Triple Lemon Cake

This is lemon at it’s finest. Delicious lemon cake, filled with lemon pastry cream and topped with lemon cream cheese frosting.   

Triple Lemon Cake @createdbydiane.jpg


You know the days when life hands you lemons…

First thing is call your mom….that always helps and since my mom brings me lots of lemons off her wonderful lemon trees,

next I make lemonade, because chatting with her and a cold glass of lemonade is sure to be the perfect fix.

That worked for a few years, I tried adding vodka to it but it made it challenging to get on with the rest of my day/life without consequences so early in the day…then I moved onto Lemon Cookies.

I can not tell you how many lemon cookies I’ve baked.

That is until the teenage years settled in.

Wow, my parents warned me about the teenage years, but apparently NOT enough.

Now the cure all…

is lemon cake and that is not a bad thing at all…..


I LOVE cake.

Between hormones, school work, learning to drive, dating and all the rest of the stuff the teen years bring,

Trust me I needed more than lemonade to deal with it and my solution is LEMON CAKE!

My solution is working well and anyone who stops by gets to have a slice and help me cope with all this FUN!

But I still call my mom and with Mother’s Day around the corner, I think I’ll be making her one of these, after all it’s the least I could do considering she made it through the teenage years with me!


how to layer a cake

To layer and decorate a cake, I use a lazy-susan, I place wax paper pieces under the cake so I can remove them easily when I’m finished decorating.

I have my piping bag filled with frosting and a  round tip to pipe the frosting along the outside so that the filling won’t seep out the edges of the cakes.

filling a layer cake

having the frosting and the filling the same color makes for a seamless look when the cake is sliced. I added a little bit of coloring to the lemon cream cheese frosting to match the lemon filling color.

triple lemon flavored three layer cake


As I slowly turn the lazy-susan I smoothen the frosting with a large offset spatula and then piped dots with the same piping bag I used to make a damn for the filling on the top and bottom edge of the cake. I like the simplicity of the cake but wanted to add something pretty on top,

so I went to my yard to check out what flowers I could use…lavender was the perfect option it looks pretty without worrying about it wilting and the contrast of the lavender and yellow is the perfect combo,  I love lavender.



Cut a BIG piece and enjoy!

I baked the cake in 3-6″ pans, the batter will fit into 2-9″ round pans, or a 13×9 pan if you prefer to bake it in different sized pans the timing will need to be adjusted, be sure to check to see how it’s baking and add time from there, the larger than pan the longer the cake will take, but of course you don’t want to overbake and dry it out.


Triple lemon cake


Print Recipe
3 from 2 votes

Triple Lemon Cake


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon baking emulsion or lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 eggs


  • place parchment paper in the bottom of 3 round 6" cake pans and spray with a nonstick baking spray.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In large mixer bowl blend flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
  • Place milk, oil, butter, lemon extract, and lemon juice in a bowl, and mix thoroughly.
  • Pot wet mixture into dry mixture,
  • Mix on medium speed, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix for another minute.
  • Add in eggs, and continue beating for 2 more minutes.
  • Portion the batter evenly into the cake pans.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.
Print Recipe
3 from 2 votes

Lemon Pastry Cream


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk separated 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 cups
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon baking emulsion or lemon extract


  • In a medium bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt together, then add it 1/2 cup milk and whisk smooth.
  • In a small bowl mix egg yolks, then add them to the mixture and blend until creamy.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the remaining milk to a simmer. (small bubbles around the edge, not a full boil)
  • Slowly pour the heated milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Allowing the egg mixture to slowly heat to temper the eggs so they don't scramble.
  • Place the mixture into the saucepan and heat on medium-low heat whisking until it comes to a boil and is smooth and creamy. This takes about 5 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat, stir in butter and lemon emulsion.
  • Place pastry cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allow it to cool for 15 minutes, then put it into the refrigerator to chill
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 8oz. package cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon baking emulsion (or lemon extract)
  • 2-3 drops of egg yellow coloring
  1. beat cream cheese in a mixer until smooth, add in butter, and mix for 3 minutes until it’s smooth and creamy and well blended, add powdered sugar, heavy cream, and lemon along with yellow coloring.


