Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon layer cake with homemade lemon cream cheese frosting is hands-down the best lemon cake I’ve ever eaten. Every bite bursts with fresh lemon flavor, and this lemon cake recipe is easy to make!

One of the best, most exciting, and most humbling parts of food blogging is hearing from you when you make one of my recipes. It is always meaningful to hear from you and know that, of the thousands (maybe millions) of recipes out there, you chose one of mine. I am especially honored when you make one of my recipes, like today’s Lemon Layer Cake, for a special celebration, such as a birthday or anniversary. Of all the recipes on my site, this Lemon Layer Cake has been a part of more of your celebrations than any other. You’ve called it “super moist,” “easy,” “perfectly fluffy,” and even the “best lemon cake recipe in the world.”

beautifully frosted lemon layer cake with lemon cream cheese frosting

Lemon desserts always make me think of spring, so I wanted to take a moment to reshare this Lemon Layer Cake recipe with you and add a video for it too.

I originally baked this super moist Lemon Layer Cake for my 30th birthday. Because when you are a food blogger, when you want a lemon birthday cake, you bake it yourself—and it’s funny to read through the old post now. I decided to leave the original post unedited because, now nearly a year later, it’s interesting (and a little humorous) to be able to look back on how I was feeling when I hit the big 3-0. How will I feel at 31? Only this year’s birthday cake post will tell.

Without further ado: how I felt turning 30 (which you can definitely skip) and the Best Lemon Layer Cake in The World (which you definitely should not!).

The Best Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

It took me 30 years to find the recipe for the most perfect, fluffy Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s been worth the wait. Despite feeling more unsettled than I care to admit about turning The Big 3-0 today, I can cling to one comforting certainty: if the next year of my life is 1/30th as good as this lemon birthday cake, I am in for an excellent 365 days.

lemon layer cake frosted with lemon cream cheese frosting, topped with fresh yellow flowers and candles

I realize that the online image-appropriate thing to do is to tell you that I’m typing this post with such unwavering confidence in my own security as a woman in her 30s, and the firm clicking of my laptop keys is drowning out the sounds of the espresso machine at the hip, urban coffee shop where I’m currently hanging out with other hip, urban 30-year-olds.

The less image-appropriate truth is…I’m typing this from my couch while eating chocolate chip coconut oil cookies and drinking an $8 bottle of red wine I bought at Trader Joe’s.

OK FINE, that’s not entirely true—the wine cost $7.

lemon layer cake frosted with lemon cream cheese frosting, topped with fresh lemon slices

I’ve been watching May 1st approach on my calendar the way one watches an ex-boyfriend or irritating co-worker in public: furtively, without eye contact, and with the desperate hope to escape before he or she walks over and starts a conversation. Avoidance is a delicate art, and my 30th birthday is tenacious. It’s arrived, taken its place at my table, and pulled out its fork. I may as well as well sit down with it and pull mine out too.

Please come and join us, my three decades of life and me, for a giant slice of the most luscious Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.

It’s the best lemon cake recipe I’ve ever tasted, anywhere, and quite possibly the best cake I’ve ever baked.

It’s also just one of the many things I want to celebrate today.

slice of lemon layer cake with lemon cream cheese frosting on a white dessert plate

Although I’m feeling a little funky about turning 30, I have an incredible number of blessings in my life that I want to honor and appreciate today.

Thirty doesn’t look like I thought it would when I was in high school. If you had asked 17-year-old Erin what 30-year-old Erin would be doing, she would have told you that at 30, I would be a happy stay-at-home mom with four well-dressed, angelically mannered children, living in or near my hometown.

She also would have assumed that the people I call family and see the most often would be the same people as my family in high school, and that my friend crowd would be similar too. Overall, my world as a 30-year old wouldn’t look much different than my world at 17. I would just be smarter, prettier, and have everything all figured out.

Cue real-life 30.

woman with long brown hair, wearing sunglasses, standing on a trolley car

I’m not even on Baby #1 (let alone Baby #4), live in Wisconsin, work a job that didn’t exist when I was 17, and have hardly anything figured out. Seventeen-year-old me did get one thing right though: I am happy. So, so happy. And blessed. And crazy busy. I adore it. I have best friends in cities I never knew I’d call home, a husband who I love more deeply than I realized was possible to feel towards another human being, and a family that I never imagined, but whom I love so much too.

On Friday, I received one of the biggest surprises of my life when I ran into my mom and stepdad in the Milwaukee airport. They’d flown to Milwaukee to surprise me for my 30th birthday, and we happened to be on the same connecting flight from Atlanta, they coming from Wichita and me from my trip to Louisiana. In the same moment I realized they’d done this special thing for me, my stepdad told me that he is officially cancer-free. Honestly, it was one of the best moments of my life.

This afternoon, they’ll join us for the 30th birthday party that Ben’s family (my new family) is throwing for me. With the exception of my mom, every single guest at that party will be someone I’ve grown to love, but whom 17-year-old me never could have imagined. I feel closer than ever to two of my best friends who are unable to attend, but whom I know are celebrating with us in spirit, my younger sisters. Seventeen-year-old me never wouldn’t have expected that. Nor would she have guessed that her then 12-year-old younger sister would be picking out her 30th birthday outfit.

lemon layer cake decorated with fresh yellow and pink flowers and candles for a 30th birthday

I’m not bringing the dessert this afternoon (Ben’s family wouldn’t let me), but I cannot imagine a cake more perfect for any celebration than Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Sunshine Lover’s Lemon Layer Cake

The best way I can describe this lemon layer cake is that it tastes like sunshine. The cake crumb is sublimely soft and fluffy, the lemon flavor balanced and fresh, and the creaminess of the frosting exquisite. Every bite of this lemon cake combines a burst of citrus with melt-in-your-mouth buttery tenderness.

This Lemon Layer Cake is also fabulously simple to work with and frost. Despite being super moist, the cake layers are easy to trim and stack. This Lemon Layer Cake also slices cleanly and looks beautiful on the plate, an important quality in any cake you hope to serve at a party.

I filled the lemon cake layers with the same lemon cream cheese frosting that is outside the cake (which tasted fabulous), but if you like, you can transform it into a lemon curd layer cake by using lemon curd between the layers, then spreading the lemon cream cheese frosting on the cake’s outside.

If you are looking for a classic lemon cake that requires less assembly than a layer cake but is still ultra impressive, try my stellar Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake or this classic Lemon Poke Cake. It has the same level of fabulous-ness as this Lemon Layer Cake, but in breezy bundt cake form.

Lemon Layer Cake topped with lemon cream cheese frosting, fresh spring flowers and candles for a 30th birthday

To my wonderful friends and family, and to you my readers, THANK YOU for making my birthday so special. Because of you, I have more blessings than I can count and so much to look forward to this year and in the ones to follow!

Tools I used to bake this Lemon Layer Cake:

Birthday Cake Recipes from Prior Years:

More Yummy Layer and Lemon Cakes from Around the Web:

lemon layer cake frosted with lemon cream cheese frosting, garnished with lemon slices
4.8 from 80 votes
Leave a Review »

Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
Supremely moist and fluffy lemon layer cake with homemade lemon cream cheese frosting. Every bite bursts with fresh lemon flavor! The perfect cake for any occasion.



  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour*
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder — I recommend aluminum free
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick unsalted butter — at room temperature (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract


  • 8 ounces  cream cheese — softened
  • 1 stick — 8 tablespoons or 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 3/4  cups powdered sugar — sifted
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice — divided (from about 1/2 a large lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8x2-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, then butter the parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites.
  3. Place the granulated sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a standing mixer or a large mixing bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and beat on medium speed for 3 full minutes, until very light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon extract.
  4. Beating on medium speed, add one-third of the flour mixture, then half of the egg/buttermilk mixture and beat until combined. Still beating on medium speed, add the next third of the dry ingredients, then the remaining eggs/buttermilk. Beat until the batter is smooth, then add the remaining dry ingredients. Beat for 2 additional minutes on medium speed, ensuring the batter is very well combined and that plenty of air has been beaten into it.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber or offset spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen, spring back lightly when touched, and a small knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the cake pans on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes, then run a dull knife around the sides of the cake to loosen. Gently invert the cake into your hand so that it comes out of the pan, remove the paper liner, then place the cake directly back onto the wire rack, bottom (flat) side down and right-side up. Let cool to room temperature.
  6. Prepare the frosting: Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth and no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt. Once the sugar begins to incorporate, increase the mixer to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon lemon juice to thin if desired.
  7. Frost the cake: First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake plate or stand. Tuck wax or parchment paper strips underneath the edges of the cake to protect the plate. Evenly cover the top with lemon cream cheese frosting. Place the second cake layer on top, cut-side down. Top with more frosting and spread the frosting down around the sides. Decorate as desired. You can slice the cake right away, but for the cleanest cut, refrigerate the frosted cake or place in a cool room for 40 minutes to set. Let the cake come as close to room temperature as possible prior to serving—serving cold can cause some of the fresh lemon flavor to be hard to taste.

Recipe Notes

  • *Cake flour is important for this recipe to ensure the layers are extra fluffy and light. If you do not have cake flour, you can make your own by measuring 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, removing 5 tablespoons of the measured flour, adding 5 tablespoons of cornstarch, then sifting the mixture together 5 times. Measure out the 2 1/4 c. needed for the recipe, then bake as directed.
  • Cake layers can be baked 1 day in advance—cool completely then wrap airtight and store at room temperature.
  • Frosting can be prepared 1 day in advance—place in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Fully frosted or unfrosted cakes can be frozen for up to 2 months—let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature prior to serving.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Homemade Cake Recipe, Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 12)) — Calories: 519, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 229mg, Carbohydrates: 72g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 55g, Protein: 7g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. Happy Birthday Erin! A lovely post from a lovely woman! 

    • Helen, thank you, thank you! That means so much (and I love the little lemon emojis too!)

      • Can this frosting be piped onto the cake?

        • Hi Sherry, the cream cheese frosting is a little too soft to pipe—if you’d like to pipe it, you can always add powdered sugar. It will be sweeter but also stiffer and easier for piping. (I haven’t tried this myself, but it should work.)

        • Try adding a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of shortening to get it a bit stiffer for piping

          • Thanks for sharing a tip, Karen. (P.S. I haven’t tried this myself, but I’d love to hear what you think if you do try it.)

