This Simple Lemon Cake Recipe is delicious, tangy, and so easy to make from scratch. Every bite of this lemon cake is bursting with fresh lemon flavor and the easy lemon glaze on top will have you hooked after just one bite.
Hi, Simply Bakers! Happy New Year and I’m back and excited to share with you a delicious and simple lemon cake recipe you will love! My hubby enjoyed the cake so much- he ate ¼ of the lemon cake as soon as he came home from work and we both finished the cake in 2 days.
The lemons I used for this recipe are Meyer Lemons from my parents’ garden. It’s rare that I purchase lemons from the store because, growing up, if I wanted lemons, I would pick them from the garden. Now that I’ve moved away from my parents, I usually stock up and freeze them since I can’t get them fresh anymore.
However, for this recipe, I made sure I used fresh lemons. Also, did you know that Meyer Lemons are not actually true lemons? They are actually a mix of lemon and mandarins- which I had no idea about!
Tips and Tricks for Making This Simple Lemon Cake Recipe:
- If you love lemons double the lemon zest in the recipe- it takes the lemon cake to another level of zestiness.
- It is important to sift the powdered sugar to make the glaze- I forgot to sift the powdered sugar so the glaze was lumpy, but to cover it up I added more powdered sugar on top.
- If you did not sift your powdered sugar and have already poured the lemon juice on it, just go ahead and mix it well. After mixing it, strain the mixture to get rid of the powdered sugar lumps.
- Use fresh lemons and fresh lemon zest for the best results.
How to Make this Simple Lemon Cake:
Before starting to mix the ingredient, line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper, then preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Gather the ingredients – organic cane sugar, unsalted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, sour cream, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sifted powdered sugar.
To make the cake, in a large bowl, add the softened unsalted butter and organic sugar. Mix it until light and fluffy:
Next, add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. It is best to add the eggs one at a time:
Adding the eggs one at a time will ensure that they are all well-blended and your cake batter will come out smooth, just like so:
Add the vanilla extract, fresh lemon juice, and fresh lemon zest to the mixture. Mix well and set the bowl aside:
In another medium-sized bowl, add the dry ingredients – all-purpose flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk until well-combined:
Add the dry ingredients mixture to the wet ingredients mixture:
Mix until well-combined, then add the sour cream:
Pour into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes:
After checking if the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and allow the cake to cool for about 15 minutes before pouring the lemon glaze on top:
While waiting for the cake to cool, go ahead and make the glaze. I promise it is so easy to whip up!
Basically, it is just mixing sifted powdered sugar and lemon juice:
Mix it slowly and blend well until smooth and runny:
Now, you are ready to pour the glaze on your cake! I warn you Simply Bakers, this step is so satisfying to do that you just want to pour some more glaze 🙂
Here is an up-close shot of a very delicious but so simple to make Lemon Cake!
You can make this cake from scratch and with just a bit of creativeness in the presentation, this will surely be a crowd-pleaser and a conversation-starter!
Frequently Asked Questions for Simple Lemon Cake Recipe:
Q: Can I replace the lemon juice with ready-made lemon extract?
A: Yes, you can replace it if you don’t have the fresh lemon juice and zest on hand. It just tastes way better if you use fresh ingredients.
Q: I have made a lemon cake before and it had a bitter aftertaste. What could have I done wrong with the recipe?
A: I think you have not missed an important part of the recipe. It’s just that when you were zesting the lemon rind, you included the white flesh, which makes the lemon peel or rind bitter. Just be gentle when zesting and make sure to get the “yellow” part.
Q: What other frosting goes well with lemon cakes?
A: You can use lemon buttercream frosting, lemon cream cheese frosting, or just the whipped cream frosting. I think all of those, including the classic lemon glaze, would go perfectly with this simple lemon cake.
Q: Can I use this recipe for cupcakes?
A: Yes, you can! Just change the round baking pan into cupcake tins or any oven-safe cupcake molds.
Here are more Lemon Flavored Desserts that are quick & delicious:
Simple Lemon Cake
- ¾ cup organic cane sugar granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon zest
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
For the Lemon Glaze:
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup powdered sugar sifted
- Line an 8 or 9-inch pan with parchment paper, then preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- To make the cake, in a large bowl, add the softened unsalted butter and organic sugar. Mix it until light and fluffy.
- Next, add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. It is advised to add the eggs one at a time to ensure that they are all well-blended.
- Add in the vanilla extract, fresh lemon juice, and fresh lemon zest to the mixture. Mix well and set the bowl aside.
- In another medium-sized bowl, add the dry ingredients – all-purpose flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk until well-combined.
- Add the dry ingredients mixture to the wet ingredients mixture. Mix until well-combined, then add the sour cream.
- Pour into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. You can check your cake if it is done by sticking in a toothpick or a cake tester (if you have them). Once it comes out dry, your cake is ready.
- Allow the cake to cool for about 15 minutes.
My new favorite recipe! Thank you for sharing Lainey!
Hi Eve! Thanks so much! Don’t forget to tag me with your Lemon cake photos when you bake it! xx
Sharmila Narendran says
Love this recipe! I substituted natural greek yogurt for sour cream and it turned out delicious! The cake was so soft as well! Thank you for sharing this easy recipe! <3
Thank you so much Sharmila! I am glad you did tweaks and I am glad it worked!
Mary Theresa says
I love lemon can,t wait to try
Hi Mary! It’s good to know that you love lemons. This recipe is just perfect for you. I would love to see photos if you do make this recipe. Please find me on IG or FB and tag me. 🙂
I jus popped mine in the oven after following your step by step instructions. I just now saw the video that showed you adding salt which was not in the directions. Is my cake gonna still be tasty?
Oh, no! Thanks for catching that, Kat! Yes, it should be fine and I’m so sorry about that! Keep baking and enjoy! 🙂
This is Gladys from India
I’ve tried this and it has come out simply superb
I dint use the sour cream though
It’s our family fav now thank you so much
Hi Gladys! I’m glad this recipe becomes your family’s favorite. That’s just amazing! I have more recipes in this blog that your family may love too. Please let me know if you’ve tried making them. Enjoy! 🙂
Is the batter supposed to be very thick? It is not pourable.
Hi Katherine! Yes, it’s supposed to be thick. Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you can try out this delicious recipe. 🙂
Awwww thank you so much for your kind words, Notes at Dusk… I truly appreciate it. Thank you for visiting my blog.