This Lemon Cream Butter Cake is the love child of a buttery lemon cake and a lemon cheesecake. A perfect marriage of the two textures and flavours.
Why I love this lemon cream cheese butter cake!
If you are a lover of lemon, you will be over the moon with this delicious cake, that brings together lemon cake and lemon cheesecake in one pan.
The buttery lemon cake forms a layer around the bottom and outside, while a creamy lemon cream cheese filling cooks up in the middle. It’s full of lemon flavour and a wonderful combination of textures. Enjoy this one chilled with a dusting of icing sugar on top.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Lemon – you will need fresh lemons, as the recipe specifies both lemon juice and lemon zest.
Cream cheese – full fat cream cheese is required to ensure the cream cheese layer bakes up properly.
Butter – Unsalted butter is recommended for this cake, but if you only have salted butter, be sure to adjust the amount as noted in the Recipe Card.
- Be sure to place your springform pan on a baking sheet as a small amount of butter may leak out as the cake bakes. Alternately, you could wrap the bottom and sides of your springform pan with foil.
- Speaking of wrapping in foil, I have long struggled with my springform pan over-cooking the sides of my baked goods and I suspect it is because it is a dark pan. I’m always hesitant to reduce the oven temperature, but I’m thinking I will start wrapping the outside of the pan in foil to try to temper that tendency in future. I’ll let you know how that works out. (Or I guess I could just buy light pans :)
- Keep a close eye on the cake as it nears the 30 minute mark and watch closely. It will be best if you can get it out of the oven when it is just cooked, which means the outside cake part looks lightly golden and the centre of the cake looks set.
- Finally, if you want to fancy up your cake, place a paper doily on top of the cake and dust your icing sugar over it. Carefully remove to reveal a pretty pattern.
Full fat cream cheese is required to make sure the cream cheese part is thick enough not to run off the top of the cake. And speaking of which, you need to add the cream cheese layer slowly, into the centre, spreading it out towards the edges, to ensure it doesn’t escape over the sides.
Get the Recipe: Lemon Cream Butter Cake
For the cream cheese filling:
- 8 oz. full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup icing/confectioners’ sugar
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
For the Cake:
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, reduced to a pinch if using salted butter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 large eggs
- Zest of 2 small or one large lemons
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla, or vanilla bean paste
- Additional icing/confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Prepare an 8-inch springform pan by spraying with cooking spray and lining the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Place pan on a baking sheet and set aside. *Baking sheet is recommended as some small amount of butter may leak out during baking.
- Prepare the filling: In a large bowl with an electric beater or the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high peed for about 5 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
- Add the icing sugar and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until completely combined, about 1 minute. Add the melted butter, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat until completely combined, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Prepare the cake batter: In large bowl, whisk together the flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in melted (cooled) butter, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest just until combined. Do not over-mix.
- Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared springform pan. Spread to the edges and level batter. Very carefully and a bit at a time, pour the cheesecake filling mixture in the centre of the cake, spreading it to within about 1/2 inch of the edge of the pan, leaving that 1/2-inch around the outside with just bare cake batter visible.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the outside edges of the cake is light golden and the centre of the cake is set. You can test with a cake tester around the outside edges, but not in the centre, as it is mostly cream cheese. You want the center to be set, so you can test by moving the pan a little to see how jiggly the centre is.
- Allow cake to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and carefully remove the outer ring. Allow to cool completely at room temperature for 1 hour, then transfer to a serving plate and refrigerate to chill before serving.
- To serve, serve chilled, with a little sprinkling of icing/confectioners’ sugar.
More Lemon Cake Recipes to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
Amazing lemon dessert! Like other reviewers this will become my go to lemon dessert. I was fortunate as my local grocery store had imported lemons from Sorrento, Italy. A bit pricey but I thought for Easter, why not. The lemons were fragrant, sweet and made the dessert absolutely delicious. It was given high praise by all who had a slice.
So glad you all enjoyed it, Susan and jealous of those beautiful lemons :) Thanks!
When I poured the filling it spread immediately to the edge, no crust after baking??? What did I do wrong?
Hi Connie, did you use full fat cream cheese?
Can I double the recipe? It looks delicious.
Hi Jenny, I think I would be more inclined to make two cakes than try to double this. What size pan would you use if you were to double it?
Would I be able to double this recipe and bake in a 9×13″ pan?
Hi Del and yes, I suspect you could, though it might now come out of the pan as neatly as when using a springform pan. If you try it, let me know how it worked out!
I only have a 9 or 6 inch spring form pan. Id like to try make it with the 6 inch pan. Do you think it would work with that size?
Hi Lisa, it would technically work, though I’m not sure all the batter would fit in the pan. You may need to hold some back. The thicker cake would take longer to bake, so be sure to watch closely and bake until it looks set in the centre and the outside cake part tests clean. If you try it, let me know how it worked out.
Wanting to make this, this weekend. I only have a 9 inch springform pan, would this work? How to adjust baking time? Thanks!
Hi Amanda, while a 9″ pan would technically work, I fear your cake would be very, very thin. (It’s not very thick with the 8″ pan). Do you have any other pan in the 8-inch range (pie plate?). That would be a better choice. If you really want to try the 9″, beyond being thinner, it will cook more quickly, so start checking early (after about 20 minutes) and check often.
I am about to make this cake … such great reviews
My question is can I freeze
Hi Lynda, I have never frozen this one. I’d worry a little bit about the cream cheese part changing texture a bit, but it may do just fine. Maybe someone who has frozen it can weigh in for you.