Italian Lemon Drop Cake

Lemon Drop Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Italian Lemon Drop Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the bright and tangy flavor of lemon with a light and fluffy cake. Topped with a creamy lemon frosting and garnished with thinly sliced lemons, this cake is sure to impress.

Why Make This Recipe

If you’re a fan of lemon desserts, this Italian Lemon Drop Cake is a must-try. With its moist and tender crumb, zesty lemon flavor, and creamy lemon frosting, this cake is perfect for any special occasion or celebration.

How to Make Italian Lemon Drop Cake

Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups unsalted sweet cream butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 9-inch round cake pans

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3-6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Thinly sliced lemons for topping

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and spray the cake pans with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until well combined.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients just until combined.
  6. Still on low speed, add the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix just until combined.
  7. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for approximately 21-26 minutes or until the cakes are baked through.

Frosting Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, cream together all frosting ingredients until stiff and smooth peaks form.
  2. Using a cake slicer, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface.
  3. Place one cake layer on your serving plate.
  4. Evenly cover the top with about 1 cup of frosting.
  5. Top with the second cake layer and evenly cover the top with about 1 cup of frosting.
  6. Repeat with the third cake layer.
  7. Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides of the cake.
  8. Scoop the remaining frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe dollops all over the cake.
  9. Pipe larger dollops of frosting onto the top of the cake.
  10. Place the thinly sliced lemons in between the larger dollops.
  11. Cut and enjoy your delicious lemon cake!

How to Serve Italian Lemon Drop Cake

Serve this delicious lemon cake as a dessert for any special occasion or celebration. It’s perfect for birthdays, weddings, or any time you’re craving something sweet and tangy.

How to Store Italian Lemon Drop Cake

Store any leftover cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure to cover it tightly to prevent it from drying out.

Tips to Make Italian Lemon Drop Cake

  • Make sure all the cake ingredients are at room temperature before mixing to ensure a smooth and evenly baked cake.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes.
  • For an extra lemony flavor, you can add more lemon zest and juice to the cake batter and frosting.


1. Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes, you can bake the cake layers ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Frost the cake just before serving for the best results.

2. Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?

Yes, you can use salted butter, but you may want to reduce the amount of salt in the recipe to avoid making the cake too salty.

3. Can I use a different type of frosting?

Yes, you can use any type of frosting you like for this cake. A vanilla or cream cheese frosting would also pair well with the lemon flavor.

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