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Lemon Velvet Cake

Lemon Velvet Cupcake + Lemon Velvet Cake
Lemon Velvet Cupcake + Lemon Velvet CakeZach Pagano / TODAY
Cook Time:
35 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

I love this recipe because it reminds me of spring and the end of winter. I started making it at Good Cakes and Bakes as a reminder of the lemon cake my grandmother would make every Sunday.

Technique tip: You can also use this recipe to make 24 cute, individual cupcakes. Just line muffin tins with cupcake liners and fill with the cake batter. Bake for 17-21 minutes, let cool and frost.


  • cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • cups buttermilk
  • 8 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 cups unsalted butter
  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 3 small or 2 large lemons, zested
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus more as needed


For the cake:


Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.


In a large bowl, sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.


In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the sugar, canola oil, butter, vanilla and lemon extract. Beat well at high speed until light and fluffy, about 6-8 minutes.


Beat the eggs in one at a time. After adding all eggs beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.


Slowly add in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk (add dry ingredients in 4 divisions and liquid ingredients in 3 divisions). It is very important to begin and end the additions with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter. As soon as it has no lumps in the batter, remove from mixer and use spatula to fold until all flour is incorporated.


Spread batter evenly in each pan. Place in oven and bake for 27-35 minutes (turn pans half way through) or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before filling and frosting.

For the frosting:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the powdered sugar, lemon zest and butter on low speed until it becomes sort of crumbly. Add the lemon extract and a little of the milk. Add the cream cheese in chunks. Beat until smooth and fluffy, adding only enough milk to bring the frosting to a creamy spreadable consistency.

To assemble:

Fill and frost the cake the cooled cake layers. Slice and serve.