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!
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).
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!
Other Lemon Desserts to Make:
Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- 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)
I’m making lemon cake this week, too (for a friend’s birthday celebration). It’s such a perfect Spring celebratory cake to have! I’m going to use your trick of making a syrup to brush on top of the cake. Extra lemony flavor!
The most gorgeous cake ever! I LIVE for lemon cake!
This cake is so gorgeous!
This looks so yummy, Gerri!
It’s almost too pretty to eat!
This cake sounds perfect!
Bring on the lemon cake! She’s such a beauty!
This is the best lemon cake. I’ve made it twice already.
Grrr. 5 stars, not 4. Really 6! Sorry about that.
wow, the cake looks delicious and very attractive, thank you for sharing
Made this cake and found the texture to be considerably moist. Seems it should have been a tad drier. Biggest concern as the frosting. I typically process my own sugar into powdered sugar with no problem but this frosting was very gritty as if it was regular sugar.
I just made this amazing lemon cake for the first time yesterday. It is fabulous!! Sooo delicious!
(The ONLY thing I would change is cutting the buttercream frosting recipe by half.)
The cake is so good, and the lemon syrup makes it heavenly. The buttercream frosting is almost unnecessary. I will be making this cake over and over.
Hi Tess, I’m so glad you liked the cake, it’s my favorite Easter treat!
Are the nutrition facts per one serving or for the entire cake? If for a serving, how many servings per cake is it based upon?
Hi April, the nutrition should be for one serving/slice and the cake will feed 8 with pretty big slices. Hope that helps!
How long does this last? I made the cake on Friday evening and want to serve Easter morning (Sunday). Does it need to be refrigerated after 24 hours?
Just saw this Jenneo- I hope it worked out for you!
Could I double this recipe for a two layer cake or for a 9/13 pan? Or could I make this recipe and bake in two 8″ pans. I really need a bigger cake.
Hi Patricia, you could double the recipe and use two pans, i think that would be easiest
A healthy, easy but simple dish to make. I will learn to make this dish.
I just made this cake and am looking forward to trying it later today with my family. I haven’t used up all of the syrup. It seems like a lot. Has everyone used it all up? Not too soggy?
Hi Nancy, you don’t need to use all of the syrup but I really like my cakes moist so you could try half and see what you think
I used this recipe to make two 2-tier 4 inch cakes, it was a great hit, everyone loved them so much I’ll have to bake some more right away.
Thank you for sharing! =D
Awesome Cristina! Thanks for the feedback :)
Hands down this is the best lemon cake I’ve ever made AND ever tasted in my life. A lot of times lemon cakes are cakes with a hint of lemon, not with this! This was a true lemon cake. So refreshing.
Great to hear Peter, I love lemon desserts and they should really taste like lemon
can a 9″ round pan be substituted? love lemon and looking forward to making this!
Hi Rosemarie, yes for sure but just remember to grease it well and I like to also line the base of the pan with a parchment paper circle
thank you – it was delicious! a keeper for sure. Can’t wait to see what else I can find on your blog.
I did it again! :D
This time I make cupcakes. 18 cupcakes with this exact recipe.