Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe

Jump To Recipe
Avatar Author's default profile picture
Logan Published: February 10, 2021 Modified: June 1, 2021
Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe

How To Make Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream

Paired with tangy cream cheese buttercream, this moist lemon layer cake is topped with edible flowers and fresh berries for a deliciously beautiful finish.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes



  • 3cupsall-purpose flour,sifted, spoon and leveled
  • tspbaking powder
  • ½tspbaking soda
  • ½tspsalt
  • 1cupunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • cupsgranulated sugar
  • 3large eggs,at room temperature
  • 2tsppure vanilla extract
  • 1cupbuttermilk,or whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1tbsplemon zest,(about 2 lemons), heaping
  • cuplemon juice,(about 2 lemons)

For Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1cupunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • 8ozcream cheese,full-fat brick style, softened to room temperature
  • 5cupsconfectioners’ sugar
  • 2tbspfresh lemon juice
  • 1tsppure vanilla extract
  • pinchsalt,to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the cakes seamlessly release from the pans.

Lemon Cake:

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.

  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

  3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract at high speed for about 2 minutes until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients just until combined. With the mixer still running on low, add the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix just until combined. The batter will be a little thick.

  4. Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for around about 21 to 26 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

  5. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling. The baked cakes are fluffy, but they are not thick– about 1 to 1.5 inches.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes until creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until completely smooth and combined.

  2. Add confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for about 3 minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, more lemon juice if frosting is too thick, or add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.

To Assemble and Decorate:

  1. Using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!). Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand, cake turntable, or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with about 1 cup of frosting. Top with 2nd cake layer and evenly cover the top with about 1 cup of frosting. Top with the third cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides using Wilton 8B piping tip preferably.

  2. Refrigerate for about 30 to 45 minutes before slicing. This helps the cake hold its shape when cutting. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Recipe Notes

Vanilla Cream Cheese Buttercream: For a vanilla cream cheese buttercream, replace lemon juice with milk or heavy cream in the frosting. Add an additional ¼ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.


  • Calories: 791.45kcal
  • Fat: 38.87g
  • Saturated Fat: 23.64g
  • Trans Fat: 1.24g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10.12g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.80g
  • Carbohydrates: 106.72g
  • Fiber: 1.51g
  • Sugar: 80.37g
  • Protein: 7.04g
  • Cholesterol: 149.45mg
  • Sodium: 505.99mg
  • Calcium: 143.20mg
  • Potassium: 139.11mg
  • Iron: 1.97mg
  • Vitamin A: 350.99µg
  • Vitamin C: 11.55mg
Continue Reading Below
Chat Bubble Icon Share your own special recipe
Submit Your Own Recipe

Have your own special recipe to share? Submit Your Recipe Today!

Continue Reading Below
Continue Reading Below

Related Cakes Recipes

Continue Reading Below

Leave a comment

Replying to