Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Lemon Buttercream

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Every bite of this Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Lemon Buttercream bursts with lemon flavor. A wonderfully moist lemon cake is layered with velvety smooth lemon curd and frosted with fresh lemon buttercream.

 Lemon Layer Cake

From the first bite of a moist and flavorful lemon cake, to the velvety lemon curd that’s sandwiched between it, to the light and luscious lemon buttercream frosting, you can expect a flavorful burst of sweet and tangy citrus in every single bite. Baking this delicious classic cake is easier than you might think and a great way to show your friends and family you care.

In this article, you’ll learn the simple techniques for making this classic lemon cake recipe from scratch using fresh, quality ingredients and follow-up tips for perfectly frosting your homemade cake.

Whether you’re a novice baker or an experienced pastry chef, you’ll love the results of this delightful creation! Get ready to whip up the ultimate lemon layer cake!

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Lemon Buttercream

With its’ luscious lemon flavor, it is by far the best lemon cake I’ve ever had.

I wanted to create a cake that you guys like as much as my Easy Strawberry Cake. It is the cake that you make for birthdays, Mother’s Day, and other celebrations time and again. I enjoy reading your comments on how much you like that cake. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy this Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Lemon Buttercream just as much.

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd

You may also like these lemon cake recipes

Lemon Layer Cake 

  1. The cake is soft and fluffy. Even though it’s a moist cake, the layers are easy to work with. I spread the batter evenly in the cake pan and did not have to trim it. Of course, trimming the hump is not necessary, but to get that flat-top bakery looking cake you may want to.
  2. This is a beautiful cake to serve at a party.
  3. I filled the layers with lemon curd for a nice change of texture than the frosting. You can, if you prefer, use the frosting between the layers.
  4. The lemon buttercream is sturdy enough to decorate with. I chose to use fresh flowers. I wrapped the stem with aluminum foil before arranging them in the cake.
  5. As well, you can make two layers instead of three. I prefer three layer cakes instead of two.
  6. I used an 8-inch cake pan. If you use a 9-inch pan, your layers will be thin and I recommend double the cake batter recipe. Bake 30 to 35 or until pick inserted in center of the layer comes out clean.
Lemon Layer Cake

How to frost a 3-layer cake

  1. It is very important to work with cool cake. Otherwise, chances are the icing will slide off or you’ll get it completely frosted and it’ll slowly slide to one side. I know this for a fact! It’s even good to refrigerate the layers. I find cold layers the easiest to work with.
  2. Level the layers. Using a long serrated knife, as best as you can, shave the dome hump off the cake to make the cake flat. Snack on that cake or give it to your children!
  3. Place one cake layer on a pretty cake plate or serving tray. Check that it will fit in your cake cover so you can keep it fresh! If you have a layer that is thicker than the others, place it on the bottom, the weight of the other layers will compress it and they’ll end up being about the same thickness.
  4. Scoop a big spoonful of icing on the layer and spread it evenly with an offset spatula. Place the second layer on top, add icing, and spread it evenly. Place the last layer on the cake. Using the of-set spatula frost the sides of the cake then the top. Make swirly designs in frosting with the tip of the spatula.
Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Lemon Buttercream

Every bite of the delightful Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Lemon Buttercream bursts with lemon flavor! 
Author: Paula
4.91 from 22 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Total Time: 44 minutes
Servings: 14 slices
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  • 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour sifted first then spoon & leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter unsalted, at room temperature
  • 1 and ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites at room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract or vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 to 4 drops lemon food coloring if desired)


  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks beaten


  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • chopped nuts optional



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans.
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. 
  • Add the egg whites. Beat on high speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Then beat in the sour cream, lemon extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, and food coloring. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk until combined.
  • Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 24 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.


  • In a medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth.
  • Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly.
  • Reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes or until thick, stir constantly (do not to boil).
  • Pour mixture into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming on the top as it cools.
  • Cool to room temperature then refrigerate 3 hours. 


  • In a large bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth.
  • Beat in milk, and increase speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

To assemble

  • Wait until the cake is completely cool before frosting. For a more professional cake, remove the domes from the tops of the cake layers with a cake leveler or large serrated knife. Place one layer of cake on a serving plate. Spread with 1/2 of the lemon filling. Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 cup lemon filling. Repeat with the next layer of cake and frosting, then top the cake with the final layer of cake (if you have 3 layers). Frost the outside of the cake. An offset spatula makes it really easy to get an even layer.
  • Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with frosting.
  • Refrigerate cake until serving time.


Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 349mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 701IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious cake; however, I had difficulty following the assembly instructions, so I decided on my own how to assemble.

  2. If I wanted to make an egg-shaped cake for Easter with this recipe, could I double the ingredients to make thicker layers?

  3. Did I miss the part where the lemon juice, lemon zest and coloring are added to the cake batter!!??

    1. I had tasted, but it sounds delicious. However I find the assembly directions confusing. Also, I thought the lemon extract was not a good addition. It made the batter smell like a chemical.
      Lastly, how did you get the frosting yellow.
      However, I am making this for my daughter in laws birthday. I sure it will taste wonderful

4.91 from 22 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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