Lemon Cream Cake
This Lemon Cream Cake features layers of delicious lemon cake topped with a light whipped frosting and crunchy crumbles!
Truth be told, I almost always prefer chocolate over fruit when it comes to dessert. A slice of this Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake or this Chocolate Chocolate Cake along with a glass of bold red wine would be my idea of the perfect dessert. But with that said, I’m not going to turn down a slice of this Lemon Cream Cake. Truth be told, I’d happily gobble down a slice of this cake and not complain one bit.
Let’s talk about truth for a moment. Have you heard of the Bocca della Verita? Allow the Roman historian in me to take over for just a brief moment here. I promise we’ll talk about this Lemon Cream Cake soon!
The Bocca della Verita (aka the Mouth of Truth) is a large marble statue of sorts located in Rome. According to legend, if someone places their hand inside the statue’s mouth and then tells a lie, the statue will bite off the liar’s hand. Ouch! For you movie buffs out there, this scene was reenacted by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. The Bocca della Verita currently hangs on an outside wall of Santa Maria in Cosmedin near the site of the Roman Forum.
Testing one’s fate at the Mouth of Truth is a classic stop for Roman tourists. It’s free to visit…unless you lie and come away with one less hand. Plus, it’s just fun to recreate that scene from Roman Holiday. To up the ante a bit, legend has it that a priest used to hide behind the statue with a scorpion and ‘dispense’ justice to suspected liars. Now I’m not a liar, but I’m not too eager to stick my hand in a closed space full of scorpions. Call me crazy and all.
Lemon Cream Cake
Shifting attention away from truth, lies and scorpions, let’s talk about this delicious Lemon Cream Cake. The cake itself is packed with lemony goodness, but the frosting is what makes this one really fun! Instead of a traditional buttercream, I decided to go with a lighter version here. I thought about a cream cheese frosting, but it just felt too heavy for the bright lemon flavors going on in this cake. In the end, I went with a cream cheese frosting folded with whipped cream. This lightened up the frosting a bit, and it’s an excellent match for the lemon flavor in the cake. Truth be told, I could’ve eaten that frosting by the spoonful. And I’d say that with my hand in the Bocca della Verita!
As much as I love the lightened-up frosting here, I did want to include a bit of crunch to this cake. I wasn’t sure how to go about this. At first I thought about chopping up vanilla Oreo’s and sprinkling them on top. But that required a trip to the store, and I was feeling lazy. So I experimented a bit. I took my streusel topping recipe and tried baking it by itself. In my head, the streusel would’ve browned in beautiful clusters like it does on top of muffins or coffee cakes. In truth, it melted into a thin sheet once it got baked. (Good thing I put foil down on that pan, eh?)
I was about to go back to the crunchy drawing board when I realized that the cooled streusel could still be chopped up and sprinkled on top. So that’s what I did! Feel free to do the same, or experiment with another crunchy option. Either way, I hope you enjoy this Lemon Cream Cake as much as we did! Cheers, friends!
Did you make this Lemon Cream Cake at home? Leave a comment and let me know! Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).
Looking for more lemon desserts? Check out these favorites:
No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
Lemon Cream Tart
Lemon Blueberry 7UP Pound Cake
Lemon Raspberry Semifreddo
Baked Lemon Doughnuts
Lemon Cream Cake
For the Cake
- 2½ cups cake flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest ~1 large lemon
For the Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
For the Crumb Topping
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup powdered sugar + more for garnish
- ½ Tbsp lemon zest
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Cake
- Grease and flour (2) 9” round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper; set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well combined; set aside.
- Using a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (~2-3 minutes on medium speed). Add the egg and egg whites; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add the milk, sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest; mix on low speed until well combined. Add the remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed until well combined. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully mixed.)
- Divide the batter evenly into the 2 prepared cake pans.
- Bake at 350°F for 32-34 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack until completely cool.
For the Frosting
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth; set aside.
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
For the Crumb Topping
- Using a medium bowl, add all ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Line a baking pan with foil and spread crumb topping on top. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Let crumb topping cool completely and then crumble into small pieces.
- Place one layer of cake on a large plate.
