Cakes / Desserts / Food / Lemons / Summer

lemon vanilla cake with Lemon Glaze

I love lemons so much that I usually keep a bag or two on hand. From marinating chicken, to making salad dressing, there is always a lemon in there somewhere. Needless to say, there is no shortage of lemons in my house. When I am craving something sweet, I don’t necessarily think of lemons, but this vanilla-lemon cake is sure to please and fulfill your sweet tooth.

Even though citrus season runs during the winter months, I tend to associate summer and lemons together, probably because of its bright beautiful yellow color. And of course lemonade stands!

This cake is not only delicious and addicting, but easy to make! I use the zest and juice of the lemon in the cake for a pop of citrus. I top it with a simple glaze that is lemony-fresh and adds an extra bit of sweetness.

It’s a perfect summer dessert to bring to a BBQ and especially delicious with a side of ice cream. With a citrus cake like this, I personally love a scoop vanilla bean ice cream. Coconut is also delicious and pairs really well.

You cream butter, sugar and lemon zest until it’s light and fluffy. You can instantly smell the freshness of the lemon when mixing the butter.

Add flour and milk in alternate batches to ensure all the liquid is incorporated into the batter.

A silky glaze that’s made of powdered sugar, lemon juice, zest and vanilla, goes on top of the warm cake.

You can get fancy if you’d like and add candied lemon slices or regular lemons slices for decoration. 


Glazed Lemon Vanilla Cake

This lemon-vanilla cake is moist and delicious with bits of zest throughout. It's topped with a lemony glaze that is silky sweet.
Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Lemon, Quick, Summer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 9
Author Leona G.


  • 9" Square Baking Pan


Lemon Cake

  • 8 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • cup lemon juice 2 lemons
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1-2 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp lemon zest 1 lemon



  • Preheat your oven to 350°
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, cream the butter, sugar and 1 tsp lemon zest together for about 2-3 min until fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until it's all incorporated into the batter. Then stir in the lemon juice.
  • Add in half the milk and mix and then half the flour mixture and mix. Keep alternating the flour and milk. Scrape the sides of the bowl down to make sure everything is incorporated. Pour the batter into your cake pan and bake at 350° for 35-40 min, until the center is set. 


  • Mix all the ingredients together until there are no lumps and you’re left with a smooth glaze. If the glaze is too thick, add another tsp of milk. You want a pourable consistency.
  • Pour the glaze over the warm cake and let it set before slicing. Top with lemon slices for decoration (optional). Serve and enjoy!


  • Make sure to zest your lemons before squeezing the juice out.
  • Adding the milk and flour in alternate batches ensures the milk will be completely absorbed into the cake batter.
  • This recipe will give you 9-medium sized cake slices.
  • You can store this cake in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
  • I whisk this cake and glaze by hand, but if you have a handheld mixer, you could use that for more ease.

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