Lemon Butter Cake | chef dennis

This easy Southern Lemon Buttermilk Layer Cake is a classic dessert perfect for the spring and summer months. Light and fluffy with a tangy lemon cream cheese frosting, it’s a deliciously refreshing dessert your friends and family will love!

Lemon Butter Pie SlicePhoto byChef Dennis Littley

This delicious cake is perfect for the lemon lover in your home and although I don’t make it often enough, it is one of my all-time favorite cake recipes.

Lemon Butter CakePhoto byChef Dennis Littley

If you love lemon desserts, my Lemon Cheesecake Y lemon ice cream These are recipes you must try!

How to make lemon butter cakePhoto byChef Dennis Littley

Follow my easy step by step instructions to make this delicious cake.

Lemon Butter CakePhoto byChef Dennis Littley

There’s something special about southern-style pies; the overall flavor and texture is what all cakes should aspire to. Wouldn’t your friends and family love to sit down for a slice of this delicious Lemon Buttermilk Pie?

How to make lemon butter cake

Visit for the full printable recipe with amounts of each ingredient and chef’s tips for my Lemon Buttermilk Cake.

Ingredients to make Lemon Butter CakePhoto byChef Dennis Littley


Lemon cake

  • butter
  • granulated sugar
  • all purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • Salt
  • big eggs
  • buttermilk
  • lemon juice
  • lemon extract
  • vanilla extract
  • grated lemon

cream cheese frosting

  • unsalted butter – softened
  • cream cheese – room temperature
  • lemon juice
  • vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • powdered sugar


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Lemon cake

  • Grease three 9-inch pans with butter and line bottoms with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until well blended and pale yellow in color.
  • Beat the eggs, buttermilk, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and lemon extract in a bowl and set aside until needed.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl.
  • Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Add half of the milk mixture and combine. Repeat this process until all the flour and milk have been added, adding the lemon zest with the last addition of the flour.
  • Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl during the process to make sure everything is mixed.
  • Divide the batter among the three prepared pans.
  • Bake at 350 for 25 -30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes rest in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove from the pans and transfer the layers to a wire rack to cool.
  • *Allow layers to cool completely before assembling and frosting.

cream cheese frosting

  • With an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt and mix until just combined,
  • Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until you have the desired consistency for the frosting.


  • Place the first layer of cake face down on a cake stand or serving plate. Add about 1 cup of the frosting to the layer and spread it evenly over the cake.
  • Place the second cake layer right side up on top of the frosted layer. Repeat the process from the first layer.
  • Add the last cake layer pan side down on top of the iced cake layers. Top with cream cheese frosting, creating a thicker layer.
  • Add a very light layer of frosting to the sides of the cake to act as a crumb coat.
  • When the crumb coat has dried, finish frosting the sides of the cake.
  • Using a piping bag, add swirls of frosting around the outer edge of the top of the cake. This is optional.
  • Add a ring of halved lemon slices around the outside of the bottom of the cake for garnish. This is optional.
  • Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour before serving.