Tangy lemon layer cake is three layers of tender cake separated by layers of luxurious white chocolate ganache. A creamy, whipped lemon frosting covers the whole thing. It's just right for birthdays, showers, and other special occasions!
For this recipe you'll need: all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, lemon juice, lemonade mix, white chocolate, heavy cream, instant lemon pudding, powdered sugar, lemon extract
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I told you that I had made two cakes for Kyrie and Nick's birthdays -- a chocolate shadow cake and this lemon layer cake. The chocolate one was Nick's and this one was Ky's.
One of the things I love about this particular lemon cake is that the cake is tangy but the filling is rich and sweet. I've used the whipped frosting because it isn't as sweet as American buttercream and it keeps the whole cake a nice balance of flavors and textures.
Lemon is a happy memory flavor for me. When I was little you didn't have mega-markets. You went to the grocery store, the butcher shop, the bakery... It wasn't all in one spot. The bakery we went to was narrow with a long glass case on one side that was filled with pastries, cakes, pies, and donuts. I can't begin to explain the scent that wafted over you when you walked in. Something like sugar-vanilla-apple-cinnamon-lemon-bread-chocolate-cheesecake.
Something like that.
Anyway, I was adorable as a child. Really, really adorable. I sat for hours on my mom's dresser while she twisted my long hair into finger curls like Shirley Temple's.
Maybe not hours but it sure felt that way. The only good thing about those giant ringlets was that they were seemingly the key to free pickles from a big barrel at the butcher shop and a free lemon donut at the bakery.
The filling was so puckery sweet that the insides of your cheeks imploded with each bite. It makes my mouth water just to think of it... and I am sure there never has been another bakery that can create lemon donuts like those.
Of course time and memories are a wonderful flavor enhancer, don't you think?
I think this cake has the kind of flavor that people will remember like I remember those donuts.
...But if you're looking for an orange layer cake then this is the one you want.
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Lemon extract adds an extra burst of lemon flavor that I love. As far as baking, one of things I've learned is to use good cake pans. I like Wilton's cake pans the best.
Here's that lemon layer cake recipe!
Lemon Layer Cake with White Chocolate Mousse FillingPrint Save Go to Collections
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, 390g
- 3 teaspoons baking powder, 15g
- ½ teaspoon salt, 2.84g
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened, 170g
- 2 cups granulated sugar, 400g
- 4 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 90.5g
- 1 tablespoon lemonade mix, 12.5g
- 1-½ cups milk, 345g
White Chocolate Ganache
- 12 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
Lemon Cream Frosting
- 1 quart heavy whipping cream
- 1 4- serving size package lemon pudding
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar - or to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
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- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grease and flour 3 8-inch round cake pans with high sides.
- Set aside.
- Blend the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- Set aside.
- Add the softened butter the the bowl of a mixer and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add in the sugar and beat on high until the mixture is light and most of the sugar crystals have dissolved.
- Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating well after each.
- Blend the lemon juice and lemonade mix until the mix is dissolved.
- Beat into the butter mixture with the lemon extract.
- Add ⅓ of the flour mixture blending in on low speed.
- Add ½ the milk, continuing to blend on low.
- Repeat once more then add the remaining flour.
- Beat on low, scraping sides once or twice, until the ingredients are blended in and the batter is smooth.
- Pour an equal amount into each cake pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pans 10 minutes then turn out to finish cooling.
White Chocolate Ganache
- Place chocolate in a small bowl.
- In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil.
- Pour over chocolate and let sit 5 minutes.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature (30 minutes)
- Whip with an electric mixer until ganache doubles, about 2 minutes.
Lemon Cream Frosting
- Add the heavy cream to the chilled bowl of a mixer.
- Beat on medium and until the mixture starts to thicken then add the pudding mix, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon extract.
- Beat on high until the frosting is thick and creamy and holds its shape on a spoon.
- Spoon ½ of the ganache over the top of the first layer.
- Gently add the next layer.
- Spoon remaining ganache over the top of the second layer.
- Add the top layer.
- Poke 4 straws down through the cake to hold it securely.
- Frost the top and sides thickly with the lemon cream frosting.
- Refrigerate until serving time.
- Remove the straws and smooth the top before serving.
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Hi this cake looks amazing !! Can i use something other than the lemonade powder and the pudding mix in the recipe?? I live in the uk so would nt know where to find these ingredients .
I think you'll need to replace the buttercream on this cake with one of your own. I don't know of any good replacements that will give you that same texture. Sorry!!
Donna F Brock
Cab white chocolate chips be used for the white chocolate?
Is the lemonade mix the type that contains sugar? Attempting to make this for my moms 82 birthday dinner. She loves anything lemon!
Yes, it's the kind with sugar. Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Several comments were misplaced.
Thanks Kristen. Yep, those pickles.... yum.
I love anything with lemon, but especially cakes and cookies. This one is beautiful to boot! I never had ringlets as a child and my mom never played with my hair, but this cake takes me back to the days of standing in front of the bakery counter just hoping that the nice lady behind the counter would give me a cookie with sprinkles.
YES! I miss being four. :/
Cynthia | What A Girl Eats
I love lemon anything! This sounds yummy!
It was amazing. 🙂
Dear Marye, what a beautiful cake to celebrate with. This looks perfect and so pretty. I wish I had a slice too! xo, Catherine
Thanks so much, Catherine!
Aimee @ ShugarySweets
I am such a sucker for lemon desserts. This cake is gorgeous!
Thanks Aimee! It was so good.