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Lemon Cake

An old-fashioned lemon cake that everyone will LOVE today.
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lemon cake recipe

This old-fashioned lemon cake recipe has a charm that defies the years. Bake it now and bring some sweet, lemon-y loveliness to your day. 

lemon cake recipe 2

Lemons: always in season and always useful

While lemons are more plentiful in winter, they’re generally available year round. Which is a good thing, since they’re just so handy in the kitchen. 

I have a lemon tree in the garden, and when it’s not producing fruit I’ll pick up some local lemons at my farmers market. My kitchen feels incomplete without some lemons sitting around.

Of course, I shouldn’t let the lemons sit around like decorations. 

The best way to store lemons is in a zip lock bag in the fridge, leaking out as much air from the bag as possible before sealing.

If you use the zest, take an extra step to protect the lemon and wrap in plastic kitchen wrap before placing the lemon in the fridge.

lemon tree buds
lemon cake recipe ingredients on bench

Too many lemons?

If you’ve got plenty of lemons, there are plenty of ways to use them.

In our Cooking with Nana Ling collection, you can find lemon curd, lemon meringue tartsbanana cake with lemon frosting, and canary pudding.

You can also freeze both the juice and zest. But why would you do that when you have this lemon cake recipe?

Nana Ling’s Lemon Cake recipe

Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.

Nana Ling's handwritten lemon cake recipe
lemon cake recipe

Lemon Cake

An old-fashioned lemon cake that everyone will LOVE today.
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian, British
Keyword: lemon cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 351kcal


Lemon Cake

  • 1 3/4 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 120 grams butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 300 ml thickened cream
  • 1 cup icing sugar


Lemon Cake

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced).
  • Grease two round cake pans, about 20cm in diameter.
  • Beat butter and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs and beat on med-high speed for 2 minutes.
  • Finely grate the lemon rind from both lemons. Keeping 1 teaspoon of the rind aside for the filling, add the remaining rind and milk and mix on low-med speed to combine.
  • Slowly add sifted dry ingredients, stirring well to combine.
  • Pour half of the batter into each of the greased pan and cook in oven for 20 minutes.
  • Once removed from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes and then gently ease the cakes from the pans.

Filling and Icing

  • Beat the thickened cream until stiff and then mix in the remaining rind. Sandwich the cakes together (once completely cooled) with the cream.
  • Sift the icing sugar and add enough juice from one of the lemons to make an icing that is just thick enough to gently spread as you add it to the top of the cake. Let the icing drip down the sides of the cake and decorate with lemon slices.



Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 673IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating

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