  2. Happy birthday Erin!  So grateful to count you as one of my friends.  Enjoy celebrating 30!!

  3. Happy birthday!!!!

  4. Happy Birthday Erin! I wish you all the best. Hope you enjoy your day!!!

  5. Happy birthday Erin! I, too, hid from my 30th. I even threw someone a bridal shower that day (which was really more a matter of logistics than anything else). But it turns out my 30s were my best decade yet. I bought my own house, made great new friends, and was more comfortable with myself than ever before. Embrace it, enjoy it, and have the time of your life.

    Oh, and your lemon cake sounds divine ???

  6. Happy birthday Erin! Enjoy your day, your family, your cake and your life! Thank you for sharing your special gift of cooking with all of us! 

    God blessed you and all your family
    I enjoy your all your Recipes Very much and all your comments

  8. I read your blog often and tell my away-at-college (much too far away) daughter that your blog sounds like my her talking. I hope when she’s 30 she will be as settled and happy in her life as you are in yours. Have a very Happy Birthday!

  9. Happy birthday, friend! What an awesome surprise to see your mom and stepdad at the airport when you arrived! Have a wonderful day with family! 
    I have felt happier and healthier in my 30s than I did in my 20s. With a joyful itch to try new things and visit new places while I’m still young. :) Hope you love your 30s, too! 
    P.S. This cake is amazingly light while still having a buttery richness. And so deliciously lemony!!

  10. Happy Birthday! It’s my first time on your blog. I found it while looking for things I’m grateful for and came across one of your old posts. Thanks for helping me make my list. I’m grateful for people like you take the time to make lists of what they are grateful for and for showing that you can live a life and make a living do what you love. Hope 30 is another year to be grateful for.

    • LaShanta, I am so happy that you found my blog and enjoyed the thankfulness list too. Thank you for the lovely birthday wishes. I have much to be grateful for indeed :)

  11. Is it weird that I teared up a little while reading this post? Don’t answer that. 

    See you tomorrow.

    Happy Birthday!!!!

  12. Happy Birthday Erin!! What a lovely post. :) I also was sad to turn 30, but had some wonderful blessings happen that year. Hoping what people say is true for us: that the 30s are the best decade yet!
    This cake looks delicious, can’t wait to try it for my mom’s birthday. 
    You just missed the amazing weather in the SF bay area. Back to 70s & 80s! 
    Come back soon! :) 

  13. Lovely cake.  Happy Irthday

  14. Happy Birthday! I enjoy your blog very much and have tried many of your recipes! Thanks for sharing your birthday cake recipe!

  15. Happy happy birthday! I hope you have an amazing day!

  16. Happy birthday to a sweet and creative woman!  You running into  your Mom and step Dad at the airport was twice the surprise and happiness. Enjoy your party?

  17. Oh  WELCOME to the dirty 30 club! I promise I felt the exact same way leading up to it, but so far the new decade has felt empowering. You sent those shifty twenties out with a bang, so I know that the next year will only bring more glorious, sweet things. xoxoxo

  18. Happy Birthday, Erin! What a beautiful post! And the cake looks perfect too!

  19. Happy  Birthday Erin!  
    My birthday is today too – only I am 15 years older than you, and am also so happy :-).  I have have been happiled married for 19+ years and have 2 wonderful daughters, 9+ and 11+.  I have a sweet, loving, husband who made me a paella dinner tonight for the 3rd time from a delicious, healthy recipe that I found in People Magazine from Daphne Oz 2 years ago.  
    Thanks for all of your great recipes- and I hope you have a long, prosperous life!!
    – -Suzanne

    • HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUZANNE! I hope you had a wonderful, special day. Your comment is so kind and makes me excited for all that I have ahead of me too.

  20. Happy birthday. I’m, uh, more than 30, and I don’t have it all figured out yet, so just have fun ;)

  21. Happy birthday Erin!!! My birthday is Thursday, yay for May babies! :) I’m DEFINITELY making this cake. 

  22. From Tar Heel country, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ERIN!!!!  May your day be filled with hugs and fun and love and CAKE!  OR PIE! ;) Printing the lemon cake recipe now cause I’m all about lemon these days!!

  23. Happy happy birthday Erin!!!

  24. Happy Birthday from all the family in England!

  25. Happy birthday, Erin! You look radiant and have so much to be proud of! You’ve accomplished a great deal in these past 30 years, and I know you’ll continue to do so in your 30’s. I’ll be 28 this year, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat dreading the big 3-0, but I think as many above have commented, life just continues to get better! Also,this cake looks divine and is the perfect cake for a wonderful celebration!

  26. Happy Birthday Erin !!  I come from a lemon loving family and this cake is amazing. The only change I made was putting lemon curd between the cake layers and the lemon cream cheese frosting on the outside.  Not a single crumb was left. Thank-you.

  27. Happy Birthday, Erin! Welcome to your 30’s. I promise you, it will be way better than your 20’s :) Now I wish I had a slice of this cake for dessert!

  28. Happy birthday!! My birthday is the 2nd!! I’m the baker in the house and wanted an easy birthday, so I bought a store made cake and didn’t like it!  I think I’ll try this! Thanks!

  29. Happy Birthday to you, Erin! May life continue to bring you joy and contentment as well as nice surprises! Enjoy this time! Thanks for sharing your life and recipes with us!
    Missed your trip to LA!  (I’ve been in exam mode!) Hope you passed a good time!

    • Grace, we had a wonderful trip (though we were in San Fran/Sonoma. I do love Southern Cali too though!). Thanks so much for your kind bday wishes and good luck with exams!

  30. Hi, Erin! I’ve stumbled upon your blog here and there, but for some reason, decided to stop and read THIS post. And I have to tell you… I totally started crying reading that you found out your step-father is cancer free. Last week, I also found out my dad is cancer free, a diagnosis he was given in October 2015, just 3 weeks after I found out I was pregnant (and 1 month after my 30th birthday). I’ve spent a lot of time thinking he wouldn’t be around to meet his grandson, but I am so so so happy that in 6ish weeks, he will. Sending you lots of 30th birthday love, creepy internet hugs for your step-dad, and a promise I will be back as a Well Plated fan. Happy belated to you!

    • Lynn, I got the biggest smile on my face reading this!!! I am overjoyed to hear that your dad is cancer free and will meet his grandson so soon. Congrats on your baby to be too. We both have a lot to celebrate :) I’m so happy you found my blog and said hi. Thanks for your note. It means a lot!

  31. I would like to make this cake but there aren’t any directions, don’t want to mess it up!!!

  32. Hi. I was wondering if you’ve ever made cupcakes with this batter?

    • Victoria, I’ve never tried the recipe this way, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! I would just suggest using paper liners, as the cake batter might be sticky, and reduce the cooking time— my guess is they will be done in 20 to 30 minutes, but again since I’ve never tried the recipe this way, keep a close eye on it. If you decide to try the recipe as cupcakes, I’d love to hear how they come out!

  33. I’ve taken a liking to lemon cakes over the past half year, and this cake is honestly the best I’ve found yet. It’s insanely moist, like I truly was not expecting such a fluffy, great textured cake. The icing was incredible, super lemony– I added a dash of lemon extract, a bit more zest, and I skipped the vanilla. This is going on my personal favorites list for sure. Thanks for the recipe!

  34. Nani Wijaya Nasution Reply

    Happy Birthday, Erin! Love your recipes, thank you so much! <3

  35. Belated Happy B-day but my excuse is that I just stumbled on your blog.

    Other lemon cake recipes use baking soda instead of baking powder to, as Rose Levy Beranbaum says in The Cake Bible, “retain the lemon flavor while neutralizing some of the acidity.” Have you baking soda? Any opinion?

    I’m not a cake person but I want to make a pink lemonade cake for a July 4th party. You’re is the most appealing recipe. Just add food coloring.

    • Hi Sarah! I haven’t heard that about baking powder versus baking soda, but I can promise that this cake has a lovely and bright lemon flavor. I thought the amount was just right, as have a few other reviewers. If you really want stronger lemon, you can always add some extra lemon zest to the batter. I hope you enjoy it!

  36. hi, i came across this recipe as my son wants a lemon cake for his birthday. Just wondering about the kosher salt, if I can use regular table or sea salt instead, and if so should I use less? Or does the Kosher play a different role in the cake that regular salt can’t fill? I don’t happen to have Kosher on hand but will go buy some if it somehow affects the outcome or taste of the cake…thanks! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Hi Adrionne! I call for kosher salt, because I preferred its milder flavor to that of regular table salt, which I think takes somewhat metallic. You can use regular table salt, just put in a slightly lesser amount, since the grains are smaller. I hope you love the cake!

  37. Baked the lemon cake today and followed the directions to a t.  It was ok but was not worth the trouble.  It was very involved and took a lot of time.  Will not make again.

    • Sharon, I’m sorry to hear this cake didn’t hit the spot for you! As you can see from other comments, other readers have enjoyed it very much, but tastes are different. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it work out, so I’m sad to hear that was the case for you! Let me know if you’d like any help troubleshooting the recipe.

  38. Hey! I am making this cake right now for my dad. His birthday is tomorrow and I’m 13! Making it all by my self x 

  39. Hi Zainab! The cake definitely should not be dense—it’s actually quite fluffy and tender. I would attribute it to overmixing, along with some other potential factors. Just like you said, the more that you work a batter, the more gluten develops. It makes the dough chewy, which is great for bread, but not light and fluffy baked treats like cake. It’s also important to use cake flour, and alternate the dry and wet ingredients as the recipe directs. Did you do these things too? Regardless, I’m sorry this cake didn’t turn out perfectly for you! I hope it goes better than next time.

  40. I made this for my daughter’s first birthday party, and luckily made 2 batches. There wasn’t a single piece left, and I gave the recipe to 4 people! So light, and perfectly described as sunshine- just the right amount of lemon. Thanks Erin!

    • Rachael, I am so excited to hear this!!! I love that you doubled it too—I honestly wish I had done that the first time myself :) Thanks so much for taking time to share this kind review!

  41. Hi Erin, i was wondering if it is possible to make this as a sheet cake instead of a layer cake? 

    • Hi Jen! I’ve never tried this as anything but a layer cake, and this cake recipe doesn’t actually yield quite enough batter for a full 9×13-inch pan in the thickness you are probably hoping for. If you don’t mind a cake that is somewhat thinner, you can certainly experiment! Bake at the same temperature as indicated in the recipe, but be sure to check the cake early, as it might finish more quickly since the layers are somewhat thinner.

  42. I made this cake today!!It was all gone within a hour. My husband and family loved it! It was delicious ☺️ Thanks so much! How can I access more of your recipes? 

    • YAY! I am soooooo happy to hear this. Thanks so much for leaving this lovely review.

