Lemon Velvet Cake

Posted on Sep 28 2013 - 11:07am by Barry C. Parsons
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Lemon Velvet Cake
Lemon Velvet Cake

Before this Lemon Velvet Cake, it all started with me trying to develop the best Red Velvet Cake recipe I could.Β  It was such a success and I loved the moist, tender texture of that cake so much that I just had to try a White Velvet Cake and then an Orange Velvet Cake. Those turned out to be a couple of the most popular cake recipes ever on Rock Recipes so I couldn’t stop there. Keeping the lemon lovers like me in mind, a luscious lemon version was inevitable. The creamy, tangy lemon buttercream frosting goes particularly well with this beautiful lemon cake too.

Am I done with Velvet Cake recipes yet? Maybe not, I have an idea that might work out for yet another version. Here’s a clue…think pink. πŸ™‚Β 
Lemon Velvet Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Developed from an outstanding Red Velvet Cake recipe, this lemon cake is a perfectly moist and tender crumbed cake with a lemony buttercream frosting. An ideal birthday cake for the lemon lover in your life.
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups sifted cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup vegetable shortening at room temperature
  • 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pure lemon extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • zest of two small or one large lemons, grated and finely chopped
FOR THE FROSTING
  • 8 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp pure lemon extract
  • 1 tsp minced lemon zest (optional)
  • aproximately 4 tbsp milk
Instructions
  1. Grease and flour 2 nine inch round cake pans and line the bottom with 2 circles of parchment paper. Sift together both flours, baking soda. baking powder, salt and sugar, Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the vegetable oil, shortening, vanilla and lemon extract. Beat well at high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy
  3. Beat the eggs in one at a time.
  4. Fold in the lemon zest.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk.
  6. I always add dry ingredients in three divisions and liquid ingredients in 2 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, pour into the two prepared 9 inch cake pans.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  8. FOR THE FROSTING: mix together the icing sugar, lemon zest and butter until it becomes sort of crumbly.
  9. Add the lemon extract and a little of the milk.
  10. Beat until smooth and fluffy, adding only enough milk to bring the frosting to a creamy spreadable consistency.
  11. Fill and frost the cake. Garnish with candied lemon zest if desired.
  12. To make candied lemon zest, remove the zest with a sharp vegetable peeler in long strips, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible.
  13. Bring one cup of water and one cup of sugar to a slow boil.
  14. Add the pieces of lemon zest and boil for about 15 minutes. Drain the lemon zest on a wire rack.
  15. When cool, cut them in strips and roll in fine sugar.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12-16 servings

For the other recipes in our Velvet Cakes Collection click the photo below.

The Velvet Cake Collection
Lemon Velvet Cake
Lemon Velvet Cake

201 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Anonymous December 18, 2013 at 2:02 am - Reply

    I made the lemon velvet and it stuck to the pan. It did not say in the recipe to grease the 9″ cake pans but I did anyway. Do you think that is why it stuck? The cake is very moist and tasty. I would like to make again, but not sure what I did wrong.

    • Mia January 18, 2016 at 11:08 pm - Reply

      The FIRST instruction says to grease and flour 2 nine inch pans.

      • Jay May 13, 2016 at 7:08 pm - Reply

        Hi, I want to try out the recipes, I live in the uk so I am not sure what your cup measurements equate to, can you please provide measurements in grams or ounces

    • Mia January 18, 2016 at 11:12 pm - Reply

      Love the recipe. For the icing/frosting I swapped the butter for cream cheese and I squeezed the lemon (pulp and all) that was left over from zesting into the mix…OMG

    • Sabrina April 20, 2016 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      When in doubt, it’s a good rule of thumb to grease your pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. You will never go wrong with that.

    • gary June 13, 2016 at 2:45 am - Reply

      I have tried this cake and it is delicious! Since I have never found a strawberry cake that I like, I was thinking about trying to make this strawberry. Have you ever tried this? Maybe put in vanilla where it calls for lemon extract and strawberries in place of the lemon zest?

  2. Barry C. Parsons December 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Sorry, It should have read grease and flour the pans. I always add a circle of parchment paper to the bottom of the pans as well. I’ve made the instruction more clear at the beginning of the recipe. Glad you liked it.

    • Pat August 13, 2015 at 2:14 am - Reply

      Why do you have to use parchment paper if you’re greasing and flouring the pan? curious….

  3. Anonymous December 26, 2013 at 4:45 am - Reply

    I made this and it was delicious. I did cut the butter and powdered sugar in the icing recipe in half. It just seemed nuts to use a whole pound of butter for a 2 layer. Still worked great.

    • JOAN DAVIS June 18, 2015 at 6:13 am - Reply

      CAN I USE ALL SWEET BUTTER IN PLACE OF THE OIL?

      • Barry C. Parsons June 18, 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

        No that will affect the unique texture of this cake.

  4. Tina March 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    This cake is amazing!!!! It was very easy to make and I didn’t have any problems with it. It stays moist and fresh for several days.

    Have you ever played around with a dark chocolate cake? I was wondering if I could use your white velvet cake and add melted dark chocolate baking squares?

    • Barry August 26, 2014 at 11:06 am - Reply

      An experimental chocolate version using cocoa is in the oven this morning. Stay tuned!

