Lemon curd cake recipe

(4701 ratings)

This lemon curd cake is bursting with flavour and makes the perfect treat on a sunny afternoon.

lemon curd cake
(Image credit: Future)
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories531 Kcal27%
Fat28.4 g41%
Saturated Fat17.1 g86%
Sugars49.3 g55%
Protein4.8 g10%
Carbohydrates63.9 g25%

Our lemon curd cake is easy to prepare ahead and is sure to be popular with adults and children. 

If you like the flavour of a traditional lemon drizzle cake we know you’ll love this lemon curd cake. It has two sponge cakes which are generously soaked in lemon syrup. The cakes are then sandwiched together with a generous dollop of curd and decorated with lemon frosting and, you guessed it, more curd! This is a great cake for birthdays, parties or simply to enjoy with loved ones for an afternoon treat. 


  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2tbsps milk
  • Finely zested rind of 2 lemons

For the syrup:

  • 4 level tbsp caster sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons

For the filling:

  • 2 level tbsps lemon curd

For the icing:

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 4 level tbsps lemon curd, plus extra for drizzling (optional)




  1. Set the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). Prepare two 18cm cake tins by greasing them with butter and line the base with a circle of baking paper.
  2. Make the cake batter by adding the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the flour, eggs, milk, and lemon zest to the bowl and beat until smooth.
  4. Divide the mix between your prepared cake tins and level the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes, until they’re just firm to the touch in the centre then remove them from the oven.
  5. While the cake bakes, make the syrup. Pour 4 tbsp water into a small pan and add 4 tbsp caster sugar. Place on low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow the syrup to boil rapidly for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  6. Remove the cakes from the oven and immediately pour over the syrup, half over each cake. Leave in the tins for about 10 minutes, until all the syrup has soaked in, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Sandwich the cakes together with 2 tbsp lemon curd. Use the back of a spoon or a palette knife to spread it evenly.
  8. To finish the cake, make the frosting. Beat 125g butter until very soft, then add the icing sugar and lemon curd. Beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Spread over the top and sides of the cake. Drizzle a little more lemon curd over the cake if you like. For greater control, we recommend putting the curd in a piping bag but you can also just use a small spoon or fork.

Top tip for making lemon curd cake

For tips on the best cake tins to use when baking this lemon curd cake and advice on how and when to use lemon curd, read our FAQs below. 

Are loose bottom cake tins better?

We do not recommend using loose bottom cake tins for this recipe, because you soak the sponges once baked and still warm with lemon syrup. To make sure that none of this syrup leaks out, it’s important to use a solid-bottomed or fixed-base tin. Loose bottom tins are very useful when making a classic Victoria sponge cake or any other cake so you are not adding a soak to it. 

Is curd used in cakes?

Yes! As this recipe shows, the curd is a fantastic ingredient to use when making cakes. Lemon curd makes a delicious zingy change from classic jams and has a luxuriously thick texture. You could also use orange curd, passionfruit curd, or even rhubarb curd if it’s in season and you’re feeling adventurous! 

Can you add lemon curd to buttercream?

Yes, you can add lemon curd to the buttercream. In this recipe, we recommend beating the butter first to make it very soft before adding the sugar and lemon curd to the mix. You should only need to mix it briefly at this stage to ensure it’s fully incorporated. If you want a lemon flavour but with fewer calories, swap the curd for freshly grated lemon zest. For a boozy alternative, you could add a tablespoon or two of gin to the buttercream too. You could use a lemon-flavoured gin or simply a classic London dry. 

Although it is possible to beat the ingredients by hand, if you have an electric hand mixer it’s much easier. For something less bulky and easy to use, give this cordless set a go.

Cuisinart Cordless Power Hand Mixer View at Amazon

Cuisinart Cordless Power Hand Mixer - View at Amazon

When fully charged this cordless hand mixer will work continuously for 20 minutes. This is more than enough time to make the cake sponges and get them in the oven. By ditching the cord you say goodbye to dragging a cord through your cake batter or being restricted as to where you can do your cake prep because you need to be by a plug. This mixer has five power settings, with one being the slowest and five being the fastest. 

Our lemon sponge cake is a little lighter in calories as flavours the sponge with a simple lemon syrup as well as curd. You might like our lemon cake with olive oil as it is very moist and will keep for a few days without drying out. This lemon pound cake is an easy recipe that you can make with kids. 

Food & Recipes writer

Sue McMahon is a former Food and Recipes Writer at GoodTo and Cooking Editor at Woman's Weekly. Her primary passion is cakes and Sue regularly travels the world teaching cake decorating. Her biggest achievement to date was winning the Prix d’honneur at La Salon Culinaire International de Londres beating over 1,200 other entries.

With contributions from