Recipe: Layered lemon cake

Recipe: Layered lemon cake

Image: Maya Visnyei / Food styling: Claire Stubbs / Prop styling: Ann Marie Favot


Recipe: Layered lemon cake

A stunning and scrumptious layered cake perfect for tea parties and other afternoon fetes.

Pucker up, baby! It’s time to wake the senses and welcome spring with a delectably dense cake richly flavoured with the zingy, light and refreshing taste of citrus.


Lemon cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar + more for garnish 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 cups 2% milk
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • Blackberries for garnish
  • Lemon slices in simple syrup for garnish

Lemon-cream cheese icing

  • 1 250-g package cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp store-bought lemon curd
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice



1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the lemon cake, beat the butter with the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time; beat in the lemon zest and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the  our, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Gently fold in the lemon juice (the batter will look curdled).

2 Divide the batter evenly among three greased and parchment paper-lined 8" round cake pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the centre of each cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans on racks for 10 minutes; remove the cakes from the pans and carefully return to the racks to cool completely.

3 While the cakes are cooling, prepare the icing. Beat the cream cheese with the butter in a large bowl until smooth. Add the icing sugar, one-third at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth. Add the lemon curd and lemon juice and beat until smooth.

4 To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake plate and spread a generous 2/3 cup icing over the top. Place the next layer on top of the iced cake and spread another 2/3 cup icing overtop. Repeat with the remaining cake layer.

5 Dip the blackberries in a small shallow bowl filled with granulated sugar until coated. Arrange the berries on the top of the cake and add a few slices of pre-served lemon. Refrigerate the cake until the icing firms up, about 30 minutes; slice and serve.

Make lemons in simple syrup by dissolving 2 cups granulated sugar in 2 cups boiling water and adding lemon slices; reduce heat and cook until the liquid is syrupy and the lemons are translucent, 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool and place on top of the iced cake with the sugar-coated blackberries.

Makes: 1 three-layer cake


Share X

Recipe: Layered lemon cake