  5. [email protected] March 13, 2014 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    I did this cake and it’s did not come out yellow it was a white cake with lemon flavor

  6. Barry C. Parsons March 14, 2014 at 10:00 am - Reply

    I’d say the color will vary naturally as it does with the color of the lemons.

    • kimlyn December 18, 2014 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      I used a few drops of yellow food coloring.My cake was yellow as a lemon! Just wonderful!!!

  7. Jena March 27, 2014 at 1:32 am - Reply

    Barry, I think your answer should’ve read: The darker your egg yolks, the more yellow your cake.

  8. Libby H March 29, 2014 at 11:31 am - Reply

    I’m not a baker but want to try this cake. Do you measure the flours before sifting, or sift them first to yield 1 1/2 cups each?

    Sounds delicious.

  9. Barry C. Parsons March 29, 2014 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Sift then measure.

  10. Sibyl March 31, 2014 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Is that a typo or does it call for 1 full cup of vegetable oil? It is listed twice!

  11. Bree Maria April 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    I made this cake last night and it was PERFECT. Absolutely perfect. I used parchment circles to line the bottom of my cake pans and the cakes popped right out. THe only thing I did differently was made a lemon cream cheese frosting instead of buttercream. Thank you!

    • Crystal November 15, 2014 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      Do you happen to have the lemon cream cheese recipe on the website? I’m gonna check right now since I have a block or cream cheese in my fridge waiting to be used sometime.

      • Barry C. Parsons November 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm - Reply

        I’d just add regular cream cheese icing and add a little finely minced lemon zest to it.

  12. Barry C. Parsons April 1, 2014 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    That’s fantasic. This recipe really has taken off in popularity.

  13. Barry C. Parsons April 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Read it again Sibyl, you are misreading. It uses part oil & part shortening.

  14. Anonymous April 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I really want to try out this recipe for all the rave reviews but can I use another substitute for shortening? Many thanks.

  15. Barry C. Parsons April 22, 2014 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Try it with butter instead of shortening.

    • Jen November 10, 2014 at 8:45 am - Reply

      Can I just use butter alone, instead of the oil & shortening?

      • Barry C. Parsons November 18, 2014 at 3:32 pm - Reply

        You ca but I find the shortening does contribute to a softer cake texture.

        • kimlyn December 18, 2014 at 8:16 pm - Reply

          ,I agree Barry , not only does it yield a lighter texture it also makes the cake super moist. I find no fault in this recipe.

  16. Anonymous May 9, 2014 at 2:45 am - Reply

    May I substitute Hi Ratio shortening instead of butter in the frosting? I live in Tx and have a wedding cake request for this cake.
    thanks!
    Stacy

  17. Barry C. Parsons May 9, 2014 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    I’ve used vegetable shortening in a similar recipe but I don’t know what high ratio shortening is. I’d do a small test batch if I planned on using it on a wedding cake. I’m not a cake decorator, I’m afraid.

  18. Anonymous May 11, 2014 at 3:25 am - Reply

    Is it normal for the cake to not rise very much?

    • Brooke July 4, 2014 at 8:55 am - Reply

      For baking your soda powder and baking powder need to be fresh. I write on the can the date of purchase and make sure it’s less than a year old. This makes a difference in rising. The baking soda I use a lot of but the powder I find needs replacing before I use it all but I’m not a big baker and live alone thus low usage. I hope this helps someone.

  19. Barry C. Parsons May 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    I haven’t had a problem with this cake rising. First time someone has mentioned that so no, I would say it is unusual.

    • Pat August 19, 2015 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      My cake did not raise much either, maybe it was the freshness of the powders, not sure. Vi followed the recipe very carefully. It’s still cooling so I don’t know how it tastes yet. I also halved the frosting, but that takes great .

  20. Anonymous June 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Is this cake firm enough to hold the weight of another tier? What about fondant?

  21. Barry C. Parsons June 4, 2014 at 11:08 am - Reply

    I’d say no. It is very light and not dense. I’d definitely use plates and dowels for a decorated cake.

  22. Patricia July 11, 2014 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    Have you used this recipe be used to make cupcakes? If so, what was the yield and baking time, approximately, since everyone’s ovens are different? Thanks!

    • Barry C. Parsons July 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      I haven’t used it to make cupcakes but it’s worth a try. Everyone’s oven is different and the smaller the item the bigger the impact of baking them too long. My oven takes about 15 minutes but watch them closely and use the toothpick test to be sure. I always write baking times for my oven on the page if they vary from the recipe I’m using. That way you’ll be ahead of the game and won’t be guessing next time you bake anything.

      • Katie June 9, 2016 at 3:16 pm - Reply

        Hi Barry!
        This looks great! I recently bough lemon infused cooking oil. The instructions on the oil say to use in place of butter. Seeing as there’s butter AND oil in this recipe, should i just use my infused oil in place of butter, and leave out the oil?

        • Barry C. Parsons August 19, 2016 at 12:14 pm - Reply

          I’d try using it in place of the oil. You need a combination of liquid and solid fats for this recipe to work.

