This lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting has a soft cake crumb and delicious lemon flavor. The cream cheese frosting is smooth & creamy for the perfect pairing.
I absolutely love lemon desserts. Lemon tastes bright & sunshine-y. And I think the slight tang is so delicious in cakes & cupcakes.
So today I’m sharing this lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. It’s a moist lemon cake made in a 9×13 inch pan – then it’s frosted with creamy, tangy lemon cream cheese frosting. It’s an easy lemon cake recipe, and it takes much less effort than making lemon cupcakes or a lemon layer cake.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Let’s talk about what makes this cake so delicious.
- First, we’re using real butter. In lightly flavored cakes – such as vanilla or lemon – I like to use real butter because it adds more flavor.
- Then sour cream and buttermilk make the cake moist and give it a soft cake crumb.
- For the lemon flavor we’re using lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Make sure to use fresh lemon juice. Lemon juice from the bottle is too tart and definitely doesn’t produce the best results.
- Then be careful not to over mix your cake batter or else your cake can end up tough. Having all the ingredients at room temperature before getting started helps with this.
After the cake is baked and cooled, we’re slathering a layer of lemon cream cheese frosting. I don’t know about you, but anything with cream cheese is definitely one of my favorites. But if you prefer a vanilla buttercream, you could try this recipe instead.
What I loved so much about this recipe is that the lemon flavor tastes bright and fresh, without being tart or bitter. It’s deliciously sunny, and flavorful without being overpowering. If you love lemon desserts – this lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting is the perfect recipe for you.
Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup sour cream, room temperature
- ⅓ cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest (freshly grated)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (use ⅓ cup for a stronger lemon flavor)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz brick-style cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons milk, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla, followed by the sour cream.
- Turn the mixer down to low speed and carefully beat in the flour mixture followed by the buttermilk. Then turn off the mixer and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 27-33 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool fully before frosting
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until evenly mixed together. Then slowly beat in the powdered sugar, turning off the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Finally, beat in the lemon juice and salt and a teaspoon of milk if needed.
- Frost the cooled cake using a flat edge knife. For easier frosting, you can also chill the cake in the fridge or freezer prior to frosting.
- Cut into slices and serve.
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