The Candied Lemon Cake is layers of lemon cake, filled with fresh lemon curd and vanilla buttercream, then covered in vanilla buttercream, chocolate sprays, vanilla drip, and candied lemons! It's beautiful and bright and delicious - perfect for spring and summer celebrations!
This super popular cake was born by accident. A couple of months ago, I was at the zoo with my kids and friends when I got a phone call from a new client. I can't even remember who she said referred her. But that's not important.
She asked me to make a lemon cake for her adult daughter's birthday. Her daughter loved lemons and lemon cake - and it would be a small family gathering so she didn't need a large cake. I was given the freedom to decorate the cake however I liked (I love cake orders like that!). Her only request was that it be pretty.
So, the following weekend I made this cake:
Then I shared the Candied Lemon Cake on Facebook and over the past two months, I've made almost a dozen of them. I almost never do that many copycat cakes, but this one has been on fire! 🔥🔥🔥
So... if you're looking for a cake to add to your menu this spring, give this one a try!! The cake was mostly based on this Lemon Icebox Cake I shared years ago. With a few updates and additions that I'll share below.
The first change was adding candied lemons. As I mentioned in the Candied Lemons recipe post, I'd wanted to make candied lemons for a while so that was one of my first thoughts on how to decorate the cake and make it pretty.
They are surprisingly easy to make and are such a pretty and sweet decoration. They also keep See the video below:
Another big flavor pop for this cake is the Lemon Curd in the filling. If you've never made lemon curd, I'd seriously encourage you to give it a try. I have shared two recipes in the past... Microwave Lemon Curd and a more traditional Lemon Curd recipe here.
For the Lemon Icebox Cake, I used Cream Cheese Frosting but for this Lemon Cake, I've stuck to basic Vanilla Buttercream. Of course, the Cream Cheese Buttercream would be delicious but I really like the vanilla buttercream on this one and it's one less step.
I really love Duncan Hines Lemon Cake mix and that's what I've been using for this cake. I do a doctored recipe (shared below) and it is perfection. A single batch works perfectly for two 7-inch pans and all but one of my orders has been the 7-inch size. You could also split it between two 8-inch pans; just keep in mind that the cake won't be quite as tall.
On the side of each cake, I do a little yellow drip. It only takes about half a cup (or less) to do drip around the edge of the cake (about a third of the way). I have a full tutorial on using canned frosting for drip cake here (my favorite way!) but you could also use ganache or candy melts to do the drip.
And lastly, I don't have a tutorial for how to do these, but they're so easy-peasy. I usually just melt a little almond bark, then use a spoon to drop a dollop on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and smear it out to get this look:
Then I pop them in the freezer for a few minutes and they're ready. There's really no right or wrong but with a little practice, you'll master those. If you'd like a little guidance, check out this video for chocolate brushstrokes.
- Having done this cake a few times now, I tend to mix it up but some of my favorite tips are the Wilton 1M, the Ateco #825 and Ateco #864.
- For the color, I always use Americolor gel and for this cake, I used Lemon Yellow and Egg Yellow.
- A few white sugar pearls and gold sugar pearls were added to the top and side.
Earlier this week I made a slight variation of the cake and called it a Strawberry Lemonade Cake. Below the pic, I'll share the differences for this cake:
I used the same doctored cake recipe for this cake, but with a couple of tablespoons of freeze-dried strawberry powder in the batter. I also baked it in 8-inch pans. And instead of lemon curd, I used strawberry filling between the layers of cake. The strawberry filling was a variation of this raspberry filling... but with strawberries.
And lastly, the most obvious change was adding a little pink into the decor. I used Americolor Electric Pink, and some pink sugar pearls alongside the candied lemons, white chocolate brushstrokes, and yellow drip.
And it was SO pretty! Plus, the client loved it! Alrighty... without further delay, here's the recipe:Print
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, dry pudding mix, flour, eggs, oil, water, and sour cream. Mix until well incorporated.
- Divide into two 7-inch (or 8-inch) pans.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Cool completely.
- Place one layer on a cake board (or cake stand), top-down, and pipe a stiff dam of frosting around the edge.
- Spread the lemon curd on the layer of cake, then fill the dam of frosting with vanilla buttercream.
- Top with the second layer of cake.
- Frost the outside of the cake with vanilla buttercream and smooth it. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Add the yellow drip to the chilled cake and chill again until it's set.
- Decorate with more buttercream, chocolate brushes, and candied lemons.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: candied lemons, candied, lemon, lemons, cake, vanilla, buttercream,