  23. Patricia July 11, 2014 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Barry! I tried the recipe for cupcakes this morning, & it made 24 cupcakes. I pulled them out after 17 minutes, but 15 would probably have sufficed. They were lovely!! I added some lemon juice to the icing cuz I like a little tang to offset the sweetness. Could I add some to the batter too & reduce the buttermilk next time? Thanks for the yummy recipe! πŸ™‚

  24. Kristi July 12, 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    I also made cupcakes and mine took 22 minutes. I thought they were a little muffin-y, maybe I shouldn’t have cooked them so long.

    • Barry C. Parsons July 14, 2014 at 11:49 am - Reply

      I’m going to have to try them as cupcakes. Ovens vary but mine wouldn’t take 22 minutes I don’t think.

  25. Jackie July 13, 2014 at 1:13 am - Reply

    Hi Barry

    What’s the purpose of using vegetable oil and vegetable shortening in this recipe.

  26. Kristen July 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    I made this recipe into cupcakes and it was full of flavor ( I did use juice from half of the lemon as well as the zest) and it was delicious. Moist, light and full of lemon flavor. I will make this again!

  27. Rhonda statler July 18, 2014 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    I have made this cake twice in 1 week. It is very good. The 2nd time, I added more lemon zest in the icing and also the juice of a whole small lemon. It made the icing have a little more tartness and it tasted much better the 2nd time. I thought the cake itself was very crumbly, so the 2nd time, I put a dollop of sour cream or 2 in the batter.

  28. Paige July 25, 2014 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I baked this cake last weekend. The only addition I made was to squeeze some fresh lemon juice in the frosting. It was really wonderful. I’m making it again today for someone’s birthday. Oh, I did cut the frosting in half for a 2 layer cake. Delicious!

  29. Kirsten July 28, 2014 at 1:08 am - Reply

    I made this recipe for a birthday cake for my mother in law this weekend. Everyone loved it! This will now be my go to recipe for lemon cake.

    The cake was tender in texture and flavourful. I did substitute the lemon extract with a lemon baking emulsion though. I multiplied the recipe 1.5 times and got two 2″ high 8″ rounds. The cake held up well to being covered in ganache and fondant. I’m looking forward to trying to stack cakes with this recipe, and the other variations.

  30. Lolita August 4, 2014 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    I made this cake yesterday and it was a hit !! Very moist cake and tasty. Thanks for sharing….

  31. kimlyn August 11, 2014 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Omg….This cake was awesome. I baked it twice in one week.

  32. Lori Poiroux August 15, 2014 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Do you actually “fold” ( by hand) in your ingredients? I have only done this with egg whites .

    • Barry C. Parsons August 21, 2014 at 5:16 pm - Reply

      Yes Folding by hand is best but if you have a paddle attachment on your mixer you could possibly do it on low speed.

  33. NanCommissaris August 15, 2014 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this lovely cake recipe!! I am making my second one into cupcakes. The first cake was a huge hit.
    Have followed the recipe as written ’cause it works so well.

  34. Jenn August 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    This was one of the best cakes I have ever made. Delicious. My entire family, including my father, also said the same. THANK YOU. Made me look like a star πŸ™‚

  35. Joan August 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Could this be made with gluten-free flour? They do not have a cake flour .

    • Barry C. Parsons August 22, 2014 at 9:15 am - Reply

      I’m afraid I can’t speak to that, I’ve never tried it but if you do try it, please let us know the results. Barry.

  36. mia August 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Is parchment paper needed? Or can I just grease and flour?

    • Barry C. Parsons August 23, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      Not necessary. I just like to line the bottoms at least for easy release from the pan.

  37. rosalie mccurry August 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    barry ,i have looked for a long time for a lemon cake using oil no butter or crisco and i would like to use fresh blueberries , so it would be a lemon blueberry cake , i hope you can help me i had a beautiful recipe but lost it somehow thank you for your time

    • Barry C. Parsons August 25, 2014 at 11:02 am - Reply

      All my lemon blueberry recipes use either butter or shortening I think. Is there a reason you just wanted an oil based recipe?

  38. Theresa August 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    I’m planning on making this for a birthday this week. Is it easy to pipe/decorate with the buttercream?

    • Barry C. Parsons August 25, 2014 at 11:00 am - Reply

      It pipes well but you may want to omit the minced zest if using very small tips.

  39. rosalie mccurry August 26, 2014 at 1:41 am - Reply

    Hello Barry ,thank you for answering so fast, the reason I use veg. Oil is because I bake for my son once a week and his cakes have to last at least 2 – 3 days ,it seams butter and Crisco just gets to stale , the recipe I. Had I can’t find ,and Don’t remember where I got it on the net , I tried using pistachio recipe and using lemon pudding ,lemon zest ,and the cakes Did rise nicely but flattened out as they cooled maybe I should try ,white cake mix and lemon pudding ,adding blueberries to the recipe , thank you again for answering me so quickly

    • Barry C. Parsons August 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      I can’t comment on cake mixes or pudding mix recipes. I never use mixes, I always bake strictly from scratch. I think You’d find that he mixture of shortening and oil in this cake will not dry out. One of the things people comment on about this recipe is that it stays moist for a few days. You might want to try it with blueberries.

