If you’ve ever wanted a delicious dessert that looks absolutely amazing, this is the one for you. Perfect for spring or summer (or really anytime you want to remind yourself of warmer months), this is a lemon cream cheese frosting-filled lemon cake that looks just as good as it tastes. There’s nothing worse than putting a ton of effort into a beautiful dessert that ends up tasting bland or dry – thankfully that’s not an issue here. The cake is packed full of that fresh and zesty lemon flavor, and because it’s only cooked for a short period of time, it’s taken out of the oven while it’s still moist and before it has time to dry out.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, as needed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar, plus more, as needed
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed
Preheat oven to 350º F and line a jelly roll baking sheet with parchment paper and non-stick spray.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy, then beat in sugar, lemon juice, zest and vanilla extract.
Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined, then pour batter into greased and lined baking sheet.
Use a rubber spatula to spread batter evenly across the pan and into the corners, then place baking sheet in oven. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until top is golden brown and springs back when touched.
While cake bakes, spread a large kitchen towel on your workspace and dust generously with powdered sugar. (Towel should be larger then baking sheet.)
Remove cake from oven and turn it out onto sugar-coated kitchen towel. Remove parchment paper, then, starting from one of the short sides of the cake, flip the edge of the towel onto the cake and tightly roll cake into a spiral.
Set cake aside or refrigerate until cooled completely.
For the frosting: beat cream cheese in a large bowl for 1-2 minutes, or until fluffy. Add butter and beat until smooth and combined, then beat in 3 cups powdered sugar.
Mix in lemon extract and lemon zest, stirring in milk if you prefer frosting to be a little thinner.
Remove cake from fridge and unroll, then spread frosting on, making sure to get up to the edges of the cake.
Re-roll cake, without the towel, being careful to gently pull the cake away from the towel if it sticks slightly.
Return to the refrigerator for another 1-2 hours, or until chilled.
Dust with powdered sugar, slice, serve and enjoy!