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Easy Lemon Cake Recipe

Looking For An Easy Lemon Cake Recipe? Try This One!

It’s no secret that we are picky about our sweet desserts. There are just some flavors that we love and others that we just can’t fall in love with (despite trying!).

Maybe this has something to do with the flavors we grew knowing? Lisa likes lemon-based desserts while Eric really likes anything with apples.

one slice of yellow lemon cake coated in white icing
The first slice of lemon cake is always the hardest…

Why does this matter? Because we have a recipe for an easy lemon cake with a drizzled icing and we are big fans! Made from simple ingredients you likely have laying around the pantry, the key is real lemon zest to give it that hint of citrus.

Funny enough, when we went to create this recipe, Lisa was adamant it was German. This is because she ate it a lot growing up in Germany! While lemon cake likely isn’t originally German, it certainly has some roots there.

two slices of yellow lemon cake with full lemon behind on wood

If you decide to tackle this great little lemon drizzle cake, be sure to use a real lemon. It just tastes better than using bottled lemon juice in the recipe.

For the zest, be sure to buy an organic one since these are usually treated with less chemicals than “normal” lemons. Also, before you laugh at us – we went a little overboard on the icing.

slices of lemon cake on blue plate with full cake behind
We may have gone overboard on the drizzle icing!

Truthfully, we made a touch too much and were trying different icing designs before realizing our canvas (the cake) was covered – so we just added the rest of the icing!

Another thing to consider when baking lemon cake is the pan you use. You can certainly use a bundt pan, but you might have to adjust the baking time accordingly. However, since we are talking about making an easy lemon cake, we’ll stick to a simple loaf pan!

Related Recipes

For more great German cake recipes, check out these classic sweet treats:

  • German Butter Cake – The classic German yeast cake with almonds- great with coffee!
  • Bee Sting Cake – A yeasty German layered cake with whipped pudding and glazed almonds
  • Simple Carrot Cake – An easy to make carrot cake recipe with cream cheese icing
two slices of yellow lemon cake with full lemon behind on wood

Easy Lemon Cake

This easy lemon cake recipe is sure to be a hit! Baking up soft and moist, this lemon cake is great with a simple drizzled icing. It's amazing how far a little real lemon zest and a handful of other ingredients can go!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 14 Slices


The Cake

  • 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 medium-sized eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 lemon's zest, from an organic lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt

The Glaze

  • juice of one small lemon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, approximately


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • If you don’t use a silicone loaf pan, line your loaf pan with parchment paper or grease and flour it.
  • Beat the butter (important that it is at room temperature), sugar and lemon juice in a bowl with a hand mixer for around five minutes until it has a creamy consistency.
  • Add the eggs one by one and keep beating until the batter is smooth.
  • Add the zest of one half lemon. Make sure to use an organic lemon for this.
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Little by little add it to the wet ingredients while beating with your hand mixer on the lowest setting to avoid the flour making a mess.
  • Mix until the cake batter has a smooth consistency, but make sure to not overmix!
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake the cake in the oven for approx. 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Since every oven is different, your cook time may vary.
  • After taking the cake out of the oven, let it cool in the pan for around 15 minutes. Remove it from the pan and let it cool further.
  • In the meantime, prepare the glaze by mixing the juice of one small lemon with powdered sugar in a small bowl. It’s best to do this in small increments and not add all the sugar at once. If the glaze is too runny, add more powdered sugar in little steps until it reaches the desired consistency. You’ll probably have to use more powdered sugar than you expect.
  • Drizzle the glaze on top of the cake and let it harden.


  • We use a silicone loaf pan with dimensions of 9.5 × 4 inches. If your pan has different dimensions, you might have to adjust the recipe accordingly. A silicone pan is great as this makes it easier to remove the cake when it’s done. If you don’t have one, it’s important to line your loaf pan with parchment paper or grease and flour it properly.
  • Make sure you use lemon juice from an actual lemon (it tastes better!) – and use an organic lemon for the zest so that there is less potential for chemicals/pesticides in the peel.
  • Keep an eye on your cake. If you leave it in the oven too long, it can begin to dry out.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 338IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.

Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Author Recipes From Europe
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