  40. rosalie August 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    thank you so much Barry , i will try your recipe and see how it works , i am sure i will love it , thank you for your time , have a good day .

    • Barry C. Parsons August 28, 2014 at 9:07 am - Reply

      Good luck. I may try a quick recipe of my own soon using just oil. Stay tuned.

  41. Tanya September 21, 2014 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Barry I made this cake and it was delicious. I have looking for a moist delicious lemon cake and now I’m set. This is by far the best lemon cake I have ever made. Thank you for sharing. Soon I’m going to try the red velvet. Hopefully that’s a hit as we’ll.

  42. Debby September 23, 2014 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Hi
    I live in the UK and don’t know what our equivalent of cake flour would be? Any suggestions? We have plain flour which is the general purpose and self-raising flour which could be the same as the cake flour…. ?

    • Barry C. Parsons September 23, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

      Hi Debby,
      Self raising flour is very uncommon over here, I’ve actually never seen it sold here at all. What you folks call plain flour is what gets labelled as all-purpose flour here. Cake flour is actually much finer and softer than plain or bread flour. That’s why it makes such tender, soft cakes but I like to mix it with plain flour to get a bit if a firmer structure in the cake. It’s sold here in Canada often as “Cake and Pastry” flour. I did find this post from “Joy the Baker” which gives suggestions. Joy is a remarkable baker who really knows her stuff. http://joythebaker.com/2013/12/baking-101-the-best-cake-flour-substitute/
      Hope this helped. Oh…and one more thing….CHETNA TO WIN ON BAKEOFF!! LOL!

      • Debby September 23, 2014 at 11:43 am - Reply

        thanks Barry, I will do some research and let you know how the cake turns out. I purchased some measuring cups last time I visited the states so I should be fine with the quantities.
        Oh…. and I think she may lose out to Richard the Builder!! Glad you’re enjoying the GBBO show -I am addicted! πŸ™‚

  43. Stepfon Fletcher September 26, 2014 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Hello Barry I just want to make sure I’m on the same page, when it saids sift flours, baking soda etc and your saying even the sugar. I never had a recipe to sift the sugar as well.

    • Barry C. Parsons September 29, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

      Yup. It’s a method that I developed that helps create a very light, tender crumb to the cake. Good luck.

  44. Stepfon Fletcher September 26, 2014 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    I just made this cake and I followed it to a T but I’m sad to say the cake didn’t rise. I’m a little disappointed.

    • Barry C. Parsons September 29, 2014 at 11:56 am - Reply

      Not sure what went wrong for you but as you can see from the comments, it has been made successfully by many. Maybe it’s worth another try.

  45. Stepfon Fletcher September 30, 2014 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Hello Barry I did icing the cake and it was delicious. So I’m not sure what happened but I will try it again. I want to know could I just use cake flour.

  46. Sarah October 17, 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    I’ve just tried this recipe and it’s in the oven. I was just wondering why you sift the sugar? I’ve never done this before and it really threw me off… it doesn’t even get through the sieve. Could it just be thrown in after the eggs like most cake recipes? I also have a comment about the way you worded Step 2. You say the word “blend” before mentioning the whisk attachment. I attached the paddle because this is the standard for cakes and realised only once I started mixing the ingredients; it wasn’t a big deal, just a nuisance but could have been avoided with better wording. I also wouldn’t describe the mixture as “light and fluffy”… it really just became homogeneous. Thanks! I’m looking forward to it coming out of the oven!

    • Barry C. Parsons October 27, 2014 at 10:00 am - Reply

      You could just blend the sugar into the sifted flour if the sugar grains are too large, I find a big difference in sugar brands and big differences depending on where you live. Sieves of course, vary as well.

  47. Andi October 19, 2014 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    I have made this cake and it was a big hit……perfectly moist, and just the right amount of lemon. I have it posted on my blog “thewednesdaybaker.blogspot.com” I used my new favorite buttercream and used a lemon curd filling in the middle. This is a keeper for sure. Thank you so much.

    I made this cake and wrapped in wax paper then wrapped each layer in freezer paper and placed in the freezer. I made it one week before I needed it. Perfect. Andi

    • Barry C. Parsons October 27, 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad it was such a success and good to hear that it freezes well too.

  48. Sandra November 3, 2014 at 1:19 am - Reply

    I would love to make this as a three-layer cake, preferably three 9″ layers, but 8″ layers would be fine also. Should I make an extra half recipe? I can’t way to try this recipe!

  49. Barri November 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Wondering why you use lemon extract as opposed to lemon juice.

    • Barry C. Parsons November 4, 2014 at 9:55 am - Reply

      You could use it for the milk in the frosting if you prefer, the milk gives it a more creamy look. There is enough flavour from the lemon zest if you prefer not to use the extract. I’m just a lemon freak!

  50. Ashley November 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Can you use milk or yogurt instead of buttermilk, cannot get it anywhere!

    • Barry C. Parsons November 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm - Reply

      Add a tsp or 2 of lemon juice or vinegar to regular whole milk as a substitute. It will be just as good. Are you in the UK Ashley?

      • Gina November 6, 2014 at 2:53 am - Reply

        Hi, Barry: I just found your site and really love your recipes. They are really moist and nice. In fact, it is cool that they pretty much have the same ingredients and amounts. Easy to remember.