      As far as accessing my recipes, this entire website is completely filled with them! A good place to start is the recipe index, which is broken down into lots of helpful categories: http://www.wellplated.com/recipe-index/

      • You are so welcome! I have never ever written a review before but after this cake I had to!! Thank you so much! I’ll be checking out more of your recipes??

  43. hi erin, im not a favourite of sweet cakes.is this cake sweet?

    • Hi! This recipe is intended to be a dessert, so yes, the cake is sweet. I don’t find it overly sweet as far as cakes go, but if you are concerned, you might try making these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. They are still lightly sweet, but not as sweet as a cake: http://www.wellplated.com/strawberry-oatmeal-bars/

  44. Hi, Erin! Is there a substitute for the lemon extract? Can’t find one here in the country where I live in. Tnx!

  45. Hi Erin,

    is it 4 white egg rite?
    so actually this recipe don’t use yolk at all? i ever read that yolk actually can make cake moist?

    thanks alot

    • Correct, just egg whites. Don’t worry, the cake is plenty moist.☺️ Feel free to read some of the other reviews if you would like to hear what others have thought about the cake. It has been quite popular!

  46. WOW!! I made two of these cakes, one exactly like the recipe stated, and for the other one I just added blueberries to the batter. Both were beyond amazing, the icing, and cake! Thank you so so much for the recipe!

  47. Could I use lemon juice instead of extract?
    Also, do you think I could turn this into a lemonade poke cake or is it too fluffy for that? Thanks!

    • Hi Annie! I would recommend sticking with the lemon extract, because its flavor is much more concentrated than lemon juice, so it’s important to the overall taste of the cake. I would also probably stay away from doing this as a poke cake. From my experience, most poke cakes are baked as a sheet cake in a 9×13 pan, versus done as a tiered cake like this. I’m worried that if you poked holes and soaked them with liquid, the layers, which are already very tender and fluffy, would not hold together. I’m sorry if that is not the answer you were hoping for, but I really want this recipe to turn out for you!

  48. Can I make this cake as a bundt cake?

    • Hi Regina! I think I actually answered this a few comments above you, but I’ve never tried the cake this way. Because bundt cakes are much thicker, and the cake is so light and delicate, I would actually recommend sticking with round layers and not a bundt cake. You can feel free to experiment, but do use your best judgment.

  49. I have made this cake and it was divine! I wold like to try this using almond extract instead of lemon. Do you think the flavor would work?

    • Maegan, it’s completely up to you! I personally love the lemon flavor, but if you want to play around with almond, I’m sure it would be yummy too! Almond extract is different than lemon extract in strength though. I’d suggest omitting the lemon zest and lemon extract from the cake, then adding 1 teaspoon or 1 1/2 teaspoons of almond extract and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. If you try the cake this way, I’d love to hear how it comes out!! (You can do the frosting as lemon if you like that combo, or look online for an almond cream cheese frosting to replace it).

  50. I tried this recipe this weekend and I have to say that I LOVED the icing.  However,  others liked the cake but it was too heavy or thick for me. It was soft but very thick. 

    • I’m so glad you loved the icing Rhonda! The cake should definitely be light and fluffy. DId you make sure that the butter was at room temp, to use CAKE flour, to alternate the dry and wet ingredients, and to sift the ingredients? Every one of these things can make a big difference in the outcome of the cake. Regardless, I’m the glad others enjoyed it!!

  51. Thank you; I used your lemon icing recipe last week , to cover a cake, and it was so good, I made it again this week for a Christian Union Bake-Off Competition at Uni (it won Judges choice!). I really like this recipe, it is saved to my favourites! In the works of one of my Uni friends, ‘It is so good, because it has just the right balance of lemon tang to sweetness.’ Thank you.

    • I am so glad that is recipe has become a favorite Hannah! Thank you so much for sharing this icing with so many friends, and for coming back here to share this review. It means a lot!

  52. I have to admit, I have a weakness for anything lemon or lemon flavored, so this cake recipe looks like heaven to me! Thank you so much for sharing it.

    I have pinned it to both my Food Bloggers Coalition board as well as my own Desserts board on Pinterest! It looks amazing.

    Congratulations to your stepfather for being cancer-free! That is a precious gift right there.

  53. I love lemon and made this for my friend for a special birthday. I loved the frosting. I did the recipe step by step and made sure I did everything as directed. It came out more like an angel food cake texture and was dry. I over baked it, but did less time then was stated in recipe. The taste was great. I was expecting light and fluffy.

    • Annie, I’m sorry this didn’t come out perfectly for you! Were you using a glass or ceramic pan? Glass conducts heat very differently than metal, so that will change how the cake bakes and can make it become dry. Also, if you baked the cake in a 9-inch pan (vs the 8 inch in the recipe) that can cause it to cook more quickly too. Every oven is also different. It might be that your oven runs a little hot. I recommend using an oven thermometer, just to be safe. I’m glad you liked the flavor at least!

  54. I just happened upon this recipe, and I will independently verify that this is the best lemon cake recipe.  The cake is moist, texture and flavor is similar to angel food cake. Frosting is *amazing*. And because I can’t get enough lemon, I put lemon curd between the cake layers (as well as a thin layer of icing). My entire family loved it…. recipe is being saved!

    • Sidney, thank you so much for this sweet comment! I’m so glad you and your family loved the recipe. What a fabulous idea to layer lemon curd in the cake…YUM!

  55. Made this cake for my son’s baptism today, it was amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe. 

    • Thank you, Hayley! What a wonderful occasion for a cake. Thanks for leaving such a nice review…I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  56. Wanting to make this for my hubby. He loves lemon!

  57. Erin, tomorrow is my 53rd birthday. I really love lemon (and baking) so I’m trying your cake recipe to celebrate! There’s nothing like a really fluffy, delicious cake…

    • Happy birthday, Judy!!! I hope you love the cake. I’m honored that you would choose this recipe to help you celebrate. :)

  58. This was the best new years cake I’ve ever baked! Was my first try with lemons and it was absolutely divine! The frosting was everything lemon and everyone loved it! I had no cake flour but it turned out fine with superfine flour too (what a relief)! Definitely will be making this cake again and again ?! Happy New Year from Malaysia to you lemon cake goddess!

    • Resshaya, I’m blushing! Thank you so much! I’m glad you loved the cake. I really appreciate your taking the time to leave this wonderful comment! ❤️

  59. Hi!  I was looking for a recipe for lemon cake to make for a good friend’s marriage anniversary, and came across this post.  First of all, I’m so glad I did because your food posts look amazing!  Right up my alley.  Secondly, I’d like to try your lemon cake recipe but what can I substitute for lemon oil?  Can I just use finely grated lemon zest in the same amount?  Thanks, and looking forward to reading your other posts.  

    • Hi Rubana! I just realized this went unanswered—I would just use extra lemon zest. If you do decide to try the cake, I hope you love it!

  60. I went step by step first time a cake recipe didn’t turn out. I really wished it had because my niece was looking forward to a lemon cake.

  61. Wonderful cake really light and fluffy. I baked the cake 25 min and it was perfect, but all ovens are different and times vary even the with the same cake so I always go 5 minutes less you can always add time but you can’t unbaked it.  This cake has the exact right amount of lemon.  I will definitely bake this cake again. 

    I know it’s really late so I am wishing your 30’s. were as great as mine.  Enjoy and thanks for the recipe 

    • Paula, I will take bday wishes any day, thank you!!! And I am so so sooo happy you liked the cake. Great wisdom on checking it early too. Thanks for leaving this lovely review!

  62. I made this cake for my niece’s 18th birthday. She LOVES lemon, so I had a feeling it would be a hit with her, but EVERYONE loved it. I followed your recipe, baking for 30 minutes and that was just right. It had a very strong, but natural, lemon flavor, a delicate crumb, it rose beautifully and was in every way a perfect cake. I copied your flower and numeral decorations and added a small written message on the cake, which was simple, beautiful, and very easy to do. One thing that I did different was that I only leveled the bottom layer. That was because when I trimmed off the dome from one layer I tasted it and found that the golden crust was amazing tasting. I thought that it really added to the flavor of the cake, so I left the cake top with a dome on it, rather than making it completely flat. Thank you for this recipe. It is one I will make over and over.

    • Hi Jeanne! It truly means so much that you made this cake for your niece’s birthday! I’m so happy to hear that everyone enjoyed it. And although it’s always fun to get a little treat from the scraps when leveling the cake, leaving the dome for flavor is also a delicious way to go. :) Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  63. Today was my second time making this cake. I made it for my 30th birthday! It turned out great! It was amazing the first time. I accidentally put 4 whole eggs in it instead of egg whites, but it still tasted good. This is definitely a go to cake as it is very simple to make.

    • Hi Danyell, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the cake and that it’s now a go-to recipe for you! Thanks so much for taking the time to report back. :)

  64. This sounds like a recipe I’ve been looking for at least 40 years. My aunt made a cake like this. Thank you for sharing it. I’ll be trying it in near future for a gift to a friend.

  65. My sister made this cake for our mom’s 80th birthday! It was an absolute hit! Mom likes lemon anything and everyone loved this cake. Needless to say, it didn’t last. In my opinion, it rivals the lemon cake at Olive Garden!! Best lemon cake I have EVER tasted!

    • Thank you so much, Deborah! I’m so happy to hear it was the perfect cake for your mom’s birthday celebration. I really appreciate your taking the time to leave this wonderful review!


  67. Hi.
    I don’t have lemon extract. Can I use vanilla and more zest?

  68. Happy Birthday Erin.

    I baked this for my mom’s 65th birthday and she loved it. It was my first cake. My father died two years ago, so I try to come up with ideas to brighted her day. It was denser than inexpected and it wasn’t too rich or sweet, so there wasn’t a plate unfinished. I even got piping tips to decorate it. I was able to achieve a thicker frosting by folding in the powdered sugar.

    Thank you again for this recipe.

    • That sounds absolutely wonderful, Christopher. I’m honored that my cake would be the one you chose to bake for your mom’s birthday! It makes me so happy to hear that it was enjoyed by everyone. Thank you for sharing!

  69. Hi Erin,

    I wanted to make a birthday cake for a friend’s 50th birthday at work, who’s favorite cake was lemon. Not having made a lemon cake from scratch before, I googled it. Your cake looked manageable and turned out to be “the bomb!” Not only was it a hit with my friend, but everyone at the office raved about it! It was surprisingly moist. Thank you for this delicious recipe! I enjoy your site and am looking forward to trying more or your recipes throughout the coming years, as I specifically wanted to practice and expand my novice cooking skills this year. Best wishes, and thanks again! ;)

    • Hi Janine! Thank you so much for the kind words about the lemon cake and my site! I truly appreciate it. :) I am so honored you made this cake for your friend’s birthday, and I’m so happy to hear it was a hit! Thanks again!

