★★★★★

Lemon Cheesecake Cake

Can’t decide between Lemon Cheesecake and Lemon Cake? Layer them together with this amazing Lemon Cheesecake Cake recipe! Two moist layers of lemon cake with a layer of creamy cheesecake. All topped with a buttercream frosting bursting with lemon flavor!

I haven’t been shy about the fact that I eat lemon desserts all year long. A handful of Lemon Ricotta Cookies or a Lemon Cheesecake Bar is my ideal dessert no matter the weather. Since Cheesecake Cakes are always a big hit at my house, it was high time I made a lemon version.

Slice of cake with two layers of lemon cake, cheesecake filling, and covered in frosting.

What is Cheesecake Cake

Most cheesecakes rest on crispy graham cracker crumb crust, like in my original Lemon Cheesecake Recipe.

With lemon cheesecake cake, the crust is replaced with a classic lemon layer cake. You add another layer of lemon cake on top, then cover the whole thing with an indescribably fluffy lemon buttercream.

It really is the best of both worlds!

The bright lemon citrus flavor pairs beautifully with the creamy consistency of a cheesecake in this recipe!

A cheesecake sandwiched between layers of classic lemon cake? Yes, please!

  • Tender cake that holds up to all the layers of cheesecake and frosting!
  • Creamy cheesecake that can be made in advance (and frozen)!
  • Buttercream frosting BURSTING with lemon flavor.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for lemon cheesecake cake.

Cake flour. More fine and with less gluten than all purpose flour, cake flour is the key to lemon cake with the perfect texture. Read my tips on how to make cake flour if you don’t have any on hand!

Lemon. You’ll need the zest and juice of one full lemon, plus one more lemon’s worth of juice for the frosting. Each lemon provides about 1 Tbsp of zest and juice.

Sour cream. This ingredient makes the cheesecake filling extra creamy and tangy. Full fat Greek yogurt could be substituted.

Cream cheese. Let the cream cheese soften on the counter so it’s easier to work with.

Vanilla Extract. Try making your own vanilla extract, it’s so easy and much more economical too!

Step by Step Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make lemon cheesecake cake layers.

Make the Cheesecake.

Fill a roasting pan with one inch of water and place it in the oven as it preheats. This will add moisture to the oven to prevent cracks in your cheesecake, and add extra moisture to your cheesecake!

Pour the cheesecake mixture into a parchment lined springform pan. Place it in the oven on a rack over the water-filled roasting pan. With this method you don’t have to put the pan IN the water, and you still get great results of a water bath.

Bake for 45 minutes, then turn off the oven. Let the cheesecake rest in the oven for another 30 minutes, then allow it to cool fully on the countertop.

If you’ll be making the cheesecake within the day, let it chill in the fridge. For longer storage, place it in the freezer until you’re ready to make the cheesecake cake.

Cake Layers.

First prepare the 9-inch cake pans. Use my homemade cake release (or generously grease with baking spray). Set aside.

For the cake batter, whisk together the eggs and some of the milk. Beat together the remaining wet ingredients, then add the egg mixture.

Gradually add the dry ingredients and the rest of the milk and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Frosting.

While the cake layer is cooling, beat butter and powdered sugar together. Then add the remaining frosting ingredients and beat until it’s ultra fluffy and well combined, about 5 minutes.

Assembly.

Place one of the layer cakes on a cake stand and top with the cheesecake, followed by the remaining lemon layer cake.

Smooth frosting over the whole top and sides of the cake with a flat spatula.

Slice of lemon cheesecake cake on a white plate with a fork.

Tips and Tricks

  • Prepare the Cheesecake in advance. You can make the Cheesecake layer up to 2 weeks in advance if you store it in the freezer. Once it’s frozen solid (after 2 -3 hours) be sure to slide it into a large freezer bag to keep it fresh.
  • Line the springform pan. To keep the cheesecake from sticking to the pan, cut a piece of parchment paper into a circle that fits snugly over the bottom of your pan.
  • Use an electric mixer. I used my stand mixer to combined the cheesecake ingredients well AND to ensure the frosting gets the ideal light, fluffy and creamy consistency that I love in a buttercream. Hand held beaters will work well too, if you don’t have a stand mixer.
  • Prep it Right: Set out ingredients about 10 minutes before baking to work with them at room temperature. Allow your oven to preheat while preparing your filling.
  • Next level: Take it to the next level and add a layer of lemon curd on top of the cheesecake layer. SO GOOD.
  • Add Poppy Seeds. Add some poppy seeds to the cake batter like we did with this delicious Lemon Poppy Seed Cake recipe!
Slice of layered cake on a white cake platter being removed.

