Lemon-Berry Cake {With The BEST Lemon Frosting Ever!}

Lemon-Berry-Cake Slice_blog

I made this cake for our family’s Easter Dinner – it was light and lovely and just right for a spring-time celebration. I used Marionberry freezer jam to fill two of the layers and lemon curd for the middle layer, but all three could be berry (or lemon, for that matter if you’d like a totally lemon cake). Raspberry or blueberry would also be nice as fillings.

But my best discovery here was the frosting – so easy and so good. Just the right amount of lemon. The secret? Lemon curd. Yep, right in there with the powdered sugar and butter.

And oh, man, did it work great! In the past I’ve always used lemon juice in the frosting, but if I used too much (because I wanted more lemon flavor), it would get too runny. With a nice tart lemon curd, I could add quite a bit without affecting the consistency- which resulted in the Best Lemon Frosting. Ever.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this, but I’m glad I did, as I won’t make any other type of lemon frosting after this. I’ve been spoiled.

Lemon-Berry Cake


Lemon-Berry Cake and The Best Lemon Frosting Ever

For the cake:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 c. butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced (about 1/2 c. juice)
  • 1 tsp. pure lemon extract (optional, enhances lemon flavor but still lemony without it)

For the frosting:

  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 2/3 c. lemon curd (or more, depending on taste and consistency)*
  • 1 – 2 Tb. milk, optional if needed to lighten frosting

For the filling:

  • 1-1/2 c. berry jam or preserves for filling (or 1 c. jam + 1/2 c. lemon curd)
  1. Make the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper and lightly butter the tops of the parchment.
  2. Using a mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light – about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each. Add lemon zest, juice, and extract (if using). Mix until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger (if using). Mix on low just until combined. Pour evenly into prepared pans.
  4. Bake 25 – 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove and cool 10 minutes on a rack.
  5. Loosen edges with a knife and invert onto a cooling rack, remove parchment paper, and then turn right-side-up onto another cooling rack. Cool completely.
  6. Make the frosting: Cream the butter and lemon curd in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whipping attachment. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time.
  7. After all the sugar has been added, whip the frosting on high for a minute. Check the spreading consistency. If it seems thick, add a tablespoon of milk and whip again on high for a minute. Repeat if needed. The key to a light and airy frosting is whipping air into it, so keep whipping until it seems easy to spread. *If using a looser, homemade lemon curd start with smaller amount.
  8. Assemble the cake: Cut the cake layers in half to make four layers.
  9. Place one layer on a cake plate and spread with 1/2 c. of jam. Place second layer on top and spread this layer with 1/2 c. jam or lemon curd. Repeat with third layer, spreading with another 1/2 c. of jam and topping with the last layer (top of cake).
  10. Frost the sides of the cake with the lemon frosting, swirling the frosting with a knife. Finish by frosting the top, using the remaining frosting. Sprinkle with decorative, edible sugar pearls if desired.


This is linked to Saturday Nite Special and Foodie Fridays.


  1. says

    Wow, that’s a big statement, best lemon frosting ever. I’ll just have to make this cake and judge for myself. Have I thanked you yet for helping me stick to my diet?

    • says

      Ha! I only had a little piece – the key is to take it to a gathering. :-)

      And I know I’m going out on a limb, but I felt it was a good discovery and warranted the big statement. Feel free to call me on it if you don’t agree! :-)

    • says

      My problem is going to be not eating it all! I love Lemon and Berry flavors! You always have awesome recipes on here. I’m going to use this recipe for my teacher luncheon I’m hosting on April 30th. I’ll send you some pix.

  2. says

    This is our favorite cake too. I use seedless raspberry jam and lemon curd filling. I had a lot of lemon curd left over, wish I had thought of using it for the frosting too. I’ll definitely try it next time. Thanks!

  3. Melissa says

    So i did a test-run on this cake, before i make it for a “gender reveal” party for a friend. Once i added the lemon juice and before i added the dry ingredients, it curdled. I figured it was the lemon juice reacting with the butter. OK, no problem. I baked it up anyway and it seemed to be just fine. But the same thing happened with the frosting. It definitely does not look like the thick delicious frosting in your picture! It looks oily and curdled. Tastes fine, but looks awful! Any suggestions how to avoid and/or fix this???

    • says

      Wow, Melissa, I’ve made this frosting numerous times and that’s never happened – so sorry it turned out like that for you! It’s hard for me to trouble-shoot since I don’t know exactly what you used – was your butter too melted? was the lemon curd homemade or store-bought? did you mistake lemon juice for lemon curd? did you try adding more powdered sugar or whipping it more? These are all just questions I would ask to trouble-shoot… :)

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