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Lemon Custard Cake

close up shot of a slice of Lemon Custard Cake on a spatula
Watch in amazement as this lemon custard cake bakes into three delightful layers of tangy citrus flavor.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 25
Calories 95 kcal


  • 4 large eggs, room temperature (separated)
  • ¼ teaspoon white vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup salted sweet cream butter, melted and cooled (8 tablespoons)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, spooned into the measuring cup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, pure
  • tablespoons lemon zest (1 large lemon)
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, optional dusting for cooled cake


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some parchment paper overhang for lifting the cake out of the pan. Set it aside.
  • Using either a stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on high, whip together the egg whites and the white vinegar to stiff peaks.
  • Using a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high, beat together the egg yolks and granulated sugar for 2 to 3 minutes until pale yellow.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low. Drizzle in the melted and cooled butter and vanilla.
  • Keeping the mixer speed on low, beat in the flour. Mix just until well combined.
  • Continue mixing on low, and add in the lemon juice and zest.
  • Keep the mixer speed on low and drizzle in the milk.
  • Using a whisk, incorporate the egg whites into the batter. Leave small egg white bumps.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish; it will be thin.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, just until the mixture has no wobble.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and slice.


  • The 8x8 square pan is essential to achieve the three distinct layers. A larger pan will spread the cake batter too thin for the creamy custard layer in the center to form. The batter won’t fit in a smaller pan.
  • The low temperature (325°F) is important for baking this custard-like dessert.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time.
  • While we would suggest only removing one piece at a time from the pan, if for some reason you do want to remove the whole cake at once, lining the pan with parchment paper may help to lift the lemon cake out of the pan. We can’t guarantee that you won’t get a bit of custard that will try to ooze out the side of the cake.


Calories: 95kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 47mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 185IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg