Lemon layer cake with lemon cream cheese buttercream is the perfect dessert for spring

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Move aside, red velvet. See you next fall, pumpkin. As the days get warmer and pastel tulips start to spring up in the garden, it’s time for light, fresh desserts that are as bright and sunny as Mother Nature herself. And this lemon layer cake with lemon cream cheese buttercream certainly fits the bill!

Like sunshine on a plate, this lemon layer cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction is delicate and bright, and it has the perfect balance of creamy, sweet and citrusy flavors.


The secret to this springy cake is the inclusion of buttermilk and fresh lemons. You can find the full recipe here.

Sally points out that it’s important to sift your flour (before measuring it for this recipe), as this step will help to make your cake extra fluffy and light. Have you seen people on baking shows doing this and wondered whether sifting really matters? Yes, it truly does make a difference — it can even alter how much the flour weighs! — so spend the few extra minutes to ensure that your cake is bakery-quality. (This sifter from Amazon is a good basic sifter for bakers of all levels.)

The star of this lemon layer cake is truly the lemon cream cheese buttercream. In the recipe’s intro, which you’ll definitely want to read for tips before you get started, Sally notes that she didn’t want to choose between cream cheese and buttercream, so she decided to use both. And yes, you should go for full-fat cream cheese!

If you’re making this cake for a spring birthday or an extra special occasion, you can elevate this cake with some truly beautiful garnishes. We love the idea of using edible flowers (such as this edible flower set from Williams Sonoma), or decorating the top of the cake with lemon slices (Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular, so they are perfect as a garnish) or fresh blueberries.

Williams Sonoma

Still loving lemons? Lemons are not only delicious, they are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. You can enjoy the sweet, tangy goodness of this citrus all season long with tasty treats like lemon blueberry cheesecake bars, or these lemon blondies with lemon glaze.