This delicious Lemon Curd Filling Layer Cake is definitely a special occasional dessert! Lemon desserts are perfect for springtime and Easter as they evoke thoughts of warm sunshine.

This graceful Lemon Cake Recipe is made for lemon lovers! It takes some effort but is worth every minute! If you’ve never made a Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting, this cake will make you a convert. It’s beautiful!

Lemon Curd Filling Layered Cake

Reason of Making this Cake

On the ocassion of my dear friend birthday, we planned a luncheon for her special day. I volunteered to bake the party cake, of course. I knew she adored lemon and I sent her a text to double-check if coconut was a yea or nay. My friend confirmed her harmony for coconut and that sealed the deal. I planned to make a multi-layered show stopper, with a lemon kissed cake, lemon Swiss meringue buttercream, and lemon curd!

There was loads of commend from the party attendees, one of whom even said this cake with lemon curd was the best thing I’ve ever made. I had an inmate audience as I explained my horizontal cutting technique to make the thinner layers and the process of making a velvety Swiss meringue buttercream, which by the way, spreads and cuts like a dream! If you have a lemon lover in your life, save this lemon cake for a special occasion!

Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd

This cake with lemon curd is an converting of Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake. I upped the lemon ante by swapping lemon curd for the raspberry preserves Dorie tucked between her layers.

PRO-Tip: Before you start, make sure your baking powder is fresh. Baking powder is not used as often as baking soda and often expires in the cupboard. You can test it by putting 1/2 teaspoon in a heat-safe bowl and pour in 1/4 cup of boiling water. If there’s fizzing and bubbling, it’s fresh!

How to Slice Cake Layers in Half

This is one of those recipes you might want to make in steps. If you haven’t sliced cake layers in half horizontally, it’s a little intimidating.

  • PRO-Tip is to place toothpicks around the perimeter of the cake, just below the mid-line, to give you some guidance as you make your cuts.
  • I use a long serrated knife and work my way around the edge with shallow cuts before slicing my way through to the center.
  • You want to aim for 4 slices of approximately the same thickness, so take your time placing your toothpicks and slicing each cake. But this will still be a wonderful cake no matter how you slice it!
  • Note: a savvy reader said he was going to use 4 cake pans to make 4 distinct layers instead of dealing with the slicing. It could work if you decrease the baking time (and even the temp by 25 degrees so it doesn’t get too dark). Let me know if you try his idea!

Tips for Making Swiss Buttercream Frosting

Swiss meringue buttercream may appear difficult, but if you take the time and follow the instructions, you’ll understand why this velvety frosting is my very favorite and worth the effort!

  • Besides the typical American buttercream frosting, there is also Swiss, French, and Italian buttercream. If I’m not going with the usual butter and powdered sugar version that’s popular in the states, I make a SwissMeringue Buttercream.
  • There is much less sugar in a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and all the European buttercreams use eggs.
  • This meringue uses egg whites, but don’t worry, they are safe to eat. They are gently heated over simmering water for 3 minutes, long enough to kill any salmonella bacteria. Use your instant-read thermometer, if desired, to make sure the mixture reaches 160º.
  • The mixture of sugar and eggs must be whisked constantly during this process so they do not cook, but stay liquid.
  • Next, you whip this mixture in your stand mixer until cooled, which will take 10 or more minutes, so be patient. Keep feeling the sides of the bowl as if it’s warm when you add the butter, your frosting will not whip properly.
  • Add your butter one tablespoon at a time, using the paddle attachment, and don’t fret if it doesn’t look perfect. You will continue adding the butter then whip the mixture on high for 6-10 minutes until your frosting is fluffy!


For Lemon Cake:

  •  2 1/4 cups cake flour
  •  1 tablespoon baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon table salt
  •  1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  •  4 egg whites, at room temperature
  •  1 1/2 cups sugar
  •  2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  •  1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •  1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract, I use Penzey’s brand

For the Buttercream:

  •  1 cup sugar
  •  4 egg whites
  •  3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •  1/8 teaspoon table salt
  •  1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For assembly:

  •  1 11-ounce jar of good quality lemon curd
  •  2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

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