Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

filed under: White Cakes on August 22, 2016

If you have a lemon lover in your life, this is the cake to make for them!


3.34 from 3 votes
The ULTIMATE Lemon Cake
Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins

If you have a lemon lover in your life, this is the cake to make for them!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c butter room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1/2 c fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c whole milk room temperature
Lemon Curd
  • 3 lemons
  • 1/4 c butter room temperature
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch round pans. (Spray with baking spray, grease with butter and flour, or use GOOP)

  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

  4. With the mixer now on low, beat in the eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla, lemon extract, and lemon juice.

  5. (With mixer still on low) Add in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. (about 30 seconds)

  6. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 24-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

Lemon Curd
  1. Grate zest from lemons to equal 1 tablespoon.
  2. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice into a measuring cup to equal 1/2 cup.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer (or using a hand-held mixer) beat butter and sugar at medium speed until blended. (about 2 minutes)

  4. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.
  5. Gradually add lemon juice to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in zest by hand. Mixture will look curdled.
  7. Transfer mixture to a heavy 4-qt. saucepan.
  8. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove from heat and allow saucepan to cool for about five minutes.

  9. Set plastic wrap directly on warm curd (to prevent a film from forming), and chill 4 hours or until firm.
  10. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.



The ULTIMATE Lemon Cake

Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd

To make this cake you will need:

Lemon cake recipe (below)

Lemon buttercream recipe

Lemon Curd recipe (below)

cake stand

rotating cake stand (see how to pick the perfect cake stand here)

small offset spatula

bench scraper

plastic disposable pastry bags

9FT decorating tip (see my tips here)

The ULTIMATE Lemon Cake

The lemon curd takes about 4 hours to set so you will want to prepare that first. You can also purchase lemon pie filling to use in between the layers of cake. You are only using about 3/4 cup total of curd.

Bake cakes in 8-inch pans and cool. I made a little video of me assembling this cake where I did not level them, but you can certainly level your cakes when they are cooled.

Prepare buttercream and then put buttercream into plastic disposable pastry bags. (I store my frosting right in the pastry bags.) You want to make sure your frosting has a stiff consistency so that you can easily pipe it out. Add more or less sugar to reach your desired consistency.

Set one layer of cake on cake stand. Cut off the tip from a pastry bag and pipe out a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake.

Drop 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup up lemon curd on the cake and smooth out.

Place the other layer of cake on top.

Cover with a thin layer of lemon buttercream. Use small offset spatula to smooth out. If you want a more crisp finish, use a bench scraper to smooth out frosting. This works best if you have a rotating cake stand.

Take 2 tablespoons of lemon curd and add 2 tablespoons of water. You want the consistency to be runnier than the but not as runny as water. Place in a plastic pastry bag and cut off a VERY small tip, like 1/8 of an inch. Drip the runny lemon curd around the edge of the cake.

In a plastic pastry bag fitted with a 9FT tip and lemon buttercream, pipe out circles on top of the cake.

The ULTIMATE Lemon Cake

You can see a VIDEO of how I made this cake here. I also have a video of my using this rope technique on a cupcake here.

Fill in the top with lemon curd and smooth with offset spatula. Chill cake until ready to eat.

Recipe slightly adapted from All Recipes.



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  • Beverley says:

    I’m already licking my lips. I am a lemon lover so thank you. Also thank you for the tip on buying a rotating cake stand xoxo

  • Charlotte Moore says:

    No place to click on the video for the cake. There was for the roping design. I love lemon!!

    • Amanda says:

      Fixed! Sorry.

  • Angel says:

    As always, absolutely beautiful!! I totally don’t mean this in a critical way because I LOVE your website, recipes, style, well EVERYTHING but I’m confused why you and the Allrecipes baker call this a Lemon Cake when there is no lemon in the cake itself. I’ve actually been on the hunt for a great lemon cake and was disappointed to see there’s no lemon in the cake at all. 🙁 I think it would be better to call this “Yellow Cake with Lemon Curd” or something like that.

    • Amanda says:

      You are exactly correct!! I am fixing this now!

      • Angela Bruck says:

        Well slam bam and Happy Sabbath, it’s a LEMON cake!

    • Stacy says:

      There is lemon juice and extract in the cake mix

  • Angel says:

    Hi! I just wanted to follow-up after my previous comments and say THIS is one fantastic LEMON cake…actually, I made cupcakes (24 to be exact)! Texture and flavor were on POINT! I might have forgotten to add the yellow color to the batter but, thankfully, I remembered with the frosting. Thank you for a lemon of a winner!

    • Angel says:

      P.S. For those making the lemon frosting you link to here, you’d need to at least quadruple that recipe to frost this cake or cupcakes. I posted separate comments on the frosting to that affect.

  • Carol says:

    Is it suppose to be a dence cake?
    It is so lemon tasting. ( curd)
    I would ‘double’ the icing recipe for the cupcakes listed and cut the lemon extract to 2 teaspoon.
    All in all its a keeper.

  • Bharat Ratna Winners says:

    That looks wonderful! Lemon is my favorite cake!

  • Dani says:

    Does the curd topping develop a “skin”?

  • Amy says:

    I am wanting to make this cake but concerned about the measurements and them being in US measurements rather than my British measurements i.e. cup etc.

    Any recommendations or tips?

  • Debbie says:

    Amanda I know this is a silly question for you but, I am starting to get more tips and I don’t have a 9FT tip who makes that size and what does it look like ? Your frosting looks so fluffy. I can’t wait to make this cake I love all things lemon and orange flavored I made a orange curd cheesecake for Easter and everyone loved it. But, I really want to make this lemon cake it looks wonderful.

  • Shirley Duffey Davis says:

    Love the recipes you post Especially the lemon bars.Do you have one for lemon pie.shi

  • Jennifer says:

    Love your recipes and your videos.Just tried your lemon cake and i must say its a keeper.Thanx. Do you have any recipe for eggless chocolate cake? I have tried a few already from diff sites but still cant find the One. 😉

  • ..... says:

    I made this cake it came out perfect with a sweet smell of lemons thank you for this recipe

  • sharilee says:

    there is lemon extract and lemon juice in the cake.

  • Nancy says:

    I have made both a cake and cupcakes with this recipe and it is a huge hit with my family. Whenever someone has a birthday in my family, I am always looked to in bringing the cupcakes. Thank you!

  • Melissa says:

    I LOVE lemon, and have made hundreds of cakes, many from your sight, and I’m super bummed, I made this cake, and while the flavor was good, it was so dense, and heavy, and barely had any color. I followed the recipe to a point. I did make the mistake of making it for a group without trying it first. So embarrassed.

  • Mary says:

    My favourite!

  • Saterrica says:

    What’s the recipe for the lemon buttercream?

  • Perryn Cappelli says:

    I want to make a lemon cake but I don’t have cake flour. I was going to do your lemon surprise or this cake. Which do you think is better?

  • Hiba says:

    I tried this recipe and it was heavenly. Thank you for such an amazing recipe
    I made it first time and everyone loved it.

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.