Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

When it’s cold outside, don’t you crave food that just feels like summer? There’s something about the bright and sunny pop of citrus that always makes me feel a little warmer. This Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect treat any time of year.

Why You’ll Love Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Easy and Approachable: Baking doesn’t have to be intimidating. This recipe’s simplicity ensures that even beginners can create a show-stopping dessert.
  • Deliciously Sweet and Tangy: The marriage of zesty lemon flavors with the creamy sweetness of the frosting creates a taste explosion in every bite. This Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a symphony of textures and flavors, making it a perfect choice for those with a sweet tooth and a love for citrusy delights.
  • Perfect for Various Occasions: Whether it’s a birthday celebration, family gathering, or a simple dessert craving, this lemon cake fits the bill. Plus, you can customize it with additional frosting options like Swiss meringue, vanilla, or even a touch of lemon curd for extra pizzazz.
  • Gluten-Free Option: The use of gluten-free flour in this recipe caters to those with dietary restrictions or preferences.
  • Mouthwatering Aroma and Presentation: As this cake bakes, your kitchen will be filled with the irresistible aroma of lemons and baked goodness. Once sliced and served, the lemon cake’s vibrant appearance and decadent cream cheese frosting make it an eye-catching centerpiece for any dessert table.

What You Need to Make Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Two 8-inch round cake pans
  • Mixer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spatula
  • Toothpick
  • Measuring spoons/cups

Ingredients You Need to Make Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Gluten-free flour
  • Sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Unsweetened plain yogurt
  • Milk
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cream cheese (for frosting)
  • Powdered sugar (for frosting)
  • Lemon juice (for frosting)

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream cheese
  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Lemon juice

Substitutions + Alternatives

Can I use All-Purpose Flour?

Yes, All-Purpose Flour can be used. Use the same amount that is listed in the ingredients, but swap with all purpose.

Can I use regular butter?

Feel free to make this recipe your own. I use dairy-free butter, but feel welcome to choose your preferred butter option without any recipe adjustments. Unless specified otherwise, you have the flexibility to use the butter of your choice for the recipe.

How to Make Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes). Add eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and yogurt. Mix well.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this dry mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Then add lemon zest and lemon juice, stirring until incorporated.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely before assembling.

Instructions for Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar (start with 4 cups), and lemon juice. Mix until smooth.
  2. If the frosting is too soft, add the additional cup of powdered sugar gradually until you achieve the desired consistency.
  3. Ice the cooled cake layers with the cream cheese frosting, spreading it evenly between the layers and on top.

4. Slice and serve the lemon cake with creamy frosting. Ensure the cream cheese is at the right consistency for proper frosting; adjust sugar as needed for desired sweetness and texture.

Commonly Asked Questions

How long does it take for the cake to cool completely? 

Cooling time may vary, but it’s generally recommended to allow the cakes to cool for at least one hour before frosting.

Can I make the frosting ahead of time? 

Absolutely! Prepare the frosting and refrigerate it until you’re ready to assemble and serve the cake.

Can I freeze the cake for later use? 

Yes, the cake can be frozen, but it’s advisable to freeze the layers without frosting. Thaw and frost before serving.

Can I use a different type of frosting than the original?

Absolutely! Some great options are Swiss Meringue, vanilla, Buttercream, and even lemon curd!

Gluten and Dairy Free Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This sunny and bright cake is light, tender, and tangy!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 29 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 1275kcal


  • Mixing Bowl
  • 2 8" cake pans


Lemon Cake

  • 3 cups Gluten Free 1.1 flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup Dairy Free butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup Dairy Free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Dairy Free milk
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 14 oz Dairy Free cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup Dairy Free butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest


Lemon Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 8" cake pans with nonstick baking spray.
  • Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and mix on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  • Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix until creamy and smooth.
  • Spread some of the frosting on the top of the first cake.
  • Stack the second cake on top. Frost the entire cake.
  • Slice and enjoy!


Serving: 1cake | Calories: 1275kcal | Carbohydrates: 162g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1125mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 117g | Vitamin A: 107IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheSaltyCooker or tag #thesaltycooker!

This bright and flavorful dessert is perfect for nay occasion. And, it’s gluten-free and dairy-free, meaning everyone can enjoy a slice (or two)! Elevate your baking game with a dessert that combines the freshness of lemons with the richness of cream cheese, creating a taste and texture that’s simply irresistible.


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