A Spicy Perspective

Best Lemon Buttermilk Cake

The Best Lemon Buttermilk Cake Recipe ever! This simple southern lemon layer cake is soft and moist with a tangy-sweet frosting.

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The Best Lemon Cake Recipe

Ok guys, so here’s my disclaimer… When I share a classic recipe like this, I see no point in adding another recipe to the chasm of the online world, unless I can state with some authority that it is the best I’ve ever made and tasted.

Therefore I’m very excited to share this lemon layer cake with you today.

It’s moist, pillowy, and ultra tangy, just as a perfect lemon cake should be.

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Southern Lemon Cake

When I first moved to the south, I did not realize there is a difference between a southern cake… And all other cakes.

In fact, I might go as far as to say I never truly had a mind-blowing cake until I moved to North Carolina.

For those of you living anywhere else in the country (or world) a southern cake has nothing to do with the style or flavor of cake. Instead, it has everything to do with the overall texture, moistness, and sweetness.

Absolute Best Lemon Buttermilk Cake Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #lemon #cake #easter

Good Southern Cakes Are:

  • Delicate in texture. The kind you have to be careful about flipping out of the pan, so they don’t fall apart.
  • Ultra moist. There is nothing “bready” about a southern cake. If you press down on a piece with your fingers, you can almost squeeze out the butter (or oil.)
  • Very sweet. Although I tend to like desserts to be not-too-sweet, I make an exception when it comes to cake. The best cakes I’ve ever eaten have been powerfully sweet.
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So What Makes This The Best Lemon Layer Cake?

I have eaten more than my fair share of cakes in my lifetime, and this one checks off all the boxes, plus some!

  • It is super soft and light with a fine delicate crumb.
  • It is very moist and tender, due to the addition of buttermilk. Plus, the moisture in the frosting protects the cake layers from drying out.
  • It is in fact sugary-sweet. However, the lemon flavor balances the sweetness, so it doesn’t come off too overpowering.

Speaking of the lemon flavor, it is derived from three places… Lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Therefore it offers both a bright fresh lemon flavor and a deeper underlying lemon essence.

Making The Best Lemon Cake Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #lemon #cake #easter

How To Make The Best Lemon Buttermilk Cake Recipe

Don’t be intimidated by the number of steps in this lemon cake recipe.

You can totally do this!

In fact, in the recipe below I actually added steps, just to make sure you didn’t misunderstand an instruction and make a mistake.

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The key factors in making this the best lemon cake you’ve ever tasted are:

  1. Prep your pans. Make sure to grease your pans and add a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of each pan. This will guarantee the cakes come out in one piece.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar long enough. This is a step rookie bakers often skip. When you beat softened butter and sugar together on high speed, it fluffs the butter for a light airy cake texture and breaks down the sugar crystals. To do this properly, it usually takes a full 3-5 minutes. If you skip this step, your cake will be dense, instead of pillowy.
  3. Measure properly. Think of cooking as art, and baking as science. If you are heavy-handed with your measuring, or don’t add enough of an ingredient, the chemical reaction in your oven will be different than mine. Be exact. And don’t forget to sift, or at least stir, your flour before measuring.
  4. Scrape the bowl. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixing bowl in between steps, so all the ingredients are incorporated evenly.
  5. Don’t disturb the baking cake. Leave it alone guys! Don’t open the oven door fifteen times while it’s baking. I would even suggest you walk lightly through your kitchen while the cake is baking. It needs consistent heat, and no movement to rise properly. If you can be patient you will be thrilled with the results.
  6. Cool completely. Don’t rush the cake frosting. Make sure to give your cake ample time to cool. Even a little warmth will make the frosting slump down the sides as you try to smooth it.
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Get the Full (Printable) Best Lemon Buttermilk Cake Recipe Below!

I’ve also included pro frosting tips to make this the easiest and most beautiful cake you’ve ever baked!

Learn How To Make Buttermilk Here.

If you are new to baking, check out our 100 Best Baking Tips Tutorial.

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More Classic Southern Cakes

Best Buttermilk Cake Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #lemon #cake #easter
Best Lemon Buttermilk Cake Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #lemon #cake #easter
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4.94 from 99 votes
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Best Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
rest time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
The absolute best southern lemon layer cake you will ever try!
Servings: 20 slices