  70. This is THE best lemon cake recipe. I was looking for a lemon cake that was not a bunt or pound recipe. This is amazing. Looks like an angel food cake but is much fancier. So delicious. I used just a whipped cream frosting since my daughter does not like cream cheese. I though about making a whipped cream/cream cheese frosting but opted for just whipped cream. I layered the cake with lemon curd from Trader Joes and thinly sliced strawberries. I am now making the exact recipe for a bake sale.

    • Thank you so much, Mary! I’m glad the recipe was a winner for you. Thanks for sharing your tweaks to the recipe—that lemon curd and the strawberries sound delicious!

  71. Just made this last night, and it was an absolute hit! Perfectly moist and fluffy. I used two nine inch square pans, and reduced the bake time to 20 mins. Thanks for the recipe :)

  72. Hi your cake looks so so good can’t wait to try it. Happy Birthday. I’ll repost after I make this beautiful cake. I loved reading  all the fans that posted for you. I really look forward to making many of your recipes. Thank you

  73. I only made the frosting and it was so delicious!! Next time I’ll make the cake to go with it.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the frosting, Jean! I’d love to hear how you like the cake if you do give it a try. Thank you so much for reporting back!

  74. just had this recipe reco to my nephew who is a baker ! Thanks a lot Erin

  75. I made the vegan version of this cake and it was perfect.  I made an egg substitute out of cornstarch and instead of the buttermilk, I used almond milk with a tbsp. of ACV.  The was perfectly moist and fluffy.  Great recipe.  

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the cake, Jennifer! Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback and tweaks!

  76. Would I use the paddle or whisk attachment of the stand up mixer to make the actual cake?

  77. To what consistency should the egg whites and buttermilk be whipped?
    Just to combine or should they be frothy or should they form soft or stiff peaks?

  78. Fabulous cake!  My family loved it!  Nice and fluffy, light, with just the right amount of lemon.  Frosting also deliciously creamy – not too cheesy.   Thanks for this tasty, perfect cake recipe!     I’d love to alter this cake/frosting recipe for yellow cake, Chocolate, etc. it’s that good!  Any tips  on altering ingredients for other flavors  would be greatly appreciated.  

    • Hi Diana, I’m so thrilled that the cake was a winner for you! As for tips on altering flavors, I’ve really only tested this recipe with lemon. I think an almond cake with almond extract would be delicious, as would other citrus cakes such as orange and lime. I hesitate to recommend altering the recipe to be a chocolate or yellow cake because more ingredients would change than just the extracts, and that would affect the cake and its texture.

  79. Thank you, Erin, for the quick reply!  Your suggestions make sense!   I may try lime or orange for a change or one of your other cake recipes.  The lemon is truly a fabulous cake; my family’s quickly devouring!  Have a great day!?

  80. Happy Birthday, Erin! Hope you have a wonderful day! This sounds amazing and we’ll have a piece this weekend in your honor!

  81. Lemon cake is my favorite! love the idea of the cream cheese frosting. Happy birthday, have a wonderful day (:

  82. The cake looks delish and the video looks wonderful!!!!!! ?

  83. Have a very special birthday – and enjoy the lemon cake. It sounds wonderful – anything citrus gets my vote!

  84. Steph Scaturchio Reply

    I made this cake today however I did not make the frosting. The cake is excellent. I’ve made hundreds of cakes and this is a good recipe. Cake came out perfect.  I will have some of my  testers  try this tomorrow. Thank you. 

  85. thanks too and happy belated birthday Erin!

  86. How would you adjust the recipe for high altitude?

  87. Can this be made in a 9×13 glass pan? The recipe sounds delicious, would love to make it sometime but I don’t usually make layered cakes. If it can’t be made in a single layer then i’ll just have to make a layered cake!

    • I would love to know the answer to this is well :)

      • Hi Ashley and Sophia, I’ve never tried this as anything but a layer cake, and this cake recipe doesn’t actually yield quite enough batter for a full 9×13-inch pan in the thickness you are probably hoping for. If you don’t mind a cake that is somewhat thinner, you can certainly experiment! Bake at the same temperature as indicated in the recipe, but be sure to check the cake early, as it might finish more quickly.

  88. The flavor of this cake is out of this world and it was super moist. The only problem I had with the cake was that my cake’s texture turned out to be like an angel food cake, very close air cells. I’d prefer a much lighter texture like pictured. Erin, do you have any tips for me? Im not sure what happened!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the flavor, Brooke! The texture is very light and fluffy, though it shouldn’t be spongy like angel food cake. My guess is maybe if the cake was tougher than you wanted, it could’ve been the result of overbeating the ingredients, perhaps not alternating the dry and wet, or not using cake flour. Those are all small things that can make a difference, but if it’s not one of those, it’s hard to tell what may have been the cause since everyone’s kitchen is different!

  89. Hi Cindy, generally 1 medium lemon produces 1 tablespoon of zest. But yes, you can use lemon extract! The guidelines I’ve seen are that you should use only half the amount of extract when substituting for zest. As for the skin you mentioned, I’ve never seen that before! My guess is that it might be a byproduct of overmixing, but it’s really difficult for me to say. A hotter oven could be the culprit too. I wish I had more insight!

  90. hi Erin. Gus from Newcastle in NSW Australia here. Going to have a go at your lemon cake tomorrow. The flour – self raising or plain? Gus

  91. Hi Erin,  my family is crazy about this recipe & says it’s the best ever.  I’ve made it 2x with the cream cheese frosting and the frosting is not as thick as it should be (top layer could almost slide off).   I hate to add more sugar as it’s sweet enough.  Perhaps my cream cheese & butter is too soft?   I only added 1 tsp of lemon juice. Any tips  would be greatly appreciated.  

    Best cake recipe — ever!  

    Thanks so much!  

    • Hi Diana, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the cake! I haven’t experienced this, but my guess would be that the butter and cream cheese got too soft, like you thought. Next time it might help to chill the frosting for a little bit in the fridge (checking and stirring every so often so it doesn’t get *too* firm) before putting it on the cake.

  92. I made this cake to bring to a dinner party and it was a huge hit! It’s absolutely perfect for Spring and I could eat that cream cheese frosting with a spoon! The only sad thing was I let the hostess keep what wasn’t devoured at the party, so I only had one slice! Guess I’ll just have to make another one…. Thanks for the recipe Erin, and happy birthday!

    • Hooray, Judy! Thank you so much for trying the recipe and taking the time to report back! I’m so glad to hear the cake was a hit. :)

  93. hi!
    I’m planning on a lemon cake for a baby shower and your recipe and all the lovely comments make it seem like a winner. My only worry , is whether I can stack another cake on top or will it cave under the weight? Can it be sculpted?
    I trully intend on trying it at some point no matter the answer.
    I also wanted to mention how nice and dedicated of you it is to reply so promptly on all posts!!

    • Hi N! I usually do this in two layers, and it’s perfectly sturdy. I worry that the cream cheese frosting may be a too little soft to be able to support additional layers, but I’ve never tried so I can’t say for certain. I do think you could cut this cake into a different shape before frosting if you’d like, but I don’t have much experience with sculpting or stacking many layers. There are lots of tips online (like using the right frosting and dowels) that help when you’re making tall, elaborate cakes, so if you’d like to give it a try, I’d do some research on that first! I hope you enjoy the cake!

  94. Hello Erin. I plan to give this recipe a try soon. My question is, do you sift your dry ingredients before measuring? Or do you measure & then sift? I absolutely LOVE lemon & can hardly wait to make this cake!!

  95. Alexis Kaiktsian Reply

    This recipe was delicious! I did mix in strawberries and a little more lemon extract into the middle layer of icing and it turned out wonderfully! Thank you so much!

    • YAY Alexis! Thanks so much for taking the time to report back and share your tweaks! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe.

  96. Hi Karin! I’m glad you love the flavor of this cake! It definitely should not be dense though. A few tips to help for next time: be sure to use cake flour, sift the ingredients, and alternate the wet and dry as directed. The batter might also have been over mixed. Regardless, I’m glad that you enjoyed the taste, which is the best part!

  97. It’s my Moms 40th birthday so I wanted to make her something special. I’m really picky when it comes to bread-like desserts. Everything from pancakes to cakes to donuts HAVE to be perfect. This cake is NOT dense at all. It’s airy and fluffy with a mild sweet lemon taste. I’m so happy I used this cake recipe. After it was done baking I poked holes in it and filled the holes with lemon custard to intensify the flavor on the bottom layer (this is a 4 layer cake!) and between each layer added a white chocolate mousse and finished it off with a lemon zested white chocolate buttercream frosting. I’m REALLY happy with the way it turned out! Thank you for the amazing recipe!

    • Haley, your cake sounds AMAZING! I’m so glad to hear that the recipe turned out great and that it was a hit! Thank you so much for taking the time to report back and share all your tweaks. That white chocolate mousse and buttercream sound delicious!

  98. I followed the instructions exactly, and the cake turned out perfectly! The cake was light and fluffy. The lemon cream cheese frosting was perfect, with just the right amount of lemon flavor. I topped the cake with a sliced lemon as pictured above, and next time I might also add blueberries [on top] for an extra pop of color!

    My husband, kids, friends, and co-workers raved about this cake, and it was devoured in less than 24 hours. I can’t wait to make this again for my son’s First Communion party next month! Go make this cake as soon as you can, you won’t regret it!

    • Thank you for taking the time to leave this lovely review, Camille! I’m so glad to hear that the cake came out perfectly and was enjoyed by all! (And blueberries would absolutely be a lovely pop of color.)

  99. Hi Shar’ron, I’m sorry to hear that the cake didn’t come out to your expectations! As you can see from the comments, many other readers have enjoyed the recipe very much, but everyone has different tastes. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it turn out as you expected, so I truly wish you would have loved it.

  100. Hi Erin — quick question on pan size. How critical is it that the pans are 2″ high? My 8″ pans are only 1.5″ high. Will batter overflow or should I use 9″ pans? Thanks so much. Would love to bake this for Easter!

    • Hi Julie! Honestly, this is a tough call! To be 100% safe, I’d use 9-inch pans if you have them and check them early. Since the cake will be thinner, they will cook more quickly. You could also try your 8-inch pans but only fill the pans a max of 3/4 of the way full. Any extra batter can be baked as cupcakes. I’ve never made these as cupcakes, so I can’t give an exact baking time. I’d suggest starting to check at 18 minutes, then take a peak at them every few minutes after that. I hope you love the cake!

