This Italian Lemon Cake, is made with fresh Cream and lemons. It makes a tasty breakfast or snack cake. Dress it up with some fresh fruit and whipped cream to make the perfect dessert. A fast, easy and delicious Lemon Cake recipe.
This is one of the first Italian cakes that I ever made and still one of the Italian’s favorites. It’s simple and with a dusting of powdered sugar it’s exactly how he likes it!
- Flour – all purpose or cake/pastry flour
- Baking powder
- Salt – if you use unsalted butter then add a bit more salt
- Butter – softened
- Eggs – room temperature
- Egg yolk – room temperature
- Sugar – powdered, icing or also known as confectioners’ sugar
- Cream – heavy, whole or whipping cream with at least 30% fat
- Lemon – lemon zest
- Lemon juice – fresh lemon juice is best
- Vanilla – vanilla extract or lemon flavor if you prefer
How to make homemade Cake/Pastry flour
For every cup of all purpose flour, remove two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons of corn starch. Be sure to sift the flour and cornstarch together a couple of times, this way it is sure to be properly combined and lump free.
Cake flour in cakes will give you a very tender texture and fine crumb, it will also help the cake to rise.
Why use room temperature ingredients?
When at room temperature, eggs, butter, and other dairy ingredients form an emulsion which traps air. While baking in the oven, that trapped air expands and produces a fluffy baked good.
So be sure to remove the ingredients from the fridge 45-60 minutes before baking, sooner if you have a cool house.
How to Make an Easy Lemon Cake
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Melt the butter in a small pot or microwave, and let the butter cool.
In a large mixing bowl on medium speed or the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, yolk and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
With a spatula gently fold the flour mixture, alternating with the cream into the egg mixture, keep folding until mixture is completely combined, then gently fold in the zest, vanilla, melted butter and lemon juice.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or or a few crumbs attached.
Let the cake cool a bit in the pan then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered/icing sugar, before serving. This cake would also be delicious served with some whipped cream and fresh blueberries!
How do you prevent your bundt cake from sticking to the pan?
Grease the pan all over, into the crevices, and then dust with flour. Dump out any excess flour. This should allow the pan to release the cake nicely when it is turned over.
How high should you fill a bundt pan?
You should leave a few inches from the top to allow for rising, which is about ⅔ full.
What does an Italian cake taste like?
I find Italian cakes to be less sweet than traditional North American cakes, the crumb is more compact and sometimes not as moist. That’s why they make the best breakfast or snack cakes to be enjoyed with a cappuccino or an afternoon tea.
This cake has the same texture as my Easy Yogurt Cake it is actually quite similar to a Pound Cake.
Italians don’t usually serve cake for dessert. Unless of course they make a cake such as a Tiramisu or a Fancy Cake for a birthday. In fact dessert isn’t very common. They prefer to serve fruit or even a fresh fruit salad.
Different ways to serve the Fresh Cream Lemon Cake
If you prefer to make the cake in a 9 inch cake pan, you could slice it through the centre to make it into a layer cake. Fill it with a simple Italian Pastry Cream , or even a Lemon Curd, or a simple whipped cream filling or even topping with some fresh berries, it would make a simple but perfect after dinner dessert.
You could even add a simple Powdered Sugar Glaze or lemon glaze rather than a dusting of powdered sugar. I don’t think I would use a buttercream frosting or a lemon cream cheese frosting as I think they could be too overpowering for this cake. But it’s up to you.
How to store a Homemade Cake
The cake should be stored in an airtight container or a covered cake dish. It will keep at room temperature for approximately 3-4 days.
The cake can also be frozen. Wrap the cooled cake (or slice the cake and freeze the slices individually), tightly in plastic and place in a freezer safe bag or container. It will keep for up to three months in the freezer.
I love lemons, I think it is one of the best citrus fruits for baking. Lemon bread, Lemon Cheesecake or one of my all time favourites, Italian Lemon Sorbet.
Italian Fresh Cream Lemon Cake is fast and really tasty, all it needs is a little dusting of icing sugar/powdered sugar and it is perfect. Enjoy!
