For lemon curd

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For frosting

  • 2 cups chilled whipping cream

For cake

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Lemon slices, halved, patted dry

Recipe Preparation

Make lemon curd:

  • Combine 2 1/3 cups sugar and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in fresh lemon juice. Whisk in eggs and yolks; add butter. Whisk over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, about 12 minutes. Pour into medium bowl. Refrigerate until cold, at least 5 hours. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Make frosting:

  • Beat powdered sugar and 1 1/4 cups lemon curd in large bowl just until blended. Beat cream in medium bowl until firm peaks form. Fold cream into curd mixture in 3 additions. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours.

Make cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides; line bottoms with parchment paper. Whisk 1 1/2 cups cake flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Add 4 yolks, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, orange juice, lemon peel and 3/4 cup curd to bowl (do not stir). Combine whites and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar in another large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Using same beaters, beat yolk mixture until smooth. Fold whites into yolk mixture in 3 additions.

  • Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely.

  • Spoon 1 cup frosting into pastry bag fitted with plain round tip; refrigerate bag. Place 1 cake layer on cake platter. Spread top of cake layer with 1/3 cup curd, then 1 cup frosting. Top with second cake layer; spread with 1/3 cup curd and 1 cup frosting. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Spread remaining curd over top of cake, leaving 3/4-inch plain border around edge. Pipe chilled 1 cup frosting in bag in small mounds around edge of cake. DO AHEAD Cake can be prepared 1 day ahead; refrigerate. Place lemon slices between mounds of frosting. Slice cake and serve.

Recipe by Selma Brown Morrow,Reviews Section

Lemon Curd Layer Cake

This is an old-fashioned cake and a half, let me tell you upfront. This cake is no walk in the park. But it’s worth it. This is cake the way your great-grandmas made it, meaning–it’s not easy, but it’s delicious! It’s a special cake, worthy of special occasions. Make it for an ordinary day and you can make any day special because it’s pretty amazing.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Servings: 10-12

Prep Time: several hours, spread out Cook Time: 25 minutes

White Layer Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess set aside.

Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with flour beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl set aside.

In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining whites.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack peel off parchment. Reinvert cakes, and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to make level. Place one layer on a serving plate, cut side up. Using a pastry bag fitted with a coupler, pipe frosting around the perimeter. This dam will prevent the lemon curd filling from seeping out. Fill cake with lemon curd. Place other cake layer on top, cut side down. Spread entire cake with frosting, swirling to cover.

Lemon Cake

This lemon cake is guaranteed to light up your taste buds in the best way possible! The cake is made with fresh lemon juice and is incredibly moist and light. The frosting is a cross between Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC) and cream cheese frosting. There’s also a tangy lemon curd filling which is unbelievably fresh, vibrant, and seriously addicting!

If you’ve never heard of SMBC, it’s a basic frosting that is made with egg whites that are gently cooked over a double boiler and then whipped to stiff, glossy peaks. It’s perfect for frosting cakes because it’s smooth, light, and spreads or pipes easily. It’s also not overly sweet or rich like American buttercream can be. Adding some cream cheese to the frosting makes it a little thicker and adds a delicious, tangy flavor.

What You Need to Make the Lemon Cake:

  • All-purpose flour: Measure correctly. It’s so easy to over-measure flour and end up with a cake that’s dense instead of light and fluffy. Stir the flour around in the bag to loosen it up, then lightly spoon it into your measuring cup and level it off with the flat side of a knife.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: Leaveners that help the cake rise and make it soft.
  • Salt: A full teaspoon brings out and enhances the cake’s flavor. Make sure you’re using unsalted butter or the cake will be way too salty. If all you have is salted butter then reduce the added salt to half a teaspoon.
  • Butter: Unsalted and softened to room temperature. Leave it out on the counter for at least 1 hour (or longer if your house is pretty chilly). It should be firm but easily pliable when gently pressed in. You can also speed up softening by cutting the butter into small pieces.
  • Sugar: Creaming the butter with granulated sugar whips air into the butter and helps make the cake light and airy!
  • Eggs (room temperature): Room temperature eggs mix into the batter more easily and evenly. Take them out of the fridge at least 1 hour before using them. You can also quickly bring the eggs to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Lemon juice: Fresh-squeezed, never bottled!
  • Sour cream (room temperature): Sour cream is the ultimate insurance policy for a perfectly moist cake. Always use full-fat sour cream! You can also substitute with full-fat plain Greek yogurt.
  • Whole milk (room temperature): If the milk is too cold when you add it in it can make the batter turn lumpy. It’s okay if that happens though, the batter will smooth out once the dry ingredients are mixed in.

