Lemon Layer Cake Recipe

This fuss-free layer cake is made with a soft and fragrant lemon sponge soaked in lemon drizzle and topped with luscious lemon cream cheese buttercream. An ideal bake for special occasions and celebrations, but equally great to enjoy as an everyday teatime treat.

Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
Meet the baker

This glorious cake recipe was created by the talented baker Anna. Find more of her recipes via her website linked below. 



For the sponge: 

225g butter, softened 

170g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Pure Cane Caster Sugar 

55g Lyle’s Golden Syrup 

3 large eggs 

225g self-raising flour 

1 tsp baking powder 

75g buttermilk 

2 tsp vanilla 

2 large lemons (zest) 

For the lemon drizzle: 

100g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Pure Cane Caster Sugar 

2 large lemons (juice) 

100ml water 

For the buttercream: 

200g butter, softened 

200g full-fat soft cheese 

450g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Pure Cane Icing Sugar 

2 tbsp lemon juice 

1 tsp vanilla 

pinch of salt 



1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly grease two 20cm sandwich tins and line the bottom of each with baking paper. Set aside. 

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add Lyle’s Golden Syrup and eggs and beat well (don’t worry if the mixture curdles a bit at this stage). 

3. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir to combine. Add the lemon zest, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix again. Divide the batter between the baking tins and smooth the tops with the back of the spoon or spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle, comes out clean. Remove from the oven. 

4. Make the lemon drizzle by placing all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir to combine and allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes, until all the sugar has melted and the mixture is syrupy. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.  

5. Pour the lemon drizzle over baked sponges and allow them to cool completely.

6. Prepare the buttercream. Place the butter and soft cheese in a mixing bowl and beat for 2-3  minutes until well combined. Add the icing sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and mix until you have a smooth buttercream. If the mixture feels too runny, add more icing sugar, if it is too stiff, add a little bit more lemon juice. 

7. Transfer one of the cooled sponges to a cake stand or a serving plate. Spread half of the buttercream over the top of it and place the second sponge on top. Spread the remaining buttercream over the top of the cake. 

8. Optionally, top the cake with some more lemon zest and some whipped cream and lemon slices.