Lemon Cake

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This lovely Lemon Cake is a family favorite dessert. Made with lemon juice, lemon zest and buttermilk, it’s the perfect cake for lemon lovers!

Lemon cake dusted with powdered sugar and lemon zest on a metal tray

When it comes to desserts, a lovely lemon cake ranks pretty high on my list.

With my household shrinking as my kids graduate and go on to college and beyond, I find myself hesitating to bake large cakes.

We certainly don’t want to eat the same cake for days. With this smaller lemon cake recipe, we can enjoy a lovely lemon cake fresh out of the oven with not much leftover.

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Lemon cake on a metal tray

This luscious lemon cake is the perfect size. it’s baked in my gorgeous citrus pan that I found at Sur La Table. Any standard sized loaf pan will work. This pan was totally one of those impulse purchases. I saw it and fell in love and imagined all the citrus recipe possibilities.

Truth is, I actually use this pan a lot. The cake comes out of it so easily and I don’t need to add anything to “decorate” the cake. I think this lemon cake is lovely on it’s own.

Sliced lemon cake dusted with powdered sugar and lemon zest on a metal tray

Lemon Cake

I based this lemon cake recipe on my Lemon and Grapefruit Buttermilk Bundt Cake recipe.

It’s one of my favorite recipes on our travel blog, ZagLeft and apparently, our readers seem to agree.

The crumb on this lemon cake is incredibly tender and the crust so perfectly crisp. The buttermilk helps with this. Buttermilk is a magical ingredient that helps transform the texture of baked goods and tends to give them a melt-in-our-mouth texture.

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Lemon Cake Recipe

Lemon Cake

This lovely Lemon Cake is a family favorite dessert. Made with lemon juice, lemon zest and buttermilk, it’s the perfect cake for lemon lovers!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 1 loaf cake
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Powdered sugar (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray the inside of a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine sugar, butter and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Beat for about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix well.
  • Reduce mixing speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Place the pan on a cooling rack and cool, about 30 minutes.
  • Carefully invert cake onto rack; remove pan and let cake cool completely.
  • Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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13 thoughts on “Lemon Cake”

  1. Dee Dee (My Midlife Kitchen)

    You had me at lemon. :o) I love it in just about any dish, sweet or savory. This cake is beautiful, and I’m sure it’s equally delicious!

  2. Heather Kinnaird

    I have been eyeing that pan for months, now I know I need to have it! what a lovely cake

  3. carrie @ frugal foodie mama

    First of all, LOVE this cake! Love all the bright lemon flavor. 🙂 And second of all, I have been crushing on that loaf pan since yesterday. I am pretty sure that I am going to have to buy it now, lol.

  4. Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    Gorgeous loaf pan for a lovely cake! I’m a citrus (lemon particularly) lover, and I can’t think of a better treat to enjoy!

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