Recipe Review

Take a Break and Bake This Happy, Bright Lemon Cake

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lemon layer cake on cake stand

Today is the first day of spring, and even though you’re probably stuck inside practicing social distancing, you should celebrate a little with this deeply lemon-y cake. We all need a little happy right now, and cake never fails to put a smile on my face.

Even though lemons are available all year round, that tart flavor and bright yellow color always make me think of spring. The second the weather starts to warm up and the days get longer, I immediately want lemonade and lemon blueberry pancakes — and now this perfect lemon cake with cream cheese frosting from Grandbaby Cakes.

A lemon cake should taste like lemon, and this recipe does not take half-measures when it comes to flavor. A lot of “lemon” cakes taste about as lemony as a can of LaCroix, but the author promises this cake “will make you pucker.” The recipe calls for both fresh lemon zest and lemon extract, which ensures that your lemon cake will taste and smell like fresh lemons. A bit of vanilla helps balance the flavors, and helps offset the intensely rich, creamy texture of the cake itself. 

This might actually be the richest, creamiest cake you’ll ever taste. The texture is spectacular. A lot of cake recipes use oil or butter, but this one uses both to ensure a moist, tender crumb and a creamy richness. A dose of sour cream adds even more moisture and richness. It’s buttery and moist and perfect. 

As good as all that is, I think the best part is the lemon cream cheese frosting, which is whipped with heavy cream and butter, so it has the flavors of lemon, cream cheese, and a hint of vanilla, but the light, fluffy texture of a thick whipped cream.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Layer Cake from Grandbaby Cakes

Credit: Leela Cyd

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