Homemade Lemon Cake

If you find yourself in need of a light and airy cake to serve during the spring or summer months, one that’s swimmin’ in lemon, then look no further than this Homemade Lemon Cake. Affectionately referred to as the “Swimmin’ in Lemon Cake” because there’s fresh lemon juice in both the cake and the icing and when you’re adding in the lemon, well, it looks like it’s swimming.

In my opinion, tthere is nothing quite as refreshing as a lemon cake made with fresh lemon juice. I’ve cheated before and used the stuff in the little green bottle and it’s just not the same.

Homemade Lemon Cake


Swimmin’ in Lemon Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Aimee
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Lemon Icing:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 1/2- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Garnish: lemon slices, mint (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Combine sugar and butter in a mixer at medium-high sped until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time. Blend well. Reduce speed to low and add lemon juice. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Alternating dry ingredients with milk, slowly add to the mixing bowl. Beat well. Divide the batter batter between the two pans and bake for 22-25 minutes; until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 15 minutes, remove and continue to cool on wire racks.
  2. While cakes are continuing to cool, prepare the icing by combining the butter, cream cheese, lemon juice and half of the confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat well and gradually add the remaining confectioners’ sugar until smooth and well combined.
  3. Once completely cool, spread about 3/4 cup of the icing on top of 1 layer of cake. Place second layer on top of iced cake and spread remaining icing in a thin layer over the top and sides. Garnish each slice with a lemon slice and sprig of mint.

 Meyer lemons will work wonders on this cake, so if you have the option to purchase those, do so.

Homemade Lemon Cake

You’re also going to want to NOT cheat on using whole milk for this recipe. I rarely have whole milk in the house, but will buy it specifically when making this cake.

The whole milk will lend itself to a buttermilk type thickness of cake but with a milder taste.

I like to garnish each slice with a lemon slice and a bit of mint. I feel like it gives the cake some color without competing with the flavor or staining the cake; leaving the cake light and bright.

It’s also perfect for serving at bridal showers, baby showers, birthday brunches….afternoon tea. An impromptu party of your front porch? Yep, that too! It’s just the perfect Springtime cake!

Homemade Lemon Cake

If, of course, you like lemon.

And swimmin’.

And swimmin’ in lemon.

How’s the weather where you are? It’s rainy and wet here and I do declare that this lemon cake is the only ray of sunshine happening over this here.

Thank goodness for lemon cake!

Here’s some other favorite lemon recipes: 

Iced Lemon Loaf

Easy Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits



  1. I just made this cake for my mother. It tastes good but is quite dense (much to our chagrin. My mother asked for four layers and I complied since she is my mother and it was her birthday. The cake weighed 10 lbs!) I’d like to make it again sometime but use one fewer egg and see how it comes out.

    1. You know, you’re right. I noticed it was a little more dense than I remembered and I’m wondering if I added too many eggs. I’m going to make it again as well, but let me know if you give the 3 eggs a whirl before I do!

Comments are closed.