Recipe FAQs

Does Cheesecake Cake have to be refrigerated?

Yes, Cheesecake Cake should be stored in the refrigerator. It’ll keep well for about 3 days.

Do you have to store the cheesecake in the freezer?

No, the cheesecake does not have to be stored in the freezer unless you’re making it more than 24 hours ahead of time. If making the Lemon Cheesecake Cake the same day, you can just keep the cheesecake layer in the fridge.

Can you make cheesecake without a springform pan?

You can make the cheesecake without a springform pan, but it’s much trickier to remove cleanly and neatly. Some people have success lining a regular cake pan with parchment paper and baking spray, then lifting it out once cooled.

More Cheesecake Cakes

Yield: 16 servings

Lemon Cheesecake Cake

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 6 hours

Can't decide between Lemon Cheesecake and Lemon Cake? Layer them together with this amazing Lemon Cheesecake Cake recipe! Two moist layers of lemon cake with a layer of creamy cheesecake. All topped with a buttercream frosting bursting with lemon flavor!

Ingredients

FOR CAKE LAYER

  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

FOR CHEESECAKE LAYER

  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream

FOR THE FROSTING

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested

Instructions

FOR THE CAKE:

  1. Whisk together the eggs and ¼ cup of the milk in a small bowl until slightly combined. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice for 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Beat in egg mixture until fully blended.
  3. Add in remaining milk and beat for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray. Pour batter into pans and bake in a 350 degree oven for 26-28 minutes. Remove and cool completely on wire rack.

FOR THE CHEESECAKE:

  1. Prepare the cheesecake layer first. This can be done early in the day, or the night before. If freezing the cheesecake, can be stored 1-2 weeks in the freezer.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a large roasting pan, add 1 inch of water to the pan. Place it on the lowest rack of the oven! Allow it to preheat in the oven.
  3. Prepare 9-inch springform pan by lining the bottom (inside) with a circle of parchment paper.
  4. Beat cream cheese with granulated sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add in salt and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Beat in sour cream and heavy cream, until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Pour into prepared 9-inch springform pan. Place pan in center of preheated oven, with the roasting pan of water on the lowest rack. The cake will not SIT in the water, but still get the benefit of a water bath by being in the oven with it.
  6. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on counter.
  7. When cooled, remove outside portion of the springform pan and place into the freezer for several hours or overnight. I put it in freezer for about 2 hours. If using within 24 hours, feel free to just refrigerate cheesecake!

FOR THE FROSTING:

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese for 3 minutes using whisk attachment on an electric mixer. Add in powdered sugar, heavy cream, and lemon juice and zest. Beat an additional 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

ASSEMBLE:

  1. To assemble, place one layer of cake on a cake stand. Add the cheesecake on top (if you're not serving immediately, you can place the frozen cheesecake on top. It will take an hour or so to thaw at room temperature).
  2. Add the second layer of cake then frost the top and side with buttercream.
  3. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Prepare the Cheesecake in advance. You can make the Cheesecake layer up to 2 weeks in advance if you store it in the freezer. Once it's frozen solid (after 2 -3 hours) be sure to slide it into a large freezer bag to keep it fresh.
  • Line the springform pan. To keep the cheesecake from sticking to the pan, cut a piece of parchment paper into a circle that fits snugly over the bottom of your pan.
  • Use an electric mixer. I used my stand mixer to combined the cheesecake ingredients well AND to ensure the frosting gets the ideal light, fluffy and creamy consistency that I love in a buttercream. Hand held beaters will work well too, if you don't have a stand mixer.
  • Prep it Right: Set out ingredients about 10 minutes before baking to work with them at room temperature. Allow your oven to preheat while preparing your filling.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 573Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 224mgCarbohydrates: 90gFiber: 0gSugar: 69gProtein: 7g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Two layers of lemon cake with a rich cheesecake between with the best ever lemon buttercream. Lemon Cheesecake Cake is the ultimate dessert for any one who loves lemon desserts AND cheesecake!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on May 8, 2021

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