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Lemon Sponge Cake

by Nick Makrides
Published: Last Updated on

This fresh and zesty cake packs such a delicious flavour punch! Follow your tastebuds into warmer weather with this Lemon Sponge Cake! Made of a delicate lemon sponge cake with lemon cream cheese frosting, drizzled with sour lemon and topped with lemon slices. I mean, does it get any more lemon than this?

Full Lemon Sponge Cake on cake plate with lemon drizzle and slices

Slice of Lemon Drizzle Cake

My favorite thing about this recipe is how much flavor is in it! My favorite frosting is cream cheese frosting is that t’s perfectly paired with my red velvet cupcakes and Red Velvet Cake. It also goes really well with chocolate cupcakes. The cream cheese frosting is creamy and is packed full of lemon zest which makes it a welcome addition to the lemon sponge cake with is moist!

What does this Lemon Sponge Cake taste like?

Moist Lemon Sponge Cake – this cake is really lemony and doesn’t disappoint!

Creamy Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – is creamy and lemony but not too sweet.

Sour Lemon Drizzle – this drizzle is nice and sour and really cuts through the sweetness of the cake

What you need for the Lemon Sponge Cake


Unsalted butter – make sure your butter is softened and not straight out of the fridge.

Caster sugar – Also known as superfine sugar. This will result in a finer crumb and a more delicious cake.

Eggs – Make sure your eggs are at room temperature and not straight out of the fridge.

Greek yogurt – the Greek yogurt can be out of the fridge. It adds moisture to the cake and some extra tang.

Lemons – There are a lot of lemons in this cake. I used unwaxed lemons that I cleaned and dried before using.

Self-raising flour – Also known as self-rising flour, this flour already has baking powder in it.

Baking powder – Adding additional baking powder will help make this cake rise.


Want to learn how to make my fluffy cream cheese frosting for cakes and cupcakes? Grab the recipe HERE!

Cream cheese – make sure your cream cheese is softened. Place in the microwave for 20 seconds if straight from the fridge.

Powdered sugar – Regular powdered sugar.

Vanilla extract – Use pure vanilla extract and not imitation vanilla for best results.

Lemon Drizzle

Powdered sugar and lemon juice – these ingredients will form a thin paste-like consistency that will drizzle but not be thin enough to be see-through.

How to make the Lemon Sponge Cake.


Lemon Sponge Cake Instructional Image 01

1. Add butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Beat together on medium high speed until pale and fluffy.

2. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating into the butter mixture and scraping down in between each addition.

Lemon Sponge Cake Instructional Image 02

3. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and the lemon zest into the bowl.

4. And lemon juice. And mix until well combined.

Lemon Sponge Cake Instructional Image 09

5. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until no dry ingredients are showing.

6. Distribute the batter between two 8-inch baking tins. Bake for 35-40 minutes on 150°C / 300°F.


Lemon Sponge Cake Instructional Image 03

1. Add the softened cream cheese and butter to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined, pale and fluffy. About 2 minutes.

2. Add the vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and lemon zest and mixt until well combined on low speed to begin with, then up to medium high speed until pale and fluffy.

Lemon Drizzle

Lemon Sponge Cake Instructional Image 10

1. Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice to a large mixing bowl and use a whisk until well combined.

2. It will reach a drizzle consistency.

Let’s Decorate!

1. Add the first layer of cake to a serving plate.

2. Add 2/3 of the frosting to the first layer of cake and spread around evenly.

Lemon Sponge Cake Instructional Image 04

3. Add the second layer of cake and press down firmly.

4. I decided to scrape some of the frosting away from the middle of the cake…

Lemon Sponge Cake Instructional Image 05

5. So I could pipe some frosting in between the cake layers using a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M piping tip.

6. Add the lemon drizzle to the top of the cake

Lemon Sponge Cake Instructional Image 06

7. Spread around using a spatula, allowing some to drizzle over the cake.

8. Pipe some cream cheese frosting on top.

Lemon Sponge Cake Instructional Image 07

9. Finish with some thinly sliced lemons right before serving.

10. Slice and serve! It’s so yum! If you want to break the sweetness can I tempt you with some freshly whipped cream?

Front on shot of a slice of Lemon Sponge Cake

Tips for making this delicious Lemon Sponge Cake!

Lemon Drizzle

  • The lemon drizzle is made of lemon juice and powdered sugar so it’s quite sour. If you’re not into that, replace it with equal parts water and it won’t be as lemony.


  • You can add as much or as little of the zest as you like but must use the juice recommended in the recipe. Between 3-4 lemons.
  • Make sure the lemons are unwaxed.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature and not warm otherwise the frosting will be runny.
  • When mixing the butter and cream cheese together make sure you’re mixing on high. The only time you can beat this frosting on low speed is with the addition of the powdered sugar. Then you whip it up to high speed until it’s creamy!

Other Recipes You Might Like!

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I hope you guys enjoyed this simple but delicious recipe with me. Please comment in the comments section below, or feel free to share with your family and friends on social media. I’ll see you all on the following recipe. Happy baking!

N x

Close up shot of Lemon Sponge Cake with lemon drizzle, cream cheese frosting in the middle and on top.

