The Best, Easy Lemon Cake

Lemon is one of my absolute all-time favorite flavors, which is pretty obvious if you look at my logo. Nothing says fresh and summer like lemon does. If you’re anything like me, lemon cake is a summer must have. This is the best, easy lemon cake that I have ever made or tasted. It pairs beautifully with a fruit curd filling like lemon, raspberry, or strawberry. The lemon flavor is powerful enough to hold up to a rich frosting like cream cheese frosting or white chocolate frosting. If you serve it to family and friends, be prepared to be drowning in compliments for your excellent baking skills! I cannot say enough good things about this cake recipe it really is a must try!

Whenever I go to use a lemon for anything I will always zest it first and then if I’m not using zest for that recipe, I stick it in a sandwich bag or small Tupperware container and pop it in the freezer for future use. That way if I’m ever out of lemons and feel like something lemon flavored I always have zest on hand.

Rolling your lemons on the counter before cutting them and juicing them will help the squeezing process go smoother. If you don’t have the ability to squeeze the lemons, (arthritis sucks) there’s absolutely no shame in using bottled lemon juice. I do it all the time and unless you have a very sensitive palette you would never know the difference.

The pans I use for baking have a non-stick coating, but I still spray them with a bit of olive oil nonstick spray. If your pans do not have a nonstick coating, I highly recommend putting a circle of parchment in the bottom of the pan and oiling the sides. This will ensure that the cake does not stick and ruin your masterpiece.

I like to use a curd as the filling between layers. Typically, I use a lemon curd and the recipe can be found here.

My favorite frosting of all time is of course cream cheese frosting and adding a bit of lemon zest to the mix livens it up making it perfect for this lemon cake. Add a heaping teaspoon of zest to my basic cream cheese frosting recipe and you’ll have a crowd pleasing frosting that people will rave about. Find the recipe here.

The best easy lemon cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 2 9-10 inch baking pans


  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup milk or milk alternative
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest about 1 large lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 2/3 cup all purpose flour


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl cream together the shortening and the sugar.
  • Add the eggs and vegetable oil and mix again.
  • Next pour in the vanilla, milk, lemon extract, lemon juice, and zest and mix again until smooth.
  • To the wet ingredients, add the salt. baking powder, baking soda and cornstarch. mix until combined.
  • Lastly slowly add in the flour and mix just until combined. Over mixing will result in dense cakes.
  • Oil two 9- or 10-inch cake pans and pour batter evenly between them.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 20-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely before adding frosting or filling.
Keyword cake, cupcake, easy, lemon

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