How to Make Lemon Cake:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or a stand mixer, use a hand-held electric mixer or the paddle attachment in a stand mixer to cream the softened butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the room temperature eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined after each. Don’t overmix.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, fresh lemon juice, sour cream, and milk. Mix until combined and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans, a kitchen scale is best for making sure the batter is divided evenly. Tap the pans on the counter to spread the batter evenly in the pan and to get rid of any trapped air bubbles. Bake in a 350° oven for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool slightly in the pan, then cool them completely in the fridge or freezer before frosting. Allow the cakes to cool slightly in the pan and then cool completely in the fridge or freezer before frosting, overnight is best if you can. You can also wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and freeze them for up to 3 months.

Lemon Curd Filling:

  • Eggs: 4 large egg yolks. Separate the eggs while they’re cold and keep the whites in a separate bowl for making the frosting.
  • Sugar: A full cup of sugar is perfect for balancing out the tart lemon flavor!
  • Salt & vanilla extract: Just a small amount to add flavor.
  • Fresh-squeezed lemon juice: You need half a cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. 3 or 4 large lemons should be enough, but it’s always better to have a few extra just in case. You can always use any leftovers for decorating the cake!
  • Flour: For thickening the lemon curd .
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted is fine since you’re only using a couple of tablespoons.

Make the Lemon Curd:

  1. Whisk the egg yolks, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the fresh-squeezed lemon juice and flour until the flour is dissolved.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the lemon juice/flour mixture and cook until thick. Whisking constantly.
  4. Slowly add the hot lemon mixture to the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking the yolks constantly as you do. Return everything back to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly until very thick. About 6-8 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and use a sieve to strain the lemon curd into a small bowl. Straining the curd helps get rid of any lumps of flour. Use a whisk to help pass it through the sieve and use a spoon to scrape the strained curd from the opposite side and into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge to set slightly while you make the frosting.

For the Frosting:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, and cut into 1″ pieces.
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature.

How to Make SMBC Frosting:

  1. Bring an inch of water to a gentle boil in a medium pot. Whisk the egg whites and the granulated sugar in a bowl large enough to fit over the pot without the bottom of the bowl touching the water.
  2. Place the bowl over the pot of gently boiling water and cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature reaches 165°. 5-6 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pot and transfer the contents to a large, clean bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  3. Use a hand-held mixer or the whisk attachment at medium speed to whip the mixture to stiff glossy peaks. About 10 minutes, it should be thick and glossy with a marshmallowy texture and appearance.
  4. Keep the mixer running at medium speed and add the softened butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until fully incorporated after each. Continue until all of the butter is added in. The frosting should be thick, glossy, and smooth. Add the salt and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Add the softened cream cheese and mix until smooth.

Tips for Making the Frosting:

  • Separate the eggs while they’re cold and make sure there aren’t any traces of egg yolk in the bowl or you won’t be able to whip it to stiff peaks. If you accidentally get some yolk in the bowl you can use an eggshell to scoop it out or just start over if you can’t get all of it out.
  • It’s easier to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks if the bowl isn’t hot, which is why I recommend transferring the mixture to a separate bowl instead of leaving it in the same bowl you cooked the egg whites in. If you want to leave it in the same bowl, you can cool it down by surrounding the bowl with bags of ice or some frozen vegetables.

How to Fix a Soupy SMBC:

After you’ve added the butter to the frosting it should be smooth, thick, and glossy. If it’s soupy, then your butter was too soft when you added it in. To fix it, just set the bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until it firms up. You can also refrigerate SMBC overnight, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and give it a quick whip once you’re ready to use it.

