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lemon cake on a marble cake stand with a spatula pulling out 1 slice revealing 4 layers o cake, frosting and lemon curd


  • Author: Zoha
  • Total Time: 3+ hours with cooling
  • Yield: 12-14


This moist and tender lemon cake layered with a silky lemon curd and cream cheese frosting is one of the best cakes you will ever have! This recipe makes a 4 layered 8 or 9" cake


Lemon cake:

  • 1 1/3 cup sugar (290g)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (113g)
  • 1/4 cup oil (50g)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour (305g, or mix 275g all purpose flour with 30g cornstarch)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream (240g)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (55g)

Lemon curd:

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (110g)
  • 1/4 cup water (60g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar (145g)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (28g)
  • Pinch of salt

Simple syrup:

  • 1/4 cup water (60g)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (55g)

Cream cheese frosting:

  • 2 blocks cream cheese (16 oz or 453g), room temp
  • 2 sticks butter (226g or 1 cup), room temp
  • 3 cups icing sugar, sifted (360g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


Lemon cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare 2 8-9" cake pans with parchment paper and butter
  • Massage the lemon zest into the sugar until it looks fluffy. Add the melted butter and oil and whisk for 2 minutes. Then add the eggs and vanilla and whisk for another 1-2 minutes
  • Sift in all the dry ingredients and fold to combine
  • Lastly, fold in the sour cream and lemon juice
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake for 25-28 minutes until done
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10-15 min, then turn onto a wire rack and let cool completely

Lemon curd:

  • Mix the water, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, salt, eggs and egg yolks in a nonstick pan, and stir and cook on low heat until they form a thick mixture that coats the back of a spoon
  • Remove from heat and mix in the butter until combined
  • Pass through a fine sieve mesh, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until fully cooled down

Simple syrup:

  • Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool down fully

Cream cheese frosting:

  • Whisk the butter using the balloon whisk attachment of your stand mixer for 5-7 minutes until it is light and fluffy, and almost white in color
  • Add the sugar and vanilla, and whisk for another ~5 minutes until well combined
  • Add the cream cheese a little at a time, whisking at medium speed, until everything just comes together. avoid mixing too much after the addition of the cream cheese


  • Once everything has cooled down, start assembly. Trim off the domes from the cakes (i.e., level them off) and divide each cake into 2 even layers so you have 4 layers total
  • Place one layer onto a turn table and brush generously with simple syrup. Add a layer of cream cheese frosting, and pipe it around the edges to create a dam. Fill with a layer of lemon curd
  • Repeat until all layers are done. Coat the cake in a thin layer of cream cheese frosting as the crumb coat and let it cool until it is stiff
  • Frost the cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting in any decoration style you like, and top off with the remaining lemon curd
  • Decorate with candied lemon slices if desired, and serve!


  • This cake is best enjoyed at slightly colder than room temp, so let it sit for 15-20 minutes out of the fridge before eating
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: layered lemon cake with cream cheese frosting