  101. Thanks so much for responding Erin. I decided to bake this yesterday and thought it would be safest to just do as cupcakes. To my surprise, when I dug out my muffin tins, I found two 8″ x 2″ pans(!!!). I’m more of a cook than a baker so probably bought these for a specific recipe ages ago, used them once and have since forgotten I had them. So….was able to bake my cakes exactly to your recipe — house smelled divine while baking — and they are wrapped in the freezer now to frost next weekend for Easter. Thank you again!!

  102. My grandson David called me to ask if I would make him a birthday cake. I asked what kind of cake? He told me he wanted a lemon cake. I told him that I didn’t have a recipe so he got on line and sent me yours. It was delicious! The cake was the hit of his 21st birthday.

    • I’m so glad to hear this recipe was a hit for your grandson’s birthday, Georgia! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful review. :)

  103. Hello, I was wondering if the cake gets more delicious the next day or would it be better to make it fresh the day that I will be serving it? Thank you!

    • Hi Andrea, I think it tastes great both the day it’s made and the next day too. You should store any leftovers in the fridge and serve at room temperature. I hope you love it!

  104. Hi Sandra! I’m sorry this cake didn’t turn out perfectly for you! As you can see from the other reviews, it’s a popular recipe that many have had success with, so I’m thinking something went wrong along the way. Did you use cake flour, sift the ingredients, and alternate the wet and dry ingredients as directed? The batter might also have been over mixed. Finally, it’s also important to make sure you measure the flour the right way, by lightly spooning it into a measuring cup, vs. packing it down. I hope these tips are helpful, and if you decide to try the recipe again, I hope it goes better the next time around!

  105. Love this recipe! I made a lemon curd for the filling & a raspberry sauce as a topping. The perfect sweetness & perfect dessert for Easter.

    • Alli, that sounds absolutely delicious! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the cake. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this great review!

  106. Would you mind to convert the ingredients into gram instead of cup? 

    • Hi Charlotte! I’m afraid gram to cup conversions isn’t a service I’m able to offer right now. I do think you should be able to find most conversions online though!

  107. OMG – I am a chocolate cake addict but this sponge was so delicately fragranced with lemon, light,fluffy & absolutely gorgeous!!!!  One of the loveliest cakes EVER!!!!  Struggled with icing – had to add xtra icing sugar

    • Karen, I am soooooo happy you loved this cake! Chocolate is usually my go to as well, but this lemon one also has a special place in my heart. Thanks so much for leaving this lovely review!

  108. Does the buttermilk have to be low-fat? I’m making a few different cakes for a bridal shower and the others call for buttermilk. I’d like to not have to buy two different kinds, but I will if needed because this cake looks amazing!

  109. Erin,
    I have never been a fan of lemon “anything”, but your cake looked so good and I wanted to make something different for my 60th birthday (coming up in a few months) so I thought I would try yours out in advance. The recipe and warning notes were spot on. I used exactly what you said in the amounts you prescribed and voila a perfect cake. I was also pleasantly surprised at the flavor and texture of the butter cream cheese frosting (the second tablespoon of lemon juice made it so fluffy). I will definitely make this cake for my 60th and any other opportunity I have to make a cake for anyone else.

    Thank you so much for posting the recipe and reminding me to use cake flour it would have been such a shame if I mistakenly used APF. I hope you enjoyed your 30th and have many more to follow. Let me know if you post any other recipes, I would love to give them a try.

    • Sue, I’m delighted to hear that the cake was a success. I’m so honored that you’d choose this recipe to celebrate your birthday, and now you get to eat it twice since you tried it out ahead of time! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  110. I made this cake and it was good but the texture was somewhat tough and rubbery. What did I do wrong? Did I beat it too long? I used cake flour. Nobody else seems to have this problem, so I must have done something wrong.

    • Hi Larissa, I’m sorry to hear the cake turned out somewhat tough! It’s hard to know for sure what may have happened since everyone’s kitchen is different, but it’s likely that the batter was overbeaten. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it come out, so I hope it’s a success next time if you do give it another try!

  111. Hi M, I’ve never tried this recipe with a cake flour substitute, so that could have contributed. It also does sound like the cake was overbaked if it came out dry. It could be that your oven runs hot, so I’d suggest using an oven thermometer and checking a few minutes early. As far as egg whites versus the whole egg, using only egg whites does help contribute to the cake’s light and fluffy texture. I never want to cause more work where it isn’t needed, but the egg whites really are important to the cake’s texture here. If you try the recipe again, I hope it goes better next time!

  112. I made this cake but it did not rise. No need to cut off the top before frosting because it turned out perfectly flat. Any idea what went wrong? The cakes are currently wrapped and in the freezer so I can frost them in a few days for a party so I don’t know what the texture looks like or how they taste. I did notice the batter seemed rather thin when poured into the pans and it looked like the butter had started to separate.

    • Hi Barbara, I’m sorry, but it’s so tough to say what might have been the cause without being right there in the kitchen with you. I’ve never heard of that happening before with the recipe. I hope the cake still turns out delicious, and I’m sorry I’m not able to be of more help!

    • One thing that occurred to me is to check your baking powder to make sure that it’s fresh. Aside from the eggs being underbeaten, that could be the main culprit if the cake didn’t rise much.

  113. My husband has made this for me twice now, birthday and Mother’s Day, and it is delicious! I had to break my sugar fast for another slice because it won’t fit in the freezer, but it’s worth it.  You know it’s good because I don’t usually ask for the same dessert twice in a row!

    • I’m so glad to hear this recipe is a winner for you, Jen! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome feedback.

  114. I made this for my husband’s birthday today and it turned out fabulous! My mom is a pastry chef and she makes a stellar lemon cake that my husband adores, but I didn’t have her recipe so I used yours. I made it as cupcakes and they were so light, fluffy, lemony and moist. A bit different from my mom’s cake– hers is more intensely lemony but dense, heavy, and super moist. I might prefer yours!
    I did make a couple small substitutions. I didn’t have buttermilk so I made my own by combining milk and fresh squeezed lemon juice (one lemon’s worth). I also didn’t have lemon extract so I subbed in a Tb of limoncello. And I probably doubled the amount of zest but I’m not sure I cause I didn’t measure.
    Thanks for a keeper recipe!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to share your tweaks and feedback, Claire! I’m so happy to hear the cake was enjoyed by all!

  115. Thank you for this amazing recipe- I made this for my husband’s birthday and it was incredible! I never give 5 stars, but seriously it deserves it. This cake was moist, light, and full of flavor without being overwhelming. I don’t even like lemon cake, but this is my new favorite! This will be my go to cake recipe now.  I also live above 5,000 feet which can cause problems with baking and I followed the recipe exactly (no adjustments for altitude) and it came out perfectly. -This. Never. Happens.-  At my husbands request I did a buttercream frosting (instead of the cream cheese frosting) with lemon extract and then the kids topped with fresh strawberries. It was like a strawberry lemonade topping. 

    • Naomi, I am SO HAPPY that this turned out so well for you! Thank you for trying the recipe and taking time to leave this glowing review!

  116. I’ve made this recipe a lot and somehow it always comes out different. Always if made as cupcakes it is light and soft and moist as the description states. Then more often than not when made as a cake it turns out dense and moist and almost crumbly. 
    I am a baker and am using all the correct temps and mixing techniques (very little mixing after alternating wet and dry in) and it still ends up different!
    The only thing that I have done differently so times is sub my own made buttermilk rather than store bought… I haven’t marked it when I’ve done this and when I haven’t so unsure if this is changing the texture. 
    I hope I figure it out because this really is a great cake when it comes out right. 

    • Justine, what a puzzle! The cake should be light but still sturdy. Maybe an extra sift of the flour might help? Regardless, I’m happy to hear that you do enjoy the cake’s flavor. It is such a compliment that you’ve made it more than once!

  117. Can this be made in a bundt pan?

    • Hi Lori! I’ve never tried the cake this way. Because bundt cakes are much thicker, and the cake is so light and delicate, I would actually recommend sticking with round layers and not a bundt cake. You can feel free to experiment and use your best judgment.

  118. This cake is delicious & easy to bake .. Thank you so much.

    • I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it, Alishia! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  119. I am about to make this, have all of the ingredients and then realized that I have 2- 9×2 pans and not 8s. How should I adjust the recipe? Or will the recipe work for that size? 

    • Hi Shaunna! I think these will work fine. The layers will be thinner and cook more quickly, but should still be delicious. Be sure to check several minutes early to ensure the cakes do not over bake. I hope you enjoy it!

  120. Made this today for my son’s 16th birthday. It was SO good – everyone had seconds and I suspect the remaining will be gone by tomorrow. Only had 3 eggs so just used them whole instead of 4 whites – turned out great. Thank you for a fabulous recipe – it’s bookmarked so I can easily find it again – pretty sure this will make regular appearances at our house.

    • Hooray Donn! I’m so glad to hear the cake was a hit at your son’s birthday party. It means so much that you would use a recipe of mine for your special occasion. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  121. Hi Ana, I’m sorry, but it’s so tough to say what might have been the cause without being right there in the kitchen with you. One think you could check is if your baking powder is still fresh and hasn’t expired. Aside from the eggs being underbeaten, that could be the main culprit if the cake didn’t rise much. I’m happy to hear that you still found the flavor delicious, and I hope you were still able to enjoy it!

  122. I never eat lemon anything. But I made this recipe for a friend as a thank you gift. It was DELICIOUS. Very soft cake and the frosting complimented it well. I didn’t think I would like it so much. I can’t wait to make cake balls out of the scraps to share with coworkers and friends. :)

    • Jessica, I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the cake! Thanks for giving the recipe a try and for taking the time to leave this awesome review. (And those upcoming cake balls sound amazing too!)

  123. Hi Erin,

    Looking forward to try this soon. Is it possible to replace butter with oil in this recipe?

    • Hi Han! To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend this swap. Butter is very important to the cake’s flavor and texture. I’m afraid oil would be too liquidy, and the cake might not rise properly. I know that is probably not the answer you were hoping for, but I really want it to turn out for you!

  124. I want to know how you stay so slim eating cake!!  I just have to look at one to gain 5lbs….aaarrggghhh!!!
    But this one looks so delicious who can resist?  I am looking at lemons as we speak and thinking, should I or shouldn’t I?  I know I will eat the whole thing.  Woe is me!!!!!!
    Ok you twisted my arm, here goes!  Thank you for sharing!

