Lemon Layer Cake Recipe

If you love lemon then this is the perfect Lemon Layer Cake for you. A soft moist cake with a lemony cream cheese frosting. It makes the perfect anytime or special occasion cake.

cake on a cake stand and a slice on a black plate.

For us anything lemon makes the perfect snack or dessert, from this easy Lemon Loaf these soft Lemon Cookies or how about an Easy Lemon Bundt Cake that makes a yummy breakfast or dessert idea.

How to make it

In a bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl or stand up mixer beat on medium speed the butter, sugar and zest until creamy.

dry ingredients whisked & eggs & butter beaten in a silver bowl.

Add the egg and beat well, then add the flour and beat to combine, add the yogurt and milk and again beat until smooth.

adding the yogurt & the batter made.

Spoon into prepared cake pan and bake.

batter in cake pan before & after baking.

Let the cake cool completely before brushing with the simple syrup and spreading with the frosting.

one layer brushed with syrup & frosted with half almond slivers on one side.

To make the Frosting

In a large bowl beat until creamy the butter and cream cheese, then add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the salt, cream, vanilla, lemon juice and zest beat until fluffy.

frosting made in a silver mixing bowl.

Why add a simple syrup?

I brushed the layers with a simple lemon syrup because I wanted a really moist cake that would stay moist even while refrigerated. It also adds an extra touch of lemon to the cake.

What does yogurt do in a baked good?

When adding yogurt to a baked good such as a cake, sweet bread or baked donuts it adds moisture and fat to the batter which results in a moist and delicious result.

a slice of cake on a black plate

The difference between zest and juice

Lemon zest, the yellow part of the peel only and not the white part which is quite bitter, consists of lemon oil, which is filled with the pure lemon flavour. Whereas lemon juice, has the acidic, tart taste of the lemon. So depending on what you prefer you can either use one or both when baking. For this recipe I used both.

Why use cake flour

Cake flour in cakes will give you a very tender texture and fine crumb, it will also help the cake to rise. You can make your own, for every cup of all purpose flour, remove two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons of corn starch. Be sure to sift the flour and cornstarch together a couple of times, this way it is sure to be properly combined and lump free.

lemon cake on a black cake stand with 2 slices of lemon on the board.

Why add almonds?

They not only taste good but are rich in nutrients that can help protect the heart. They also pair perfectly with lemon, they compliment one another and with that slight crunch of the almond it’s a nice surprise to find in a cake. I added almond slivers to half the cake, and to tell the truth I should have added them to the whole layer and more of them. I also added a good amount to the top of the cake. Of course you can leave them out if you prefer.

What are the best pans to use?

I made an 8 inch cake and sliced it in the middle to make a layer cake. If you want to make a larger cake then double the recipe and use 2 9 inch cake pans. Depending on how high they bake you could probably make a 4 layer cake, which would be pretty amazing too!

How to store it

The frosted cake should be refrigerated for 2-3 days at most. Be sure to allow it to come to room temperature before serving, about an hour.  The cake can also be frozen, frosted or unfrosted. It will last 2-3 months in the freezer.

Be sure to thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before serving or decorating. If you have any leftover frosting be sure to freeze that too, no need to toss it.

If you would rather not use a frosting then this Lemon Curd makes an ideal filling also.

More delicious fruit inspired recipes

So if you are looking for an easy Lemon Cake Recipe, then I hope you try this Lemon Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and let me know how you like it.

a slice of cake on a black plate
a slice of cake on a black plate

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Rosemary Molloy
If you love lemon then this is the perfect Lemon Layer Cake for you. A soft moist cake with a lemony cream cheese frosting. Delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 461 kcal

Ingredients
  

FOR THE CAKE

  • cups cake flour (160 grams)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon butter (softened)* (56 grams)
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (125 grams)
  • ½-1 zest lemon
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • ½ cup yogurt (plain whole fat/room temperature) (125 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon milk (I used 2%)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

FOR THE LEMON SYRUP

  • ¼ cup lemon juice (57 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

*If using unsalted butter then add ¼ teaspoon of salt.

    FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

    • ¼ cup + 1 ¾ tablespoons butter (softened) (75 grams)
    • 3 ½ ounces cream cheese (whole fat) (100 grams)
    • 3 ⅓ cups icing/powdered sugar (sifted) (400 grams)
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 2 tablespoons cream (whole, heavy or whipping cream)
    • ½ zest lemon
    • ¾ tablespoon lemon juice

    Instructions
     

    • Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Grease and flour an 8 inch (20 cm) cake pan.

    FOR THE CAKE

    • In a bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl or stand up mixer beat on medium speed the butter, sugar and zest until creamy.
    • Add the egg and beat well, then add the flour and beat to combine, add the yogurt, milk and vanilla beat until smooth, be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    • Spoon into the prepared cake pan and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
    • Let the cake cool completely, then slice it to make 2 layers, brush each layer with the simple syrup and top with the frosting. Decorate with slivered almonds if desired. Enjoy.

    FOR THE LEMON SYRUP

    • In a small pot add the juice, sugar and water, stirring constantly bring to a boil over medium heat, continue on a low boil for 10 minutes until the sugar has evaporated and the syrup has thickened slightly. Let cool completely brushing on the cake.

    FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

    • In a large bowl beat on medium high until creamy the butter and cream cheese 1-2 minutes, lower the speed and add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well between each addition, then add the salt, cream, vanilla, lemon juice and zest beat until fluffy approximately 2-3 minutes.

    Notes

    Be sure to pass the lemon juice through a sieve before adding to the cake or frosting.
    To make homemade cake flour for every cup of all purpose flour remove 2 tablespoons and substitute with 2 tablespoons of corn starch, be sure to sift together to remove any lumps.
    For room temperature ingredients remove from the fridge 30-45 minutes before using.
    This recipe is enough for a 2 layer 8 inch (20 cm) cake, it can doubled to make in 2 x 9 inch (22 cm) pans.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 461kcalCarbohydrates: 81gProtein: 4gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 247mgPotassium: 74mgFiber: 1gSugar: 66gVitamin A: 606IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 1mg
    Keyword Lemon cake, lemon cake with frosting, lemon layer cake
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    One Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.