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Lemon cake recipes

The scent and taste of lemon and other citrus delectably bring on thoughts of summer. Delivering bright, sweet flavors, lemon cakes and zesty cupcakes are perfect for a picnic or barbecue. Experiment with lemon and other citrus fruits to create refreshing and satisfyingly sweet desserts for those long, hot summer days. Here are three scrumptious citrus cake recipes to get you started.

Lemon Cake

These lemon cake recipes and other citrus desserts will add a fresh and light touch to your celebration.

Triple lemon cake

Makes 12 servings


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 eggs plus 4 egg yolks, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat 2 (8-inch) round pans with cooking spray and flour, shaking out excess flour.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour with baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter with 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar until pale yellow. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and then gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with 1 cup milk.
  4. Pour batter into pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool fully before frosting.
  5. Combine 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice, cornstarch, 6 tablespoons butter, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves then reduce heat to low.
  6. Beat 4 egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in a small amount of hot lemon mixture, to temper the eggs. Lower heat and whisk egg mixture back into pot, stirring continually. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat until mixture thickens. Pour mixture into a bowl and chill until completely cool.
  7. To make frosting, beat confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons milk until smooth and fluffy.
  8. To assemble cake, cut each cake layer in half lengthwise. Place 1 cake layer, cut side up on a plate and spread lemon filling on cake, top with a second piece of cake and continue layering lemon filling and cake ending with a layer of cake.
  9. Frost cake with lemon frosting on top and all sides. Chill until ready to serve.

Grapefruit cupcakes on the next page!

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