Lemon Velvet Cake w/ Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Soft and fluffy lemon velvet cake frosted with a lemon cream cheese glaze! Full of lemon flavor and that signature buttermilk flavor.
Visual learner? Watch me make this lemon velvet cake from start to finish!
I think I have my seasons all mixed up! In my last post, I was raving about how I’m finally into all things cozy and Fall, and this past week I’ve been in a complete sunny Spring frame of mind!
I’ve been doing so much decluttering and “Spring-cleaning.” As I type this post, it’s 80 degrees, my windows are flung open, and I’m blasting Montell Jordan’s summer anthem “This Is How We Do It.”
Oh and lemons! My goodness, I’ve been baking with lemons like Easter is right around the corner! Hello there lemon brownies, I’m coming for you NEXT buddy! I don’t know what is going on yall on, but I’m just rolling with it.
I mean, who says you have to wait until Spring-time to bring on all things lemon anyway? Seriously, who made this rule? This year has been so unique that anything goes, and right now, let’s talk fresh, vibrant, happy, lemons!!! Bring on the lemon velvet cake!!!
What is a Lemon Velvet Cake?
Have you ever had a lemon velvet cake? You may have heard it called a lemon buttermilk cake, but around here, if it’s got buttermilk, baking soda, and vinegar, it’s velvet baby!! This combination creates such fluffy texture and that signature buttermilk flavor.
This soft and fluffy lemon velvet cake has lemon extract, lemon zest, and hot lemon water to create one light, fresh lemony flavor that gets even better the next day!
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting For The Win!
No velvet cake would be complete with a signature sweet and tart cream cheese frosting! This lemon cream cheese frosting is so bright; it’s got lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract! Yeah, it’s did not come to play games!
Adding Food Coloring…Or Not.
Without food coloring, this cake and frosting will be very, very light yellow. I like to add a few drops of color to get it a beautiful pastel yellow that screams fresh, lemony vibes to me. Thankfully, unlike red food colorings, there are plenty of beautiful natural yellow food coloring on the market if you are opposed to artificial color. Whole foods have a great one.
How to Make the BEST Lemon Velvet Cake
- DON’T OVERBAKE. I really hate to yell that out, but I want you to experience this cake in all of its divine moist and fluffy beauty. Velvet cakes get such a bad rap for being dry, usually due to overbaking the cake. They just don’t handle overbaking very well. The key is to take the cake out of the oven a few minutes before it’s done and allow it to finish baking as it cools down in the hot pan. This timing will vary depending on your oven, which is why it’s best to check cakes before the listed done time.
- Wrap warm cakes in plastic wrap. This wrapping technique is a trick I stole from a bakery. It’s optional, but man oh man does that trapped warmth create a moist and tender cake. When the cakes are warm (not steaming hot, or you’ll have a soggy cake), I like to wrap them in plastic wrap for a few hours or overnight.
There, you’re all set! Happy lemon velvet cake baking!
Get the Recipe: Lemon Velvet Cake + Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup butter-flavored shortening
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon pure lemon extract
- 1 heaping teaspoon lemon zest, (from 1-2 lemons)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1/3 cup hot lemon water, (hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice)
- 4-6 drops yellow food coloring
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure lemon extract
- 1 ½ heaping teaspoons lemon zest, (from 2 lemons)
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, (if needed)
- 4-5 drops yellow food coloring
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Thoroughly grease and flour 2 (9-inch) dark cake pans. Set aside.
- In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together sugar ,oil and shortening.
- Mix in eggs one at a time.
- Mix in vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest.
- Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.
- Mix together the distilled vinegar and lemon water and mix into the batter.
- Mix in the food coloring until your desired shade of yellow is reached.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and shake pans to release any trapped air bubbles.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking it at the 25 minute mark and adjusting the time if needed. (see note)
- When moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake, remove cake from oven. Let cakes rest in the pans until pans are cool enough to touch. The cake will continue to cook as it cools.
- Once cooled, carefully remove cakes from pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and butter.
- Mix in vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest.
- Mix in powder sugar until creamy, adding lemon juice to thin it out if needed.
- Stir in food coloring if using.
- Place frosting in the fridge to allow it to firm up a bit before frosting.
- Stir the frosting until it's creamy and spreadable and frost the cakes.
- Garnish with additional lemon zest if desired.
- DON'T OVERBAKE. The key is to take the cake out of the oven a few minutes before it's completely done (when moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted into the center) and allow it to finish baking as it cools down in the hot pan. This timing will vary depending on your oven, which is why it's best to check cakes before the listed done time.