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    Soft Lemon Cake

    When I say this lemon cake recipe kept me up at night, I really mean it! After hours and hours of recipe testing, I present to you the most incredibly delicious and soft lemon cake recipe! With delicate, moist lemon cake layers, filled with a zesty lemon curd and topped with a super delicious cream cheese frosting, this lemon cake is TO DIE FOR!

    Lemon Cake

    How to make this lemon cake

    This lemon cake is SUPER EASY to make.

    So I like to start off by baking my cake layers. To do this, first preheat your oven to 160°C (or 320F) with the fan on, and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake tins. I like to grease my cake tins with my homemade cake release. These cake layers can come out a little crumbly on the edges so if you prefer to have smooth edges then I would recommend using baking paper.

    Once that’s done sift together your dry ingredients, so your flour, cornfour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

    lemon cake

    lemon cake

    Using a hand or stand mixer, cream that together on a medium speed for 3 minutes until it’s light and creamy. Next add in your eggs one by one, mixing well in between each egg. What we’re doing here is creating an emulsion, so we want to do this slowly.

    lemon cake

    Next add in milk, yoghurt and fresh lemon juice. Mix that together until well combined. Finish off by adding in your pre-sifted dry ingredients, and using a spatula, fold until just combined. Do not overmix the batter.

    lemon cake

    Distributing the batter evenly into your two cake tins, and give them a light tap on the counter to remove any large air bubbles.

    lemon cake

    Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    lemon cake

    Lemon Curd and Cream Cheese Frosting

    In addition to the lemon cake layers, I also like to use an eggless lemon curd as a filling and a cream cheese buttercream as my frosting. I have both of those recipes on my blog and you’ll just want to make 1 batch of each recipe 🙂

    How to decorate this lemon cake

    You can decorate this cake however you like, but if you’re new to using a filling then checkout the steps below of how I decorated my cake so that the filling doesn’t seep out of the edges 🙂

    So I started off by placing my first cake layer onto my cake stand and spreading out a thin layer of frosting onto the layer with my offset spatula. I then piped a thin (double) border of frosting around the edges, and I used a 1M piping tip for this.

    lemon cake

    I then filled the middle with a layer of lemon curd, and then placed my second cake layer on top.

    lemon cake

    I then went ahead and covered the entire cake in frosting. I didn’t do a crumb coat here because I was quite tired haha, but you can go ahead and do a crumb coat if you wish 🙂

    lemon cake

    I then used a 1M piping tip to pipe a border on the top of the cake, and then filled the middle with more lemon curd.

    Lemon cake

    And that is it! The cake is ready to serve :). If you want clean slices, then refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes before slicing.

    lemon cake

     

    Lemon Cake

    Soft Lemon Cake

    This lemon cake recipe is literally the best I've had! With delicate, moist lemon cake layers, filled with a zesty lemon curd and topped with a super delicious cream cheese frosting, you'll be going back for seconds (and maybe even thirds!).
    4.86 from 68 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Cooling Time: 2 hours
    Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
    Servings: 12 people

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.

    Ingredients
     

    Lemon Cake

    • cups (285 g) flour - regular, all purpose (see note 3 if you want to use cake flour)
    • 3 tbsp (22 g) cornflour - also known as cornstarch
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 6 tbsp (86 g) unsalted butter
    • ¾ cup (141 g) unflavoured vegetable oil - I use canola oil
    • 1⅔ cups (333 g) white granulated sugar
    • 2 lemons zested - see note 1
    • 2 large eggs - room temperature
    • 2 tbsp (26 g) milk - room temperature
    • ¾ cup (185 g) yoghurt - regular (not Greek), room temperature
    • ¼ cup (55 g) fresh lemon juice

    Lemon Curd

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    Instructions

    Lemon Cake

    • Preheat oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 2 if you don't have a fan function) and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake tins (I use my homemade cake release). This cake can be a little crumbly on the sides, so if you want clean edges then I would recommend using baking paper.
    • Sift together flour, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together using a whisk and set aside.
    • In a large bowl add in your butter, vegetable oil, sugar and lemon zest. Using a hand or stand mixer on a medium speed, cream together for 3 minutes until light and creamy.
    • Add in your eggs one by one, mixing well in between addition.
    • Add in your milk, yoghurt and lemon juice. Mix until well combined. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.
    • Add your pre-sifted dry ingredients to your wet mixture, and using a spatula, fold together until just combined. Do not overmix.
    • Distribute the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
    • Once baked, allow the cake layers to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to completely cool.

    Assembly

    • See the end of the blog post above for assembly instructions or watch the recipe video for a visual demonstration 🙂

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. When zesting the lemons, you want to make sure you're using a fine grater, and only grate the top yellow part of the lemon. Don't grate it right to the white part of the lemon as the white part is bitter so we don't want it in our cake 🙂
    Note 2. If you don't have a fan oven, bake at 175 °C.
    Note 3. You can use cake flour in replacement of the all purpose flour and cornstarch in this recipe (307g total required). 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: lemon cake, moist lemon cake, soft lemon cake
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

     

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    180 Comments

    • Tracy

      I made this cake 2x and although the cake tasted very yummy, it was very crumbly (outside and inside) and both times i cooked it, it sunk in the middle:(

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Tracy! So happy to hear you loved how the cakes tasted but so sorry to hear they sunk and were crumbly – that can be frustrating! I would recommend mixing the batter slightly more at the end and ensure the cake layers aren’t overbaked to prevent crumbliness. Also check out this post for some troubleshoot tips on why cakes may sink: https://cakesbymk.com/recipe/why-did-my-cake-sink-in-the-middle/
        It seems that a few readers are having this issue so I may look at amending this recipe soon to help prevent the cake layers from sinking 🙂

    • Xana V

      Would love to this one with frozen blueberries incorporated into the dough. Do I need to do anything different or do you suggest a different recipe?

    • Melanie

      5 stars
      I followed your exact instruction and the cake turned out AMAZING!!! So fluffy and the perfect amount of lemon, yum.

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So happy to hear you loved the recipe Melanie 🙂

        • Tg

          Even after baking for 50 min the center of the cake was not cooked.. can I kno the reason

          • Cakes by MK

            Hi there! 🙂 The most probable reason is that the oven temp was too low (if not using a convection oven with a fan then you need to increase the baking temp to 180C/350F). Another reason could be that you used a smaller cake tin, or put all the batter into 1 tin instead of two. I would recommend baking the cake layers separately if you didn’t already 🙂 hope that helps!

    • Elizabeth

      My cake came out dense.

      • Cakes by MK

        Oh no! So sorry to hear that Elizabeth. The cake should be soft and fluffy, so I’m not too sure what may have gone wrong. My top tips would be 1) best to use gram measurements if you haven’t already, 2) make sure all ingredients are at room temp, and 3) ensure the butter is creamed properly. Check this video out for more troubleshooting tips 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRy1KuFMdOo
        Hope that helps!

    • Elizabeth

      What could I substitute for the yoghurt?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Elizabeth! I haven’t tried a yoghurt substitute myself so can’t recommend anything at this stage sorry! Sour cream may work, but again I can’t say for sure 🙂

      • Hailey

        5 stars
        Sour cream works perfect! I never have yogurt around but sour cream is usually always a safe substitute for yogurt.

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    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

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      Single Layer Cakes
      Quick Desserts
      Muffins
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