Triple-Lemon Layer Cake Triple-Lemon Layer Cake

Image: Jeff Coulson/TC Media | Food Styling: Claire Stubbs | Prop Styling: Catherine Doherty

Special occasions call for special desserts, and this one fills the bill. Moist lemon cake, a bright lemon custard and a simple lemon icing come together to create the ultimate springtime dessert. Look for edible flowers at cake-supply stores. If unavailable, use sugar-coated gumdrops instead.

  • Portion size 16 servings
  • Credits : Canadian Living Magazine


Lemon Custard:
Lemon Icing:


Lemon Custard: In saucepan and using fingertips, rub sugar with lemon zest; whisk in cornstarch and salt. Stir in lemon juice and water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring; boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Gradually stir one-third of the lemon mixture into egg yolks; return to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to mound on spoon and space remains after spoon is drawn through, about 2 minutes. Strain through fine sieve into bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; beat in lemon zest and vanilla. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of milk. Gently fold in lemon juice to make curdled-looking batter.

Divide between 2 greased and parchment paper–lined 9-inch (1.5 L) round cake pans. Bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes; transfer to rack and let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and store for up to 24 hours.)

Lemon Icing: In large bowl, beat butter until smooth; beat in lemon juice and cream. Beat in sugar, 1 cup at a time, until smooth.

Halve cakes horizontally to make 4 layers. Spread half of the lemon custard over top of 1 of the layers; top with second layer, top side up. Spread with 1/2 cup of the icing; top with third layer. Spread with remaining lemon custard; top with remaining layer. Cover entire cake with thin layer of icing to seal in crumbs. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Cover cake with remaining icing. Arrange flowers on top. (Make-ahead: Cover loosely and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Nutritional facts Per serving: about

  • Fibre 1 g
  • Sodium 239 mg
  • Sugars 83 g
  • Protein 6 g
  • Calories 625.0
  • Potassium 111 mg
  • Cholesterol 150 mg
  • Saturated fat 13 g
  • Total carbohydrate 104 g


  • Iron 11.0
  • Folate 29.0
  • Calcium 7.0
  • Vitamin A 21.0
  • Vitamin C 10.0
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Baking & Desserts

Triple-Lemon Layer Cake