Tender Lemon Cake

3 6-inch round layers

Soft crumbs and a tangy, lemony flavor make this birthday party-ready Tender Lemon Cake a stand-out.


  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans

  • 2 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • ¾ cup buttermilk

  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Arrange racks in center of oven and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 6-by-2-inch round baking pans. Line with parchment; butter; dust with flour.

  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 minutes. Add sugar; beat well. Reduce speed to medium; add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Reduce speed to low; alternately add flour and buttermilk, starting and ending with flour. Stir in zest.

  3. Pour batter into pans; bake, rotating halfway through, until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans on rack 15 minutes. Remove; let cool completely right side up on rack.

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