. It was so fluffy and lemoney a great cake. And I love this mixing method over the cream method. Thank you.

  44. Hi! I was wondering if so could replace the lemons with key lines for a key lime cake.

      1. Hi Liz. I’m really late, but I just wanted to tell you how it turned out. I replaced the lemon zest with lime zest, the lemon juice with Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice, and the lemon extract with lime extract. I have always struggled with finding the perfect key lime cake recipe that doesn’t call for jello. This was it! It was perfect in flavor and texture! I got so many compliments. Thank you so much for an amazing recipe!

  45. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I want to try the recipe with the addition of the lemon curd to the batter. Do I just add it in, substitute it for another ingredient or reduce one of the liquids?

  46. I want to use the lemon cake for a wedding cake…6,9, and 12 inch layers. Do you have receipes for larger layers?

  47. 5 stars
    Hi liz im making this cake right now as we speak , Just curious what brand butter do you use for this lemon cake? Also for your white cake ?

  48. 5 stars
    Hey Liz can you tell me what brand butter you use in your recipes? Tried your vanilla cake it is amazing everyone loved it! I used kerrygold butter like in the video, i am a new baker and would apreciate your insight.
    Thanks.

  49. 5 stars
    This is an outstanding flavored cake, with a super delicate crumb. Everyone raved about it. Today I am making your white velvet cake recipe.

    Thank you for posting!

  50. 5 stars
    Hi Liz.
    Thanks for a fantastic recipe. My family and friends all loved it. I did have some issues with the curd not thickening when I cooled it, so I had to reheat and add cornflour to thicken, which worked well. I noticed in you other recipe for lemon curd you add cornflour to that. Has the cornflour been left out of the recipe above by accident?

  51. Hi! If you get to this comment, thank you so much for your time! I have made your white velvet cake twice now and it was a huge success both times. SO GOOD!
    I am planning to make this lemon velvet cake next week. However, I am making a quarter sheet cake. I know I will need to double the cake batter recipe for my pans, but I was wondering how many cups of frosting the lemon buttercream recipe makes? Will I really need to double the recipe and use 64 ounces of butter? It is fine if that is the case, I just didn’t want to end up with so much extra frosting. I am not doing super involved piping on it, just a border, maybe a couple rosettes, and I need to write a happy birthday message. Hope that gives you enough information! Thank you for your insight!

    1. I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipes! If you’re going to frost the outside of the cake only I wouldn’t double the frosting, if you are going to fill the cake with frosting then I would do a 1 1/2 batch

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! It came out wonderfully! Everyone was a big fan of your recipe. ?

  52. Hi. I made your moist vanilla cake and it was perfect, finally found a recipe that produces the perfect texture. Will the texture of this cake be the same? It seems every time I make a cake with lemon in it the texture is off (heavier, drier crumb) and have always wondered if it is because of the acidity in the lemon juice or if I’m over mixing or over baking.

      1. 5 stars
        I made this today and you were right, very moist and I am very happy with the result! Thanks for sharing your recipes and techniques!

  53. On the printed recipe, step 7 says to add milk mixture (I added the milk mixture from step 4 (w/lemon, etc). After I made the cakes, I realized there was a video so I now know it was supposed to the milk & oil “milk mixture.” Will the order mess it up? Other than that, I’ve followed it to a T. This is only my 2nd scratch cake, and I don’t know baking 101. Lol. My finished cake appears dense but I can’t test it until after tomorrow when it’s served.

    1. I think your cake will be ok if that is the only thing that went wrong. Good for you for learning to bake from scratch! I will update the recipe instructions to be more clear. Let me know how it turns out 🙂

  54. 5 stars
    Hi Lisa
    LOVING this recipe! The cake is super soft, fluffy, and flavorful! I baked them in a 10″x15″x1″ pan at 335 degrees for 22 minutes and the rest I baked them in 12-cupcake pans following your instructions for cupcakes! They both came out awesome!
    KUDOS to you! BTW, I also made your goop and applied it on the rectangular pan and with parchment, flipped over so nicely and clean…no crumbs.
    Thank you!
    Carol

    PS I also made your strawberry cake last week and everyone in my family and friends loved it!

  55. 5 stars
    No doubt about it, three Sugar Geek site is the best site for recipes. I found a cute Lemon meringue cupcakes recipe on another site. The lemon curd was very easy and tastes good, and the meringue is fine too. But the lemon cake I found to be sorely lacking. Your cake is hands-down a five star recipe. No other cake recipes will do!

  56. 5 stars
    Hi Liz,
    I just made this today. It’s so delicious, tangy, soft, moist. I love all your recipes. Thank you!

  57. Hi Liz, I made your lemon cake, curd, and buttercream…a couple of things…#1 your curd recipe on here does not mention cornstarch, so I didn’t add it, will my curd thicken? #2, the buttercream recipe turned out to be too soupy. I’m not sure why, it called for 32 oz of powdered sugar which now thinking about it, should have been the entire 2 lb bag however, I went by grams and the 454 grams of powdered sugar was only about half of the bag. Like I said, I am truly not at all sure what happened but that is what I did. I’m sure by the time you have time to answer this, I will have figured out if the curd will thicken but I just wanted to tell you the issues I ran into while using the recipe!
    Thank you so much..as always!

    1. Hi there. Unfortunately, your measuring is incorrect. One ounce is = to about 28 grams so if you go by grams, it would be 922 grams not 454. yes your curd will thicken, the cornstarch is kind of a way to make it a bit thicker for cake decorating purposes.

  58. 5 stars
    This lemon cake recipe is great. I have tried quite a few lemon cakes this one is light and fluffy perfect lemon flavor.

  59. Should this cake be stored in the refrigerator?

    1. yes because it contains fresh fruit but bring it out of the fridge a few hours before you eat it to give the butter a chance to soften before you eat it. Cold butter doesn’t taste good.

  60. Hello! What if I want to make 3 8” cakes? Thanks!

  61. can i use AP flour instead of cake flour ?

  62. What changes are needed for baking at higher altitude
    Thank you

  63. Can i use powdered buttermilk?generally I keep that on had since I dont bake with buttermilk that often. Btw I made your strawberry cake recently and I really enjoyed it(haven’t heard back from the customer)but everyone else I shared it with enjoyed it.that strawberry reduction is amazing my 9yr old made it for me again for mothers day.Thank you for your time

  64. If you were adding the 1/4 c of lemon curd to the cake, at what stage would it go it? Would I need to add a little more of the dry ingredients? (I also live at a high altitude in the mountains.)

    1. You might be able to replace 4 oz of milk with lemon curd but I have not tested that and cannot say if the cake would turn out or not.

  65. can I use fresh white eggs instead of pasteurized white eggs? because it’s not available in my country

  66. For lemon cupcakes you mentioned no oil, do we sub it with butter. Or just omit the oil and continue w the recipe as is? Thank you

  67. 5 stars
    I would love to use this recipe for a wedding cake. I’ve tried this out once and it was perfect! It was very similar to your vanilla cake. I’m assuming that I probably should leave out the lemon curd filling, as it is going to be a 3 tier cake (I’m so frightened as I’m inexperience and I’m doing this as a favor to my niece). Should I still add lemon curd to the buttercream? I’m leaning more towards your easy buttercream without the lemon, as it is a wedding cake and doesn’t necessarily need to scream LEMON. I really appreciate any feedback you can offer.

  68. 5 stars
    I made this the other day for my family but made cupcakes. Oh my, it was a huge hit. Husband said it was the best cupcake I ever made. Wondering if I could add an extra egg yolk, mostly out of curiosity, for more moisture.

  69. Hi Liz i love this site. May I use this recipe for a 12x18x2 sheet cake, if so how do i make sure i have enough batter. Also may I use lemon juice insted of extract?

  70. Hi. I really love this site. I would like to make this cake as a sheet cake (12x18x2). Is it possible with this recipe? If so how would I accomplish it?

  71. 5 stars
    I made this tonight. Amazing! The texture is wonderful, nice flavor, nice rise. I will add a little more zest next time, but this is my go to lemon cake now! It is like your vanilla cake, which i love also. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  72. Hi can I freeze this cake for a week? After frosting, within how many days should it be consumed?

    1. Yes you can freeze it, I assume you mean the unfrosted layers and not a fully frosted cake. You should eat a cake as soon as possible after baking it because every day it dries out more and more. How many days exactly I dont know for sure.

  73. So I was looking at your stand alone recipe for lemon curd and it varies a little from this lemon curd could you tell me the difference? I’ve already tried the curd in this recipe and it would not thicken

    1. Cooking for long enough and to a high enough temperature ensures the curd will thicken but if you can’t get it to thicken enough, you can add cornstarch to the recipe to make it thicker.

  74. Hello, My daughter wants a lime cake for her birthday and was wondering if I just sub the lemon for lime?
    I was also wondering what filling would go good with the lime cake besides lime curd?
    Thank you so much for your recipes

  75. Hi Liz,

    Enjoying your site very much!!

    Question about your pans for this recipe: Are they 6 x 3 or 6 x 2??

    Thank you!

  76. 5 stars
    I just made this cake today for my daughter that loves anything and everything lemon. It turn out so pretty. I can’t wait to taste it tonight. I wish I can post a picture.

  77. Hi,this lemon cake recipe can be cover with fondant? Thanks

  78. Hello, I have just tried your cake, sadly used fluid ounces instead of weighed ounces, will my bake be ruined?

  79. I have Lorraine Lemon emulsion. Can I use it in place of lemon extract? Will it be the same amount?

  80. Hi Liz.

    Any Idea if the brand Snowflake Cake flour will work for this recipe?
    Thank you

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