Ingredients

For the Cake –

For the Frosting –

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened (3 sticks)
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5-7 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Cut out 9-inch parchment paper circles, and press down in the bottom of each pan. (Trace the pan for perfect circles.)
  • For the Cake: In the bowl on an electric stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. (Cream: Beat on high approximately 3-5 minutes to break down the sugar crystals.)
  • In a separate bowl, mix the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Once the butter and sugar are well creamed. Scrape the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Then turn the mixer on low and beat in the eggs, oil, lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and yellow food coloring.
  • Scrape the bowl again. Turn the mixer back on low and alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk until both are well combined. Turn off the mixer.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans. Bake on the middle rack, undisturbed for 30 minutes.
  • If the center of the cakes are puffed up, check the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, take them out of the oven. If the toothpick has batter on it, bake another 5-10 minutes and recheck.
  • Allow the cakes to cool 10 minutes in the pans. Then carefully flip them out on a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper and cool completely.
  • For the Frosting: Once the cakes are room temperature, place the butter in a clean stand mixer bowl. Beat until fluffy. Then scrape the bowl and turn on low. Mix in the buttermilk and lemon juice. Then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating to incorporate.
  • After adding 5 cups of powdered sugar, turn the mixer up to beat out any clumps. Check the consistency of the frosting. If it is too loose, add another 1-2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  • To Assemble: Move one cake to a cake stand or platter. Scoop about 2 cups frosting onto the cake. Use a large flat spatula to spread the frosting out evenly.
  • Set the second cake on top of the frosting, being careful to center the cake. Gently press the cake a little to level the top. Then scoop all remaining frosting on top of the cake. Use the spatula to work the frosting over the top and down the sides.
  • Turn the cake stand to smooth out the sides with the flat edge of the spatula. Once you are satisfied with the sides, use the spatula to make swooping marks on the top of the cake. Use a wet paper towel to clean up the cake stand.
  • Cover and keep at room temperature for up to 4 days, or refrigerate for up to a week. When ready to serve, make sure the cake is at room temperature… All classic layer cakes taste best at room temperature!

Video

Notes

Pro Frosting Tips: If you have a tendency to get crumbs in the frosting when you try to frost a cake, you can:
  • Spread a thin “crumb coat” layer of frosting over the cake to catch and seal in the crumbs. Then spread on the final “pretty” layer of frosting on top.
  • Or you can wrap the cakes in separate pieces of plastic and freeze them. Then a few hours later, you can unwrap, level, and frost the cake with a lot of added stability. Just be sure to do this at least 6 hours before serving so the cake layers have time to thaw.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 477kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 86mg, Sodium: 178mg, Potassium: 97mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 50g, Vitamin A: 675IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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220 comments on “Best Lemon Buttermilk Cake”

  1. This cake was so good but I had to add a lot more lemon- in the batter and frosting. Awesome thing about lemon cake, you can taste as you go so keep an extra lemon on hand and/or extract.

  2. Did any of you have the cake turn out a little dry?

  3. If I used 8 inch by 3 inch (in height) round pans would it be best to use two or three pans?

  4. I had a strawberry cake disaster the day of my friend’s birthday and this recipe saved me! I didn’t have lemon extract, so I doubled up on zest and it was perfect. Used the leftover strawberry cream cheese frosting from the disaster cake and it was so tasty with the lemon. Will definitely try it again with the original frosting. Thank you!

  5. Literally just made this recipe (cut in half and made into cupcakes) and it’s absolutely, beautifully smooth and light. My only tweak was a half a teaspoon of cream of tartar, and i used my guns instead of an electric beater. Amazing recipe with sublime texture! 

  6. This is the best recipe for lemon cake EVER!! I have baked it for several friends’ weddings and they have all loved it. The only thing I change is I mix in the juice of lemon into the cake batter (gives it a little more lemon pop!) and instead of the traditional buttercream, I make vanilla Italian meringue buttercream.

  7. If I wanted to use 4 inch pans, roughly how long would it need to bake? 

  8. Can I use low-fat buttermilk instead? My local stores do not have full fat.

  9. Can this recipe be made into cupcakes?  My husband is turning 50 on Sunday and he loves 🍋 lemon cakes.

  10. Try to put your oven temperature at 345 instead of 350 if you are using dark coated pan. I set my temperature at the 350 recommended when I use glass or aluminium pan and it always come out fine.

  11. Can I make a rosette cake out of this frosting? Will the frosting be to delicate to hold the rose shape? Love the recipe 

  12. I made it. It tasted very nice after I made it but then I put it in the fridge and the next day it was no longer moist and soft. It became very hard. Was I supposed to store it at room temperature?

    • Hi Kevina,

      Cakes do harden when you put them in the refrigerator. However, if you wrap them well, and then let them come to room temperature before serving, they will soften again. You cal also leave this cake out at room temperature for 3-4 days.

  13. I made this cake 1 time and it was AMAZING. Since then, I’ve tried it 3 more times and each time, the center falls. I am following the recipe perfectly except for the food coloring and extract. I bought new baking soda and powder. The pans are the correct size and I have tested the temperature of my oven with a hanging thermometer. What is happening?  This is so frustrating. I am not new to baking…I’ve been at it for at least 20 years. I have never been so puzzled. 

    • Hi Kristen,

      Wow, that’s so weird! Since you’ve addressed all the most common issues, I would suggest considering the weather when you are baking the cake. Soft delicate cakes HATE being baked in high humidity. (And so many of us love to bake on rainy days!) The only other thing that might be an issue is if you are letting the batter sit/rest too long before baking. Once it is mixed, it needs to go right in the oven. Could either of these things have come into play?

  14. Note to new Baker’s like me, make sure you have the right sized cake pans it your cake will book over! Thought I was being so careful by pre measuring making sure I had all the right ingredients, eggs and milk at room temp and see salt. Well it did no good without first checking to see what size my plans were. Flopped this time. I but I’m better prepared for the next time I try this!

