This moist & delicious scratch Lemon Cake recipe has become one of our family favorites. Not only are these homemade lemon cake layers delicious, but a simple lemon curd filling and lemon cream cheese frosting bring a triple dose of lemon to this fantastic dessert!
I love lemony desserts and am always looking for an excuse to make this cake! Over the years, this scratch lemon cake recipe has become one of our most popular on our site.
There’s just something about lemon, isn’t there? Mmmmm….
One of my favorite things about lemon cake is that it pairs wonderfully with so many flavors, including raspberry, blueberry, coconut, lime, and strawberry!
However, for today’s lemon cake, we’re pulling out all the stops and going FULL Lemon with a dreamy Lemon Curd Filling and my FAVORITE silky smooth Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting!
This cake is perfection!
Our Lemon Cake recipe is one of my favorite year-round desserts, but it is an especially popular choice for spring and summer gatherings, when everyone’s cravings for light and citrus filled desserts are at their highest!
While the lemon cake layers are the stars of the show, the homemade lemon curd and lemon cream cheese frosting are each so delicious that you will be tempted to forget the cake & just grab a spoon!
Lemon Lovers, you are going to want to save this recipe!
As we mentioned above, we filled our cake with a delicious and easy-to-make Lemon Curd Filling. You can find this recipe here: Amazing Lemon Curd Filling Recipe
We frosted our cake with this flavorful, simple Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting Recipe.
If you’d like, you can use lemon curd alone as your filling. You won’t be able to see if very well in the slice, but you’ll know it’s there.
In our lemon cake photo, we added the lemon cream cheese frosting as a filling along with our lemon curd.
To do this, we first piped a dam of lemon cream cheese frosting around our first layer of cake (about 1/4 inch or so from the edge of the cake). We spread a thin layer of lemon curd within the dam, and followed that with a thin layer of the lemon cream cheese frosting.
For this step, if you have trouble spreading the cream cheese frosting onto the curd, you can pipe a spiral of the frosting over the curd and then spread lightly with a spatula.
We then repeated the steps for the next cake layer, filled in any gaps in the assembled cake with frosting, and crumb coated with a thin layer of lemon cream cheese frosting.
We then followed up with large rosettes of Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting using a large star tip. (1M or 2D)
We hope that you enjoy this Lemon Cake as much as we have! Let us know if you have any questions!
*As with any of our scratch cake recipes, we highly recommend measuring the ingredients (especially dry ingredients) by weight with a kitchen scale. This will ensure that you are using the intended amount of flour, etc.
*last updated 5/8/18
Lemon Cake from Scratch
- 1 1/2 sticks (12T) (170g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature (if cold, place in a bowl of warm water for 5 min.)
- 3 cups (342g) cake flour *if you do not have cake flour, see note below
- 1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (3g) baking soda
- 1 cup (242 g) milk
- 1/4 cup (57g) lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (53g) vegetable oil
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 Tablespoon (10g) lemon extract
- *** ** If you don't have cake flour, for each cup of all purpose flour (or plain flour in the UK) remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. For this recipe, measure out 3 cups all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoons and replace with 6 Tablespoons cornstarch. Whisk to blend.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease and flour two 8 inch pans ( my pans are 2 inches deep). You could also divide the batter between three 8 inch pans for slightly thinner layers which allows for an additional layer of filling.
- In a medium sized bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and zest of 2 lemons. Whisk to blend and set aside.
- In another bowl, add the milk, vegetable oil and lemon juice, and lemon extract. Whisk to blend and set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat the softened butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and mix on medium speed 3 to 5 minutes until it is lightened in color and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
- Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternately. Begin and end with the flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Mix until combined and smooth, do not mix above medium speed or over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees. If baking three 8 inch pans, bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. For two 8 inch pans, bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached. Let the cakes cool in the pans 10 minutes then turn out.
- (This recipe makes 7 cups of batter)
Assembly of Cake
- For the cake pictured in this post, we piped a dam of lemon cream cheese frosting about 1/4 inch inside the edge of the first layer. We spread a thin layer of lemon curd frosting, piped and spread a layer of lemon cream cheese frosting on top of it, and added the top cake layer. We thinly crumb coated the cake with our lemon cream cheese frosting before piping large rosettes all over the cake (use a 2D or 1M tip).
If you’re looking for something to pair with your lemon cake other than lemon flavored fillings and frostings, we also love this Strawberry Lemon Cake! This cake with it’s unique and delicious combination of flavors is sure to become a favorite!
**You may also enjoy our scratch Pink Lemonade Cake Recipe! Moist, delicious, and with the perfect amount of tartness. This cake is a wonderful dessert for summertime parties!: Pink Lemonade Cake from Scratch
Finally, I have one more lemon cake recipe to share! This easy Lemon Pound Cake recipe is a classic! If you are a fan of pound cake and lemon, you are going to fall in love with this recipe!
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