This Triple Lemon Cake was something special. Homemade lemon curd takes the cake over the top. It’s the perfect marriage of sweet cake and tart curd.
I’ve been on the lookout for a good lemon layer cake. Lemon is one of my favorite flavors and I really had not found a recipe that I was over the moon for. Until now. Enter Erin from Well Plated and her super easy Lemon Layer Cake. I had to make a couple minor tweaks because of what I had on hand in the kitchen so the recipe below is exactly how I made it. Head over to Well Plated for Erin’s recipe for the cake and her recipe for Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting, you will not be disappointed. For my cake I made a Lemon American Buttercream. And frankly, you won’t be disappointed with that either!
This cake is easy to make and super moist. Everything you could possibly hope for in a cake! As for decorating it I wanted to do some fun summery colors and decided to go with the ombre look. It’s a style I haven’t tried yet but I am really happy with how it turned out! I also decorated with some pastel colored sugars because I couldn’t help myself. Or leave well enough alone!
Triple Lemon Cake
adapted from Well Plated
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 whole eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter (the butter I use is salted, if you use unsalted butter add 1/2 tsp kosher salt to the dry ingredients)
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Lemon Curd: here’s a recipe I’ve used before in a previous post
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) salted butter
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
2-3 Tbsp heavy cream
- Preheat 350 degrees F. Butter and flour or spray three 6″ cake pans, line with parchment paper circles.
- In a medium bowl sift together flour and baking powder (salt too, if using). In a large measuring cup whisk together eggs and buttermilk.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar and lemon zest by rubbing them between your fingers. Add the butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon and vanilla extract.
- Add a third of the flour mixture followed by half of the buttermilk mixture and beat on medium speed. Add the next third of flour mixture and last half of buttermilk and beat until combined. Scrape down the mixing bowl if necessary. Beat in last of flour mixture and mix until batter is well combined.
- Divide batter between pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cake should spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans about 5 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and remove parchment. Place cakes bottom side down and cool completely before frosting.
- To prepare buttercream: Beat butter on medium to medium-high speed until very light in color and creamy. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add extracts and beat to incorporate. Add enough heavy cream to reach desired consistency.
- Frosting the cake: Trim off tops of cake to produce a flat top. Spread a small dollop of buttercream on your cake plate or cake board so your first layer sticks to the board. Pipe a dam of buttercream around the outside of your cake. Spread lemon curd on the cake, staying inside the buttercream dam. Place second layer of cake on top of the first. Repeat buttercream dam and curd steps. Place last cake layer top side down so you are left with a flat surface on top. Crumb coat and chill the cake if desired. For the ombre look, I split the remaining buttercream in thirds and tinted with gel colors to reach my desired final colors. I started with the first color on the bottom and sloppily applied buttercream, varying the height of the buttercream. Repeat with remaining colors. Then smooth with a straight sided blade. I actually use a large taping knife from my hardware store.
The curd is totally optional for this cake. If you just want cake and frosting it will be equally delicious. The lemon curd just gives the cake an extra punch of flavor.