Layered Meyer Lemon Cake

Layered Meyer Lemon Cake

When life hands you lemons, make a cake. A layered Meyer lemon cake.

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What I love most about living in Jackson, WY is that it's a small town. Walking through town square there's a handful of people to say hello to. Sitting down for dinner your child's teacher is sitting at the table next to you. You actually take time to know your neighbors. Some people may roll their eyes at this, thinking it sounds dreadful. Who wants to see the same people all the time? But to my fortune, the Jackson locals are a wonderful crowd, and this small town is truly special.

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The people in Jackson are warm, generous, and kind.

A few days ago, I received an unexpected message, from a casual acquaintance, who had a bag of Meyer lemons. Meyer lemons, with their vibrant color and unique flavor, are hard to come by in Wyoming. Her family had brought them from California and she didn't want them to go bad. Knowing I'm from California as well, she was thoughtful enough to share them with me. I happily accepted, letting her know whatever I baked I'd share right back. 

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My mom used to always say, "Love grows best in tiny houses". I'm beginning to believe friendships grow best in tiny towns.

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Now that life had literally handed me lemons, it was time to bake something amazing. A delightfully light, perfectly citrusy, fresh and zesty Meyer lemon cake, layered with lemon curd and tangy lemon cream cheese frosting. It's bursting with lemon flavor, bringing welcomed thoughts of it's the middle of winter and currently 1° outside. 

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If you make this cake, share it. You'll brighten someone's day as she did mine.

Layered Meyer Lemon Cake

* Makes three 8" layers

  • 3 cups plus 3 tbsp cake flour, sifted 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh Meyer lemon zest, about 3-4 small lemons
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups minus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •  1 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice

Baker's Note: This is a high altitude cake recipe. Please email me for altitude adjustments. If you can't find Meyer lemons, regular lemons will work fine.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 8″ round cake pans. 
  2. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and lemon zest. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the whole milk and lemon juice. The mixture will curdle, similar to buttermilk. Set aside. 
  4. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix well after each addition.
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/3 of the milk mixture. Repeat twice, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Mix till just combined. 
  7. Divide batter evenly between the three 8″ round cake pans. 
  8. Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  9. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from their pans and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces (2 blocks) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 7 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of kosher salt
  1. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter till smooth. 
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Mix till combined.
  3. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pinch of salt. Mix on high speed for 2 minutes till smooth. 


  • I jar of high quality store-bought lemon curd (I use Stonewall Kitchen)
  1. Place one layer of cooled cake, flat side down, onto a serving plate. Top the layer with a generous scoop of lemon cream cheese frosting. Spread evenly to the edges. Add a heaping tablespoon of lemon curd, swirling it into the frosting. 
  2. Repeat with the second cake layer.
  3. Add the final layer, flat side up.
  4. Apply a crumb coat and allow to set in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Use the remaining frosting to cover the entire cake.
  6. Serve at room temperature. Cake can be made one day ahead, keep covered in fridge.


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