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10 of the Best Lemon Cake Recipes

I’ve always thought that eating a lemon cake is as close to eating sunshine as you can get. There’s something about a lemon cake’s zesty and tangy freshness that makes my taste buds sing.

Lemon cake just makes me happy. And isn’t that what cake is all about?

When choosing your lemons, select the ones that seem heavy for their size and feel slightly soft. They should give a little in your hand when you gently squeeze them. These will be the juiciest lemons. And we all want juicy, fragrant lemons don’t we.

And a quick word on zesting lemons. You really only want the very top, thin layer of zest. Any of the white pith will add bitterness – not what we’re looking for. Ideally when you’ve finished zesting a lemon it should still look yellow. If it looks white, you’ve gone too deep. The Microplane Classic Zesteris great and has a well-deserved cult following (use a light hand though – it’s still possible to go too deep with the Microplane).

Here are 10 of my favorite lemon cake recipes. Enjoy!

1. Limoncello Lemon Cake

Limoncello Lemon Cake

Heavenly zesty lemons and a splash of limoncello transform a simple cake recipe into something truly special. This cake absolutely sparkles with flavour. Don’t worry about the limoncello if you don’t have it – good old lemon juice is just as wonderful.


2. Raspberry Lemon Cake

Raspberry Lemon Cake

This amazing cake combines three of my favourite things – raspberries, home-made lemon curd and cake. If you like these things too, I guarantee you will love this great lemon cake recipe.


3. Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

lemon poppy seed cake

What lemon cake recipe list would be complete without a lemon poppy seed cake? A truly classic combination, this version has lemon in the cake, lemon in the syrup and lemon in the icing. Lemony bliss.


4. Lemon Berry Shortcake

Lemon Berry Shortcake

A fresh and light lemon zest spiked cake is sweetened with lush, juicy berries and a deliciously rich cream cheese frosting. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.


5. Lemon Polenta and Almond Cake

Lemon, Polenta and Almond Cake

With the zest and juice of four lemons expect a big flavour hit from this lovely Lemon, Polenta and Almond Cake.

The ground almonds and polenta give the cake a gorgeous texture and a splash of amaretto never hurts now does it.


6. Lemon and Lavender Cake

Lemon and Lavender Cake

A beautiful and elegant cake with a glaze that’s beyond delicious.

The combination of lemon and lavender is exquisite – and the smell of your home while you’re baking this delight will make you swoon.


7. Lemon Cake with Berry Sauce

Lemon Cake with Berry Sauce

A super-easy, basic lemon cake is jazzed up with a bright, luscious berry sauce. It’s a wonderful combination. Frozen berries work brilliantly in the sauce and give you the same intense, vibrant colour.


8. Blueberry, Lemon, Poppy Seed and Almond Cake

Blueberry Lemon Almond Cake

Blueberry and lemon is a wonderful flavor combination. Here, the blueberries really are the star, but lemon plays a very strong supporting role to bring you a cake that’s simply sublime.


9. Lemon Rosemary and Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Rosemary Cake

The sweetness and light perfume of finely chopped rosemary adds a hint of something special, and a little unusual, to this lovely Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake. For when you want an elegant flavor combination that’s not overly sweet.


10. Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry and Pimms Compote

Lemon and Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry and Pimms compote

A delicious and delicate lemon buttermilk cake is topped with a truly inspired compote of strawberries spiked with Pimms. Delightful in so many ways.


So, as you can see I do love my lemon cakes. But I’m also very fond of orange, lime and mandarin cakes too. Are you the same?

As a fellow citrus cake lover, you might want to stop by The Answer Is Cake’s Citrus Cake Recipe Collection. There are even a few unusual cakes like this Grapefruit Tea Cake and this Tangerine Cake to keep things interesting. I’m sure you’ll find something there to add some zesty sparkle to your day.

Happy baking my lemon-cake-loving friends!

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2 Responses to 10 of the Best Lemon Cake Recipes

  1. Mary-Anne at #

    Thanks – this is a good list. You might want to remind people to scrub their lemons before they zest them. You need to get rid of the wax coating (unless you’ve got your own tree, buy organic etc)

    • Good tip Mary-Anne. Thanks for reminding us about that waxy covering.
      Another thing to be aware of when you’re zesting any citrus is not to go too deep. The white pith is bitter and you don’t want that. Only use the very surface of the skin.

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