Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Cake is baked with a lemon zest and topped with a delicious lemony glaze. It is refreshing with the perfect amount of sweetness!

This cake has the perfect amount of lemon flavor. For more lemon must-makes try Easy Lemon Bars, Lemon Crinkle Cookies, and Lemon Lasagna.

Lemon buttermilk cake garnished with a slice of lemon on a white plate.

Summer flavors

With summer on the way all I want is lemon. I love all of the flavors of summer-time! This lemon buttermilk cake is just so bright and refreshing.

I love that it has the perfect amount of lemony flavor. It’s not too tart, but has just enough tart-ness to give you a delicious lemon taste. I could have eaten the batter all by myself!

Baking this cake in a larger pan gives the perfect sized squares, and trust me, you’ll want a healthy helping! It is super light and lemon-y and was gone in no time.

It’s definitely a great summer treat to make and will be perfect for your next family gathering. 😉 I hope you enjoy it!

Cake batter in a glass mixing bowl.

How to Make lemon buttermilk cake

DRY INGREDIENTS. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.

WET INGREDIENTS. In a liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla, set aside. With a stand mixer, beat sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Transfer ¼ cup sugar mixture to small bowl, cover and set aside.

COMBINE. Add butter to remaining sugar in mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and egg yolk one at a time. On low speed, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the buttermilk mixture. Beat until smooth.

BAKE. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10×15 pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake at 325, for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.

GLAZE. For the glaze, whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk until smooth. Gently spread over warm cake and sprinkle reserved sugar mixture evenly over the top. Serve warm or cool for at least 2 hours.

Ingredient Tips

  • If you don’t have a 10×15 pan, cook the lemon cake in a 9×13 pan for 5-10 minutes longer, just make sure to keep it under your watch and check it with toothpicks.
  • The egg yolk needs to be at room temperature, because they whip up better in mixes giving it more volume.
  • If you don’t have “CAKE FLOUR” you can make your own using all purpose flour and cornstarch. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill it the rest of the way up with all purpose flour. Then place the ingredients in a small bowl to whisk them together thoroughly.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk you can easily make your own.
  • Zest is made by grating the peel of a piece of citrus, in this case a lemon. You can buy a citrus zester, but the small side of a cheese grater also works.
Lemon cake squares cut in a pan.

SToring Leftovers

Cover and STORE for 5-7 days. Past that the cake would dry out if there is not enough glaze, or get too moist and fall apart if there is too much glaze.

You can also FREEZE the lemon cake. Wrap it in plastic wrap and again with foil. Store for up to 3 months. Thaw before eating.

Lemon buttermilk cake garnished with a lemon displayed on a white plate.

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Lemon Buttermilk Cake Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Lemon Cake is baked with a lemon zest and topped with a delicious lemony glaze. It is refreshing with the perfect amount of sweetness!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 370 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 ½ cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 3 tbsp grated zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (3 lemons)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks butter softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk room temp

Glaze

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp milk

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla, set aside.
  • With a stand mixer, beat sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Transfer ¼ cup sugar mixture to small bowl, cover and set aside.
  • Add butter to remaining sugar in mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and egg yolk one at a time. On low speed, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the buttermilk mixture. Beat until smooth.
  • Pour batter into a greased and floured 10×15 pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake at 325, for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.
  • For the glaze, whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk until smooth. Gently spread over warm cake and sprinkle reserved sugar mixture evenly over the top. Serve warm or cool for at least 2 hours.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. So if I used a 9×13 pan what temp would I bake this for and for how long? Looks absolutely delicious.

  2. I have never seen an 11″x14″ baking pan and couldn’t find one when I googled it either. Like Tammy, I would like to know the correct temperature and baking time for a 13″x9″ pan. Thank you. Cake looks luscious! ????

    1. I edited the recipe – It was a 10×15 pan. For a 13×9, you’ll need to cook a little longer (5-10 minutes), but I’d double check with a tooth pick to make sure it’s cooked. 😉

  3. Can I use this recipe to make an orange cake by substituting orange juice and zest in place of lemon?

  4. Hey, sorry, didn’t see the pan size edit – but the ingredient list says “2 tbsp. milk” for the glaze, but the instructions read “whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice and BUTTERMILK until smooth.” So, are we using regular milk or buttermilk for the glaze?

    thanks!

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