Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon Curd

by aimee @ shugarysweets on March 31, 2013

This cake.

Homemade Lemon Cake with a layer of creamy lemon frosting and fresh lemon curd #cakerecipe #lemon @shugarysweets

Seriously, have I mentioned how much I love lemon desserts? Has it been made clear to you all yet that I would choose a lemon cake over a rich chocolate brownie?

Not to say I don’t love brownies. Please. I just happen to LOVE LOVE LOVE all lemon desserts.

This is my version of Olive Garden’s Lemon Crumb Cake. Only I fancied it up a bit. I pimped it out. And it’s way better.

Trust me. I made a homemade lemon cake using my favorite cupcake recipe. To get level cakes, I always use Wilton Bake Even strips on my cake pans. Works like a charm. No leveling and cutting the cake.

Homemade Lemon Cake with a layer of creamy lemon frosting and fresh lemon curd #cakerecipe #lemon @shugarysweets

I also made a fluffy cream cheese filling for this cake. You could double this and use it to frost the cake. But I was going for a bit of a different look. Plus, I think this cake doesn’t need all that frosting. I know. Me. Saying a cake doesn’t need frosting. But I speak the truth.

The extra layer of homemade lemon curd is another one of my extra touches to this cake. It’s optional of course, but I think it’s gorgeous! The crumb layer on top adds the perfect finishing touch! ENJOY!

Homemade Lemon Cake with a layer of creamy lemon frosting and fresh lemon curd #cakerecipe #lemon @shugarysweets

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Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon Curd

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 10-12


    For the Cake:
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • For the Filling:
  • 4oz unsalted butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp lemon curd, divided
  • For the Topping:
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. To prepare cake, grease and flour two 9inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper (cut circles to fit). Set aside.
  2. In small bowl, mix egg whites, 1/4 cup buttermilk and lemon zest. Set aside.
  3. In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Slowly add in egg white mixture. Beat in remaining buttermilk.
  4. Pour evenly into cake pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25-28 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool in cake pans 5 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
  5. For the filling, beat butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp lemon curd in a mixing bowl for 3-5 minutes, until fluffy. Set aside.
  6. In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly. It's easiest to use your hands and just crumble the butter with flour and sugar until pea size. Set aside.
  7. To assemble cake. Lay first layer of cake on a cake stand. Top with 1/2 cup lemon curd. Add 1/2 cup dry cake topping. Frost middle layer with all but 1/2 cup of cream cheese filling. Top with second layer of cake. Spread remaining 1/2 cup lemon curd on top and remaining 1/2 cup cream cheese filling. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the entire top of the cake. Refrigerate at least two hours. Serve and enjoy!


**Homemade Lemon Curd is so easy to make! But you can use store bought if you desire!


Love lemon desserts? Here are a few of my favorite recipes…

These Lemon Crunch Cookies are filled with lemon cream cookies, crumbled. Oh my are they delicious!!

Lemon Crunch Cookies from @shugarysweets

Have I mentioned how much I love lemon? These Citrus Cookies not only have lemon, but also some orange and lime! One of my favorite cookies!

Citrus Cookies from @shugarysweets

Lemon Curd Tart with Macadamia Crust. Really, no other words are necessary!!

Lemon Tart with Macadamia Crust from @shugarysweets

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations March 31, 2013 at 6:14 pm

I am all with you on the lemon desserts, Aimee! Still love chocolate but tart and sweet combinations win me over every time!
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Eva @ Eva Bakes March 31, 2013 at 6:22 pm

This looks freaking amazing. Although I love chocolate, I am sure I would go for a slice of this over a brownie any day!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 1, 2013 at 11:16 am

Yeah, I still love chocolate, and it has a special place in my life…but lemon. Oh lemon. gets me every time!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon CurdMy Profile


Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch March 31, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Looks delicious!!! I am all in on the lemon dessert love!!! Yummy!


Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later! March 31, 2013 at 7:25 pm

I love lemon curd! This looks great! I need to get some of those bake even strips!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 1, 2013 at 11:17 am

They work like a charm. I love them!! The cake rises so evenly from the center to the edges!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon CurdMy Profile


Averie @ Averie Cooks March 31, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Thank you for a from-scratch cake :)
And for all the lemony-ness! And you’re the 2nd blog in 2 days that’s mentioned those Wilton strips. Okay, I’m sold!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 1, 2013 at 11:18 am

Averie, these strips are awesome. I’ve been using them for a year now? They honestly make the cakes rise from the center to the edges completely even.
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon CurdMy Profile


a quiet life March 31, 2013 at 8:07 pm

i have been living on curd for months, i have citrus trees and will never die of scurvy, as much as i eat lemons you think i would be sick of them, yet this cake still tickles my tastebuds, looks delish~


aimee @ shugarysweets April 1, 2013 at 11:18 am

Oh how awesome to have citrus trees!!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon CurdMy Profile


Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust March 31, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Beyond gorgeous Aimee! I heart lemon too, and this cake is perfect!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

I know you’re a fellow lemon lover!!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon CurdMy Profile


Tanya March 31, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Got any leftovers? I love everything about this cake!


Katy @ KatysKitchen March 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Lemon is so fantastic in desserts! There’s something about that tang that just tastes so fantastic. I’m definitely a chocolate and brownie person too but I have the same struggle when lemon desserts are placed in front of me. I say, why not both? ;)
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Karissa K. @ Sweet As A Cookie March 31, 2013 at 10:32 pm

This looks amazing! I’ve been on a lemon kick so this is sounding really good about now.
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Renee April 1, 2013 at 12:19 am

I’m quite in love with lemon desserts myself, and this one looks lovely. So excited to try it.
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Jocelyn @BruCrew Life April 1, 2013 at 12:36 am

I always wondered if those bake strips work…good to know they are worth buying!!! And I have just come up with another difference in us…I will always choose chocolate over anything! :-) LOL! This cake is absolutely stunning looking!!!!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

YOU don’t have them? OMG they are awesome. I love them. The cakes rise completely EVEN from the center to the edges!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon CurdMy Profile


Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry April 1, 2013 at 1:59 am

I would take this cake over brownies any day! And I have always wanted to buy those cake strips but I didn’t think they actually worked. Seeing your perfect layers though is evidence that they do. I’ll have to run out and buy them.
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

Yep ,work like a charm. Seriously!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon CurdMy Profile


Joy @ Baking-Joy April 1, 2013 at 8:37 am

I’m totally with you on the whole lemon dessert thing Aimee :-) You can’t beat homemade lemon curd either!
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Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen April 1, 2013 at 9:27 am

I love open faced cakes like this.
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Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies April 1, 2013 at 9:52 am

I am a lemon-aholic. Love it, and LOVE the look of this. If only I hadn’t eaten my weight in everything fattening and amazing yesterday. I’ll just have to eat this with my eyes until I can fit in my pants again!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

Me too. :)
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon CurdMy Profile


Wendy April 1, 2013 at 10:02 am

This beautiful cake made me smile and my mouth water. It is very, very similar to my long ago wedding cake. I had to fight with the bakery to get them to agree to my lemon cake and lemon curd idea. Apparently, I was pushing their envelope on traditional wedding cakes. I will be baking this soon so that I can smile at it in person! :)
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 1, 2013 at 11:24 am

Glad to make you smile, enjoy the recipe :)
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon CurdMy Profile


marcie@flavor the moments April 1, 2013 at 10:27 am

I love deep, dark chocolate desserts, but lemon or citrus ones are right up there with them! You can’t go wrong with a moist, lemon cake, especially when it’s smothered with lemon curd AND cream cheese frosting. That topping is wonderfully, unexpected twist!
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Jen @ Savory Simple April 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Lemon desserts are my favorite as well! I want to eat this entire thing.
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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 1, 2013 at 2:51 pm

This looks so yummy!!
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Shiloh Barkley April 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm

That is one beautiful cake!
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Kathy April 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm

What a beautiful cake! I just made lemon curd for the first time last week and it was so easy and delicious! I’m eager to try this cake now that I know how to make the curd!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 2, 2013 at 8:58 am

If you can make homemade curd (and love it), you will definitely enjoy this recipe :)
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laurasmess April 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Oh my gosh. LOVE the look of this cake! The streusel/crumbly topping is to-die-for! This is my first visit to your blog and it definitely won’t be the last. Your recipes are gorgeous.. can’t wait to delve through your archives :) Thanks so much!
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Jess @ OnSugarMountain April 1, 2013 at 10:01 pm

You never can have enough citrusy sweet desserts heehee. I love how you didn’t frost all the way around the cake either; so I get to see all the delicious ooey gooey lemonyness happening in every bite. :)
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Nutmeg Nanny April 1, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Holy moly, what a beauty this cake is. I’m in love with lemon desserts :) this one looks awesome!


icakepops April 2, 2013 at 7:51 am

So many great tips – like the Wilton strips for leveling cakes. I’m going to try those!
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Gloria @ Simply Gloria April 2, 2013 at 11:51 am

I would definitely choose lemon dessert over chocolate any day! Looks amazing! Pinning onto my Lemon Board!
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Carolyn April 2, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I love this cake, Aimee! I adore lemon curd and there is something so spring-ish about it. Yummee. Pinned.
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Kelly @ IdealistMom.com May 4, 2013 at 9:51 am

WOW. Yes, please!!! Just pinned it :-)
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shawn May 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm

i am making this for mother’s day, for me! i might let the family have some if the house gets cleaned and they cook everything else. sounds like a fair trade to me!


shawn May 12, 2013 at 11:36 pm

thank you thank you thank you! this is THE BEST cake! amazingly delicious!


Tiffany | baking at tiffanys June 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Looking at this cake makes my mouth water. Yum! And it’s so pretty, too.


Beth Hobson June 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Just whipped up a batch of these in my cupcake pans, need a lemon cupcake for an order…omg couldn’t wait to test one. These are spot on what I was looking for! Light, fluffy, not too sweet and oh so delicious! Now I want to do the proper cake recipe, I bet it’s even better!! Your my go to site when developing new desserts!


aimee @ shugarysweets June 26, 2013 at 8:24 am

Hi Beth,
I’m so glad you enjoyed the cupcakes! It’s one of my favorite recipes! By leaving out the lemon and adding in some vanilla bean you will have the best white cake recipe around, Just sayin ;) Thanks for stopping by!!!


Dina August 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm

looks like a delish cake!
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Michelle February 11, 2014 at 1:27 am

I made this cake and it was a show stopper! It was worth the work!


PamelaDee April 16, 2014 at 11:07 pm

OMG!!!! I don’t know where to begin. This was heavenly. I also made the lemon curd as well. This was just awesome!


aimee @ shugarysweets April 17, 2014 at 7:49 am

Hooray!!! So glad you enjoyed the recipe :)


Megan May 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm

OH. MY. WORD. love this cake! I made the other day while trying to find a lemon cake recipe for a bridal shower – this is IT! Thanks SO much :)
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Megan May 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

OH and thanks for the tip about the bake even strips – I have been baking cakes at over 7000 feet for a few years now and I just tried them for the first time – Amazing!
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helen June 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Can’t wait to try this recipe! Just want to confirm though, you don’t need to bake the crumb topping before applying it to the cake? Thanks!


aimee @ shugarysweets June 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Nope, no need to bake it!


Tracey September 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Hi I am a new follower can you use carton egg whites from the supermarket in this recipe? Thanks


aimee @ shugarysweets September 6, 2014 at 7:49 am

I’ve never tried it! But if they have measurements that equal one egg white than I don’t see why not!


Jenna November 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm

I just made this tonight and it took me four hours :( It was my first layer cake and I did the lemon curd from scratch but mine doesn’t look like yours at all. The frosting and lemon curd are dripping down the side, I’m sure it’ll still be good though. I made it for my sister’s birthday tomorrow so hopefully everyone likes it! Don’t know why it turned out so messy though, it was hard to do the lemon curd, frosting and crumb layers on top of each other.


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