Go Back
+ servings
Lemon Cake featured image

Easy Lemon Cake Recipe

This lemon cake is perfectly lemony, tender, and is so refreshing! It’s always nice to have an easy lemon cake recipe in go to recipes!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 24 slices or 12 larger slices
Calories 202kcal
Author Lisa


  • 1.5 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature (1 stick)*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 6 tbs buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Lemon Frosting*

  • ½ cup butter softened*
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs heavy cream
  • Lemon zest optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour* a loaf pan*. (8.5x 4.25x2.5)
  • In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. (1.5 cups flour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt)
    Mix together dry ingredients
  • In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together butter with sugar until fluffy. (½ cup butter, 1 cup sugar)
    Whip Butter and sugar
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated. Then stir in the lemon zest, 2 tbs lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. (2 large eggs, zest from 2 lemons, 2 tbs lemon juice, 6 tbs buttermilk, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)
    Add in all the wet ingredients
  • Stir in the flour mixture until combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan.
    Add flour mixture
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
    Batter in bread loaf
  • Allow to cool before frosting.
    Close up of lemon cake texture

How to make lemon frosting:

  • Whip butter until fluffy, then mix in the lemon juice, vanilla, salt. (½ cup softened butter, 2 tbs lemon juice, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla, pinch of salt)
  • Alternate mixing in the heavy cream and powdered sugar (3 cups powdered sugar, 3 tbs heavy cream).
  • Frost the cake and then sprinkle with lemon zest
    Lemon cake with slice cut



Tips and Tricks
*You can swipe the sides and bottom of the pan with butter or shortening and then dust with flour or use a baking spray with flour in it- I like Baker’s Joy spray found in the baking isle.
*Cold butter can be softened in the microwave by heating for 15-30 seconds on 30% power.
*You can also bake this in one 9-inch cake pan for 25 minutes or until done. Then top with a lemon frosting, vanilla buttercream, almond buttercream, or a chocolate frosting!
*You can easily double this recipe for 2 loaves or 2 9-inch cakes.
*If you’d prefer a glaze simply combine 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbs lemon juice.
* The frosting recipe is supposed to be slightly looser than a stiff buttercream- if you would like the frosting to be a little stiffer simply stir in a little more powdered sugar.


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg