Lemon Curd Layer Cake Recipe with Swiss Meringue Buttercream | Almonds and Apricots
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Lemon Curd Layer Cake Recipe: Featuring Swiss Meringue Buttercream

9 Mins read

Now, this is just a personal opinion, but I believe lemon curd layer cake is a must-have in your cake arsenal because it’s a classic crowd-pleaser. But don’t worry; you don’t need to be an experienced baker to pull this one off!

This recipe comes together in only a few easy steps. You can also decorate this cake to your heart’s desire with my delicious lemon Swiss meringue buttercream recipe, making it a perfect choice for parties and special occasions.

P.S. If you love fresh, fruity desserts as much as I do, try my toasted lemon tart as well! Pipeable Swiss Meringue Buttercream could also be a wonderful option.

NOTE: My recipe makes: 3 layered 6” cake OR 2 layer 8”. Of course, you can also adjust the recipe for your needs.

Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Here’s What You’ll Need:
  • Mixer with paddle and whisk attachments
  • 3, 6” cake pans or 2, 8”
  • Cardboard- cake board 8”
  • Bowls
  • Spatula
  • Offset spatula for cake decorating
  • kitchen scale
  • cooling rack
  • Laser thermometer
  • Cake turns table or Lazy Susan

Lemon Curd  Layer Cake

Ingredients:

Thankfully, the ingredients for this recipe are all very simple and easy to find at your local grocery store. So, you can start baking in no time!

  • Cake Flour – For this recipe, cake flour is needed to add a soft and tender crumb. If you use all-purpose flour, the cake won’t have the soft, moist texture you’re looking for.
  • Baking Powder- Make sure your baking powder is not expired.
  • Baking Soda- Make sure your baking soda is not expired.
  • Avocado Oil- I like to use avocado oil, but you can use vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • Vanilla Extract- My favorite vanilla extract is from LorAnn Oils, find it HERE and use my code KALA20 for 20% off!
  • Lemon Emulsion (or extract)– My favorite lemon emulsion is from LorAnn Oils, find it HERE and use my code KALA20 for 20% off!
  • Fresh Lemons – I used Meyer lemons for this recipe; just make sure they are slightly soft and very ripe.
  • Lemon Juice- Of course, you can use bottled lemon juice, but I prefer the taste of freshly squeezed lemon juice to really add that strong lemon flavor to this recipe.
  • Room Temperature Butter – I used salted butter, but use unsalted if that’s what you prefer. Salted butter adds an extra depth of flavor to your cake that makes it really stand out!
  • Granulated Sugar- Any brand will work here.
  • Large Eggs- The larger the eggs, the better!
  • Whole Milk- Whole milk is important when making this recipe because the fat is essential to the cake’s texture. If you use a dairy-free alternative, be sure to choose one with as much fat content as possible.
  • Sour Cream– Extra fat for the sour cream helps the moisture, so don’t be afraid to go all-in by using full-fat products for this delicious vanilla cake with lemon curd filling!
Tips From a Cake Master:
  • Pick The Pans: I use three 6” circle cake pans for this recipe, but you could certainly use two 8” cake pans as well.
  • Measure Ahead: Getting everything pre-measured and ready to bake is going to make things so easy, and cleaning up will be a breeze. I like to pre-measure everything right out of the fridge and then allow the ingredients to come to room temp before baking.
  • Switch It Up: Alternate adding the whole milk and flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  •  No Overmixing: Don’t overmix the batter! A few flour streaks are okay and will give you the light, fluffy texture you’re after.
  • Freeze It: Once baked and cooled, wrap the cake layers in plastic and store them in your fridge or freeze until you are ready to frost. Make sure the cake layers are stored flat and nothing obstructs them in the freezer. I use a baking tray to help with this. Freezing your cake layers is the best way to seal in moisture and makes frosting and stacking so much easier for your cake!
My Recipe for Lemon Curd Layer Cake:

Make the Cake:

Ingredients of Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Measure out all ingredients and set aside to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease three 6” circle cake pans with baking spray and line with a parchment paper circle. Set aside.
  • Combine the sugar and lemon zest together in a bowl and gently massage it together with your hands for 1-2 minutes and set aside.
Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream 2
  • Measure out the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and whisk.
  • Next, whisk together the oil, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon juice, and sour cream in another medium bowl.
  • In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Add the lemon sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the oil mixture into the mixer bowl and mix until combined.
  • Then, mix in 1 egg at a time, mixing between each addition just until combined. Remember, don’t overmix your batter to ensure that the texture comes out just right.
  • Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternate adding the milk and flour and scraping down the bowl in between. Don’t mix the batter during this step!
Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream 2
  • Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans and bake in the center rack of the oven for about 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow cakes to cool for 15 minutes before removing them from the pan and onto a wire cooling rack.
  • Wrap the cake layers in plastic and store them in your fridge flat until you are ready to frost with your Swiss meringue buttercream.
Make the Lemon Curd:
Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Whisk together all the ingredients in a pot over medium heat.
  •  Stir for 5-8 minutes until thickened, then remove from the heat.
  •  Strain the lemon curd through a fine-mesh strainer if there are any lumps, cover in a bowl with plastic wrap, and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Place the bowl of lemon curd in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours or until you’re ready to finish decorating your cake.
Make the Lemon Swiss Buttercream:
Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream 2
  • Add the egg whites and sugar to a stand mixer bowl set over a double boiler.
  • Stir constantly until the eggs reach 140°F-144°F. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Whip the egg white-sugar mixture on high-speed using the whisk attachment until medium-stiff peaks form.
  • Continuing to use the whisk attachment, slowly add the softened butter in chunks, along with the vanilla extract, and whip on high speed for 8 minutes.
  • Place the bowl back over your double boiler just to soften the butter a bit more, about 30-60 seconds.
  • Then, transition to the paddle attachment and beat for 5 more minutes at medium speed.
  • TIP: If you want extra icing for decorating your cake, simply double this recipe and apply buttercream with lemon curd frosting until your heart’s content!
Assemble the Cake:
Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream 2

1. Level cakes if they aren’t flat by removing a thin layer off the top of the cake so that it becomes flat and even.

2. Place 1 layer of cake onto a cardboard cake round onto a cake turntable or onto your serving plate.

3. Mix ¾ cup of the buttercream with ¼ cup of lemon curd to make the filling.

4. Spread lemon-buttercream filling over the layer of cake and smooth into an even layer leaving a thicker amount of buttercream on the edges. Fill the center of the buttercream layer with ½ cup of lemon curd & spread into an even layer.