        I wanted to let you say thank you and let you know that I live in a mile high city, with altitude of 5300. The measurements work just fine as you have them. The only thing is that I get better results in structure when I add more (75/25) all purpose flour than cake flour. Or if I use all purpose flour alone, I sift it beforehand a bit. I bake at 350 degrees instead of 325 and that works great here. And as you know we bake for longer in the high altitude places, such as it takes about 35-40 minutes.

        I also have substituted the shortening for the same amount of butter and the cake is so delicious with flavor too. With the all purpose flour mix, I don’t worry about the cake coming out too light or tender to stack. The texture makes it great for stacking cakes. The cakes still come out really nice and moist.

        • Barry C. Parsons November 18, 2014 at 3:48 pm - Reply

          Thanks. I sometimes get questions about high altitude baking but Living near the ocean, I don’t really know much about it.

  51. MIchael Rucker November 12, 2014 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    I am so excited to try this recipe.
    I have 2 questions. 1) have you ever tried separating the eggs and folding in the egg whites as the last step?

    2) Do you use the whisk attachment on the Kitchen Aid all the way through this recipe? Or, do you change to the paddle attachment at some point?

    • Barry C. Parsons November 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      No I have never tried separating the eggs. I don’t think that’s necessary and would affect the texture of the cake. I use the whisk attachment to start but you can switch tot he paddle attachment for the dry ingredients or fold in by hand the final addition of dry ingredients.

  52. Stepfon Fletcher November 15, 2014 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Hello Barry I ask you could I just use cake flour and you didn’t even respond back to me. That was back on September 30,2014

  53. Sue January 5, 2015 at 6:28 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe. It is very moist and came out perfect!!My husband enjoyed it as his birthday cake.

    • Barry C. Parsons January 7, 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

      Always happy to be part of someone’s celebration. That is an incredibly popular cake on Rock Recipes.

  54. Pearse January 5, 2015 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Can we use all purpose for cake flour ?
    Thanks in advance

    • Barry C. Parsons January 7, 2015 at 11:38 am - Reply

      Technically yes, but the unique, soft texture of this cake relies on using part cake flour in the recipe. It will be heavier and denser only using all purpose flour.

  55. ROBERTA February 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    I AM CONFUSED HOW CAN OIL, SHORTING,LEMON EXTRACT , VAN, CAN BEAT UP (FLUFFY) HAD A PROBLEM WITH THAT?

    • Barry C. Parsons February 11, 2015 at 10:50 am - Reply

      It certainly does for me and many others who have had great success with this recipe. Did you try the recipe or are you just asking?

  56. Sherry February 11, 2015 at 12:09 am - Reply

    I made this lemon velvet cake yesterday and was disappointed. My cake turned out more dense than I expected based on other reviews. I used unsweetened applesauce in place of oil and butter in place of the shortening. Could these changes have made the difference?

    • Barry C. Parsons February 11, 2015 at 10:28 am - Reply

      Well, yes. You can’t drastically change a cake recipe and expect that will turn out correctly, I’m afraid. The balance of the shortening and oil in this recipe is what gives it it’s unique texture.

  57. Louise February 28, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,
    So sorry to bother you. I was just about to repin this recipe which I knew looked familiar. The only thing is, it was on another website. I usually check links before repinning. Anyway, if you want to check the other website, here’s the link,

    • Barry C. Parsons March 25, 2015 at 5:01 pm - Reply

      That link does link back to my site for the recipe but when pinning it’s always better and more efficient to pin the original source.

  58. Sydney March 2, 2015 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Do any of the ingredients need to be at room temperature or is it okay if they’re cold?

    • Barry C. Parsons March 25, 2015 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      I generally use them cold but room temp may help your cake rise better.

  59. Evonne March 7, 2015 at 3:04 am - Reply

    Has anyone tried coconut oil in place of the shortening?

  60. Felicia March 9, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Thank you Barry for the best cake recipe that I have ever made. I rarely leave reviews but this time I had to. For the cake, I followed it exactly except that I omitted the vanilla extract and squeezed some fresh lemon juice into the batter. For the icing, I used 2 sticks of butter and 6 cups of powdered sugar. I used fresh squeezed lemon juice and a little milk (it yielded plenty of frosting for a 9 inch 2 layer cake. The cake baked very high and had a beautiful presentation. The texture was soft and moist but held up in the layers. Yum!!!!

    • Barry C. Parsons March 17, 2015 at 2:26 pm - Reply

      That’s terrific. This recipe is much loved by many Rock recipes followers.

  61. Pauline March 10, 2015 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    I am a bit of a novice, when you say that the oil/shortening mixture should be light and fluffy, what exactly should that look like and roughly how long should that take. Mine was light in color and I could see bubbles, but it was runny in texture.

  62. Sabrina A. G. March 17, 2015 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    This cake was very good it just needed a little more lemon flavor for my taste. Do u have a chocolate version of this cake? Can u give me a link to it if so ? Thank you πŸ™‚

    • Barry C. Parsons March 25, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      Hust search Chocolate Velvet Cake on the website. It’s there and easy to find.

  63. Love baking March 23, 2015 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    This cake was simply delicious! Be sure to read the instructions at least two times and you should not have a problem.