  125. This cake is delicious and light, the only problem I have is that my layers turned out exceptionally thin. Those pictured are the size of a normal layered cake while mine turned out only around a quarter the height. I have made this cake twice now because of it’s amazing flavor, following the recipe to a tee. I was sure to use cake flour, sift the dry ingredients, and alternate wet and dry when adding them too the sugar, but both times I had to double the recipe just to achieve a cake tall enough to frost! Do you have any tips, what am I doing wrong? But overall, a great cake with striking lemon flavor

    • Hi Ella, I’m so glad you enjoy the flavor of the cake! It’s hard to know for sure what may be causing the cake to turn out flat without being in the kitchen with you, and since it sounds like you’ve got the sifting and measuring down pat, here are a few things you could check! 1) Is your baking powder fresh? 2) Did you use an 8-inch pan as called for? A 9-inch would have caused it to come out thinner. 3) Do you use an oven thermometer? If the oven isn’t hot enough when the cakes go in, that can impact their rise. 4) How long were the eggs mixed? If they’re not whipped enough, that can affect the rise. I know there are a lot of variables, and it can be hard to know what the culprit is! Best of luck to you if you try another batch!

  126. So I made 2 new recipes this weekend and popped on to Pinterest to leave my reviews as the recipes were just SO good. To my suprise Erin they were both off your blog! Haha. 
    Anyways this cake. WOW. I made 3 layers for a special birthday cake. I made a filling of lemon curd and folded some whipped cream into it and filled the layers. Then frosted with your lemon cream cheese frosting. WOWZA. One of the best things to ever come out my kitchen. Thank you so much for such reputable recipes. I’m def going to be checking out the rest of your blog :)

    • Your cake sounds AMAZING! Thanks for reporting back about how this recipe went too! I hope you find more new favorites. :)

  127. Thanks Erin! Your recipe was my first ever lemon cake and it was a smash hit! My nephew wants one for his birthday now! Soooo moist and heavenly!!!!! Thanks girl and keep em coming!!!!!!!

    • YAY Jeannie! I’m so glad to hear you loved the cake. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  128. I made his for my son’s 11th birthday. It was a MAJOR hit! It’s SO rich! Then the cream cheese frosting ?? Bravo!  I’m making it again tonight for my brother in law☺️ Thank you for this recipe!

    • HOORAY Erica, I’m so glad to hear the cake was a hit! Thank you so much for giving this cake a try for such a special occasion and for leaving this wonderful review!

  129. I try a lot of Pinterest recipes, and I’ve never left a comment. This cake is hands down one of the best I’ve ever tried. It was so amazingly good! Thank you for sharing such a gem. This is one I will make many more times. 

    • Christina, I’m so grateful that you would give the recipe a try and take the time to leave this comment. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the cake!

  130. Hi Erin, thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. I halved the recipe to yield a two-layer 6 inch cake, used 1 cup of cake flour with 2 medium sized egg whites, filled the centre with a thick layer of lemon curd and frosted the cake with white chocolate ganache and the result was absolutely delicious! This is my first lemon layer cake and I must say that the cake sponge was super moist and soft (I baked them a day ahead)! I did not need to trim off the tops of the cake as the tops were fairly flat after baking. I wish the sponges rose a bit more though (as I noticed that they did not rise much – my baking powder is fresh and followed the instructions on the cake sponges), so that they could be a little more fluffy! Thinking of whisking the buttermilk and egg white mixture using my stand mixer the next time I experiment with the sponge, would that work? :)

    • Hi Adelene, I’m so glad to hear the cake was a success! I have not tried mixing the cake another way, so you would be experimenting. If you do decide to give it a try, I’d be interested to hear how it goes.

  131. This was So STINK’N GOOD!!! Thank you! My father Loved it for his beautiful birthday cake. I did 4 layers!!!!AMAZING… again thank you

    • Annette, I’m so excited to hear this recipe was a success! I’m honored that you’d make it for such a special occasion. Thanks for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  132. Baking this cake right now…after tasting the batter I added a bit more lemon extract (hope it doesn’t ruin it!!) I’m not making the icing because I’m going to make it a multi layer mirror cake with a stabilized whipped icing. I had to use 9 in pans because I don’t have any 8 in. I’ve done this before with other cakes by dropping the temp 25 degrees and cutting the cooking time to 20 minutes. Also dyed it yellow so I could get that beautiful color contrast with the purple blackberry cake I’m pairing this with. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    Update: Pulled it out of the oven and cooled it. This cake is fluffier than any other cake I’ve ever made. Still not lemony enough for my taste but I like A LOT of lemon. The texture of this cake is PHENOMENAL.

    • Lily, I’m so glad to hear the cake came out beautifully! Thank you so much for giving the recipe a try and reporting back!

  133.  Hi Erin ,  this lemon cake there are no words for how amazingly wonderful it was. I made this cake for my husband’s 60th birthday just did a few things different I separated the layers into 4 every other layer I put lemon curd  and then the icing on two layers and just the icing on the other 2  layers in between it was the most delicious cake I think I’ve ever tasted. I bake a lot I’ve had a lot of cakes most homemade cake sponges I feel are very Dense and heavy this one was perfection absolutely perfection I will keep this in my repertoire of the BEST THING IVE EVER TASTED recipeS  definitely  Number one amazing thank you so much look forward to researching more of your recipes this winter …  Lori

    • HOORAY Lori, I’m thrilled to hear the cake was a success! Thank you so much for giving the recipe a try and for taking the time to write this wonderful review!

  134. This year Grandma chose lemon cake for her birthday cake. So, I set to hunting for a good recipe, and my daughter (age 16) set to baking. We hadn’t looked far when we found your Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. It sounded fabulous, so . . . ready, set, go! Boy, was that kitchen a mess . . . she always makes a mess. (I don’t look; I don’t judge; I stay away until she’s done.) Near the end, she brought me a taste of the frosting. Wow! It was the most creamy, lemony, beautifully-textured, not-overly-sweet frosting I’ve ever had. Perfect (to be exact). I couldn’t wait until cake-cutting time. Of course, the birthday cake was the talk of the evening. I was surprised how much the cake part reminded me of dense pound cake. The frosting matched perfectly. I loved the balance of the two together. Thanks for a great recipe. We highly recommend it! By the way, I’m still cleaning stickiness off the floor, but our tummies are happy!

    • Ellen YAY!!! I’m so happy you loved this cake and totally honored that you made it for such a special celebration. Thank you for trying it and for leaving this glowing review (and for what it’s worth, I make a HUGE mess in the kitchen too!)

  135. My daughter wanted a lemon cake for her birthday yesterday so I chose this recipe randomly off the internet.  I am so glad I did!  I made it and it was one of the best cakes I have ever eaten!  I was afraid that the cake was going to be too tart, but I was so pleasantly surprised.  It was light with just the right taste of lemon and the frosting was magnificent.  Thanks for this recipe.  I do have one question – was I supposed to add the egg yolks to the cake?  The ingredients said 4 eggs which implies that they should be added, but I could find no mention of it in the recipe.  I left them out.  

    • Hi Marbo, I’m so glad to hear the cake was a hit for your daughter’s birthday! You are correct to leave the egg yolks out of the cake. I double checked the ingredient list and it does have 4 egg whites, yolks not included. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  136. I absolutely love anything lemon?.  I made this cake and found it To be more of a pound cake. It wasn’t lite and fluffy at all. The frosting, was quite delicious!  
    Im going to make this cake again using the whole egg instead of just the whites of the egg.
    I would still recommend anyone to make this cake?

  137. I just baked this cake for a friend’s 30th birthday earlier this week, and it turned out lovely. I had a bit of difficulty generating enough lemon zest for the frosting (which made me realize it is time to upgrade from our shoddy hand grater to a proper zester!) and I ended up using vanilla extract in place of lemon extract. The result was very satisfying. I am pretty sure I will be baking this again (after I locate some lemon extract.) Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa, I’m so honored you would make this cake for your friend’s birthday, and I’m so happy to hear it turned out! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this great review!

  138. Erin – thank you so much for this recipe! My daughter requested a lemon cake for her 11th birthday and I came across yours. It is DELICIOUS!!! We all loved it – it is just so airy and lemony and yummy. It has the texture of a bakery cake but tastes delish like a homemade cake. And was so easy! Will definitely be making this again :)

    • Ester, I’m thrilled to hear this cake was a hit for your daughter’s birthday! Thank you so much for giving the recipe a try for her special day and for taking the time to leave this review!

  139. Just made this cake for my son’s birthday. He requested a lemon cake so I decided to look for a lemon layer cake and found this recipe on your website. I am so glad I did. It was delicious! The cake was moist and light. The frosting was amazing. Everyone requested seconds and I received rave reviews. I added this to my favorites list and will definitely be making it again. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe Erin! 

    • YAY Debbie, I’m so glad to hear the cake was a hit! Thanks for giving the recipe a try for such a special celebration.

  140. Made this today, as a request from my 12 year old son, for his BIRTHDAY!!! I was nervous as I am NOT a baker at all, but this turned out PERFECT! He loved it and so did the rest of the fam!!! Thank you! So easy and SO DELISH!!!

    • Tasha, I’m thrilled to hear this was a hit for your son’s birthday! Thank you so much for taking the time to share how it went.

  141. This cake was fabulous! I’m not a baker so I followed the recipe to a T and it turned out perfect! It was for my husband’s birthday and the whole family absolutely loved it! That frosting…super light and lemony. Yummmm! Thanks for a great recipe. Will be sharing this one for sure!

    • Alicia, I am so so happy to hear how much you loved the cake! Thank you so much for leaving this kind review and I hope you enjoy any slices you have left just as much :)

  142. Erin, Lemon cake is my wife’s favorite so I spent some time and created this delicious cake.  I have to say the icing was amazing and I would have eaten just that with a spoon.   My cake itself was more like an Angel food cake but still tasty!  Thank you for all your help!

    • Adam, I’m so glad the cake was a success! Thank you so much for giving it a try and taking the time to leave this wonderful review.

  143. Forget previous question, I found the answer. Instead when mixing wet and dry ingredients in stand mixer should I use paddle or whisk attachment? Thanks a bunch!

