Lemon Layer Cake

This cake was a JOURNEY. But it’s pretty delicious so I hope someone out there tries this recipe like I did.

I found this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen’s Instagram, and you can check out the original recipe here, but I’ve written out the recipe in a much easier to read and understand format.

This is a 3 part cake with lots of sinful sugar and butter, but it tastes pretty amazing, so buckle up and let’s take a walk down the lemon grove.


For the filling
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp gelatin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
4 eggs
6 egg yolks (save whites for batter)
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, frozen, cut in cubes

For the batter
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup whole milk, room temp
6 egg whites, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter, soft but cool, cut into cubes

For the icing
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temp
1 stick butter, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt


For the filling
1. Measure 1 tbsp lemon juice in a small bowl or shot glass and sprinkle 1 tsp gelatin on top, set aside.
2. Heat remaining lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan, stir occasionally, until sugar dissolves completely – make sure the mixture doesn’t boil.
3. In a bowl, whisk your eggs and yolks completely.
4. As your continue whisking constantly, slowly pour in your hot lemon mix into the eggs, then pour the whole mixture back in the saucepan.
5. Cook on medium heat for 4-6 minutes, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula until it’s thick and curdy.
6. Turn off the heat, add in the gelatin mixture and stir until combined. Add in the butter cubes and stir until completely dissolved.
7. Transfer into a bowl, cover (I used a towel and rubber band) and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. I did overnight since I started this cake at 10PM.

For the cake
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease either 1 tall 9 inch cake pan or 2 short 9 inch cake pans. I used 1 tall pan and then sliced the cake into 3 layers the next morning.
2. In a bowl, whisk milk, egg whites and vanilla.
3. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
4. Add butter one piece at a time until well incorporated. Add the milk mixture slowly and mix until there are no clumps.
5. Pour your batter into your greased pan(s) and tap the pans on your counter a few times to get the air bubbles come to the surface before you pop your cake in the oven.
6. If you’re using 1 pan, bake for 25 mins, take it out and check with a toothpick to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. I ended up baking for an additional 20 minutes.

For the icing
1. In a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter and whisk on high until combined.
2. Add vanilla and salt and mix til combined.
3. Add sugar 1/3 cup at a time, scrape down the bowl with a spatula and whisk until well combined and no clumps are left.
4. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3 thoughts on “Lemon Layer Cake

  1. You take the most gorgeous pictures, Viviana! I am going to try this recipe for next Sunday’s family dinner! Two questions: How many lemons did you need and what kind of lemons did you use?

    1. Omg hi, a comment! I think I used 2 fresh Meyer lemons and then added additional lemon juice from a bottle.

      1. I made this cake today!!! It does NOT look as beautiful as yours did, but all of the elements taste AMAZING!! I’ll let you know what the tasters think after dinner tonight. Thank you for this recipe, Viviana!!


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