How to Fix a Broken SMBC:

The frosting should be smooth and not at all grainy. If it looks grainy or curdled then you let the frosting get too cold or the butter was too cold when it was added in. To fix it, place the bowl back over a pot of gently simmering water and whisk until smooth and glossy. You can also microwave the meringue in 15-second intervals, whisking in between, until smooth. If you take it too far and it becomes soupy, just place the bowl in the fridge until it firms back up. Easy!

How to Frost Lemon Cake:

  1. Once the cakes have cooled completely, use a large serrated knife to level off the domed tops.
  2. Place one of the cakes, cut side up, onto a cake stand or a cake board. Add the frosting to a piping bag and pipe a thick border of frosting around the outside of the cake. Spread some lemon curd inside the border of frosting, if it isn’t spreading easily, you can add the lemon curd to a piping bag and simply pipe it around inside the border of frosting. Use a spatula or the piping bag to top the layer of lemon curd with more frosting.

3. Place the second cake layer with the cut side down on top of the first cake layer. Repeat with another border of frosting, more lemon curd, and top the curd with more frosting. Place the final cake layer on top with the cut side down and repeat with the border/curd/frosting process again.

4. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting all over the top and around the sides of the cake. The first coat is called the crumb coat, it’s okay if it’s not pretty. Place the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before adding a second coat . Use an offset spatula or a cake scraper t o spread it evenly on top of the cake and around the sides.

Recipe Summary

  • Lemon curd:
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Frosting:
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Make the lemon curd: In a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisk together lemon juice, butter, sugar, eggs and salt until butter melts and mixture thickens and coats back of a wooden spoon, about 25 minutes (do not let it boil). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl and stir in zest. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.

Make cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mist 2 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until soft. Gradually add sugar and lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well before each addition. Stir in ¹/3 of flour mixture, then half of sour cream. Repeat, ending with last ¹/3 of flour mixture. Stir in lemon juice.

Divide batter between pans, spreading evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 25 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn out cakes onto rack to cool completely.

Make frosting: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, cream cheese and zest until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a flexible spatula. Gradually add sugar. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until the cake has cooled. If frosting becomes too warm, refrigerate it until it firms up, but don't allow it to become too stiff to spread.

Assemble cake: Using a serrated knife, carefully slice both cakes horizontally into 2 layers. Place one layer on a platter. Spread ¹/3 of lemon curd over cake. Top with second cake layer and spread with another ¹/3 of curd. Place third cake layer on top and spread with remaining curd. Top with final cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake. Chill cake for up to 2 hours before serving.

Lemon Mascarpone Layer Cake

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 - 14 Slices 1 x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Lemon Mascarpone Layer Cake is made with a moist lemon cake, lemon curd and a smooth and creamy whipped mascarpone frosting!



  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice (about 1 – 2 lemons)
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup ( 69g ) sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp ( 42g ) salted butter


  • 2 1/2 cup s ( 325g ) all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup ( 112g ) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup s ( 310g ) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon zest


  • 2 1/2 cups (600ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 1/2 cups ( 173g ) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 16 oz ( 452g ) mascarpone cheese, chilled*


1. Combine all the ingredients in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). Heat while whisking constantly until mixture thickens and reaches 160 degrees, or coats the back of a spoon.
2. Pour the lemon curd into a heat proof bowl, cover with clear wrap pressed onto the the top of the curd to avoid a film developing, and refrigerate until cold.


3. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
3. Add the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
6. Combine the milk and lemon juice, then slowly add the mixture to the batter and mix until well combined.
7. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
8. Add the lemon zest and gently stir to combine.
9. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
10. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.


11. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.
12. Add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form. It will happen fairly quickly. Set whipped frosting in the refrigerator.
13. To assemble the cake, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes, if needed.
14. Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round. Pipe a dam of frosting around the outside of the cake. I use Ateco tip 808 for the dam so that it’s tall.
15. Spread half of the lemon curd evenly on top of the cake layer, inside the dam. It should fill the dam about half way full.
16. Add some mascarpone frosting to the top of the lemon filling and spread into an even layer to fill in the remaining dam space.
17. Add the second layer of cake and repeat the filling layer with the remaining lemon curd and additional mascarpone frosting.
18. Add the final layer of cake on top, then smooth out the frosting around the sides of the cake.
19. Frost the outside of the cake, then use an offset spatula to create a striped pattern on the sides of the cake, if desired. Pipe swirls of frosting onto the top of the cake and finish it off with some lemon slice candies and white pearl sprinkles.
20. Refrigerate well covered until ready to serve. I find that the cake is best when served a little chilled, but not cold. Cake should stay fresh when well covered for 2-4 days.

*I prefer to use the mascarpone cheese when still chilled, but soft, so that it’ll in corporate well, without chunks. The warmer mascarpone cheese is, the more likely it is to soften to the point that it won’t firm up well again and can make too soft of a frosting.

Keywords: lemon cake recipe, best lemon cake, mascarpone frosting recipe, lemon desserts

Limoncello Cake

This Limoncello Cake is made with fluffy sponge cake layers, brushed with a limoncello syrup, filled with a thin layer of lemon curd and frosted with a decadent mascarpone and cream cheese frosting.

  • Author: Olga's Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 120 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 265 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cake (9 inch) 1 x
  • Category: Dessert


Sponge Cake:

  • 8 eggs (separated, room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar (divided)
  • ½ cup milk and melted butter (total ( 1/4 cup each))
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Limoncello Syrup:


  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese ( 16 oz total), room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon limoncello
  • 2 (8 oz) 8 oz packages mascarpone cheese ( 16 oz total), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (chilled)
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon (lemon zest)
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd


Sponge Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of 2 round (9 inccake pans with parchment paper.
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.
  3. Beat the whites using a whisk attachment on a standing mixer or a hand held mixer until foamy. Gradually pour in half of the sugar. Mix the whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. In the other bowl with the yolks, add the remaining sugar and use the same whisk attachment to beat the yolks until they are pale and fluffy.
  5. Combine the milk, melted butter, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a bowl or cup. Set aside.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the egg yolks, being careful not to deflate the batter as much as possible.
  7. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt over the folded eggs and gently fold in the batter.
  8. When there are still some remaining streaks of flour, pour in the milk and butter mixture into the batter by the side of the bowl. Continue gently folding until evenly distributed.
  9. Divide the batter in half, pouring into the prepared cake pans.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until they are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
  11. Cool on a wire rack.
  12. Meanwhile, prepare the limoncello syrup and the frosting.

Limoncello Syrup:

  1. Make a simple sugar by heating the sugar and water in a small pot until sugar dissolves and add the limoncello. Set aside to cool.


  1. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar until evenly mixed, smooth and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract and limoncello.
  2. Add the mascarpone cheese. You can just fold in the mascarpone cheese with a rubber spatula, since it’s soft enough or mix with the mixer just until combined, about 30 seconds.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until fluffy and stiff peaks form. You can do this by hand using a whisk or use a hand held mixer or a standing mixer.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream into the frosting until evenly mixed.

Assembling the Cake:

  1. Cut each cake in half horizontally.
  2. Using a serrated knife, make a small cut all around the outside of the cake. This will keep your knife on the same level as you are cutting across. Continue cutting deeper into the cake until you have cut all the way through.
  3. Another trick I use when decorating cakes is to line the serving plate all around the edge with aluminum foil so that the edge of the cake is overlapping the aluminum foil by about 1/2 inch. This will catch all the drips and crumbs, leaving your serving plate neat and clean. When you’re done decorating just carefully pull the aluminum foil out.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush the top and bottom of each layer with the limoncello syrup.
  5. Put a dollop of frosting in the center of the cake plate, which will help to hold the cake in place. Place the first cake layer in the center of the cake plate and generously spread the cake layer with frosting, all the way to the edges.
  6. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosted cake layer. Spread the lemon curd evenly over the surface of the cake, all the way to the edges. You can use more or less lemon curd, depending on how sweet and “lemony” you want the cake to be.
  7. Place the third cake layer on top of the lemon curd layer and generously spread the cake layer with frosting, all the way to the edges.
  8. Top with the last layer and this time frost the sides and the top of the cake. Carefully pull out the aluminum foil from underneath the edges of the cake and discard.
  9. You will have enough frosting left over to pipe a border all the way around the cake too. I piped a border all the way around the edges of the cake and added a few swirls in the center too. I used my favorite Wilton 1M piping tip.
  10. I also grated white chocolate on top of the cake as well as lemon zest and a thin lemon slice in the center of the cake.
  11. The cake should be chilled in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours before serving, or overnight. The cake can be made 2 days in advance, completely assembled and stored in the refrigerator, covered.
  12. Before serving, let the cake stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, for the best taste and texture.


