Lemon Layer Cake

This is one of those recipes that ballooned.

It was supposed to be a simple lemon sandwich cake. Then it turned into a quadruple lemon layer cake and then I pulled it back to a less exuberant lemon layer cake. I’m happy with it at three tiers high. Four tiers would have been showing off.

Prep Time: 0 hours, 40 minutes

Cook Time
: 0 hours, 25 minutes

Yield: 12



  • 290g soft salted butter or Stork margarine
  • 290g castor sugar
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 290g self raising flour

  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 250g soft salted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp lemon extract
  • 250g lemon curd


To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4. Grease and line 3 x 20cm cake tins. Beat together the butter/Stork and sugar for 4 minutes in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, lemon zest, lemon extract and flour and beat for a further 2 minutes until well incorporated and lighter in colour than when you started. Divide evenly between the three tins and level with a spoon so there's a slight dip in the centre of the cakes. This will help achieve a flatter cake once baked. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until well risen, light brown and the cake is pulling away from the edge of the tin slightly. Whilst the cakes are baking, make the drizzle by heating the lemon juice and castor sugar in a small pan over a low heat until dissolved. (Zest the two remaining lemons for the buttercream before you do this as it's tricky to zest a juiced lemon). Once the cakes are baked, place them on a wire rack, in the tin, then poke holes in the cakes with a toothpick and pour over the lemon drizzle. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then remove carefully from the tins and cool on the racks until completely cool. Make the buttercream by beating the butter in a mixer using the flat beater, for about 3 minutes until fluffy, then gradually add the icing sugar, a heaped tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the water, lemon zest and lemon extract and beat at the highest level for 7 minutes until really light and fluffy. Assemble the cake by smearing the base of the cake stand with a little icing to keep the cake in place, then spread one third of the curd over the cake. Place the icing into an icing bag with a plain nozzle and pipe little dots of buttercream all over the base. Then Place another layer of cake over the top and repeat. Lastly place the final layer on the top, cover in the remaining curd and pipe dots of buttercream over the top in whatever pattern you prefer. This cake keeps for 2 - 3 days at room temperature but should be covered to stop it drying out. Please don't store in the fridge as the cold dries the cake.


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Cake Magazine: Lemon Layer Cake
Lemon Layer Cake
This is one of those recipes that ballooned.
Cake Magazine
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