- Remove ¾ cup of filling and set aside. Spread the remaining frosting evenly on the bottom layer of cake.
- Add second layer of cake. Use remaining frosting to frost sides of cake. Gently press crumbled topping on top.
- Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours prior to serving.
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Gotta love the experimentation of cooking. It sounds like you had success! This cake looks lovely and that crunchy topping sounds just perfect – and that’s the total truth! 🙂
The experimentation is the best part of the kitchen, right? I mean I love making my ‘go-to’ favorites, but it’s fun to get in there and just play around, too. Thanks so much, Kathy!
Thank you! This is a tasty and fun cake for sure! 🙂
Hi David! This cake sounds fantastic! I have a few cakes that I make a couple of times a year only because if I made them more often I’d eat them all by myself!! I think toasted cocont would make a nice topping. We went to a friend’s birthday party last night at restaurant a couple we are friends with opened last year and the owner had made a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (one of my favorite cakes). I’m sitting here eating a big piece that I took home and I have another piece in the frig What’s a few hundred calories? 🙂
I totally know what you mean about spacing out the cakes, Dorothy! For our favorites, we wrap up individual slices and then freeze ’em for a couple weeks later when we want a sweet treat on Saturday night. Oh man, now that you mentioned that carrot cake, I am totally craving carrot cake! Talk about one of my favorites for sure. 🙂 Sounds like you had a great dinner party, my friend!
I’ve never heard of the Bocca della Verita! That folklore about it biting off the hand of someone lying sounds like movie fodder to me…love it!
And I also love creamy, citrus desserts. I’m with you about tending toward chocolate, but, let me tell you I’d love to sit down to a slice of this cake!
I love history, so it’s fun to delve into stories like the Bocca della Verita! I also love baking, so I particularly enjoy getting in the kitchen and whipping up fun cakes and desserts. This time of the year when the snow is (almost) all gone, I’m all about some fresh flavors. Pass me a slice of lemon cake! 🙂
This cake is to die for. Honestly, I think your blog is the best out there. Your recipes are outstanding. I love the frosting too with the crunch!
Thank you so much for the kind words, Grace! 🙂 I do love a good cake, but I’m all about texture, too. The crunch on the frosting here is a tasty (and fun) twist. I appreciate the comment, my friend!
Ah, I am craving this right now.
That looks SO good! I am lemon obsessed – sweet or savoury. This cake is something I must make soon!
Yes! This cake is perfect for lemon lovers, Alexandra. Nice and light, but the crunch brings a fun twist for sure. Thanks so much, my friend! Happy baking!
Any kind of cake which is lemon related gets my vote. In fact any kind of cake gets my vote but more so those that have lemon in them! Well done on experimenting in the kitchen to get that crunchy topping. This lemon cream cake looks amazing. Well I’ve had my fill of looking at your delicious pictures so I’m inspired and I’m off to the kitchen to cook now. Have a great weeekend with the family David!
I hope you had a great weekend in the kitchen, Neil! I actually spent the weekend up in Canada curling, so not much cooking/baking happened here. But I’m back in town now, and I’m ready to get to work! I just wish I had some leftover slices of this cake…guess I’ll just need to make another one, eh? 🙂
Lemon Cream Cake…Yummm!
Love this interesting combination of tangy lemony flavors and the sweetness of the cake.
And yeah, I also liked the Bocca della Verita story. Such a fascinating one!
That Bocca della Verita is such a unique story. You know it’s safe…but it still makes you wonder before you go stick your hand in there! 🙂 And, yes, this lemon cake is quite tasty for sure. Thanks so much, Harshad!
Truth be told, in 94.7 % I’ll choose decadent flavours like chocolate, caramel, or coffee in desserts, especially in ice cream. However, I started noticing a very interesting things last year: I’m becoming more open to light and fruity flavours like strawberry or orange ice cream. Is this age or what? And talking about cakes, a lemon cake is a good exception as I like its refreshing taste. I’ve been thinking of making an ultimate lemon dessert (the combo of a cake and trifle), and my choice would be cream cheese frosting as well. Delicious creation!