    • Hi Nora! I’d use the paddle attachment. Thanks and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

      • Hi. I made this cake and served it y Sterda for a family party. I did 3 layers and it was off the charts!!!! Rave reviews. Great recipe. Followed directions exactly! Thank you

        • Nora, I’m so happy to hear it was a hit! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  144. My nine-year old son won a baking competition at his school with this cake.  He entered it in the third and final round where the theme was ‘fruits’.  He did this cake in a oval shape, covered with the frosting (plus yellow coloring) and added green leaves to make it look like a lemon.  I am so glad he chose this recipe.  

  145. If you make your own cake flour, do you need to re-measure it out for 2.25c flour, or use all of the the 2.5 cups/less 5 TBSP/plus 5 TBSP corn starch? 

  146. Just made this cake for my sister’s birthday and OMG it was delicious!!!!!! Everyone loved it!

    • HOORAY Joanna! I’m so glad it was a hit. Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and leave a review!

  147. I made this cake for Easter and it was a HUGE hit with every guest declaring it to be the BEST lemon cake they’d ever eaten.

    HOWEVER, I’m not so certain it turned out the way it was supposed to. Lol. I’ve been baking almost every day, from scratch, for 33 years. I rarely make mistakes. I followed the cake recipe exactly as written. When the cakes came out of the oven, pockets of sugar (I use baker’s sugar) had formed on the bottoms of the cakes. They were actually lumps. There were no lumps when I filled the pans with the cake batter.

    In addition, the cakes were crispy on the outside. They were not over baked. I use 2 interior thermometers to properly regulate the oven temperature.

    Every person noticed the crunchy texture and LOVED it, so I can’t complain. The cake was indeed moist, light and bursting with flavor.

    In the end, I did not follow the frosting recipe exactly. The frosting wasn’t lemony enough, so I added more lemon zest and juice. It also needed a wee bit more salt, so I added more salt.

    This is now my new go-to lemon cake recipe…with or without the sugar pockets (I pulled them off) and crunchy exterior. Very yummy indeed.

    • Hi Maggie, I’ve never heard of either of those things happening before, so I’m not sure what may have caused that! I’m so glad the cake was enjoyed by all—thank you so much for taking the time to share this review.

  148. Hi Erin: I love lemon…had lots of fresh lemons and was so excited to make this cake for my hubby’s birthday the other day. I followed the recipe and didn’t stray with anything. The cake had a wonderful hint of lemon but it was quite dense. Is that how yours is or did I do something wrong? I turned out more like a poundcake- reminded me a bit of Starbucks Lemon Loaf, but more dense. I’m wondering if I overbaked it? I took it out at 30 minutes- it had risen nicely and did’t look at all too done to me- did the test and it passed. Family members said they enjoyed it, but hubby said nothing which usually means he doesn’t care for it. Boo hoo. Just wanted to get your thoughts if you don’t mind. Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Janel, I’m glad you love the flavor of this cake! It definitely should not be dense though. A few tips to help for next time: be sure to use cake flour, sift the ingredients, and alternate the wet and dry as directed. The batter might also have been overmixed. I’m glad that you enjoyed the taste, and I hope those tips help for next time!

  149. I’m looking to make this cake for my sisters baby shower in about a month. I am looking for a lemon cake that has strong enough lemon flavor that using a vanilla buttercream wont take away from it as it will be a “semi naked” 2 tier layered cake. Also thinking of adding a raspberry filling to the cake. Do you think the cake alone has enough lemon flavor to stand out with buttercream?

    • Hi Heather, this is a tricky question to answer, as different people have different tastes about how much flavor is strong enough. The cake does have noticeable lemon flavor from the zest and the lemon extract, but you can always add more zest if you’re concerned it won’t come through with the raspberry and vanilla buttercream. I hope that helps!

  150. I’m going to try this recipe can i use regular salt instead of kosher salt

    • Hi Ann, yes, you can use regular salt, but use less, as kosher salt has larger grains. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  151. How would you suggest adjusting this recipe for 24 people? More layers or bigger pans? If bigger pans, how would you adjust the bake time?

    • Hi Glory, to be really safe, you could make the recipe twice as two layer cakes, or you could experiment with making a sheet cake instead. A 9×13 pan will need about 1.5 times the recipe, or you can use the amount of batter from this recipe and just have a thinner cake. The baking time will need to be adjusted, and I’d recommend that you start checking about 10 minutes early, just to be safe (especially if you go the thinner cake route). I’ve never scaled the recipe like that or baked it as a 9×13, so this is my best guess! If you do experiment, I’d love to know how it comes out. Here’s a baking pan volume conversion to reference in case that’s helpful: http://dish.allrecipes.com/cake-pan-size-conversions/

  152. Please confirm the butter measurements… 1 stick is 113 grams, but you have 8 tbsp/4 oz in brackets?! Thank you

    • Hi Claire, all of those measurements are correct! One standard stick of butter is 8 tablespoons/4 ounces/113 grams. I hope you enjoy the cake!

  153. I have a few questions: how tall is this cake supposed to be? This is my first time baking a layered cake and when I was done baking each layer was only about 2 inches tall.  

    2nd question: when I made the frosting it was like a pudding texture, is that how it is supposed to turn out? Im putting it in the fridge overnight so hopefully it stiffens up a bit but I couldn’t imagine frosting the cake and it actually staying in place freshly made like that. 

    I’m a bit of a new bakery so sorry for the silly questions! 

    • Hi! If each layer is about 2 inches, that sounds like it got up to the correct height! The frosting should not be that soft, and putting it in the fridge is a good idea—it may have become that soft if your ingredients were sitting out too long or if your kitchen is on the warm side. I hope you enjoyed the cake!

  154. Great recipe! I couldn’t stand throwing away the egg yolks, so I made a lemon curd and used that between the layers instead of the icing. Gave it a nice lemony brightness that was missing from the original recipe.

  155. Do you have to use buttermilk or can you just use milk??

    • Great question! You do need the acidity of the buttermilk to react with the other ingredients and make the cake tender. To make your own, for every 1 cup of buttermilk in any recipe, you can stir together 2% or whole milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Let sit 5 or so minutes, stir, and you are good to go!

  156. I love this cake. My GF makes it for me every year for my Birthday. Which just happens to be this Wednesday! :) hehe

    Defiantly give it a try, you won’t be let down. Also, on a side note, I found these recipes on how Re-create your favorite restaurant’s dishes. It’s amazing too! Here’s the link if you want to check it out. https://tinyurl.com/y8xgtpt8

    • Happy Birthday Jason! I truly hope you enjoy the cake this year too and am honored that this is the recipe you selected. It makes my day!

  157. Tried this recipe for the first time today. For some reason the cakes hardly rose at all! I used sifted cake flour and I alternated dry/wet ingredients as well! I think beating the batter for two minutes on medium speed may have overworked the batter way too much. The batter was thick and puffy when I put it into the pans. Oh well :(

    • Cam, I am so sorry to hear that! Overmixing could definitely be a cause, and it’s important that your baking powder is fresh too. I hope it goes better next time!

  158. baker in the pines Reply


    I HAD to reach out to you after locating your recipe and deciding to give it a whirl. I was looking over your website and noticed just how much we have in common! My name is also Erin, I am also originally from Wisconsin, I am married to a Ben, and in this last year, I rounded the bases to 33 but remember having a beautiful lemon cake from my favorite french bakery (where I would also happily live!) for my 30th birthday! I LOVE baking, I love bourbon, I LOVE veggies and simple, tasty ingredients, I wear a lot of plaid and also enjoy writing! I think we would really get along. :) Gonna try this recipe out in a new way…we live in a historic cabin from the ‘thirties and our stove is from 1938! Although I have recently figured out how to bake most things in this oven which has one setting–close-ish to 350 degrees–I am going to see if it is an easier and quicker process in our new Trager convection grill with some pecan wood. We also live at about 7,000 ft. of elevation in Colorado, so every time baking is an experiment! This is a birthday surprise for one of my college girlfriends who is coming to visit, who is incidentally an accomplished baker and food blogger from Minneapolis. Can’t wait to try it!

    Erin F.

    • Erin, we sound like long-lost twins! I am in awe of how you’ve tackled baking in such a difference (but beautiful!) place. I can’t wait to hear how the cake comes out. Thanks so much for taking time to leave this lovely comment!!

  159. Hi, Erin. If I were to make this recipe in cupcake format, how many cupcakes would it make? Having a BBQ on July 4th. Thought it would be great with a summer bbq. Thanks!

    • Hi Sharlene! I’ve never baked the cake this way, but other readers have reported getting about 24-26 cupcakes with 16 minutes baking time. Be sure to use paper liners so they don’t stick. I hope you love them!

  160. Hi Erin,

    I was looking for a lemon cake that is light enough to go with lemon curd and lemon SMBC. Do you think this recipe of yours is perfect for it? I have read half of the reviews (there are too many reviews), it seems to be one but I think I have not made one yet so it’s better to hear it from the original chef.

    Also, do you think one recipe is suitable for 2 x 6″ tin as I’m trying to make a taller cake?

    Thank you so much. Really looking forward to your reply.


    • Hi Mabel! By SMBC do you mean Swiss Meringue Buttercream? I’ve never tried it this way, but I bet that would be yummy as long as it’s not too sweet. As far as piping, I do think that the cream cheese frosting is a little too soft to pipe—if you’d like to pipe it, you can always add powdered sugar. It will be sweeter but also stiffer and easier for piping. I also would recommend sticking to the original pan size in the recipe to make sure that everything bakes properly. If you decide to try the cake, I’d love to hear what you think!

      • Hi Erin,

        Thank you so much for your reply. I have decided to try your cake with SMBC frosting and lemon curd filling! I will definitely let you know how it turns out. I’m excited!

        • I hope you love it Mabel!

          • Hi Erin,
            I baked the lemon cake just now, the taste is really good! But, the cake turned out dense :( , not as fluffy as I expected. I think I overbeated the batter. I could see oil and separation for the last 2 minutes beating process. What do you think the problem could be?


          • Mabel, it’s so hard to say without my being in the kitchen with you, but I think over beating can definitely an issue. Did you mean the butter separated? The cake doesn’t call for oil. The batter should definitely be cohesive, so if it came apart, it could have been beaten too long (the ingredients also should be at room temp, which can impact things). I’m glad you at least like the flavor!

  161. Hi Erin

    Will I be able to pipe this frosting?

    Thank you.


  162. This is one of the best cake recipes I have tried! It was super moist and fluffy, which is exactly what I think makes a perfect cake. This recipe is a keeper!

  163. Hi,
    I’m going to try this cake but I’m confused about when to incorporate the butter/sugar mix in the batter, I can’t find it in the recipe. Could you help me?