  64. Kat April 1, 2015 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Hello! I was wondering if i could bake this cake in a bundt pan? Would I need to change anything? Wanting to make this recipe tonight or tomorrow!

  65. Lynn April 19, 2015 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Hi Barry. Could I make this cake in a 9×13 pan?

    • Barry C. Parsons April 19, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Yes indeed.

      • Jeri May 23, 2015 at 1:31 pm - Reply

        What would be the cooking time in a 9 x 13 pan?

        • Barry C. Parsons June 2, 2015 at 3:25 pm - Reply

          Should be maybe 5 minutes or so more. The toothpick test is always your best guide.

  66. Shonti April 19, 2015 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    I have made this recipe and even adapted my own version of it and it is wonderful. However, I did not know another way to contact you and let you know your recipe is floating around facebook under a user name Heidi Stephenson Crist, I just thought you should know πŸ™‚

  67. Jennifer May 4, 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Hi, I have tried the recipe just now and turned out a dense cake. I have followed the recipe and ingredients step by step. The ingredients divided by 2 because I want to try the recipe in small amount first. What are the possible reasons for the cake to be dense?

    • Barry C. Parsons June 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Not sure but that result is definitely not typical. People have great success with this cake. I suspect you mis-measured somewhere along the line when you were halving the ingredients. Easily done, I know.

  68. Petra May 22, 2015 at 7:53 am - Reply

    Hi Barry, I’m from Czech rep. and I’m struggling a bit with a metric system. Just to make it right, will it turn out ok if i convert us cups to ml rather than grams? For the icing it seems quite a lot of sugar and butter! Many thanks πŸ™‚

    • Barry C. Parsons June 2, 2015 at 3:28 pm - Reply

      Yes, you can use a 240 ml as 1 cup. It is a large batch of frosting. Make half if you like less frosting.

  69. Jeri May 22, 2015 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    My family are all lemon lovers. There are so many awesome and positive reviews, I’ll definitely be trying this recipe, myself. Was just wondering if it’s possible to bake this recipe in a 9 x 13 pan and if so, at what temperature and how long would it need to bake….

    • Barry C. Parsons June 2, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      Close to the same baking time at same temperature. Let the toothpick test guide you to be absolutely sure.

  70. Cynthia May 24, 2015 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    have you ever tried baking this on a half sheet pan?

    • Barry C. Parsons June 2, 2015 at 3:23 pm - Reply

      If that’s a 9×13 baking pan and not cooike sheet pan it should be ok.

  71. Erika May 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Thank you for such a lovely recipe! I was on the lookout for a good lemon cake to turn into a poke cake and found your recipe on Pinterest! I made it and it turned out great! Here’s my Lemon-Raspberry-Vanilla Poke Cake adapted from your recipe: http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/?p=442

  72. kalow May 28, 2015 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Great recipe. I couldn’t get the ingredience in step 2 to fluff up all nice and fluffy, but the cake still came out super awesome. was told I had the best cake this side of the Mississippi River.

  73. Mary June 4, 2015 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    This cake looks fabulous, thank you! I will be making this for my family and checking out your other velvet cake recipes as well.

  74. Andrea June 8, 2015 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Reassuring to read other comments regarding the “light and fluffy” question. I wondered if I did something wrong. The oil/shortening/extract never reached that state for me either. Also mine took longer than 35 minutes for 2 8inch cakes at 325. I’m afraid I over compensated and they turned out a bit dry. I usually bake cakes at 350. I think this recipe is worth another try. The flavor is good. Thanks for sharing.

    • Barry C. Parsons June 15, 2015 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      Very odd for this cake to be dry. Perhaps you left them in too long.

  75. Dee June 11, 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    This cake was a smashing success! I tweeked the icing by adding some lemon extract and fresh lemon to it. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. Do you have a strawberry version?

    • Barry C. Parsons June 13, 2015 at 8:47 am - Reply

      Glad you liked it. Not sure strawberry would work but there is a raspberry version.

  76. GeoLin June 18, 2015 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    I’m thinking of using this cake with your ‘The Ultimate Lemon Cake’ recipe because it looks so much lighter and fluffier. What do you think? I found each of your recipes during separate searches then realized that they were both yours!

  77. Jenn June 29, 2015 at 12:21 am - Reply

    Hello Barry. I am planning on making this cake for an outdoor birthday party. It’s already summer. Do you think it would work well? I am not planning leaving it in the sun but it will likely be warm. Do you think the frosting could suffer?

    • Barry C. Parsons June 30, 2015 at 12:45 pm - Reply

      I’d make it the day before and keep it in the fridge overnight to chill completely through. That should give you plenty of time for it to stand up to the warm temperatures.

  78. Nichelle June 30, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    I made this cake over the weekend and it turned out great! as of day 3 it was completly gone and my family want me to make another for the 4th. Now the only thig is the frosting makes way too much and i did have plenty left over so i will be able to cut that part of the recipe.

  79. Holly July 4, 2015 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Would you possibly create a peach velvet cake? My mom loves the peach muffins we get at Folks & I would love to make a peach cake for her birthday!

