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Lemon Curd Cake

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a close up shot of a slice of Lemon Curd Cake on a plate
This lemon curd cake is a moist and indulgent treat, with a perfect balance of tartness and sweetness that will leave your guests wanting more.
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Table of Contents
  1. Lemon Curd Cake Ingredients
  2. Substitutions and Additions
  3. How To Make This Lemon Curd Cake Recipe
  4. How To Serve
  5. Storage
  6. Why We Love This Recipe
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. More Recipes You’ll Love
  9. JUMP TO RECIPE

Indulge in the citrusy goodness of our delectable lemon curd cake, a dessert that perfectly balances the tang of fresh lemons with the sweetness of a moist, fluffy cake. Lemon lovers will surely delight in this cake’s refreshing flavor and happy yellow color.

a close up shot of a slice of Lemon Curd Cake on a plate

Lemon Curd Cake Ingredients

Lemon Curd Cake raw ingredients that are labeled
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The magic of our lemon curd cake lies in its ingredients. Each component plays a crucial role in creating a dessert that’s as delightful to the palate as it is to the eye.

The fresh lemon juice and lemon zest are the stars of the show, infusing our cake with a vibrant, tangy flavor that’s unmistakably lemon.

The lemon curd is the secret ingredient that takes our cake to the next level, adding a burst of intense lemon flavor that’s simply irresistible.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For The Cake:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups of granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon zest
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of whole milk

For The Frosting:

  • 1½ cups of unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon zest
  • 1½ teaspoons of lemon extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • ½ cup of lemon curd, for filling
  • Fresh lemon slices and sprigs of mint to garnish

Substitutions and Additions

UNSALTED BUTTER: If you’re watching your sodium intake, you can use salted butter and omit the additional salt in this homemade lemon cake recipe.

FRESH LEMON JUICE & ZEST: If fresh lemons aren’t available, you can use bottled lemon juice and dried lemon zest. However, the flavor may not be as vibrant.

LEMON CURD: If you’re short on time, you can use store-bought lemon curd. You can also experiment with other fruit curds like orange or lime for a different flavor profile.

FROSTING: The frosting is a lemon buttercream. Lemon cream cheese frosting would also be delicious.

DECORATIONS: Edible flowers or berries would also make pretty decorations on this cake. 

How To Make This Lemon Curd Cake Recipe

Creating our lemon curd cake is a delightful process that fills your kitchen with the refreshing aroma of lemons. Let’s walk through the steps together.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Make sure your butter is softened, and your eggs are at room temperature for the best results. 

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper.

STEP TWO: Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

STEP THREE: Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add one egg at a time, beating between each addition.

STEP FOUR: Beat in the lemon juice, vanilla and lemon extracts, and lemon zest then mix on high speed for 2-3 minutes.

lemon juice, vanilla and lemon extracts, and lemon zest added to a bowl

STEP FIVE: In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

STEP SIX: To the wet ingredients, alternate adding ½ of the milk and ½ of the flour mixture, and then the remaining flour and milk. Mix just until everything is combined.

milk and flour mixture added to the wet ingredients

STEP SEVEN: Divide the batter between the two prepared baking pans, spreading the tops even.

STEP EIGHT: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.

cake baked in cake pans

STEP NINE: Cool cakes for 5-10 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.

PRO TIP:

The buttercream is enough to frost the exterior of the two-layer cake. If you are filling the cake with frosting (in addition to, or instead of, the lemon curd filling) or if you’d like to do a lot of decorating, double the frosting recipe. We used a simple fluffy swoop design on the cake.  

STEP TEN: Prepare the frosting by whipping the butter until fluffy with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar, half at a time, and whisk on low until combined.

STEP ELEVEN: Whisk in the lemon zest, lemon extract, and pinch of salt. With the mixer running on low speed, whisk in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Add more cream until the desired consistency is achieved. Whip on high speed for several minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.

lemon zest, lemon extract, and salt whisked together

STEP TWELVE: Assemble the cake by piping a perimeter of the frosting around the top of the first cake layer. Fill with about ½ cup of lemon curd, spreading the curd to the frosting border. Gently press the second layer of cake down onto the filling to seal. Frost the cake with the rest of the frosting and decorate as desired. We garnished it with fresh lemon slices and sprigs of mint.

cake decorated with frosting, lemon slices, and mint

How To Serve

The lemon layer cake is a star on its own. Its vibrant flavors and creamy texture make it a perfect end to any meal.

