Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Buttercream Frosting

Yield: one 8-inch, three-layer round cake
Recipe: 46/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 146


    As one might remember, my last attempt at making a triple-layer lemon cake with lemon curd and Swiss lemon buttercream was not very successful. Actually, pretty much everything went wrong when I did those recipes. However, I had vowed to redo the recipe to prove to myself that I could do it.

    Fortunately, there was a recipe in the book for the same cake but for a smaller version (the other one was made to me a wedding cake!). As such, I did this smaller cake which has the same components and the same ingredients. I was very pleased with how this one turned out. I learned from my mistakes for the lemon curd and buttercream and everything went as flawlessly as possible. I was very happy with the end result, I must admit. As with the first lemon cake, this one was excellent. Very lemony, moist and rich, but at the same time not overwhelmingly rich. This is a classic dessert for sure. If you are ever in need of a scrumptious lemon cake, definitely try this recipe!!

Ingredients for lemon cake:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons cake and pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for assembly:




  1. Prepare the lemon curd before baking the cake.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle the sides of the pans with sugar and tap out any excess.
  3. With a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg whites and vanilla extract.
  5. In a third bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Alternatively add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the butter mixture in small additions, starting with the flour and mixing well after each addition.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and spread with a spatula to level. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes for 20 minutes in the pan and then turn them out of the pan to cool down completely.
  8. While the cakes are cooling down, prepare the lemon buttercream.
  9. For assembly of the cake, first peel off the parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes. Spoon a cup of buttercream into a pipping bag fitted with a plain round tip.
  10. Pipe a ring of buttercream on the top outside edge of one of the cakes.
  11. Spoon a 1/2 cup of the lemon curd into the centre of the cake and spread it evenly. Place the second 8-inch cake layer on top of the curd and buttercream.
  12. Repeat steps 10 and 11. Top with the third cake layer.
  13. Spread the top and outsides of the cake with the swiss buttercream, using an angled spatula to make it as level and smooth as possible. Add decorations as you wish. Chill the cake for at least 2 hours to set the buttercream.