This delicious and tangy Moist Lemon Cake Recipe is easy to make and is perfect for dessert, picnic, and even afternoon tea. Topped with a sweet yummy glaze
Moist Lemon Cake Recipe
I love summer because lemon, berries and other fruits are in season. This moist lemon cake recipe is delicious, tangy, and not overly sweet. You can feel the citrus flavor in each bite.
Since this Moist Lemon Cake Recipe only has a glaze on top, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Perfect for picnics, BBQs, and cookouts. I personally love it with afternoon tea. A slice of citrus goodness.
One thing I hate about bundt cakes or any other cakes is that they tend to be super dry. I used the same technique as my Glazed Orange Bundt Cake.
While the cake is warm, I added a citrusy syrup and let it slowly absorb into the crumbs. When it cools down the dessert will be moist, flavorful and delicious.
For the intense lemon flavor, I used lemon juice as well as the zest. The zest gives off plenty of lemony flavor without overpowering the rest of the cake. It is truly delicious.
My grandmother always adds zest to her cakes, bars, and even crusts. She prefers using lime instead of lemon.
In Venezuela is the other way around, lemons are the green ones and lime the yellow ones. I used to get confused between the 2 when I moved to the states.
I love it when the glaze dries up and gives off a beautiful sheen and almost a soft crust-like texture. You’ll know what I mean when you take a bite.
For the top, I cooked a few thin lemon slices in equal parts sugar and water until softened. It makes the cake look pretty but is entirely optional.
I hope you can try this Moist Lemon Cake Recipe delicious at home. If you do, please upload a pic on Instagram and tag me @Livingsweetmoments or use the hashtag #LivingSweet. I promise to repost it.
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- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt
In the bowl of a mixer, add the butter and sugar and mix on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture becomes light and fluffy
Add the eggs one a time beating well after each addition
Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Mixture will look curdled, don't worry, it'll fix itself once you add the dry ingredients
Add the sour cream
Alternate the dry ingredients with the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture
Once everything is mixed, pour the batter into a prepared pan and use a spoon to make it smooth on top
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean
Remove from and let the cake cool on a rack
In a small saucepan combine the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved and mixture starts to boil
Remove from heat
After the cake has cooled for 30 minutes, invert it on a cake plate
Slowly pour the hot syrup on top of the warm cake. Allow the cake to cool completely and the liquid gets absorbed
Place the confectioners sugar in a bowl
Add the lemon juice and mix with a fork or spoon making sure there are no lumps
Spoon the glaze on top of the cooled cake
I love this recipe. It turned out so deliciously lemony. This recipe is n o army favorite lemon cake recipe.
Thank you Diana! So glad you liked it!
This turn out to be perfect!!
Awesome moist cake. I would rather skip the glaze next time and top it with powdered sugar. Too lemony with glaze
Thank you for you Feedback Noorix! Glad you liked the cake!
Shay S says
That sounds so good. Like a lemon bar
Thank you Shay!
Brilliant recipe – delicious cake, turned out perfect! Instead of the glaze I served it with lemon cream & berries (as a bday cake) – looked amazing & tasted perfect – indulgent but refreshing 🙂 Thank you for sharing.
Brilliant recipe – delicious cake, turned out perfect! Instead of the glaze I served it with lemon cream & berries (as a bday cake) – looked amazing & tasted perfect – indulgent but refreshing ? Thank you for sharing.
Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for your feedback! I’m glad you liked it. Lemon cream and berries sound delicious
After hours trying to settle for a soft yet citric recipe I decided on yours the moment I saw Venezuela. Can’t go wrong with that! Quedó divina, muchisimas gracias 🙂
Me alegro mucho que te gusto Estefany! Gracias por el feedback!
Thank you for this recipe. It was the first time for me to try baking something using a recipe I got from the net and I loved the cake and the syrup and the glaze,
everything really (thanks to your recipe)!
In the Philippines, we have kalamansi. Next time I will try substituting the lemon with kalamansi hoping for a more “local” flavor. Thanks thanks
Hi Euvic! thanks so much for your feedback! Glad you liked it – I’ve never tried Kalamansi before, sounds interesting!
Hello can this be layered and covered in white chocokaye ganache. Also does it need to be refrigerated? And how long does it stay fresh for?
Hi Angelina! Cake does not need to be refrigerated but the ganache does. So if you want to layer the cake simply double the recipe and add the ganache in the middle.
Let me know how it turns out! Can’t wait to see your final results.
Hi what are the ingredients for lemon syrup and glaze
For Lemon Syrup
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
For Lemon Glaze
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup confectioners sugar
Hi. Thank you for the recipe. Do we need to add baking powder? or it is just fine without it?
The baking soda combined with the citrus juice acts as the baking powder Baya. So you’re fine without it 😉
It’s SO GOOD! ! !
didnt know lemon cakes could be so moist and taste of real lemon! Next time I’ll add less syrup, actually I could even eat it without the syrup because it still had a Lemon taste!
Thanks so much for your feedback Marie! so glad you liked it!
Can you make this with cake flour or is it better with all purpose flour?
Yes Sarah, you may use all purpose flour
I see all great,fantastic reviews for this recipe.Im definitely trying it,I’ll come back to let you know how it turned out. Thanks Tiffany
Let me know how it came out Nicole 🙂
Hello. Look nice the cake. I but you use cup can you help change it to g. I want to do this cake soon. Thanks
Hi Jessie! Look in the recipe card underneath the ingredients press on the “metric” button and the values will convert to grams
Neha Goswami says
I am so happy with this recipe!
I just tried this recipe an hour ago after reading all the great reviews. And the cake was gone within minutes between 7 family members! I skipped the syrup and glaze as we wanted a simple cake with our afternoon tea, and the cake was perfectly spongy and moist and packed with citrus flavor.