  15. I made this for my daughter’s birthday. I did not have cake flour or corn starch so I used all All Purpose flour. I used extra lemon zest and added a few tsp of lemon juice. Also, I did not have buttermilk so I made my own. This cake was Ah-mazing! I used a lemon cream cheese icing (not what’s here on this page) and made a blueberry filling to go in my middle layer.  This is the BEST cake I’ve ever made!! If you’re looking for a good lemon cake. You’ve found it!!

  16. Hi there!

    How can I make this into a 10 inch 2 layer cake?

    • Hi Jessica,

      You’ve got a couple of options… You can use the recipe as-is to make two thinner 10-inch layers, and bake for 22-25 minutes. Or you can use our “servings slider” function in the recipe form to move the servings from 20 to 25. That will change the batter proportions to be close to what it would be for 9 inch pans. then bake for 30 minutes.

  17. One last thing- the top of my cakes (when they fall) do not brown at all. Not sure if that helps narrow down what’s happening 

  18. I’ve made this cake 4 times now and it is SO delicious! I live in a high altitude area, so I’m not sure if that’s why my cake keeps falling in the middle. I read not to beat it as much, so I’ve tried tweaking that and it’s still falling. What am I doing wrong? 

  19. My first cake as an adult and it was divinely perfect. Thank you for this perfect recipe. God bless you I wish I could share a picture. I added flowers for presentation.

  20. What changes are needed to use a bunt cake pan?

  21. I like it. Cake rosse perfectly. Icing is justvtoo sweet. Added extra lemon juice to cut it. If you reduce sugar is too loose. Just loving the cake gonna try another type of icing three sticks of butter and 5 cups sugar is just alot. Maybe a whipped icing or cream cheese maybe. Yoi did say very sweet and it is. I do love the texture ans lemon taste of it.

  22. Question! If I were to use two 6” pans for a 4-layer cake birthday cake,  would this hold or would it cave in as the cake is light/fluffy?  Thanks!

    • Hi Ashley,

      This is a very soft cake, but as long as you are not topping it with heavy garnishes, four layers should hold. Just make sure to add enough powdered sugar, so the frosting is firm, not loose.

  23. The best lemon cake! I made this for my birthday and it came out perfectly, so I decided to make an orange version too, just used orange zest and extract instead, came out great too! As they both turned out so well, I thought I’d then try to make a simple vanilla version, omitting the lemon zest and extract and adding an extra teaspoon of vanilla. For some reason, this one didn’t turn out very well, it didn’t have that lovely melt in the mouth texture and was a little rubbery with a ‘gluey’ streak and slightly sunk when cooled. Followed everything as per the recipe like the other two times so not sure what happened.. perhaps I over-mixed? This was the first time that this has happened to me with a cake, so disheartening! Would appreciate any feedback :) 

  24. I made this cake twice. I’ve measured exactly and made sure all my ingredients were room temp, etc. Both times the cake didn’t rise. My baking soda and baking powder are new. I used cake flour and sifted it. Complete mess. When the first one came out bad I thought maybe it was something that was off, so I tried it again. Sorry but not happy

    • Hi Paula,

      Hmmm… I’m so sorry about that! As you can see from the comments, plenty of people have had success with this cake recipe. I’m wondering if your oven needs calibration. Consider adding a hanging oven thermometer to your oven to see how accurate it is. (It is VERY common for ovens to stray 20-30 degrees in either direction.) If the temperature is low, that could account for the issue. You can find youtube tutorials on how to calibrate your oven for most models. Hope this helps!

    • Hi there,

      I am so excited to make this cake today! I do not have lemon extract, though. I do have limoncello. Can I substitute the limoncello for the extract?
      Thank you!

  25. Amazing cake. Great texture great flavor. If your a real lemon lover you could add a little more to the cake but it is wonderful!

  26. I just made this cake for my son’s birthday today and it was delicious! Rave reviews from all our guests! Super moist, light, and the lemon flavor is just perfect, not to overwhelming. I can’t thank you enough for your easy to follow recipe. I will definitely be making this again. 

  27. The cake turned out to be absolutely heavenly! So soft, moist and delicious. I substituted buttermilk for plain greek yoghurt. Not a difference.

  28. OMG YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS RECIPE
    I’m 15, and made this for my sister’s birthday, and it turned out to be one of the best cakes I ever made. Honestly the flavor, texture, and balance that this cake has is like no other. The texture is super moist, and didn’t turn out dense like other cake recipes I’ve tried. If you like lemon cake, you DEFINITELY have to try this recipe! Huge thanks to Sommer Collier, you made my sisters birthday so special❤️❤️❤️

  29. Unfortunately, I didn’t have lemon extract or lemon zest. But I did have lemon juice. I made this cake on a whim, adding 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to the batter. Turned out great. Had a hint on lemon in the cake itself and more so in the frosting. The texture is superb and everyone loved it. Was hoping to upload a photo bc it was beautiful, too. I will be making this cake in different flavor variations in the future, too. Thank you for this recipe.

  30. My sister loves a tangy, lemon cake and I really want to make this recipe for her birthday tomorrow. The catch is that she is gluten-free. I usually just use 1-to-1 gf flour and everything turns out fine, but I’ve never subbed gf flour for cake flour. So you think it will make a large difference if I just use 2 3/4 cups of gf flour instead of the cake flour? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Layla,

      It depends on the brand of gf flour you use, and the ingredients in it. Some work better than others. Here is a gf recipe I’ve tried that always comes out well. You can use at as a base to combine with our recipe. ;)

  31. A great cake. I used squeezed lemon juice in stead of lemon extract and it worked great. I didn’t have a mixer but managed to mix the sugar and butter just fine with a wooden spoon, it took 10 minutes, though. I changed the frosting to a cream cheese and butter frosting and put a layer of raspberry jam in the middle. Perfect for my eight year old’s birthday party.

  32. This is a great cake, I’ve already made it several times. Now I’m making it for a wedding cake. I’ll be using 3″ pans, an 8″, 12″ and 16″. The pans say to fill halfway, I have also got cake heating cores to use. Can you help with the amount of batter? The charts say 24 wedding servings for the 8″, 56 for the 12″ and 100 for the 16″. What do you think?

  33. It really is the best lemon cake. Light, sweet & tangy. I’ll make another for a family outing this summer.

  34. This cake is awesome!! If you can even find a lemon cake in the store, it usually has too much food color and you can taste the preservatives. I will never look for a lemon cake in the store again. Thanks for making me a hero to my family and finding out that one side of my grater is a zester 😳

  35. This is the yummiest lemon cake. I made it foe mt husband and while banana cake is his favourite, this one is now his favourite cake. He keeps asking, when will you make the lemon cake? I will frost it next time with some raspberry frosting 🤤🤤thank you!

  36. This is Super delicious recipe. I have tried in my cooking channel stevi’s Kitchen but I made a plain lemon cake and I didn’t add buttermilk because it will get much sour taste. I have made little changes to the recipe because of the unavailability. It came out really Delicious.
    Thank you Soo much for this Delicious Recipe 👍

  37. Made it twice. Mine didn’t come out super lemony even so I doubled zest and extract. 
    Also, I creamed the butter separately from the sugar on the second try. It worked better than creaming the butter and sugar together. 

  38. HOW CAN I ADJUST THE RECIPE TO MAKE 2 – 10″ LAYERS FOR A WEDDING CAKE?

    • Hi Donna,

      If you adjust the “serving slider” in the recipe for 25 servings (instead of 20) the ingredients should make enough batter for two 10″ cake pans. Then bake as directed. :)

  39. I was craving a lemon cake so I went on line to get a recipe! OMG! This cake is amazing! It’s the best lemon cake ever! It’s absolutely delicious! 
    So moist too! 

  40. What an amazing cake! It’s soft and crumbly! A beautiful texture and flavour. I used castor sugar but reduced the sugar by half.

  41. If you make a soft and rich cake the I think you r professional and you help me lot about cake.
    Thanks

  42. I made this cake with gluten free flour, and it turned out amazing. I used the ratio of cornstarch to flour in the recipe, but gf flour tends to be dry. I added a tsp of lemon juice and an additional TBS of buttermilk into the cake mixture at the end of the mixing process. It turned out light, lemony, and moist. 

  43. I baked this cake it’s simply wow… It’s so soft and rich. I did reduce on the sugar I don’t like my cakes sweet but 👏👏👏

  44. Yummy. I can’t control myself to have a slice of this incredible cake!! hahahaha… going to try it out!

  45. Most amazing lemon cake made ever! I made a cream cheese frosting instead and it worked well. I flavoured it with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to taste. It was super yummy and will be making it again tomorrow!

  46. This cake is literally heaven in your oven. It’s soooooo soft and it rises very well. It’s so good that I was shaving off pieces before it was ready to eat. All you have to do is follow the steps and it will turn out perfect. I didn’t have any lemon extract so I just put in extra lemon zest. But this cake is definitely the best I have ever made!

  47. I made this in a 13 x 9 pan & baked for 35 min & it turned out great! It was spongey, flavorful, and moist. I didn’t make the frosting bc I had limited ingredients but it was so tasty I’m not sure it needed it. 

  48. Can I make this recipe using all purpose flour?

  49. I made this for Mother’s Day.  This is bright and flavorful cake, not too sweet and deliciously moist. I loved that the cake was perfectly level right out of the oven, which made it much simpler to frost. I  made a blackberry sorbet to serve with it which complimented the freshness of the lemon.  I will definitely make this one again. Every one loved it!

  50. Does this recipe succeed if you only have an electric hand mixer?

  51. I made this cake for Mother’s Day.  It is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made!!  The recipe is going into my permanent recipe book.  The cake was moist.  Initially, I thought the icing was too thick, but it spread nicely with good coverage.  I thinned just a small amount down to use as a crumb icing for the sides.  I did have to bake it for about 10” longer than what the recipe stated.  I will check the temperatures my oven, but location may make a difference too.  I’m right at sea level.  Thank you for this great recipe!!! 

  52. I really like this cake. It is very moist and very delicious. I made it for my mom for Mother’s Day and she loved it. Is there a way to make the frosting not quite as sweet? But other than that it is VERY good. I will definitely make this again. I would totally recommend it to anyone. 

  53. This recipe looks amazing. Any hints for adjusting the recipe for high altitude?

  54. The cake of this recipe was excellent – moist and flavorful. The frosting I found much too buttery, not the way you would want frosting to taste. I’ll find an alternative frosting recipe next time….and there will be a next time for making this cake!

  55. Very good cake, however the buttercream is quite tart. It helps of you add a splash of vanilla.

  56. Really delicious and fluffy cake for a layer cake!

  57. Very good! Wow! For sure will bake this again ♥️

  58. Exactly what I wanted in a lemon cake. The cake is a perfect texture and the sweet tangy amazingly fluffy icing compliments it perfectly. Definitely keeping this recipe.

  59. Can i make the buter milk for this recipe and if so, whats the ratio for lemon juice to milk?

  60. Lol I had terrible luck with this recipe. This for sure doesn’t cook for 30 mins, I used 3 6in rounds and they needed way more time. Overall flavor was not bad, I would maybe add a bit more lemon flavor next time. 

    • Hi Dasha,

      If you need more than 30 minutes to bake this cake, I would suggest purchasing a hanging oven thermometer to test the accuracy of your oven. There’s a good chance it’s running 25+ degrees below the actual temperature. (This is a VERY common issue.) Once you know how far off your thermostat is reading, you can most likely pull up a youtube video that shows how to calibrate your oven model. Hope this helps!

  61. This recipe looks awesome! I’m wondering if you think self raising flour would work? I’m in Australia & maybe cake flour exists here but I have never heard of it! I thought SR flour could kill 2 birds with one stone- low protein (like cake flour) & has a raising agent (so I can leave out the baking powder & sofa). I wouldn’t mind cutting down on the sugar too if you think that may work? Thanks so much!

    • Ahhh, that’s soda, not sofa (thanks autocorrect!)

    • Hi Melissa,

      I haven’t tried this recipe with self-rising flour but it should work. If you give it a try, please report back. :)

      • Will do! I’ll be making it today & eating it tomorrow so will let you know! 😊

      • So the cake was a success! I used the self raising flour using the same amount as the total of the flour/sofa/powder you use & I also cut the sugar to 1.5 cups. My tins were 1 inch smaller than you recommended so they took a little longer to cook but the cake was moist & yummy (& huge!) & everyone loved it! Thanks so much :)

  62. Pingback: Homemade Strawberry Cake From Scratch (Video) – Food Recipe

  63. Made it exact but I didn’t have lemon extract so I put a little lemon juice and almond extract and the flavor is divine. So awesome and fun to do during quarantine. Would love to send you a photo… so pretty :)

    • It baked over my 9″ pans! The batter was very fluffy, related to the humidity? Wish I could saY the cake was delicious:(

  64. This cake was beautifully light, fluffy and and delicious. The buttermilk frosting is also delicious too, AND tolerable. I just don’t like frosting much, but this frosting is pretty good. I think the cake is great on its own as well and doesn’t need the frosting anyway.
    I used white whole wheat flour and it turned out great! I think this cake could be quite more lemony, but it was certainly lemony enough to please my friends and family.

    • The very best cake I have ever baked!!! Thank you for all the information that made my cake yummy. I will check with you when I am looking for a recipe for now on first!
      Thank you

  65. The video shows powdered sugar but the recipe calls for granulated. If you use the granulated add 4 T of butter. I used cold. If you use powdered – stick with the 10 T of butter! It turned out delicious!

  66. I made this for Easter today and it may be the finest cake I have ever made. I didn’t have cake flour so did as you suggested with the cornstarch. I also did not have lemon extract but I used Wild Groves lemon infused olive oil instead of veg oil. I did cut the sugar by 1/4 cup as I did not want it too sweet. I made a lemon curd for two of the layers and the lemon butter cream frosting for the rest.  Really a perfect cake. Wish I could post a pic. 

  67. Question! I am attempting to make this cake but realized I have no corn starch left and no cake flour! Am I able to still make this cake with all purpose flour and no cornstarch? Is there a suitable substitute? Thank you!

  68. Awesome cake! Well worth the effort.

  69. Making this toast. The recipe says 2 3/4 cups flour, sifted. Everywhere I have read it says that means measure first, sift after. However in your preamble tips you say to sift before measuring. Which is right?
    I’m not a great Baker, hope it turns out🤞

  70. My Cake came out spongey and rubbery? Any idea what I may have done wrong? The flavor was on point. 

  71. I love this cake, however mine tends to fall in the middle. I made mine in 3 8in layers . do you have any idea as to why it would fall? I did not open the oven door the second time

  72. It was excellent. Will be baking this cake on a regular basis.

  73. This was an amazing cake but I only had one problem. I was eating the cake and I got a bit of pure lemon zest. Make sure your lemon zest is totally mixed in!

  74. The batter turned out yummy, and the cake is baking now. But I have to say, the recipe is a little misleading. Mixing in granulated sugar with the butter is a big mess. It did not blend at all, despite putting the setting on high and mixing it for 10 minutes! However, when I saw the video, it looks like they used powdered sugar for the cake, which makes more sense. Please rectify this!

    • I had the same problem! But I fixed it by warming the butter and sugar up in a hot bath so the butter could melt more and the moisture would break down the sugar crystal. This is a southern cake so I guess it should be made in hot weather! Once things were warmed, the butter and sugar creamed up nicely!

    • For the butter and suger to compine the butter must be softend or set to room temperature or it wont smooth out well nor combine with the suger well.

  75. This looks delicious! But do you think it would come out ok if I use gluten-free flour?

    • Hi Erin,

      I have not personally made this cake with gluten-free flour. However, I have made other buttermilk cakes with basic 1-to-1 gluten-free baking mix and they come out pretty well. The overall consistency is usually a little more crumbly and delicate, so you have to be careful when stacking and frosting… But they taste great.

      Please report back if you give it a try! :)

  76. The cake itself was delicious – rich, dense and flavorful. The frosting however was definitely WAY too much butter and not as flavorful. I will definitely make the cake recipe again but search for a better frosting recipe…and will also try the suggestions of using lemon curd in the middle. I just didn’t have any and couldn’t spare all the eggs during the pandemic.

  77. My family and I absolutely love this recipe!!!

  78. I had issues my butter and sugar never got creamy after 5 minutes of beating. I am no amateur baker either. I had to bake in 12” pans my oven temp is fine, but it sank in the middle.  I tried not to over beat I watched your video 3 times. Thoughts? 

    • I made this cake a few weeks ago. Was your butter soft or at room temperature? Usually when it takes a long tine to cream it’s cause the butter was cold.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Sorry that happened… That’s very strange! Was the butter softened? It seems odd that the sugar wouldn’t beat into it.

    • Oh my God I can’t tell how amazing this lemon cake is, I made half of the batter(10 servings) with lemon buttercream frosting and it came out absolutely gorgeous the flavor or lemon is very good not too much or too little I ate the warm crumbs or the cake when I cut the cake in half they were a bit warm and beautiful. The cake came out pretty clean it even left the sides of the pan (mine was square) I added food coloring to both batter and Frosting. Moist is an understatement because as you said you can squeeze the butter or oil out of the cake and it’s true I tried it my fingers were greasy 😅. This is definitely worth trying.
      I have made this cake 3 times now and once for my sister-in-law’s wedding we kept it small so I made the cake. Everyone loved it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe ❤️

    • I had the same problem.  Butter sat on counter all day and definitely room temperature.  I have a very powerful stand mixer and started slow to avoid mess but then on high speed for over 5 minutes.  I never achieved remotely as fluffy state.  When done cooking, the middle of both pans were severely sunken.  Should the sugar been added gradually to the butter?  Another comment above questioned if it is actually powered sugar (I would think not though)?  

  79. Hi
    I have been looking for a light lemon cake without icing, do you think if i baked the cake without the icing it would be good? Can I make any changes to the batter to compensate for the lack of icing or add a glaze?

  80. Hi from Colorado! Are there any alterations that you would make to the recipe for baking at altitude?

  81. I am thinking of making this cake for my Book Club, but would like to use lemon curd between the layers. Has anyone tried that? If so, would I still include icing in the middle as well as the curd? Any suggestions most appreciated. The cake looks delicious….

    • Put a thin coat of icing on top of the layer you want to put the curd on. Then make a small ring of icing around the edge of that layer, using an icing bag with round tip (or a Ziploc with the corner cut out). Spoon the curd inside the ring of icing, spreading it thin (don’t need much). Thinly ice the bottom of the layer that will go on top of this layer. Gently press it onto the ring of icing. All this helps insure your curd doesn’t just soak into the cake, and the ring helps keep it from oozing out between layers.

      A nice seedless raspberry jam would also make a nice filling!

  82. I made the cake a couple of weeks ago and it turned out great! The only think I might change is adding a little more lemon flavor to the icing. I want to make this recipe this weekend for my child’s birthday party but I want to do it in cupcakes. Do you have a suggested cook time do that I do not have to open the oven and check?  

  83. I made this recipe last night and used salted butter and I think it still turned out amazing!
    I also made a lemon glaze instead of the lemon frosting…was trying to mimic a glazed lemon-poppyseed muffin. So good!
    Good luck if you decide to try the recipe!!

  84.  The buttermilk lemon cake is amazing!!! My daughter loves lemon cake. So for her 21st birthday party I made this cake.  She loves it!  I have never used cake flour before and WOW  it makes such a difference. Usually when I find recipes there’s always something I would change and take out, but with this one it’s perfect just as it is. The only thing I might change would be to make it a strawberry cake or some other flavor just for variety, but the basic Recipe is spot on. I will make this again and again and again!!

  85. I made it for my sons 24th birthday. He likes lemon cake with lemon frosting. There was a lil batter left over for 4 cupcakes so we got to preview the cake flavor and frosting before the party. My son said, “It was amazing, it melted in his mouth!” I thought it was light and fluffy with the perfect amount of lemon. I had to bake it in my convection oven for 5 more min. I baked 2 cakes at a time on the same rack. I also used flour with the cornstarch. Thanks for sharing!! I added it to my recipe collection. :)

  86. This cake is fabulous! it definitely needed the 10 extra minutes of baking time. I added some store bought lemon curd between the 2 layers after icing the bottom layer.  It has a GREAT texture and the perfect flavor.  I will make this again!

  87. Most amazing lemon cake ever! I made this cake for a dear friend’s 40th birthday party with friends. I was a bit concerned as my past experience with layered cakes has not been good. After scouring the internet for the best lemon cake recipes, I landed on this one and was not disappointed. It’s been a week and I am craving more lemon cake so I am making two more cakes today for both family and friends! And, I am not even a baker. What is wrong with me? So fun to find great recipes that both taste and look delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  88. The top of the cake is taking on color right in the middle after 20 minutes while the rest of the cake is light yellow. Any idea as to why?

  89. Looks great! Is this cake stackable (for tiering)? 

  90. I made the lemon buttermilk cake for the first time today. I was being lazy so I made it in a sheet cake pan, instead of layers. Doing it that way makes it take twice as long or longer to cook. However it was still wonderful! The icing is yummy too I made the lemon buttermilk cake for the first time today. I was being lazy so I made it in a sheet cake pan, instead of layers. Doing it that way makes it take twice as long or a little longer to cook. However it was still wonderful! The icing is yummy too!   This was my practice run to see if I wanted to make it for my daughter‘s 21st birthday party. She loves lemon cake. This should be a big hit! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  91. I haven’t made this cake yet, but plan on it soon. Could I make the cake layers and freeze them to frost later?

  92. I would like to make this cake in a novelty mold pan- is it too delicate to handle a pan that I won’t be able to line with parchment paper? Thanks for your input!

  93. Will this work in a 9 by 13 pan ?? 

  94. This isthe most delicious lemon cake I have ever made! Moist, light and full of flavor, I will never try another lemon cake, this is a keeper!

  95. I can only find low-fat or Bulgarian cultured buttermilk.  Which would be best for me to use in this recipe?

  96. This looks amazing! I want to make this for a gathering the family is having next week. Can this be translated over to cupcakes? Would that change the recipe or baking time at all?

    • Hi!
      Not the author of the post, but if you were to make it into cupcakes, it would affect the baking time as the portions are smaller than full cakes, and would take less time to cook through and bake. Other than that, any cake batter can be translated over to cupcakes. It’s just a different mold.
      -Hannah

  97. Absolutely fantastic!! i made this for my brothers birthday and everyone LOVED it!!!

  98. made this recipe today it was FABULOUS…the cake came out fluffy and moist…..the trick was to cream butter and sugar for at least 5 mins…..picture to follow

  99. I used the recipe almost as is..only because I like to try different things. I used lemon extract and instead of vanilla I used lemon concentrate. I also added 1 tbsp of dried basil. I put lemon curd between the two layers and then frosted. I loved how fluffy and lush the batter looked..

  100. How about including weights for ingredients?  That is the only way I bake.  It makes measuring ingredients so so easy and more accurate.

  101. Pingback: Grand-mére’s Lemon Cake

  102. Pingback: Lemon Birthday Cakes: Celebrate With One of These Seven Styles - LemonLuv

  103. Made this cake last night! The cake turned out really well, super moist and lemony.  I used the juice of one lemon instead of lemon extract and added the zest the recipe called for. Used all purpose flour and corn starch for cake flour. My boyfriend stunned me by finding real whole fat buttermilk at the third grocery store he went to. We’re in NYC. Whole fat buttermilk is certainly a unicorn in the northeast. I wasn’t even able to find it online. I was thrilled. Have to work on the icing a bit more. I added more lemon juice to the icing than the recipe called for after test tasting. It seemed like it needed to be more lemony. I added some zest to the icing as well. Have to work on the consistency of the icing. I may use milk or half and half instead of buttermilk for the icing next time, it really affects the flavor of the icing. Overall, really happy with this recipe!! Wish I could share my photos here. 

  104. Hello,
    I’m wanting to make this for my son’s birthday party this weekend. I’m just wondering if there’s a specific reason that you use lemon extract instead of lemon juice?
    Thanks, Danielle.

  105. I have been looking for a really good lemon cake recipe to make for a friend’s birthday. Quick question, have you ever added poppy seed in this? If so, do you need to do anything to the recipe in order to account for it?

  106. Oh my goodness… this cake is so amazing….. my kids are always looking for recipes that they like. Especially desserts. My son suggested a lemon cake. I found this recipe and baked it last night. Today I made the frosting. This cake is so moist, flavorful, and a breeze to make. My children raved  over this dessert! I added cream cheese and some vanilla to the frosting. It was a symphony to my taste buds! MUAH thank you!?

  107. I, would love to make this for a baby shower, but, I was wandering, can I use a margarine that has 80% fat content, instead of butter. Thank you

  108. Can this frosting be smoothed with the viva paper towel and smoother trick? Gonna make the cake for a birthday cake tonight and can do a crusting buttercream if it will not.

  109. I think I am a pretty good baker but this is probably the best cake I have ever baked.  A friend mine requested a lemon cake for her birthday and this was a huge hit with everyone.  I made a few tweaks: I zested all the lemons and used the zest in the frosting and on top as decoration.  I also put a lemon curd layer on both layers destined for the middle.  I let it soak in a bit before frosting.   Did I mention that I love lemon?  I’ll definitely be making this cake again.

  110. Hi can I make this cake in three 8 inch cake pa s and adjust the time?

  111. I’m returning to bake this cake for a family Fourth of July party. The crumb is moist and delicate. It packs a punch of flavor.
    This is the second time I’ve baked it. It was perfect the first and should be again. Simple and delish! Thanks

  112. The lemon butter cake you share is very good. A great dish and suitable for every meal. I really like this dish.

  113. I made this in a pinch for a birthday party in which a lemon cake was requested. Not having any lemons or buttermilk on hand, I replaced the zest with 1/2 T Realemon Juice, and the buttermilk with milk + vinegar. I was not disappointed – huge compliments from all around! The cake was so moist and yummy! Thank you for this recipe – It’s definitely a keeper!!

  114. How is this with a lemon glaze added to warm cake instead of frosting?

  115. wow looking delicious cake here thanks for sharing

  116. I have made various cakes from your website and loved them, however all of my cakes always fall in the middle. Any tips as to what I could be doing wrong? 

    • Hi Shay,

      Unfortunately, LOTS of things can cause a cake to fall… Overbeating the batter, opening and closing the oven door, an oven that runs too hot, mismeasuring the flour, stale leavening agents. It’s hard to know exactly what is happening.

      I would start by buying a hanging oven thermostat to make sure your oven temperature is accurate. Then replace your baking soda and baking powder.

  117. I can’t find full-fat buttermilk anywhere! Will it make a big difference if I use low-fat buttermilk? Thanks.

  118. I followed the recipe and it turned out so dry.. what could have I dont wrong?

    • Hi Jennifer,

      So sorry about that! It sounds like you might have baked it too long. If not, your oven thermometer might be off. If would be a good idea to place a hanging thermometer in your oven to check its accuracy… Especially for baking.

    • As I reviewed the ingredients and tips, I knew this receipe would be a winner. Omg… Moist and so good.

  119. This is the perfect lemon cake! One of my favorite desserts.

    • Hello from N. Z. My son specificly asked for a lemon cake for his b’day and I can’t wait to make him this one! I would prefer to leave out the lemon extract and add more zest. Would this be a good idea and if so how much more zest/juice would you recommend? I’m also wanting to make it in a square 24′ ×24′ baking pan ( to get a soccor field shape) Would this work?
      Thanks heaps for any advice.

      • My apologies I did mean 9′ × 9′ – haha. 24 inches would have been one humungous cake lol

      • Hi Tamryn,

        Yes, you can use two square 9X9 inch pans or one 9X13. You might need to adjust the baking time just a tad… In one pan it might take a little longer.

        As for swapping out the lemon extract, I would use just 1 teaspoon lemon juice to compensate for the liquid, and the zest of 3 lemons.

      • I would make it as is but without the lemon extract….I did this and the ze
        st of one lemon was tasty! Not weak!

  120. I would love a slice of this incredible cake!! YUM!!

  121. best lemon dessert! I’m craving it already!

  122. Adding buttermilk is such a brilliant idea! It’s so moist and delicious!

  123. Hi

    I have a quick question …

    can you make this cake in a 9 by 13 pan instead of 2 9 inch pans ??? thanks .

  124. This cake is perfectly moist and tastes like spring! So, sooooo good!

  125. Instead of buying more lemon buttermilk Cake from outside, It’s time to make it my own.

    This recipe looks just perfect for a kitty Party or brunch.

  126. I attempted this cake, which sounds great, and I love lemon cake. I wasn’t able to get the butter and sugar to cream to light and fluffy. Is the ratio of 2 cups of sugar to 10 tbsp of butter correct? Just became a very grainy, buttery blob. Help!!

  127. This is a delicious lemon cake! Love this lemon dessert!!

  128. I love lemon desserts! And this one is really amazing!

  129. This looks so delicious! My husband loves lemon and he’d be thrilled if I made this for him.

  130. This cake was amazing!!! The buttermilk kept the texture so moist and the lemon popped!

  131. I made this for my mother in law’s birthday party. She was SO impressed. Thanks for such a great recipe.

  132. The buttermilk made this cake so delicious! Love it!

  133. I always love a cake that uses buttermilk—always makes for a moist and tender cake! This lemon cake looks perfect!

  134. This cake looks so elegant and delicious. I bet that icing is the best ever.

  135. This looks and sounds delectable! I am going to make it this weekend. I love to eat cake for breakfast. That is okay isn’t it?