Full Lemon Sponge Cake on cake plate with lemon drizzle and slices

Lemon Sponge Cake

Serves 12

4.77 from 17 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American



  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 lemons zested and juiced
  • 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder


  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 lemon zested

Lemon Drizzle

  • 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 lemon sliced



  • Preheat your oven to 150°C / 300°F. Spray two 8” cake tins with oil and lime the bottom with baking paper.
  • Add the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and yogurt to a large mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to beat together until pale and fluffy. About 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl down. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing each time. Add the lemon zest, juice, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix using a spatula until well combined.
  • Split the mixture between the two cake tins. Use a spatula to even out. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.


  • Add the softened cream cheese and butter to a large mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mix to beat until creamy. About 2 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest and powdered sugar. Mix on low speed to begin with. Then turn up to high speed and whip until light and fluffy.

Lemon Drizzle

  • Run the powdered sugar through a sieve into a large mixing bowl. Add enough lemon juice to form a drizzle once mixed

Let's Decorate!

  • Add a dab of frosting to your serving plate and spread around using a spatula or spoon. Add the first layer of cake. Pipe frosting on top. Of the cake and spread around evenly.


This cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.


Calories : 257kcal
Carbonhydrates: 60g
Protein: 4g
Fat: 1g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Trans Fat : 1g
Cholesterol: 1mg
Sodium: 32mg
Potassium : 106mg
Fiber: 2g
Sugar : 38g
Vitamin A: 11IU
Vitamin C: 26mg
Calcium: 40mg
Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclosure

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Arjan June 16, 2021 - 1:01 pm

Hi nick

My name is Arjan and im from the Netherlands.
Im a huge fan of you and your recipes, but with this one i had some trouble and that is because the written version of this recipe doesn’t match the video

For example in the recipe for the cake there is no sign of the lemon juice even tho you show it in the video
The same thing with the vanilla extract in the cake
And butter for the frosting
Maybe something to look at, luckily i could save the recipe by watching the video.

Again im a huge fan of you and your recipe and i will continue to use them,
Hope i helped a bit

Kind regards Arjan

Nick Makrides September 19, 2021 - 3:26 am

Hi Arjan! Thanks so much for pointing these out! Apologies for the errors. I’ve started writing my recipes differently as of a couple months ago to ensure that the ingredients and steps match the video. But I appreciate you pointing these out. I’ve updated the recipe. Thanks again! N x

Krystal August 12, 2021 - 10:41 pm

5 stars
Lemon is my absolute fav flavor to bake with! I am looking forward to making this recipe. I think I’m gonna do candied lemon slices though. Thanks for the recipe! Beautiful cake.

Nick Makrides August 15, 2021 - 10:37 am

Aww thanks Krystal! That sounds delicious! N x

Joanna Claire West August 22, 2021 - 4:21 am

Hello, the list of ingredients says Greek yogurt – but it is not included in the recipe. At what point do you add it? Thank you

Nick Makrides September 19, 2021 - 3:08 am

Hi Joanna! I have now updated the recipe. It goes in with the butter. Hope that helps! N x

Jada McConologue August 25, 2021 - 1:05 pm

When do you add the yogurt?

Nick Makrides September 19, 2021 - 2:57 am

Hi Carly, it goes in with the butter. Just updated the recipe 🙂 N x

Mim August 29, 2021 - 7:37 am

Hi, the ingredients called for Greek yogurt, but it was not mentioned in any of the steps.

Nick Makrides September 19, 2021 - 2:54 am

Hi Mim! Just updated the recipe! N x

Min August 29, 2021 - 7:44 am

Hi there, love a good and easy cake! I notice your ingredients called for Greek yogurt, but it wasn’t mentioned in the recipe steps though. The one that has accompanying photos (way up on this page mentioned sour cream, though it wasn’t stated on ingredient list)

Nick Makrides September 19, 2021 - 2:53 am

Hi Min! Have updated the recipe, thanks for letting me know! N x

Michelle September 9, 2021 - 12:54 pm

Noticed the ingredients for the cake says Greek yogurt but when do you add this as it doesn’t say ?
Thanks 😊 Michelle

Nick Makrides September 19, 2021 - 1:53 am

Hi Michelle! Sorry about that. It goes in with the butter. Just updated the recipe. Thanks so much for pointing that out! 🙂 N x

Denise March 20, 2022 - 10:04 pm

so can you sub sour cream for the greek yogurt ?

Nick Makrides April 27, 2022 - 2:27 am

Yep! N x

Raquel April 29, 2022 - 1:13 am

Hello! Does the vanilla go into the cake mix as is listed in the cake ingredients but not mentioned in the cake instructions or in the frosting, which is listed in the instructions but is not in the list of frosting ingredients? Thanks so much.

Nick Makrides May 3, 2022 - 11:50 am

Hi Raquel! Sorry about the missing ingredients! The vanilla goes in with the butter in the cake and you’ll need 1 tsp of vanilla extract for the frosting N x

Noora June 22, 2022 - 3:00 pm

5 stars
Can I use regular all purpose flour instead?

Nick Makrides June 27, 2022 - 9:28 am

Should be ok! N x


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