Lemon layer cake with tart lemon buttercream frosting on top. This is the cake recipe you want to make for serving with afternoon tea on Easter day!

Sliced lemon layer cake with edible flowers

What the heck?! I can’t believe it’s almost Easter. Do you have any plans? Hopefully, I’ll get to eat my favorite ham, and creamy scalloped potatoes, along with some sort of moist lemon cake for dessert. Any kind will do for me, just as long as it tastes like a lemon cake should, with tons of lemon flavor!

Lemon Layer Cake

This lemon layer cake is more on the dense side than light and fluffy like your typical box cake mix.

The secret to balancing out that heaviness is by poking lots of holes in the top of the cake and brushing a thick lemon simple syrup all over the surface. The syrup works its way through the cake, keeping it nice and moist. And every special cake should have frosting (so say, my kids).

Sliced lemon buttercream cake for Easter

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

An easy lemon buttercream frosting is spread generously on top along with some edible flowers for decoration. There’s no need to make this into a two-layer cake with a full covering of buttercream, those kinda stress me out, to be honest. Keep things simple and enjoy Easter with family and friends instead of being stuck in the kitchen missing all of the fun.

So go ahead and cut yourself some slack, make your lemon layer cake the night before and let that lemony syrup soak through the surface all night. Add the lemon buttercream in the morning and serve the whole thing up at room temperature, no need to store this lemon buttercream cake in the fridge.

And this my friends, is how you make a moist lemon cake recipe!

overhead view of moist lemon cake with fluffy lemon frosting

Other Lemon Desserts to Make:

sliced lemon layer cake with edible flowers

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 761kcal
Author: foodnessgracious
Lemon layer cake with tart lemon buttercream frosting on top. This is the cake recipe you want to make for serving with afternoon tea on Easter day!
Print Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

For the lemon syrup

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

For the buttercream frosting

  • 8 ounces butter softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan and set aside
  • In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Add the butter, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and canola oil.
  • Blend together on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  • Gradually and carefully start to add the dry ingredients on low speed making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl at times.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  • Using a fork or sharp knife randomly poke holes in the cake.
  • Combine the syrup ingredients in a small pan and bring to a simmer making sure the sugar has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes and then generously brush the cake with the syrup.
  • Make the buttercream by beating the butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a mixer until light and fluffy. Start on low speed and then increase to high.
  • Spread the buttercream evenly over the surface of the cake and decorate with edible flowers (optional)


Serving: 1g | Calories: 761kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 478mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 74g | Vitamin A: 885IU | Vitamin C: 14.3mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1.5mg