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How to Make a Simple Lemon Cake: A Delicious Homemade Recipe

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Are you ready to embark on a delightful culinary journey and learn how to make a simple lemon cake from scratch? This lemony delight is a perfect treat for any occasion, whether it’s a cozy family gathering or a special celebration.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before we dive into the baking process, let’s gather the essential ingredients for our simple lemon cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Equipment Essentials

To create the perfect lemon cake, you’ll need some essential kitchen equipment:

  • Two 9-inch round cake pans
  • Parchment paper
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer or stand mixer
  • Zester or grater
  • Cooling rack
  • Lemon squeezer

Now that we have everything ready let’s start making our delicious lemon cake.

Step-by-Step Preparation

Preparing the Lemon Zest

  • Begin by washing and drying the lemons thoroughly.
  • Using a zester or grater, carefully remove the zest from the lemons.
  • Set the lemon zest aside; we’ll use it to infuse our cake with that irresistible lemon flavor.

Mixing the Batter

  • In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs and beating well after each addition.
  • Pour in the lemon juice and lemon zest, continuing to mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, baking soda,  whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in small portions, interspersed with buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Evenly distribute the batter between the two greased cake pans.

Baking the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Place the cake pans in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Once done, remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

The Perfect Lemon Icing

To elevate your lemon cake, consider adding a simple lemon icing:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Lemon zest for garnish
  • In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth and drizzle-worthy.
  • Once the cakes are completely cool, generously drizzle the lemon icing over the top.
  • Finish with a sprinkle of lemon zest for an extra burst of flavor and a touch of elegance.

Serving and Presentation

Now that your simple lemon cake is ready, it’s time to present it beautifully. Consider adding a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint as a garnish. Serve it with a cup of hot tea or coffee for a delightful pairing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons?

A1: While fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor, you can use bottled lemon juice if that’s what you have on hand. Just be sure it’s 100% pure lemon juice without any additives.

Q2: Can I make this cake ahead of time?

A2: Absolutely! You can bake the cake layers in advance and store them in an airtight container for up to two days. Add the lemon icing just before serving for optimal freshness.

Q3: Can I substitute buttermilk with regular milk?

A3: Yes, you can substitute buttermilk with regular milk. To mimic the tangy flavor of buttermilk, add a teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to each cup of milk and let it sit for a few minutes before using.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully learned how to make a simple yet delectable lemon cake from scratch. This homemade treat is sure to impress your family and friends. Feel free to experiment with different garnishes and serve it on various occasions .

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