Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Introduction

There’s something undeniably alluring about the combination of tangy citrus and sweet, tender cake. Enter the Lemon Velvet Cake – a harmonious blend of zesty lemon and velvety smooth texture. Each bite is like a burst of sunshine, making it a perfect treat for gatherings or a luxurious weekend baking project. In this recipe, the cake is paired with a decadent lemon cream cheese frosting, adding a rich and creamy finish that complements the light and fluffy cake. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or trying your hand at something new, this cake promises to be a delightful experience.

2. Ingredients


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pure lemon extract
  • 1 heaping teaspoon lemon zest (from 1-2 lemons)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • ⅓ cup hot lemon water (hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice)
  • 4-6 drops yellow food coloring

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure lemon extract
  • 1 ½ heaping teaspoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice (if needed)
  • 4-5 drops yellow food coloring

3. Directions


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch dark cake pans.
  2. Sift together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, oil, and shortening.
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  5. Add vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest.
  6. Gradually combine dry and wet ingredients, alternating with buttermilk.
  7. Mix distilled vinegar with lemon water, and blend into the batter.
  8. Add food coloring to desired shade.
  9. Evenly distribute batter into pans, releasing air bubbles.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
  11. Let cakes cool in pans, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Blend cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Mix in vanilla and lemon extracts, and lemon zest.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar, adjusting with lemon juice as needed.
  4. If using, incorporate food coloring.
  5. Chill frosting briefly, then stir until creamy.
  6. Frost cooled cakes, garnish with lemon zest.

4. How to Prepare

For the cake, ensure all ingredients are at room temperature for a smoother batter. When mixing the batter, avoid overbeating to maintain the cake’s light texture. For the frosting, the key is to achieve a balance between creaminess and firmness, so it spreads evenly without being runny.

5. Preparation Time

  • Prep: 30 minutes
  • Bake: 25-30 minutes
  • Cooling: 60 minutes
  • Total: Approximately 2 hours

6. Servings

This recipe yields 12 servings, making it ideal for family gatherings or small events.

7. FAQs

Q: Can I use regular flour instead of cake flour? A: Cake flour is recommended for a lighter texture, but you can use all-purpose flour with a slight change in texture.

Q: How do I know when the cake is perfectly baked? A: The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Q: Can I make this cake in advance? A: Yes, you can bake the cake a day ahead and store it in an airtight container. Frost it on the day of serving.

Q: Can I freeze the Lemon Velvet Cake? A: Yes, the cake layers can be frozen without the frosting. Wrap them well and freeze for up to a month.

Q: Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh? A: Fresh lemon juice is preferred for the best flavor, but bottled can be used in a pinch.

8. Conclusion

The Lemon Velvet Cake is more than just a dessert; it’s a celebration of flavors and textures. The cake itself is light and airy, with a subtle lemon zing, while the cream cheese frosting adds a luxurious richness that’s hard to resist. Whether it’s for a special occasion or a weekend treat, this cake is sure to impress. The joy of baking, coupled with the delightful flavors, makes this Lemon Velvet Cake a recipe worth trying and sharing.