Italian Fresh Cream Lemon Cake
- 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour or cake/pastry flour (258 grams total)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 large yolk room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups icing/powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup whole/heavy or whipping cream room temperature (at least 30% fat content)
- 1 zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
For room temperature remove the ingredients from the fridge approximately 45-60 minutes before using.
- 2-3 tablespoons icing / powdered sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease and flour a 9 1/2 inch bundt cake pan (24 cm) (I'm sure a 9 inch/23 cm round cake pan would work).
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt set aside.
- Melt the butter in a small pot or microwave, and let the butter cool.
- In a large mixing bowl on medium speed or the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, yolk and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- With a spatula gently fold the flour mixture, alternating with the cream into the egg mixture, keep folding until mixture is completely combined, then gently fold in the zest, vanilla ,melted butter and lemon juice.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or or a few crumbs attached.
- Let the cake cool 15-20 minutes in the pan then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered/icing sugar, before serving. This cake would also be delicious served with some whipped cream and fresh blueberries!
Republished from December 24, 2015.
Thankyou for the recipe
I didn’t have any cream so I added 2 tsp butter to the milk and baked in my oven for 65 minutes uncovered then 10 minutes covered with foil. I also used orange zest and juice instead of the lemon
Worked out lovely we ate it all for breakfast!
Hi Teeba, thanks so much, glad you liked it, and yes great idea with the milk and orange. Take care!
Maria C. says
I made this cake today. Although I mistakenly mixed up the order of the ingredients, it still tasted AMAZING!! Wow!! So delicious!!
Hi Maria, thanks so much, glad you enjoyed it. Take care and have a wonderful weekend!
Lovely cake really easy recipe
Hi Lisa, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed it. Take care.
Bekah W says
the pic you posted looks like a tube pan as opposed to a bundt. i have both… which offers the best result?
Hi Bekah, I think that one was more of a bundt pan but a tube pan works fine also. Let me know how it goes. Happy New Year.
Hi Rosemary, I just made your Italian Lemon cake. I do have to say it was very tasty,, the lemon taste was perfect not to overwhelming ! BUT it was tooooo dry . Definitely needs a filling or some kind of berries on top.. blueberry melds very well with lemon.
Hi Debbie, Italian cakes are on the drier side. But if you want to make it moister you could try using 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks and or substitute the butter with vegetable oil. 🙂
Maria C. says
I agree it was dry but, very good. The whipped cream I added to each slice made it a little less dry. But I’ll try the suggestion to add the extra egg next time!
are you suppose to whip the heavy cream?
Hi Bridget, no you don’t whip it, you need to use heavy, whole or whipping cream. 🙂
Sara Eden says
Hi Rosemary. I loved this recipe–the batter was especially delicious and it was easy to make. But I have to say–it was drier than I expected. I baked it the minimal time and checked it with a skewer which came out clean. My family did not think it was dry but they said they wouldn’t call it a “moist” cake. I loved the crumb and texture. I really want this to be a keeper, but I love moister cakes. Any suggestions on how I can make it more moist? Thank you in advance!
Hi Sara, yes Italian cakes are on the drier side. Try making it with 2 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs instead, that should help. Let me know how it goes.
Sara Eden says
Thank you–I will!
Maureen Ambrose says
They all look amazing! ! Can’t wait to try them.
Hi Maureen, thanks so much. Take care.
Purely amazing, but altered a few things: added zest from lemon, replaced half of vanilla extract with lemon extract and replaced 1/2 cup flour with corn starch and 1/4 cup with almond flour. Delicious and light and not too sweet! Thank you!
Hi Asia, thanks so much so glad you enjoyed it. Have a wonderful Sunday.
This was absolutely delicious! It was so moist and flavorful. I served it with a blueberry sauce made from fresh blueberries.
Hi Charlene, thanks so much, sounds delicious. Have a great week.
Can I use gluten free flour for this cake?
Hi Rita, I really don’t know because I have never baked with gluten free, but if you try it let me know how it goes.
Sandra Merino says
A nice light not sweet cake with a delicate lemon flavor.
It is dry but enjoyable with coffee or a cuppa tea. I bet you could serve a slice with fresh strawberries and whipped cream!
Hi Sandra, thanks glad you enjoyed it. Yes Italian cakes tend to be on the drier side. Have a great weekend.