If you don’t want to use limoncello, you can omit it from the frosting and use lemonade in its place for the syrup.

Make the cake:

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven heat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour two 8 x 2-inch round cake pans. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Pulse 1/4 cup of the sugar with the zest in a food processor until well combined.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and lemon sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 1-1/2 minutes). Add the remaining 1-1/2 cups sugar and beat until smooth (about 1-1/2 minutes). Beat in a quarter of the milk just until blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk in three batches, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula beat just until blended.
  • In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer (with clean beaters or the whip attachment) on medium speed just until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium high, and beat just until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add a quarter of the whites to the batter and gently fold them in with a whisk or a rubber spatula continue to gently fold in the whites, a quarter at a time, being careful not to deflate the mixture.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with the spatula. Bake until a pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a table knife around the inside of the pans and carefully invert each cake out onto the rack. Flip them right side up and let cool completely.
  • With the palm of one hand pressed on top of a cake layer, cut each in half horizontally, using a long serrated knife. Put one of the four cake layers on a serving plate, cut side up. With an offset spatula or a table knife, spread a generous 1/3 cup chilled lemon curd on top of the cake layer. Lay another cake layer on top, spread it with another generous 1/3 cup lemon curd, and repeat with the third cake layer, using the last 1/3 cup lemon curd. Top with the fourth cake layer.

Make the frosting:

  • In a medium bowl, beat the butter and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar in batches and beat until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. (You can make the frosting a couple of hours ahead and keep it, covered, at cool room temperature.)

Frost the cake:

  • Up to a few hours before serving, spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake, filling in any gaps as you go. Chill until the frosting firms a bit, about 1/2 hour. (This “crumb coat” will keep crumbs from catching on your spatula and marring the finished cake.) Spread the remaining frosting decoratively over the top and sides of the cake. Scatter with bits of lemon zest and dragees, or garnish as you like.

To create curls of zest for garnish, strip the zest from two lemons with a channel zester. Cover the strands loosely with a damp paper towel they’ll curl as they begin to dry.

Recipe Notes

Add to List



  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest plus ½ cup fresh juice (from 4 large lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup cold butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

Whisk together egg yolks, granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice and cornstarch in a small heavy saucepan until combined. Cook mixture over medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick and coats the back of spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in cold butter until melted and smooth.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl discard any lumps. Place bowl with strained lemon curd in a large bowl filled with ice water. Let stand, stirring often, until mixture is cool, about 20 minutes. Remove medium bowl from ice bath, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on lemon curd (to prevent a film from forming).

⏲️ How long to bake

Bake for 40 minutes then place a piece of foil on top to prevent the lemon curd from turning too dark, place back in the oven for an additional 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Everyone's oven is different so I highly suggest checking the cake at a total of 55 minutes just in case your oven runs very warm.

Drizzle on top of the cake when it is completely cool. Store cake in an airtight container, store in the fridge to last longer.

Another lemon loaf cake recipe I love is my Lemon Zucchini Cake or my Lemon Pound Cake try one of these next!

I made this Lemon Curd Loaf Cake for the Spring Blog Hop! Thank you to Kendra for putting it together for us all. How beautiful is that welcome door mat, and those mantels?! I need to get springy in my home!

★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!

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