Lemon Cake, Lemon Pastry Cream Filling and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting @createdbydiane



triple lemon cake recipe and instructions from @createdbydiane

This is the perfect cake for Mother’s Day and here are a whole bunch of recipes that will help you plan out your day….even if you end up making them for yourself, or send the recipe to the person you hope will make it for you!

Stop on by to see what great recipes my blogging friends have in store for you for this Mother’s Day Holiday Food Party:

1. Coconut Cupcakes from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
2. German Apple Cake from Magnolia Days
3. Baked Lemon Pasta with Broccoli and Shrimp from What Smells So Good
4. Cinnamon Pear Cake from Roxana’s Home Baking
5. Strawberry Whiskey Sour from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
6. Huevos Rancheros from Crumb Blog
7. Triple Lemon Cake from Created by Diane
8. Banana Chocolate Chip Bread from Chocolate Moosey
9. Lemon Thyme Shortbread from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
10. Pineapple Coconut Sweet Rolls from Pineapple and Coconut
11. Caramilk Stuffed No-Knead Brioche from Gotta Get Baked
12. Mom’s World Famous Sponge Cake from Hungry Couple NYC
13. Brown Butter Pecan Fudge Ripple No-Churn Ice Cream from Cupcakes and Kale Chips


  1. The perfect dessert to honor your mom (and pacify you!!!). Thanks for the frosting hints…I need all the help I can get. Your 3 layer cake is a masterpiece!

  2. What a gorgeous cake. It’s so tall and such an attention grabber. Many moms would be delighted to have it made for them.

  3. “That worked for a few years, I tried adding vodka to it but it made it challenging to get on with the rest of my day/life without consequences so early in the day” <– you're the best, Diane! This made me laugh (and it's totally something that I do too – add booze to everything!). Isn't it amazing how time gives us perspective? I was a horrible teenager and now that I'm older, I totally sympathize with my parents for putting up with me. I'm sure all the amazing things you bake for your mom helps make up for it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don't have enough words in my vocabulary to properly fawn over your cake. This is soooooo beautiful. Your layers and frosting is perfect, the cake itself is so moist and fluffy and light, and the sprigs of lavender on top look so pretty. Any mom would be thrilled to be served this for Mothers Day!

  4. I love, love, love lemon. And I love, love, love, love, love cake. So obviously, I wholeheartedly approve of this lemon cake, even though I don’t currently have any hormonal teenagers driving me bonkers. ๐Ÿ™‚ (If anything, the fact that I don’t have teenagers is worthy of celebration, and everyone knows you can’t celebrate without cake.)

    1. oops sorry about that, this recipe uses 3 eggs. I adjusted the recipe to reflect my error, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  5. I just love lemon desserts! I think they are always overlooked by chocolate but they can be just as satisfying. Also this cake is totally manageable being that they aren’t giant layers. Gorgeous!

  6. Hi Diane!!
    This cake looks amazing, and I will be making it this Sunday! Quick question, Can you substitute real lemon juice for the lemon flavoring? Thank you..

    1. adding real lemon juice won’t give you the same lemon flavor that lemon baking emulsion or lemon extract will, and the cake will have a bit of a different texture almost stickier texture. You can use it, it’s your cake….but it will be different in taste and texture. Lemon extract is readily available in most grocery stores in the baking aisle in the US. I bakes lots of items with real lemon, cake tends to be the one I don’t do anymore as the leftover cake is so moist it almost has a gummy quality that I don’t prefer.

  7. I love, love, love, love lemon. I texted the link to this recipe to my 15yo daughter with a note: If you love me at ALL. I’ll be having lemon cake soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. What a perfect dessert for Mother’s Day! But, actually, the first person I thought of when I saw this recipe was my Daddy. He loved lemon desserts better than anyone I’ve ever known. I think I’ll hold this recipe and make in his honor on Father’s Day ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Would it be possible to make this recipe using 9″ rounds? I was curious how many pans I would need (2 or 3?) and how to adjust the temp/cook time? Thanks!

  10. 1 star
    I just tried to make this recipe. I should have looked it over a little closer and adjusted it but I didn’t… I am not sure how the softened butter is supposed to mix thoroughly if you add it in with the liquid ingredients…maybe it should go in a separate step or melted? I have my finished cake mix with chunks of butter. :/

    1. The butter should be at room temperature (Typically I leave it out for 30 minutes before baking) it will blend right into the cake batter without any lumps. Cakes I find come out best with room temperature, butter, eggs and not ice cold milk either. If you add room temperature butter to ice cold milk, it won’t mix in well. If all your ingredients are room temperature they will mix in smoothly. The butter should not be melted as that would change the consistency of the batter all together.
      If you have this happen again, place the batter bowl over slightly warm water and whisk it for a minute or two so the butter has a chance to blend into the liquids. By slightly warming the bowl (metal bowl) the ingredients will all come to a slightly warmer temperature (if you place your hand on the outside of the metal bowl and it’s ice cold, you milk is too cold) just place the mixing bowl over another bowl of warmer water and you should not have any more issues. Hope that helps, sorry you had trouble.

    2. So the first time, i went ahead and poured it in a cake pan, so I could taste the flavor (trying to find a good cupcake recipe…) and I loved it…. so I just rewrote it a bit with the same ingredients… This is what I came up with…
      In large mixer bowl blend flour, baking powder, salt together.
      4. In a separate bowl combine butter and sugar
      5. Add oil, lemon extract and lemon juice to the butter mixture.
      6. Mix on medium speed, scrape down sides of bowl and mix for another minute.
      7. Add in eggs one at a time.
      Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk mix just till combined on each addition.

    1. Sorry about that, pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix a minut or two and scrape down sides (don’t whip or overbeat) I adjusted the recipe to reflect the change. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  11. Your recipe has become my go-to lemon cake recipe! It is SO lemony and tangy! Everyone who tries it loves it. Five stars!

    1. I can’t thank you enough for coming back and telling me how much you like my recipe. It means so much to me ๐Ÿ™‚ And I too love this lemon cake!

    1. I think it should work well. Be sure not to overfill each pan and I think the cake will bake nicely. You could always bake one pan first to check on timing and such before you bake all 5.

      The batter for 3-6 inch pans will fit in 2-8 inch pans nicely.
      Here is a chart you can use to estimate how much batter or doubling of a recipe youโ€™ll need to different sized pans.

    2. I used the 3 9″ pans and filled with 2 cups each of batter. Used the remaining batter for cupcakes. Doubled the batter from original recipe. Turned out great and everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Hi Diane! A few years later, but I came across your cake and cannot wait to try it! Do you use cake flour or all purpose flour?

  13. Do you remember about how many servings someone can get from this cake? I have to laugh when I see all these lemon things. I know its sacrilege to some but I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate. Oh its OK, I can enjoy chocolate but for one thing it often makes me thirsty and then I want a big ice cold glass of milk with it. Lemon is my favorite when it comes to flavors. For the rest of the world when life gives them lemons they make lemonade (or pout and have a pity party) but for me when life hands me lemons I’m THRILLED and I make lemon meringue pie, lemon cakes, Shaker lemon pie, all sorts of things. My mom years ago used to bring home to me here in Maryland lemons that were the size of large grapefruit. Sadly however, their friend that had those trees either passed away or moved or something. I can’t get those large lemons any longer. Some years she would bring around 6 specifically for me to give a few coworkers. I would leave them on their desks. At first, they were so large they didn’t even know what they were. I don’t really like California in general, but they sure can grow some terrific lemons out there.

    1. This cake is generous, it’s baked in 3 6″ pans, depending on how thin you slice the pieces since they are tall, you’ll get at least 20 slices if not more. the slice cut out in the photos and on the plate is a big piece, would easily feed 3 people. I make this size cake often and it’s great if you want large slices or want to cut them thin and have a more average slice of cake. I love lemon items too, enjoy!

  14. I actually used the recipe on two 9-inch pans, and baked them for 20 mins. They came out beautiful, fluffy and delicious, and I was so happy. By the way, I used almond milk instead of milk, and olive oil instead of vegetable oil, more lemon juice and some zest instead of lemon extract, because that’s just what I had and I didn’t want to go to the store again.

  15. How to assemble this I put the icing first then the lemon pastry cream …please help I really love the taste of the cake

    1. Take a look at the third photo, the edge is piped with frosting, then the center is filled with the pastry cream, the frosting helps the pastry cream stay in the center of the cake so it doesn’t come out the edges. Then place the cake in the fridge just until it’s cold, so it’s easier to work with, then spread icing on the sides and top of the cake.

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