    • Barry C. Parsons July 7, 2015 at 10:21 am - Reply

      Might be tricky to get real peach flavour into a cake. Maybe use a peach filling instead? What is Folks? Is it a restaurant chain?

  80. nate July 4, 2015 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    can you make this cake ahead of time and freeze it and how long can you have it in the frezzer ?

    • Barry C. Parsons July 7, 2015 at 10:17 am - Reply

      It probably could be frozen for a couple of weeks. Let me know if you try it.

  81. Kyra July 5, 2015 at 10:03 am - Reply

    ThIs cake came out fantastic! Everyone loved it. I had a lot of frosting left over so when I make it again, I will reduce the ingredients by half. Thanks for posting.

    • Barry C. Parsons July 7, 2015 at 10:16 am - Reply

      Some people do prefer less icing but I’d get complaints on the other side if I reduced the frosting recipe. πŸ˜‰

  82. Suzan July 9, 2015 at 12:36 am - Reply

    I would love to try this recipe, but I have a soy allergy, so the vegetable oil or shortening won’t work for me. I’m new to the allergy and just getting back into baking. Any alternative suggestions?

    • Barry C. Parsons August 3, 2015 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      I don’t know much about allergy friendly cooking. I’d look for soy-free options for both.

  83. Debbie August 2, 2015 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Fantastic recipe – thank you, Barry! I have searched and searched for the perfect lemon cake and have finally found it. I just needed a small cake, though, so made 2 x 6″ – approx 424g batter/pan, and 1 dozen regular size cupcakes. Baked all together – cupcakes came out perfectly at 20 min. Cakes took another 15. This is just lovely! Thanks again. Debbie

  84. Karen August 5, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Absolutely delicious–moist and flavorful. Directions were perfect. I received many raves about this cake. The only things I changed: I used butter instead of shortening (because I didn’t have any shortening) and I halved the frosting recipe. I thought that 8 cups of powdered sugar would make more icing than I needed. I had no shortage frosting the cake with half the recipe. I think using a full recipe of frosting may have looked better, but I’m surrounded by people who frequently pass on any dessert, so I wanted it to look a little less indulgent. Will definitely make this again and again.

    • Barry C. Parsons August 6, 2015 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the rave review. It’s in our top ten recipes for a reason!

  85. Chris w August 6, 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Made this cake for my family reunion.turned out great! So moist

  86. Janet August 20, 2015 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Barry! This was one of the best cakes I’ve ever baked. It was light and moist…the frosting was to die for;-) Everyone that tasted it raved about it. I did it exactly as you wrote it except for I used lemon oil in the frosting to give it a stronger lemon flavor. Divine….many thanks…looking forward to trying more of your cakes!!!!

  87. Julie August 25, 2015 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I made this cake yesterday for my hubs birthday and it was delicious! This cake is far better than the Famous Lemon Cake from our local “Sweet Surrender Bakery” that Oprah Winfrey has raves about. Better because it remains fluffy and more intense in flavor whereas the famous Sweet Surrender cake becomes firm (I suspect due to a lot of shortening). I am going to tell the world about this cake. I followed the recipe to a T and it came out beautiful. And I did have to make my own cake flour using the flour cornstarch thing and sifting it 5 times which was not a bit troublesome at all. Can’t wait to check out your other recipes! Was glad hubs wanted lemon this year.

  88. Caitlin August 29, 2015 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Hi, could you add strawberries or raspberries to the cake? Or would it mess up the whole recipe?

  89. Beverly September 10, 2015 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    This cake is amazing, just loved the taste and texture. This is a keeper and thank you so much!!!

  90. winona f September 13, 2015 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    hello

    Made this cake on Labor Day…huge success…just need to clarify frosting….was the butter to be melted or softened?

  91. Ava October 18, 2015 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Hi Barry. I want to try this recipe but I do not use processed white sugar. I bake with raw sugar. As you probably know the crystals are large brown and have a stronger flavor. When I bake butter pound cakes I usually cream the sugar very well until the crystals break down and there is no longer a crunchy texture. In your opinion if I use butter instead of shortening or if I cream the sugar with the shortening would the creaming of the sugar to break it down adversely affect the texture?

    • Barry C. Parsons November 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      I’ve never cooked with raw sugar but I think the texture would definitely suffer. Can you break it down in the food processor before use?

  92. Ashley November 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Do you think cutting this recipe in half would make enough batter for a 5 layer cake made with 6 inch rounds? The layers are less than an inch each.

    • Barry C. Parsons November 16, 2015 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      I think this recipe is too tender and soft for a stacked cake.

  93. Lori January 18, 2016 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    I wonder if anything could be substituted for the eggs in this recipe – flax eggs, perhaps? Or is this a recipe that can’t really be messed with much?

  94. Fran February 3, 2016 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Just made it. It’s a huge hit. I, like many others, halved the frosting recipe. How should this cake be stored?

  95. Carol February 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    I did make this cake and it blew me off. Id been looking for a good lemon cake recipe and this made it. Thank you for this recipe. Keep them coming.

  96. Mike March 15, 2016 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    My frosting was very thin and runny. What did I do wrong?

    • Barry C. Parsons April 8, 2016 at 5:33 am - Reply

      Too much lemon juice? Or mismeasuring? Never had that issue I’m afraid.