Add a dollop of whipped cream on the side for an extra touch of indulgence. The creaminess of the whipped cream complements the tangy lemon flavor beautifully.

Serve the cake with a side of fresh berries for a refreshing contrast. The sweetness of the berries pairs wonderfully with the tartness of the lemon.

For a decadent treat, serve a slice of lemon curd cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The creaminess of the ice cream enhances the moist texture of the cake.

We love lemon desserts, and our lemon lasagna and lemon cheesecake are two more of our absolute favorites.

Storage

Our easy lemon curd cake is just as delicious the next day, making it a great make-ahead dessert.

MAKE AHEAD: You can prepare the cake and frosting a day in advance. Store the cake layers at room temperature, covered tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the frosting in an airtight container, and let it come to room temperature before whipping it again for a few minutes to bring it back to its fluffy consistency.

IN THE FRIDGE: Once the cake is frosted, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

IN THE FREEZER: The frosted cake can be frozen for up to 1 month. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Why We Love This Recipe

Our lemon curd cake is a dessert that’s close to our hearts, and here’s why:

FLAVOR: The vibrant flavor of fresh lemons shines through in every bite of this cake. The tart lemon curd is balanced beautifully by the sweet, creamy frosting, creating a flavor profile that’s both refreshing and indulgent.

TEXTURE: This cake boasts a moist, tender crumb that’s a joy to eat. The creamy frosting and smooth lemon curd add a lovely contrast, making each bite a delight.

a close up shot of Lemon Curd Cake on a cake stand with a slice taken out

This lemon cake is ultra moist and packed with lemon flavor. It’s a perfect balance of tartness and sweetness that will leave your guests asking for more. Enjoy this refreshing yet indulgent flavor combination, and make sure you save some for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh? 

You can use bottled lemon juice in this easy lemon cake recipe, but the flavor may not be as vibrant as fresh lemon juice.

Can I make this cake gluten-free? 

You can substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Make sure it contains xanthan gum, which helps with the texture.

Can I use a different type of frosting? 

While we love the lemon buttercream, you could also use a cream cheese frosting for a tangy twist.

Can I make this cake in advance? 

You can prepare the cake and frosting a day in advance. Store the cake layers at room temperature, covered tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate

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a close up shot of a slice of Lemon Curd Cake on a plate

Lemon Curd Cake

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This lemon curd cake is a moist and indulgent treat, with a perfect balance of tartness and sweetness that will leave your guests wanting more.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk

Frosting

  • cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ½ cup lemon curd, for filling
  • Fresh lemon slices, garnish
  • spring of mint, garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add one egg at a time, beating between each addition.
  • Beat in the lemon juice, vanilla and lemon extracts, and lemon zest and mix on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • To the wet ingredients, alternate adding ½ of the milk and ½ of the flour mixture, and then the remaining flour and milk. Mix just until everything is combined.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared baking pans, spreading the tops even.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  • Cool cakes for 5 to 10 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.
  • Prepare the frosting by whipping the butter until fluffy with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar, half at a time, and whisk on low until combined.
  • Whisk in the lemon zest, lemon extract, and pinch of salt. With the mixer running on low speed, whisk in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Add more cream until the desired consistency is achieved. Whip on high speed for several minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • Assemble the cake by piping a perimeter of the frosting around the top of the first layer. Fill with about ½ cup of lemon curd, spreading the curd to the frosting border. Gently press the second layer of cake down onto the filling to seal. Frost the cake with the rest of the frosting and decorate as desired. We garnished it with fresh lemon slices and sprigs of mint.

Notes

  • Make sure your butter is softened, and your eggs are at room temperature for the best results.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.
  • The buttercream is enough to frost the exterior of the two-layer cake. If you are filling the cake with frosting (in addition to, or instead of, the lemon curd filling) or if you’d like to do a lot of decorating, double the frosting recipe. We used a simple fluffy swoop design on the cake. 

Nutrition

Calories: 741kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 71g | Vitamin A: 1320IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

This recipe was developed, tested, cooked and photographed by the Spaceships Kitchen. From our dinner table to yours, we hope you think it's out of this world!

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