Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

A luscious layer cake bursting with the bright flavor of sunshine! Fresh lemon zest and juice permeate every corner of this sweet and tart cake, from the moist crumb to the delectable cream cheese frosting.

It’s scrumptious straight from the fridge, like drinking cold, sweet lemonade on a sweltering summer day when your mouth is as parched as a desert. Similar and a whole lot better, because it’s in dessert form! And what could be better? Dessert trumps everything.

With fresh blueberries and organic coconut flakes to dress it up, this is one of the most refreshing summer cakes you can make. If you’re reading this in the middle of winter it will transport you right smack into the middle of summer. Because it is summer.  

Summer in a cake.

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 32 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 (8-inch) layer cake

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

A luscious lemon flavored layer cake with a rich cream cheese frosting bursting with the bright flavor of lemon flavored sunshine!


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 + 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
the zest of 2 lemons (just the yellow part not the white pith)
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 tablespoons butter, softened
the zest from 1 lemon (just the yellow part not the white pith)
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
coconut flakes and/or blueberries, for garnish, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 (8-inch) round cake pans, line bottom with parchment paper if desired.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
  3. In a separate, large mixing bowl beat sugar and butter until fluffy about 5 minutes, beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in lemon zest and juice. Beat in flour and buttermilk in three additions, alternating between the two and beginning and ending with flour.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350°F for 32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans, continue cooling on wire rack.
  5. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter together 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in zest and lemon juice. Beat in confectioners’ sugar a cup at a time and continue beating on medium speed about 5 minutes until thick and fluffy. Frost cake when completely cooled, store in refrigerator.

Subscribe Here

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner



  1. nick says

    GREAT CAKE – I did make a couple of changes. For the cake, I added vanilla (I do in every baked sweet I make). For the icing, I cut back on the sugar to 3 cups; added coconut extract and mixed in both toasted coconut and sweetened shredded coconut at the end (vs. adding as garnish).

    Got some of the best raves from this cake vs. others that I’ve done – THANKS for posting it. Can’t wait to pick out my next creative dish from your site.

    • says

      THANK YOU Nick!! Your frosting sounds absolutely DELICIOUS!! No wonder it got rave reviews! I look forward to hearing from you again. :)

  2. Lizzle says

    I’ve made this recipe for work parties twice now, and people can’t stop raving. Love!

  3. valerie says

    Wonderful lemon cake recipe. I had a jar of lemon curd I wanted to use up, so used that for the middle. I liked the contrast, similar to using lemon pudding as someone else suggested, and gave it a nice pucker. I topped the frosted cake with a mixture of very finely grated zest of a lemon and about a tablespoon of sugar. It was pretty and gave a nice crunch and a little extra lemon pizazz! Blueberries (or any berres!) or coconut as you suggest would also be very nice for this cake. Thanks!

    • says

      Thanks Valerie! I’m glad it was a hit! The lemon curd sounds delicious and I love the way you topped it. I’ll have to give it a try.

  4. Dennis says

    Hi Reeni, Your cake recipe is wonderful! I might suggest as an added alternative to use cooked lemon pie filling as the “icing” between the layers. Besides, delicious it makes for a nice presentation when you slice it.

  5. says

    I just made this cake this weekend for my Dad’s birthday – it was a big hit! Thank you for sharing the recipe, it was delicious. I did make modifications as I was working with what I had – for future readers’ sake who may be in the same situation, I used self raising flour instead of the plain flour + baking powder, and used Greek yoghurt instead of buttermilk, and it worked out fine. I also put a layer of blueberry jam in the middle with some icing and shredded coconut on top for prettiness’ sake :-) yummo! Thanks again :-)

    • says

      Thank you for making it Donna! I’m glad you’re substitutions worked out well! The blueberry jam and coconut is a great idea! I bet it was scrumptious. :-)

  6. Lori says

    Perfect recipe – no glitches or difficult steps. I made an extra 1/2 recipe to make a 3-layer cake. I doubled the frosting to allow for enough to cover all 3 layers. A true hit!

Leave a Reply

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