Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream
sallysbakingaddiction.com
sallysbakingaddiction.com
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 11/3 cup (80ml) fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 13 cups (345g) sifted all-purpose flour* (spoon & leveled) 1 Tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar 4 large eggs, at room temperature 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk 1 heaping Tablespoon lemon zest (about 2 lemons) 1/3 cup (80ml) fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons) Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 8 ounces (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature5 5 cups (600g) confectioners' sugar 2 Tablespoons (30ml) fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract pinch salt, to tastePreheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the cakes seamlessly release from the pans. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract on high speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients just until combined. With the mixer still running on low, add the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix just until combined. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be a little thick. Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for around 21-26 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until completely smooth and combined. Add confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more confectioners' sugar if frosting is too thin, more lemon juice if frosting is too thick, or add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. (I always add a pinch of salt!) Assemble and decorate: Using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!). Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand, cake turntable, or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with about 1 cup of frosting. Top with 2nd cake layer and evenly cover the top with about 1 cup of frosting. Top with the third cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Refrigerate for at least 30-45 minutes before slicing. This helps the cake hold its shape when cutting. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days. Make ahead tip: The cake layers can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be prepared then covered and refrigerated overnight. Let the frosting sit at room temperature to slightly soften for 10 minutes before assembling and frosting. Frosted cake or unfrosted cake layers can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before decorating/serving.

Instructions

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