Lemon Poppyseed Layer Cake with Whipped Yogurt Buttercream

April  8, 2018
1 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Makes one 4 layer rectangular cake
Author Notes

The flavors of a classic lemon poppyseed loaf meet a light, delicate golden layer cake. Thin layers of lemon curd and a whipped yogurt buttercream make a bright, beautiful springtime dessert. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • For the cake
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons poppyseeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • For the filling and frosting
  • 1 cup lemon curd (homemade is best!)
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9" x 13" pan with parchment paper and grease the paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and beat to combine well.
  3. Add the rest of the cake ingredients, mix until just combined, and pour the batter into your prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes--the cake is ready when it just springs back to the touch and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely in the pan.
  5. While cake cools, make the frosting. Beat the butter in a stand mixer until very fluffy (at least 4 minutes). Add the confectioners' sugar slowly and beat to combine.
  6. Add the yogurt in three additions, beating well between each to keep the frosting fully. Add the vanilla bean paste and lemon zest and beat well. If your frosting gets too soft, chill it for 10 minutes in the refrigerator before continuing.
  7. To assemble, slice the cooled cake into four rectangles. Place one on a plate, top with 1/4 cup of lemon curd, then another layer of cake. Top with a thin layer of the frosting and then 1/4 cup of the lemon curd, then another layer of cake. Repeat, only using the lemon curd (although you can add frosting in each layer too! I prefer to use less buttercream) until you put the top layer on, the frosting the top and sides with the remaining buttercream.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Steven Williamson
    Steven Williamson
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien

3 Reviews

Steven W. March 30, 2019
This seems like a dream...I own two small indoor Meyer lemon trees and they have fruit on them right now. I know how to make lemon curd, so that is what I will use! I bet the cake is really good, but can you use 8 or even 6 inch layer cake pans? I don't like the idea of 4 rectangles cut from the 9X13 pan. Perhaps 2 8 inch square brownie pans?
Posie (. March 31, 2019
So I’d say just use what you have/the shape you want! I haven’t tested it in other pan sizes but I suspect two 8” would work fine — and two 6” would be thick so you could slice each in half for a four-layer cake. As with any recipe, I’d say just use the pans you have and fill them as you would a regular cake—if you find you have too much batter, don’t overfill the pan more than 2/3 but just bake the extra batter in a muffin tin (baker’s treat, ha!).
Steven W. March 31, 2019
Thanks! Looks like this weekend will be a good time to try it!