A refreshingly moist lemon cake recipe that's perfect at any time of the day. Delicious on its own but even better when filled and frosted for a celebration. Perfect to cover with fondant or stacked for tiered cakes.
This is a wonderfully moist cake and absolutely delicious on its own. It is also a very versatile cake. Try filling it with delicious lemon curd, lemon buttercream, or other frostings for an indulgent affair.
If you need a stable cake to stack at the bottom of a 4 tier wedding cake? This is it! I have used it to cover with fondant as well as modeling chocolate.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Lemon juice - fresh juice is always the best when making cakes or desserts.
- Lemon zest - enhances the flavor of lemon in the cake.
- Flour - I like cake flour for this recipe because it lends a wonderful soft cake with a tender crumb. If you do not have cake flour you can make your own cake flour substitute
- Sour cream - while Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream, you can also make your own at home.
- Vanilla - I think vanilla extract is a great addition to lemon extract.
- Fat - a combination of butter and oil makes this cake stable as well as light and airy.
Frequently asked questions
Unfrosted this cake will keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. Well wrapped in the fridge it will keep for a week. It can also be frozen for up to a month. Once frosted, it will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. In the fridge for a week and can be frozen for up to a month.
If you can't use a cake immediately, I always recommend freezing rather than chilling. I find the freeze does a better job of locking in moisture as compared to the fridge.
Wrap the cake well in plastic wrap, then in parchment paper. If you plan to freeze it for longer, wrap it in aluminum foil again. The parchment will prevent freezer burns while the aluminum will keep the smell of other foods from getting into the cake.
Absolutely! the recipe card below will calculate this recipe from 6 to 16 inches for you. Just use the automatic calculator below
1 x makes 2 x 6-inch round cakes
2x makes 2 x 8-inch round cakes
3x makes 2 - 10 inch round cakes
4x makes 2 x 12 inch round cakes, etc
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 cups (250 g) Cake flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cups (60 g) Butter unsalted, room temperature
- ¼ cup (60 ml) Cooking oil
- 1 cup (200 g) Sugar
- 2 Eggs large
- ½ cup (120 ml) Sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp Lemon extract optional
- 1 cup (227 g) Butter unsalted, room temperature
- 4 cups (480 g) Powdered sugar
- ¼ cup Lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Lemon zest (optional)
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ½ cup (100 g) Sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) Water
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 325°F /165°C/ Gas Mark - 3
- Grease and line the baking pans with parchment paper.. The original recipe - 1X makes 2 x 6-inch round cakes - 2X makes 2 x 8-inch round cakes - 3X makes 2 x 10-inch round cakes - 4X makes 2 x 12-inch round cakes - 5X makes 2 x 14-inch round cakes
- Dry ingredients - Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, lemon zest, sugar, and oil. Whip for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Next add the eggs, one at a time. Followed by the vanilla and lemon extract. Pro tip- adding eggs one at a time will prevent the eggs from curdling. If the batter does curdle just add a tablespoon of flour to help stabilize it.
- Next, add the flour, lemon juice, and sour cream in three batches. Combine well but do not over mix. Pro tip - we do not want to activate the gluten in the flour so work gently once you add the flour.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake on the middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Pro tip - using baking/ cake strips for your pans will prevent a dome and excess caramelization around the edges which looks better for layer cakes.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Pro tip - always cool cakes completely before decorating otherwise the frosting will melt on warm cakes.
- In the bow of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
- Then, add the salt, and powdered sugar one cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar is in add the lemon juice and vanilla extract.
- Continue to whip for 2 to 3 minutes until the buttercream is pale but light and fluffy.
- To prepare the simple syrup, boil the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Once all the sugar is dissolved, boil a minute more - then cool completely.
- Using a bread knife or cake leveler, level each cake layer by cutting the domes off. Brush each layer with simple syrup. Pro tip - Watch a video - how to level, torte, and fill cake like a pro.
- Place the first layer on the cake board or cake stand. Add a dollop of buttercream and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Then, place the second layer on top. Chill the cake for 15 minutes. Pro tip - chilling the cake will help hold the two layers together and prevent them from moving while frosting the outside.
- Add more frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Smooth the buttercream as best you can. Pro tip - an offset spatula for the top and a straight-edged spatula for the sides of the cake does a better job of smoothing. You can also dip a bench scraper in warm water for final smoothing
- Transfer any remaining buttercream to a piping bag with a piping tip. Pipe a border on the top and bottom of the cake. Alternatively, this cake can be coved with fondant as well.
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The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you
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