Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream

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Lemon Cake – easy to make, moist, zesty and delicious! This simple lemon sponge cake recipe can be transformed into a Lemon Birthday Cake layered with lemon cream cheese buttercream.

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Slice of lemon cake decorated with lemon slices and blueberries among fresh flowers

Lemon drizzle is definitely one of my top five favourite cakes. I can’t get enough of it whether it’s baked into a round cake or a lemon drizzle loaf.

I love lemon desserts so much that this year I baked myself a lemon birthday cake. A lemon layer cake sandwiched with zesty lemon cream cheese buttercream to be more precise.

The cake was a HUGE hit! My family and friends kept going back for just another small slice until it was almost gone in one sitting. 

And the best part? This is such an easy lemon cake you will want to bake it again and again. 

Four tier Lemon Cake with lemon cream cheese buttercream frosting

All-in-one Lemon Sponge

You need just a handful of ingredients to make this recipe. As with all cakes using the all-in-one method you need to have room temperature ingredients for best results.

Brushing the lemon sponge with lemon syrup adds incredible flavour and keeps the cake wonderfully moist.

  • Self raising flour or plain flour with baking powder added (see notes)
  • Caster sugar (also known as superfine sugar in the US)
  • Medium eggs
  • Softened butter or Stork
  • Semi skimmed milk
  • Lemon zest and juice
  • Lemon essence (optional)
  • Lemon juice and sugar for the lemon syrup

USEFUL TOOLS

  • I always rely on a digital scale to measure my ingredients.
  • Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer this lemon cake recipe just make sure all ingredients are room temperature.
  • You will need four 8 inch cake pans for this recipe or you can bake the cake in two batches if you only have two.

Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream

I debated whether to use lemon buttercream or cream cheese frosting for this cake. In the end I decided to simply combine the two 🙂

You will need softened full fat cream cheese or mascarpone cheese, softened butter, icing sugar and a little cream. 

A few drops of lemon essence adds a citrusy touch – I found that using fresh lemon juice can cause the buttercream to curdle slightly. 

Close up on a lemon birthday cake with lemon frosting

HOW TO MAKE THIS LEMON CAKE

Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease and line four round  20cm (8 inch). I use cake release spray for all my cakes, misting the tins lightly.

Measure the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the eggs, butter, milk, lemon juice and zest. 

Beat together using an electric hand mixer, using a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Mix until the batter is smooth, about a minute.

Beating cake batter with an electric mixer

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins and level. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is golden, springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

sponge cake batter in a round cake pan

Lemon syrup

Put the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and stir over low heat for about five minutes, or until the sugar dissolves.

Brush the syrup over the cake layers. You can use any leftover syrup to flavour your frosting or add it to drinks.

brushing lemon cake with syrup

Make the Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream 

Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Start beating with an electric hand mixer on the lowest speed setting until the ingredients combine.

Increase the speed to maximum and continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

Frost and Assemble Your Lemon Layer Cake

Place the bottom cake layer on a stand or plate. Pipe a layer of frosting over it and level with a palette knife. Repeat with the other sponge layers.

Leave the cake naked to show the filling or smooth buttercream over the entire cake to cover.

Piping lemon buttercream over lemon sponge

Pipe any extra frosting over the top of the cake and decorate with lemon zest or small lemon slices before serving.

Slice of lemon sponge cake on a patterned plate

Lemon Cake Tips and FAQs

  • Baking the cake at a slightly lower temperature ensures it bakes evenly and doesn’t require levelling.
  • The cake layers can be baked a day or two ahead of assembly. Wrap each layer in cling film and store in a covered container at room temperature. 
  • Store the cake in a covered container at cool room temperature after assembly. You can store it in the fridge if completely covered in frosting but serve at room temperature.
  • Make sure the cake layers are have cooled completely before frosting your cake otherwise the buttercream will melt!
  • Make your lemon cake even more special by adding fresh berries and edible flowers as decoration.
Tiered lemon sponge cake with lemon buttercream

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake may well be the most delicious bake EVER! A fluffy, moist and buttery sponge soaked with tangy lemon syrup and a crunchy sugar crust. This lemon cake is sure to become a favourite – easy and foolproof even for novice bakers! Make sure all your cake ingredients are at room temperature before starting this recipe.

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Have you made my Lemon Cake Recipe? Please leave a rating, post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #supergoldenbakes and make my day!

Four tier Lemon Cake with lemon cream cheese buttercream frosting

Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream

Lemon Cake – easy to make, moist, zesty and delicious! This simple lemon sponge cake recipe can be transformed into a Lemon Birthday Cake layered with lemon cream cheese buttercream.

Print
Rate

Course: Cake, Dessert

Cuisine: American, British

Keyword: Lemon Cake, Lemon Sponge Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 14

Calories: 828kcal

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). Reduce the temperature by 20 degrees if you are using a fan forced oven. Grease and line four round 20cm (8 inch)cake tins. I use cake release spray for all my cakes, misting the tins lightly.

  • Put the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

  • Add the eggs, butter, milk, lemon juice and zest.

  • Beat together using an electric hand mixer, using a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Mix until the batter is smooth, about a minute.

  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins and level. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is golden, springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

  • Make the Syrup

  • Put the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and stir over low heat for about five minutes, or until the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool slightly.

  • Brush the syrup over the cake layers. You can use any leftover syrup to flavour your frosting or add it to drinks.

  • Make the Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Start beating with an electric hand mixer on the lowest speed setting until the ingredients combine.

  • Increase the speed to maximum and continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through.

  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

  • Assemble the Cake

  • Place the bottom cake layer on a stand or plate. Pipe a layer of frosting over it and level with a palette knife. Repeat with the other sponge layers.

  • Leave the cake naked to show the filling or smooth buttercream over the entire cake to cover.

  • Pipe any extra frosting over the top of the cake and decorate with lemon zest or small lemon slices before serving.

Notes


If you cant find self raising flour use plain (all purpose) flour and add five teaspoons of baking powder in with the flour and sugar.

USEFUL TOOLS

Contains affiliate links

  • I always rely on a digital scale to measure my ingredients.
  • Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer this lemon cake recipe just make sure all ingredients are room temperature.
  • You will need four 8 inch cake pans for this recipe or you can bake the cake in two batches if you only have two.


 

Nutritional Info

Calories: 828kcal | Carbohydrates: 115g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 84g | Vitamin A: 1250IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 2mg



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