I'm sharing this amazing Lemon Curd Cake with you today. A tender, moist sponge flavoured with lemon curd for extra lemony goodness. Topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting and more lemon curd, this simple-to-make cake will fast become a family favourite.
Simple, rustic-style cakes are one of my favourite cakes to make for my family or friends. Unassuming yet unbelievably delicious, this type of cake must be on your re-make list.
This Lemon Curd Cake has lots of lemon flavour with lemon curd and zest in the simple sponge batter. The cream cheese frosting is a luscious optional extra but pairs beautifully against the tangy curd on top.
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Uses basic ingredients. All the ingredients are basic pantry or fridge staples. I've used homemade lemon curd but feel free to use store-bought for ease.
- Amazing lemon flavour. Both the lemon curd and the lemon sponge have lots of delicious lemon flavour. The perfect combination of sweet yet tangy.
- Simple to make. The cake itself is so easy to make. This is simplicity at its best. Homely, wholesome and delicious.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Whilst the ingredient list is simple and short, I've made some notes below to help you make this Lemon Curd Cake. I've also added substitutions where I can to help you along, too.
I'm going to be honest. Homemade Lemon Curd tastes better than store-bought. That's a fact. It's not as sweet; it's creamier and more tangy.
So, if you have twenty minutes to spare, make your own. My Homemade Lemon Curd guide shows you exactly how. Make sure to check it out.
But if you don't want to go homemade, then go for the store-bought lemon curd option. It's still delicious and your cake will still be dreamy.
- Lemon Zest - Don't scrimp on the lemon zest. We want lots of it to provide plenty of lemony flavour inside the sponge. I used 2 large lemons.
- Eggs - Use two large eggs and make sure the eggs are at room temperature before making this recipe. This will help emulsify them into the batter and create a more tender sponge.
- Butter - I've used unsalted butter at room temperature. Do not use cold butter as it won't aerate enough when creamed with the sugar and the result will be a denser textured sponge.
- White Sugar - granulated, caster, golden, or light brown sugar can be used for this cake.
- Lemon Curd - Make sure to measure this out accurately. During testing, I found that too much lemon curd made the cake have a gummy texture.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese - I prefer this to be at room temperature as I find the lumps beat out more easily. Also, use Philadelphia if you can as it's the best brand out there for cream cheese.
- Icing Sugar - Sift the powdered sugar to remove any lumps.
- Whilst researching this recipe, I saw many add the lemon curd in the middle of the batter prior to baking. I tested this method a couple of times, but the extra moisture just made the sponge gummy. So to get the flavour, I incorporated the lemon curd into the dough and altered the ratios of flour and eggs to suit.
- If you want an even bigger lemon curd kick, once baked and cooled to room temperature, poke holes into the cake and pipe more curd into the holes.
- Leave off the cream cheese topping and prior to baking add a tablespoon or two of coarse sugar. It'll bake up nice and crunchy. Serve as is or spoon lemon curd directly on top when the cake has cooled.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make
I've included step-by-step instructions and process images throughout this section for you to follow along.
Anyone can make this cake - it's a simple one.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Make the Lemon Sponge Cake
STEP 1. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together. This is a brilliant tip you must do every time you add citrus zest and sugar to a recipe. This action releases the citrus oils into the sugar, giving it more flavour (Images 1 & 2).
STEP 2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the butter and sugar to the stand mixer bowl and cream until pale. Make sure to scrape down the base and sides of the bowl as you go. The butter should be visibly aerated and paler - this process can take up to 5 minutes (Images 3 & 4).
STEP 3. Add the eggs. One at a time add the eggs mixing well after each addition (Images 5 & 6). Scrape the base and sides of the bowl again. If the mixture looks curdled, then this tells you that the butter and eggs were not at the same temperature. This is a telltale sign. Add a tablespoon of the flour to help bring the batter together.
STEP 4. Add the lemon curd (Image 7). Beat it into the batter until just combined.
STEP 5. Add the flour. Sift into the mixing bowl the flour, the baking powder and salt. Beat until a few flour streaks remain (Images 9 & 10). Whatever you do, don't over beat as this leads to a sponge that isn't nice and fluffy.
STEP 6. Add batter to the pan and bake. Spoon the batter into a greased and lined 20cm (8-inch) springform or high-sided cake pan. Level off with an offset spatula (Image 9).
Bake on the centre shelf for 45-50 minutes until golden brown, the sponge springs back, or a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover the cake in aluminium foil if it is browning too quickly and continue baking. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then remove from the pan to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting and Assemble
STEP 7: Add cream cheese and icing sugar into a bowl and beat until creamy. Spoon frosting over the cooled cake and swirl. Dollop lemon curd onto the frosting and swirl through with the back of the spoon. Slice and serve straight away!
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- Don't overmix the batter. Overworked batter leads to a thick, dense sponge rather than light and tender.
- Measure out your ingredients with digital scales. I've always been an advocate for baking with scales. It's far more accurate than using cups.
- Use room-temperature butter, eggs, and lemon curd. The batter emulsifies far better.
- Tent the cake in foil. If you feel the cake is browning too quickly then make sure to tent it in foil to prevent the top from over-browning whilst the inside of the cake is still baking.
📋 Recipe FAQs
The most likely reason is due to adding too much flour to the batter. Weighing using digital scales is the most accurate way to measure out the ingredients.
Not if you have enough flour in the recipe and the ratio of wet to dry ingredients is correct.
❄️ Storage and Freezer Instructions
To Store: The Lemon Curd Cake is best stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. After this, it can be refrigerated for another two days.
To freeze: The cake is best frozen before decorating. Either freeze as a whole, wrapped well in plastic wrap, or place in an airtight container. Alternatively, slice and wrap individual slices in plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2 months. Leave at room temperature to thaw overnight, then decorate with frosting.
🍋 More Lemon Flavoured Recipes
If you tried this Lemon Curd Cake or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Delicious Lemon Curd Cake Recipe
- Springform pan 20cm (8-inch) or 2lb loaf pan
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 2 large lemons zested
- 170 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 120 g lemon curd, homemade or store-bought
- 330 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
Cream Cheese Topping
- 60 g cream cheese, ⅓ cup
- 130 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- 60 g lemon curd
- Heat oven & prep pan: Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Grease with butter a 20cm (8-inch) springform pan and line the base with parchment paper. Alternatively, use a high sided cake pan with removable base.
- Rub the lemon zest and sugar together. Add sugared lemon zest into the bowl of a stand mixer, and using your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar for a minute or so. This releases the oils.
- Cream butter and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter to the lemon sugar and beat on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the base and sides of the bowl.
- Add in eggs. Add eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated after each addition. Again, scrape down the base and sides of the bowl.
- Add lemon curd. Mix in the lemon curd until just combined.
- Sift in dry ingredients: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until a few flour streaks remain.
- Bake: Pour batter into the prepared pan and level. Bake on the centre shelf for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and the sponge springs back or a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover it in aluminium foil and continue to bake. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then remove the cake from the pan to cool.
- Decorate. Add cream cheese and powdered icing sugar into a medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and lump-free. Spoon onto the top of the lemon curd cake and smooth out to the edges.Dollop the remaining lemon curd and swirl through the cream cheese frosting. Slice and serve immediately.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.