94.7%, eh? Is that a scientific calculation that has been determined through many rounds of testing? 🙂 I hear ya on the chocolate, but for me it’s also seasonal. When Spring first starts to come around, I light citrusy flavors. And they also say your taste buds change every 7 years, so that could be it, too. Speaking of that, I haven’t seen any lavender recipes on your site in a while. Perhaps your taste buds have indeed changed!
Truth be known, I sure wouldn’t tempt fate and tell a lie. A lovely looking cake. It looks fluffy and light like a lemony cloud.
Vanilla Oreo?? What the heck is that? Vanilla cookies with a chocolate center?
You really would be tempting fate to stick your hand in the bocca della verita! You don’t have vanilla Oreos over there? They’re delicious! I think they’re technically called ‘golden Oreos,’ but they’re a vanilla cookie with vanilla filling. Thanks, Ron! I hope you had a great weekend, my friend!
I could eat half that cake in one sitting, and that’s something I’d say with my hand on the Bocca della Verita :). If I can’t have chocolate in my dessert, then I definitely want some lemon. I love the sound of that frosting! (Do you ever spread leftover frosting on graham crackers? It’s one of my favorite snacks and I might have to make a batch of your frosting just to have some for my afternoon snack sesh tomorrow.)
Haha! You aren’t lying one bit then, Kelsie! 🙂 Oh man, I totally know what you mean about leftover frosting as a dip or spread for graham crackers. Speaking of graham crackers, now I really want to go eat one for breakfast! Maybe I’ll hold off on the frosting portion until afternoon snack, though. Maybe.
Lemon desserts are always lovely, so straight away, I’m into this cake. Truth be told (I don’t want my hand bitten off!), the frosting is almost always my favorite part of a cake. In fact I’ve been known to leave cake on the plate, sans frosting. (GASP!) I love how you gave this buttercream a lighter texture to go with the bright flavor of the lemon. Perfect.
You and Laura both! Laura always says cake is just a vessel for frosting. Me on the other hand? I like both. I’m always searching for that bite with the perfect ratio of frosting to cake. So this lemon cake is a tasty one, and it’s perfect for these early Spring days. The snow is almost all melted up here in the tundra, Valentina! Haha!
David, truth be told, I would prefer this lemon cream cake over chocolate cake! I love lemon cake and that frosting is amazing! I love how light and creamy it is. The crunchy streusel on top gives the perfect contrasting crunch. I had a surprise result when making streusel on my Thanksgiving sweet potatoes. It all melted into a crisp layer, like a brûlée. Not the intended result – but it turned out even better. Don’t you love it when an accident turns out to be fabulous?!
I’ve totally had those accidents before, too, Kelly! It took me forever to figure out how to get a good streusel on top of a coffee cake. Every time, the streusel would melt into the cake. Like it was gone. It was there when I put it in the oven. It was gone when I took it out. (I think the batter was too thin?) Either way, I kept it until I got it. The good news on this lemon cake is the streusel is just sprinkled on top once all is said and done. Haha! Thanks so much, my friend!
It’s funny, I used to dislike any type of lemon dessert.. but in the last few years I’ve started liking them more. And this cake sounds so good to me right now! My mom loves lemon so maybe I’ll make this for her sometime.
Hah! They say pregnancy messes with your taste buds. Forget pickles and ice cream…maybe you’re on the lemon train! 🙂 This is definitely a fun cake, and I like how soft and light the frosting is. Perfect for the flavor! Thanks, Nicole!
I absolutely love lemon cakes, as a matter of fact, I had some at a friend’s dinner party Saturday. Hers was very good but it would be not match to your recipe. Thanks for sharing…I’ve pinned.
Thanks, Karen! I’m with ya on the lemon cakes this time of the year. I’m absolutely desperate for warm days, and the thought of lemon just pairs perfectly with warm days, right? I particularly love the light frosting with this cake. It’s a good one for sure! 🙂
Looks absolutely fantastic! Looks light but yet has a nice cream center that looks so creamy and yummy! I am also following you on Pinterest!
Hey there, Bernice! Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting. This cake really is a fun one, and that frosting is the perfect match to the flavor since it’s nice and whipped. I appreciate you following me on Pinterest, too…I just popped over and followed you back! 🙂