    • Jamie April 30, 2016 at 10:50 pm - Reply

      Humidity can also effect frosting. I always add very little milk and slowly add to get the consistency I like. It easier than adding more powdered sugar to get it thicker.

  97. Melissa April 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    will this cake hold up to fondant? I want to make a two tier baby shower cake.

  98. Dianne April 7, 2016 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Prepared this cake exactly as directed. Best any flavor cake I ever had! Everything was perfect about it, texture, crumb and taste. Granted, its a little more trouble than a box mix but the
    grand cake you get is well worth it. I am going to try to add and extra 1/2 ingredients to make a three layer cake Wish me luck.

  99. Jamie April 30, 2016 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Made this recipe for my best friend’s birthday party. It was a hit. People said it tasted like it came from a bakery. The only issue I had was getting it out of the pan. I should have used parchment. Otherwise it was supper yummy!

  100. soteria May 6, 2016 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Plz I love ya cakes them which am about to try, but plz u did not mention where u add the sugar.

    • Barry C. Parsons May 6, 2016 at 9:41 am - Reply

      It is written in the instructions to sift hit together with the flour etc.

  101. Donna Fesser May 21, 2016 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Don’t usually comment but this is one of the best cake recipes I’ve ever tried. I needed a cake for a special occasion for my son. He’s not that fond of sweets, but will occasionally eat something citrusy like lemon pie. So I thought a lemon cake might please him. It was an enormous hit with the whole family. Even my son had a piece after every supper until it was gone, something he never does. I did substitute lemon curd as a filling and cream cheese frosting as an icing, to keep the sweetness down a bit, and it was still scrumptious. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe which is now a family favourite.

    • Barry C. Parsons August 19, 2016 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      The lemon curd and Cream cheese icing sound like a terrific combination. Might have to try that myself.

  102. Dawn May 25, 2016 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Does it matter if the buttermilk is regular or light? The cake looks so good!

  103. Dawn May 31, 2016 at 8:09 am - Reply

    This was delicious! I made it for Memorial Day weekend and everyone loved it! The biggest compliment was that the lemon flavor was perfect and not over bearing.

    Because frosting needs to be tweaked according to taste, my teenage son helped me with the frosting (which is a first). We halved the frosting recipe and added some lemon juice to it as well as a total of 5 tablespoons of milk and 2 more tablespoons of unsalted butter to get the right consistency and flavor.

    I’m definitely going to make this again! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  104. Pei June 13, 2016 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Do you have the recipe in metrics please?

    • Barry C. Parsons August 19, 2016 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      No. Most people use online convertors for this purpose when needed.

  105. Adam June 28, 2016 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Made this for my wife’s birthday and it was a huge hit. I’m now making it for people at work, and wondering how I would have to change the baking time/temp for a 9X13 pan instead of 2 9″ pans. I want to do this so more people at work can have a piece. (Sorry if this is an easy question. I’m not a big baker, and this is the first thing I’ve made that has really turned out well.)

    • Barry C. Parsons June 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      The recipe will fit in a 9×13 pan but will poor ably take more time to bake. Let the toothpick test be your guide.

  106. Renee D July 1, 2016 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Made this for a party tomorrow. The recipe made 24 cupcakes (could have got 28 but didn’t want to dirty another pan). My oven was 17 min. I checked at 12, 15, 17. Didn’t use lemon extract in batter I substituted with zest.
    I added juice from one and 1/2 lemons to frosting and OMG!!!!!! Decreased milk to 2 TBSP but next time (there will definitely be a next time!) I will do the lemon juice 1st and then milk because could probably used touch less milk. Can’t wait to get everyone’s reaction tomorrow.

  107. Renee D July 1, 2016 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    See post above- Oops I halved the frosting measurements and it was perfect for 24 cupcakes with a little extra so I could like the bowl!

  108. Bernadette July 15, 2016 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    OMG just tried this as cupcakes and I”m in love. Am going to pair them with a lime buttercream πŸ™‚ \Have you ever tried this recipe without the lemon and just making it as a vanilla cake. I love the texture. Light and moist but not crumbly.

    • Barry C. Parsons August 19, 2016 at 12:02 pm - Reply

      There are several versions of this cake on this site, including a white cake.

  109. Kay July 16, 2016 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Can I use butter and coconut oil or avocado oil?

    • Barry C. Parsons August 19, 2016 at 11:58 am - Reply

      I’ve never tried that. This recipe is pretty specific to get the right texture/crumb.

  110. Dottie August 10, 2016 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Made this for a coworker’s birthday – BIG HIT!!!!

  111. Christa M August 12, 2016 at 5:29 am - Reply

    How long should it take for the oil/shortening to fluff up? I’m not sure what I did wrong but one hour later it still isn’t fluff in my kichenaid at high speed. Please help!!

    • Barry C. Parsons August 19, 2016 at 11:13 am - Reply

      A few minutes. I can’t believe you whipped it for an hour!

  112. catherine cardelein August 13, 2016 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    is room temperature shortening considered crisco? or are you talking about margarine, oleo?

    • Barry C. Parsons August 19, 2016 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Shortening is vegetable shortening, like Crisco, not margarine.

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