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Lemon Layer Cake

  • Prep Time: 45m
  • Cook Time: 20m

Ingredients

Cake

  • Floured baking spray
  • 1 1/3 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 2/3 c granulated sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 c cake flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 c whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 tsp. lemon extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Icing

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 2 lb confectioners' sugar
  • zest of half a lemon

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease and flour three 9-inch pans lined with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again.
  6. Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix with a wire whisk.
  7. Combine the milk, vanilla extract, and lemon extract in a liquid measuring cup.
  8. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beginning with the flour mixture and ending with the milk mixture, beating until well blended.
  9. Beat the batter for 7 minutes on low speed.
  10. Add the lemon zest and beat until incorporated.
  11. Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Tap the pans on the counter to ensure there are no air bubbles.
  12. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Test doneness by touching the top. If it springs back, it is done. If the indentation stays, it needs 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  13. Cool the cakes for at least 10 minutes on a cooling rack before removing from pans.

Icing

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer for 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes, scrape the bowl extremely well.
  2. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts and beat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, beating on low to ensure the sugar does not fly out of the mixing bowl.
  4. After each addition of confectioners’ sugar, scrape the bottom of the bowl extremely well.
  5. Add the lemon zest and beat on low for 3 minutes.
  6. Spread icing between the cake layers and then on the top and sides of the stacked layers.