TIP: Set aside the extra lemon to add even more designs to your cake!

5. Place the second layer of cake, bottom side up, on top, and lightly press to attach the layers.

6. Use the remaining white buttercream to roughly ice the sides and top of the cake.

7. Use the back-of-the-spoon method to make a rustic design while shmearing bits of leftover lemon curd throughout the icing.

FAQs:

Can I make this ahead of time?

Of course! You can make the cake layers a day or two ahead of time, and once cooled, wrap them up and store them in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the cake. You can also make the lemon cream cheese frosting 2 to 3 days ahead of time. Simply keep the frosting in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring the frosting to room temperature and re-whip with the mixer before using.

How do I store leftover slices?

If you have leftover cake, wrap each slice tightly with plastic and store them in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 2 months. Before serving, bring the cake to room temperature on the counter. This allows you to enjoy fresh, delicious cake longer.

How do I decorate this cake similar to yours?

Personally, I use large ATECO flower piping tips for this design, which you can find HERE. I also like to use Americolor food gels HERE OR LorAnn Oils food gels HERE. If you want more design inspiration, be sure to follow me on Instagram, almonds_and_apricots, to see more of my decorating videos for this recipe and other delicious creations.

Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream 2
Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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GET THE RECIPE:

Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

AUTHOR: KALA  BOULARD

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( 5 STARS ) | 1 REVIEW

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Description

Tender lemon cake layers are stacked with a tart and zesty lemon curd filling wrapped in a creamy vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream that is stable enough for piping and decorating a beautiful buttercream design.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (375g) cake flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (54 g) avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon extract or emulsion ( optional)
  • Zest of 2 lemons (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (240ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • ½ ( 120g) cup sour cream, room temp
  • 1 drop of yellow food coloring ( optional)
  • For the Lemon Curd

  • 1/2 cup (115 grams; 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature (save egg whites for the buttercream!) ● 3/4 cup (180ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 2 ¾ sticks of salted butter
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch (⅛ teaspoon) of salt

Instructions

    Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease three 6” circle cake pans with baking spray and line with a parchment paper circle. Set aside.
  2. Combine the sugar and lemon zest together in a bowl and gently massage it together with your hands for 1-2 minutes and set aside.
  3. Measure out the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and whisk.
  4. Next whisk together the oil, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon juice, and sour cream in another medium bowl.
  5. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Add the lemon sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  6. Next, add the oil mixture into the mixer bowl and mix until combined.
  7. Then, mix in 1 egg at a time, mixing between each addition just until combined (don’t overmix).
  8. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture alternate adding the milk and flour and scraping down the bowl in between. Don’t mix the batter!
  9. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans and bake in the center rack of the oven for about 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Allow cakes to cool for 15 minutes before removing them from the pan and onto a wire cooling rack.
  11. Wrap the cake layers in plastic and store them in your fridge flat until you are ready to frost.
  12. Make the Lemon Curd:

  13. Whisk together all the ingredients in a pot over medium heat.
  14. Stir for 5-8minutes until thickened, then remove from the heat.
  15. Strain the lemon curd through a fine-mesh strainer if there are any lumps, cover in a bowl with plastic wrap, and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  16. Place the bowl of lemon curd in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours or until icing the cake.
  17. Make the Buttercream:

  18. Add the egg whites and sugar to a stand mixer bowl set over a double boiler.
  19. Stir constantly until the eggs reach 140°F-144°F. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  20. Whip the egg white-sugar mixture on high speed using the whisk attachment until medium-stiff peaks form.
  21. Continuing to use the whisk attachment, slowly add the softened butter in chunks, along with the vanilla extract, and whip on high speed for 8 minutes.
  22. Place the bowl back over your double boiler just to soften the butter a bit more, about 30-60 seconds.
  23. Then, transition to the paddle attachment and beat for 5 more minutes on medium speed.
  24. Assemble the Cake:

  25. Level cakes if they aren’t flat by removing a thin layer off the top of the cake so that it becomes flat and even.
  26. Place 1 layer of cake onto a cardboard cake round onto a cake turntable or onto your serving plate.
  27. Mix ¾ cup of the buttercream with ¼ cup of lemon curd to make the filling.
  28. Spread lemon-buttercream filling over the layer of cake and smooth into an even layer leaving a thicker amount of buttercream on the edges. Fill the center of the buttercream layer with ½ cup of lemon curd & spread into an even layer. *Save the last bits of lemon curd for the cake design!
  29. Place the second layer of cake, bottom side up, on top, and lightly press to attach the layers.
  30. Use remaining white buttercream to roughly ice the sides and top of the cake.
  31. Using the back-of-the-spoon method to make a rustic design, while shmearing bits of leftover lemon curd throughout the icing.

Note

  • I felt that the cream to cake ratio was perfect; a bit more cake and less cream. But if you prefer more cream, you can 1.5x the buttercream recipe for a bit more of an abundance of buttercream.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

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