I’d definitely be recommending it to friends. Thanks.
Glad your family liked it Neha! thanks for the feedback!
Will this recipe work in a 9×13?
I would double the recipe Venny, otherwise it would be very thin
Hi, what is the alternative for sour cream? Can I skip that?
you can use milk or buttermilk
Hi!, can I use plain yogurt instead? I don´t have sour cream in my country
Yes! of course
Is the butter room temp or melted before mixing with the sugar?
Hi! Is the butter supposed to be room temperature? Or melted? Or cold?
Have you tried it with 2 cake pans? I’d like to make a birthday cake.
For 2 cakes pans double the recipe. As you can see, this cake is not very tall.
Hi can i omit the zest? I have lemon juice in a bottle but it freshly squeezed. Also is this cake firm enough to be covered with fondant?
Hi Reshma, you may omit the zest but the zest is what gives it the incredible citrusy flavor. Yes you can cover the cake with fondant, just make sure you refrigerate it first.
Can I make this cake ahead of time? Any suggestions, especially with using the syrup?
You can Emily! This cake can be made 3 days in advance. Just follow the same instructions and add the syrup after the cake bakes so it has enough time to soak up the liquid. It will stay moist and delicious
I forgot the sour cream. Do you think it’ll still turn out ok ?? Lol!
It may be a bit dry Vaeh
Everyone loves this lemon cake, although I have a question for you. I have made the lemon cake three times now, each time delicious, however it always comes out burned. I put it in a fan powered oven at 180°c and find it only needs 15-20 min to cook. I have been attempting to put the temperature down to 130-150°c, but it still doesn’t come out looking like yours. Any suggestions of what else I could try?
Hi Alicia, oven brands may vary, although an oven may display 180 C in reality it may be more or less. The only way for sure is to use an oven thermometer. If your oven is hotter, cook it for less time and check often so it does not overcook. Hope that helps! Also, use a smaller pan, that may help as well at a lower temp
Kaylee B Smith says
If I want to use a bundt pan, should I increase the recipe or will this make enough batter?
For a bundt pan double the recipe and increase the baking time
Do you use the syrup and the glaze? Sounds like alot but am going to give it a try as I love lemon cake!
Yes Shirley! I use both, that’s how you get a very moist and delicious cake
I’m about to try this recipe cause it looks so yummy !! Can I substitute Buttermilk with sour cream?
Yes Daisy! just add a little milk to thin out the batter if it’s too thick
Can this be made in a 9″ spring-form pan? Would the high sides make a difference in baking time?
Hi Kathi, yes, I don’t think think it should affect the baking time
I’m bout to make this but i as wondering vould I make instead of a glaze , make a cream cheese frosting or hlaze on it what can I do or need to do this? Once finished I’ll let u kno the results!
Hi Wanda! You can frost it with cream cheese. In fact, that sounds like a great idea. You can even double the cake batter and make 2 layers with frosting in between.
I made this and it was wonderful. I was looking for something with lemon and blueberry, so I made cupcake sized muffins and put a teaspoon of the lemon &sugar sauce on top. Next I made a warm blueberry sauce and spooned over the top. I skipped the glaze thinking the blueberries would be enough sweetness. I put a little lemon zest on top and spooned a dollop of real whipped cream. It was amazing!! Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Oh Melly! Love your adaptation into muffins with blueberries! thanks for your comment. Will definitely try it!
Rosen virk says
I baked the cake using your exact recipe. It turned out soft, moist and full of lemon flavor with drizzled lemon syrup. Guests for afternoon tea at home simply loved the delicious lemon cake.
I used lime instead of lemon which made lemon flavor more intense.
Thanks for such a great recipe.
Lime sounds perfect for this recipe and is quite excellent for summer! Thanks for your comment and feedback Rosen
WHY HAS YOUR RECIPE DISAPPEARED FROM THIS SITE
I apologize, I am fixing the glitch asap
Hello….can we use store lemon juice instead of fresh. Lemons are very expensive and hard to get in China right now
I have made this lemon cake 3 times following the exact directions. It’s amazing!! However the middle keeps sinking in. I am using 2- 6” round pan so I am not sure if that impacts it. Any suggestions?
Hi Sam. This can happen for a few reasons:
– Overmixing of the batter
– Oven temperature not calibrated
– Expired baking soda
Thank you for this recipe. Already made this twice. My Son who doesn’t like any cakes, loves this. He has asked this for this birthday.
Oh that’s awesome Krish! thanks for your feedback! Glad your son loved it!
Absolutely Delicious! I tried another recipe last week but it came out a bit dry. Then I baked this one yesterday and it came out so moist, I could not stop eating! It’s my new favorite cake recipe. Thank you! It was a hit with my entire family — kids and hubby. I will have to double the recipe next time. Thank you!
You’re welcome Megy!! Thanks so much for your feedback!
Hi there! Just wanted to tell you how happy I was to find a recipe. I have a pectin shell (a scallop) shaped cake pan from my home on Sanibel Island in Florida. I lost the recipe for the lemon pectin cake recipe that went with it so looking for a new lemon cake recipe I found yours. I made it and it just came out perfect!
Aww that’s so great to hear Susan! I’m glad you liked the recipe 🙂
II just made this cake. It smells divine. Does it need to be refrigerated? Thank you!
Not at all! it can be kept at room temp covered
Hi Tiffany.. I would like to replace maybe half the butter with apple sauce? Any advice? I tried it with another recipe and unfortunately the cake didn’t seem to rise properly!
Hi Viv. It may work for “healthier” purposes but the textures won’t be the same.
Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe, my lemon cake turned out to be so delicious and moist
Hubby was so impressed 😅
You’re welcome Eliane! So glad you and your hubby enjoyed it!