Pretty Spring Cake {Vanilla Cake with Lemon Filling}

Spring comes early here in California, and with tulips and daffodils blooming all around our neighborhood, I was ready for a little spring themed baking.  I’ve been enjoying the homemade lemon curd I made recently, and knew it would be a delicious cake filling.  I paired the sweet-tart lemon curd with vanilla cake and lemon frosting.  And since I recently enjoyed decorating my daughter’s birthday cake with the simple, yet intricate looking petal effect, I wanted to give it another try.  The end results was a delicious cake that I think is perfect for spring!

Vanilla Cake

2 1/2 cups cake flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (or 2 teaspoons extract, and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)

1 cup oil (vegetable, canola, or extra light olive oil)

1 cup buttermilk (can be made with 1 cup milk and 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice, add acid to milk and set aside for 5 minutes before use)


* Preheat oven to 350*F.
* Prepare cake pans (line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper, butter and flour the sides of the pans)
* In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
* In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil, beat.
* Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down the side of the bowl.
* The batter will be thin. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
* Bake cakes until cake is slightly domed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs, no wet batter.  Depending on the size pans you use (6″, 8″ or 9″), the baking time will vary between 22-30 minutes.
* Cool cakes about 10 minutes in pans, then remove from pans.  Wrap warm cakes in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and place in freezer about 20 minutes.  This will help them cool fully, but stay nice and moist.
* Frost as desired when fully cool.
Yield- The cake pictured is a 6″ cake.  If you are using 8″ pans the finished cake will not be as tall.  If you are using 9″ pans I would recommend tripling the original Vanilla Cupcake recipe posted HERE.
Recipe source- Glorious Treats (this is the same recipe as my Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes, simply doubled for a cake)
Lemon Filling
Spread about 1/4 cup lemon curd between each layer.  I used my delicious Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe.
Lemon Frosting
Prepare one batch of my American Buttercream Recipe.  Add one teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest and 1/2-1 teaspoon pure lemon extract.


As I mentioned when I posted my daughter’s birthday cake, I first discovered this pretty petal effect style of decoating on My Cake School.  Here are a couple photos of the process so you can try it too!

~ How to frost a cake using a petal or scale effect ~

1.  After frosting the cake with a thin layer of icing (also called a crumb coat), place the cake in the fridge for 10-20 minutes for the frosting to set up.  Fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip (with a 1/4-1/2 inch opening) with frosting and squeeze icing to create dots in a vertical row (as shown).

2.  In one motion (per dot), use an offset spatula to spread the icing dot in one direction.

3.  Continue the pattern by spreading each individual dot (one stroke per dot), scraping off the spatula (into a bowl) between every or everyother swipe.  One you have spread one row of dots, add another row of dots and repeat the process.

Note- When you get all the way around the cake with this technique, the last row of dots you spread will bump into your first row a bit.  Just do your best to match the pattern, and this will need to be the “back side” of your cake.

Prop note- The pretty pastel flowers I added to the cake are premade flower decorations from Sweet Estelle’s Baking Supply.

Happy Decorating!


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  2. Do you think this cake would do well covered with marshmallow fondant?

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  5. Is this cake four layers, or two layers cut in half? On your cupcakes page it says the recipe makes one 6″ cake, but here you say to double the recipe for the same. Which recipe would you reccomend for a two-layer 6″ cake? Thanks very much.

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  9. I love your cakes and the tutorials! Thank you for sharing your talent to everyone who adores your recipes! God bless!

  10. Beautiful cake! I love your page and have used your recipes often. I’ve made your vanilla cupcakes on several occasions, but have not used the recipe to bake a cake. I’m planning on baking a cake, but in a larger pan. I was hoping you could tell me about how many cups of batter does one of the recipes above yield (double the cupcake recipe). From what I’ve read in some of the comments someone asked you the same question about how many cups of batter, but that was a few years ago so I thought I’d give it a shot. Thank you for showing us your wonderful creations! I hope to hear from you soon 🙂

    • Hi Jocelyn, I’m sorry to say I’ve never made note of the exact amount of batter. I have been able to make a 6″ round (3 layer) or 8″ round (two layer) cake with a double batch of the cupcake recipe.

  11. No worries! I filled two 8″ pan with water (about 2/3 full) and calculated about 8 cups of batter, but I’ll confirm when I make the cake later his week… Thank you for getting back to me, though!

  12. Hi, how did you achieve this beautiful color? Thanks :0)

  13. Hello,
    I allow to put you this link because this blog published your recipe and photo.

  14. Hi. I was searching for the Vanilla cake recipe by using oil instead of butter from a long time. I’m glad I found your blog on pinterest got this perfectionist recipe. Tried this cake recipe everyone on my side loved it. I frosted my cake with fresh whipped cream and pineapples. Thank you.

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  16. It is soooo hard to chose just one cake recipe.  Next best thing…make them all!
    Thank you for posting the recipes.

  17. Hi every time I use this recipe to make cupcakes, they always turn out perfect! However when I try to use the same recipe for a 6″ inch cake the inside of the cake goes slightly yellow in colour and doesn’t taste the same as the cupcakes! I use sunflower oil or sometimes vegetable oil. Could it be because I’m using the wrong oil? 

  18. Hi 
    I am fan of your site and have recently tried the Vanilla cake recipe. This has been the worst I have ever baked. Cake just sank in the middle. I am not a novice so I am in shock that I could bake a disaster like this one. I think the culprit is the amount of leavening.
    Don’t u think it’s too much. Please advice where I could have gone wrong.
    The only thing I didn’t do by the book is mixed my sugar and eggs for longer than u mentioned.u think The mixing incorporated too much air

    • So sorry to hear you didn’t have success. I have made the recipe several times as listed, but please feel free to experiment. Yes, over-mixing the mixture at any stage could add too much air. Also, sometimes a cake sinking is due to it being under-baked. Without being with you in the kitchen it’s hard to know for sure. I hope you experiment and find a variation that works well for you. Happy baking!

  19. Hi!!!!!

     I will know if i can use this recipe to make 2tier cake….. And if you have the recipe with grams ,not cups


  20. Hi Glory! I need enough batter to fill a 12×12 square tin (single layer), as i’ll be making a large cake but baking in single layer batches. How much batter do you think i will i need for this?

  21. I am about to make this cake for a party and I looked at the perfectly vanilla cupcake recipe too. That one has sour cream but this one does not. This recipe says that it’s the same exact one but doubled. Assuming this does not need sour cream?

    • Yes, I’m sorry for the confusion. The vanilla cupcake recipe I updated just a bit (with the addition of sour cream) a little while back. Both the original recipe (listed here) and the sour cream version are perfectly delicious. Feel free to use whichever version you have the ingredients on hand for.

  22. Hi! I’m getting ready to use your Vanilla Cake recipe. I was wondering if the amounts above would work in a Bundt pan?

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