    • Hi Ana! The butter and sugar are beaten in the mixing bowl in Step 3, then you add the wet/dry ingredients to the bowl with them as the recipe describes. I hope you enjoy the cake!

  164. How do you think a raspberry filling would go w/ this cake?

  165. This cake is perfection. Thanks for making me the hero of my dinner party!

  166. Debra, I am so sorry to hear this! In thinking about causes, my guess is that perhaps the cake batter was over beaten or your baking powder might not have been fresh. The crispy edges also might be because your oven runs hot or the cake was over baked. For the icing, did you use the full amount of everything, including the powdered sugar? Regardless, I know it is disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it come out, so I wish this would have come out perfectly for you!

  167. Brigitte Stewart Reply

    Can this delicious cake be made with gluten-free flour?  I sure hope so, but before trying it out would like your comment. 

  168. I love lemon and have searched for a long time for a good, light and lemony, home made cake. Every recipe starts with a cake mix and that’s not what I wanted. I made this cake this weekend and the entire family agreed that this was the best lemon cake we’ve ever had. It had plenty of lemon taste and it was so light. This is a keeper!!

  169. In your post you mentioned you have a video for Lemon Layer cake, unfortunately I can’t find it.

  170. I wanted to make this a blueberry lemon cake. Would the cake be affected if I folded blueberries into it before baking?


    • Aussie, buttermilk is needed for this recipe. You can make your own by mixing 2% or whole milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then letting it sit for 5 minutes. Stir then use in the recipe as directed!

  172. Thank you so much for this recipe! After a test this weekend we have decided to use it for our wedding cake. We baked two batches and froze the cakes for a week. We thawed them on the counter for a few hours and stacked all four layers with blackberry Italian meringue buttercream inside. The cake texture was perfect. It was moist and fluffy with a nice amount of lemon. For our actual wedding cake I think we’ll add a layer of lemon curd. The “testers” at my bridal shower loved it!

    • Gabi, I am HONORED!! I can’t believe my cake is going to be at your wedding. So happy you loved it. This is one of the coolest stories! And both the blackberry buttercream and the lemon curd sound like heaven. Congrats on your wedding too!!

  173. Hi Erin,
    This cakes sounds AMAZING! I plan to make it for my mom’s birthday this weekend. She loves lemon flavored things. Do you think it would work to make it today (Thursday) if it will be consumed on Saturday? If I kept it in the fridge on Friday, maybe it would work? Thank you, I look forward to trying other yummy things from your blog :) Robin

    • Robin, what you could do is bake the layers today, then let them cool completely, wrap and freeze them. Then, thaw them overnight Friday and frost Saturday. I’m sure wrapping them today and unwrapping Saturday without freezing will be OK too, but freezing will guarantee freshness!

  174. Just made this for an office birthday party and it was a hit! People even asked me where I bought it! lol
    . Thanks for the recipe – sooo delicious and full of perfect lemony flavor :)

  175. Just had to leave a comment because I made this cake today and it was DELICIOUS!!!! Everyone loved it and my daughter, whose birthday it was, LOVED it!! Thanks for the great recipe!!

    • Happy birthday to your daughter, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review!

  176. This lemon cake was PERFECT! Thanks so much for sharing. I made another batch and converted it to a vanilla cake (vanilla extract, no lemon). It is delicious! I love how high it rises but is still so soft and fluffy. Perfect for stacking. Thanks! 

  177. Thank You!  I have made this cake a few times.  It’s a perfect birthday cake. Once I added a raspberry filling in the layers, just added a good raspberry preserve to the frosting. The second time I added a few drops of my lemon essential oil. I’ve been asked to make it for another birthday. I think I’ll go both this time.  This is a wonderful recipe. Even friends that say they don’t like cake enjoy it.  I think people that say they don’t like cake have never had good cake.  
    Thanks again for sharing!

  178. Would high fat buttermilk still be okay?

  179. I’m looking forward to making this!! Would the frosting be suitable to do a drip cake or would it be too soft? The frosting sounds amazing so I’d love to try it but I don’t know if it’ll work well together? Thanks x

    • Hi Liz, I’m not familiar with the requirements for a drip cake, but this frosting is fairly soft. I hope you enjoy the cake!

  180. Hi! Thank you so much for your blog, for your charming commentary and your heart.  I have been looking for a Lemon layer cake recipe and this one looks delightful and I can’t wait to try it for an upcoming Tea party I’m throwing for a bunch of my girlfriends and myself in a few weeks. 

    I just have a brief question:  Can I make this into a 3-layered cake?  And if so, how would you convert the proportion amounts?  Also, do you think the consistency of the cream cheese frosting is such that I could pipe decorative rosettes and such with it?

    Thank you so much and I hope this finds you well. 
    Happy Holidays,
    Kim Goldfeder Clarke

    • Hi Kim! Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog—I truly appreciate it! I usually do this in two layers, and it’s perfectly sturdy. I worry that the cream cheese frosting may be a too little soft to be able to support additional layers, but I’ve never tried so I can’t say for certain. The softness also makes the frosting not ideal for piping, unfortunately. I hope you enjoy the cake if you give it a try!

  181. It’s not often that a recipe is right out of the gate!  No modifications needed-it was so light that one of my guests compared it to angel food!  thanks for sharing!

  182. I figured it was about time I comment on this recipe. I have made it at least a dozen times. It’s amazing! I’ve made it as a cake, cupcakes, mini cupcakes, I’ve changed up the frosting, added lavender, it’s just always amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe which I have permanently added to my recipe collection!

  183. I made this as a half recipe in two 6-inch pans (with cake strips 28 min) then cut them in half and layered with lemon curd and a lemon-curd-flavored swiss meringue buttercream.  Turned out perfect! The cake was moist and fluffy. I will definitely make again.

    I read a lot of comments about the cake being heavy/dense.  If they used aluminum free baking powder as suggested, it could be that they delayed a bit too long between mixing the wet and dry ingredients together and getting the cakes in the oven. Need to get it in the oven quickly to make sure it bakes while the baking soda is still reacting. 

  184. I made this today! Oh my gosh! It came out perfect and so yummy!! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

  185. I am a pretty experienced baker and when I baked this cake, it didn’t rise as I expected. The frosting was beautiful and tasty but when I finally served the cake, it was very ‘dense’ (not unexpected) and had a peculiar taste). I suspect that either I didn’t add 1 tbsp of baking powder, but only 1 tsp. or there was something wrong with the baking powder (although the Best Before date is 15 Apr 2026). I don’t use Baking Power often as I have to use Baking Soda for a grandchild on a special diet. I know that I double checked my ingredients’ list so the only thing I can pinpoint is the baking powder.

    We did take out a piece of the iced cake and it had a funny taste not that much different from the time I made my family tea biscuits and used baking powder instead of baking soda (or vice versa).

    I am just writing to get some advice and not to make any comment on the recipe.



    • Hi Shaaron! It’s hard to know what may have gone wrong without being in the kitchen there with you, but based on your comment about it not rising and the funny taste, it does sound like the problem may be baking powder related. Did you use aluminum free baking powder? If you did, then it may be a measurement issue. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t rise as expected, and I hope you get better results if you do decide to try it again!

  186. I was SO disappointed with the lemon layer cake.  There was nothing light and fluffy about it!!  Lemon is my husband’s favorite thing and I thought this would be the perfect birthday cake for his party.  I actually made the cake TWICE!  The first time, I used egg whites from a carton and the cake didn’t even rise an inch. I thought it must have been the eggs so I made it all over again using fresh eggs. SAME THING!!  Needless to say, our guests would be arriving in a few hours and I had no time to make another cake.

    We are now having lemon pancakes to celebrate his birthday.

    • Hi Jodi, I’m sorry to hear the cake didn’t come out for you. It’s so tough to say what might have been the cause without being right there in the kitchen with you. A few of the main culprits could be the freshness of the baking powder, the oven not being hot enough when the cakes go in (if you don’t have an oven thermometer, this can help check that), or the eggs not being whipped enough. I know there are a lot of variables, so it can be hard to know what the culprit is. In any case, I know it’s disappointing to have a new recipe not come out for a special occasion, so I truly wish you would have loved this!

  187. Heavy heavy cake!
    Cream cheese icing is very good.

    • Hi Vincent! I’m sorry to hear your cake didn’t come out—if it was heavy, expired baking powder or not beating the eggs enough may have been the culprit. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it, so I’m glad to hear you still enjoyed the frosting.

  188. has anyone tried this with almond flour?????

  189. Erin- Your lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting is amazing! I followed the recipe exactly n loved all the detail!! I made this for a church cake auction n it sold for $2700!! Highest selling cake at the auction! Proceeds go towards a building project high school kids are doing on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. 

    I love that this cake can be frozen – plain or frosted!! Thank you for the award winning recipe!!

  190. Mary Yarber Frank Reply

    I am so disappointed! I followed the recipe to the T and the cake did not rise at all. Even bought new baking powder to make sure. Lots of work for a flat cake.

    • Hi Mary, it’s hard to know for sure what may be causing the cake to turn out flat without being in the kitchen with you, and since it sounds like you’ve got new baking powder, here are a few things that may have happened: 1) Did you use an 8-inch pan as called for? A 9-inch would have caused it to come out thinner. 2) Do you use an oven thermometer? If the oven isn’t hot enough when the cakes go in, that can impact their rise. 3) How long were the eggs mixed? If they’re not whipped enough, that can affect the rise. I know there are a lot of variables, and it can be hard to know what the culprit is! Best of luck to you if you try another batch!

  191. Hi Erin!! Question for you-I just now baked the layers of cake, for my moms birthday tomorrow. Would you suggest putting it all together with frosting and all and keep overnight in fridge (I would prefer as I’m so slow and have never put a cake together before) or should I wait and store both to put together tomorrow?? Thanks so much!!!❤️

    • Lauren, you should be fine to leave it in the refrigerator tonight! Just be sure to wrap it with plastic. I hope you all love it and Happy Birthday to your Mom!

  192. Yummy cake. Wondering what I did wrong to have a different out come next time. My cake was more like a dense pound cake. bit of a surprise! I read some of the comments and it looks like I really should have sifted my powered and used room temp cream cheese.

    • Hi Melynda, it’s hard to know what may have happened without being in the kitchen with you, but a dense cake could be caused by expired baking powder or not beating enough. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it!

  193. Hi Erin, 

    I am very happy about finding this post. 
    I want to bake this cake as a birthday surprise.
    Is it possible for you to provide me metric measurement. I am living outside of America and it is not common to use cup measurements in baking. 
    That would be awesome. 
    Thank you! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *