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+ servings
A slice of lemon cake on a plate

Lemon Cake

This polished lemon cake is a simple homemade recipe with a delicate citrusy drizzle that adds a burst of lemony freshness to every decadent bite.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword easy lemon cake, How do I make lemon cake recipe, How to make lemon cake recipe, Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 459kcal
Author Kathleen



  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk at room temperature


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  •  In a liquid measuring cup combine buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl add sugar and lemon zest. Using an electric mixer set on medium, beat until mixture is very fragrant 1-2 minutes. Transfer 1/4 cup of the sugar mixture to a small bowl and set it aside. Add butter to the remaining sugar mixture and beat until mixture is fluffy about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until combined. Add the egg yolk and mix to combine. Set mixer to low speed and add flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with buttermilk mixture. Mix until ingredients are just blended.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish and smooth out the top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan set on a wire baking rack for 10 minutes.
  • Make the glaze by whisking powdered sugar, lemon juice, and buttermilk together until even and smooth. Spread glaze over warm cake then evenly sprinkle the reserved sugar lemon zest mixture over the top. Cool the cake completely before serving at least 2 hours. Serve


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 456IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg