Italian Lemon Cream Cake


Transport yourself to the sunny shores of Italy with our delectable Italian Lemon Cream Cake recipe. Bursting with the vibrant flavors of zesty lemon and creamy mascarpone, this luscious cake is a celebration of Italy’s culinary delights. Whether enjoyed as a refreshing dessert on a warm summer day or as a sweet indulgence any time of year, this cake is sure to brighten your day with its irresistible taste. Join us as we explore the simple steps to create this Italian-inspired masterpiece in your own kitchen.


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Pan:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.

2. Mix Dry Ingredients:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.

3. Cream Butter and Sugar:

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy using a hand mixer or stand mixer.

4. Add Eggs and Lemon Zest:

  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Stir in the lemon zest to infuse the batter with bright citrus flavor.

5. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients:

  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the lemon juice and milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix.

6. Bake the Cake:

  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

7. Prepare Lemon Cream Filling:

  • While the cake is baking, prepare the lemon cream filling. In a mixing bowl, beat together the mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.

8. Assemble the Cake:

  • Once the cake has cooled completely, slice it in half horizontally to create two layers. Spread a generous layer of the lemon cream filling on the bottom cake layer, then place the second layer on top.

9. Chill and Serve:

  • Refrigerate the assembled cake for at least 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to meld and the filling to set. Before serving, garnish the top of the cake with additional lemon zest or fresh berries for a decorative touch.

10. Enjoy the Taste of Italy:

  • Slice the Italian Lemon Cream Cake and serve it as a refreshing dessert or sweet treat for any occasion. The creamy mascarpone filling and zesty lemon flavor are sure to transport you to the enchanting streets of Italy with every blissful bite.

Serving and Storage Tips:


  1. Chill Before Serving: For the best taste and texture, refrigerate the Italian Lemon Cream Cake for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Chilling allows the flavors to meld and the filling to set, resulting in a more cohesive and delicious dessert.
  2. Garnish with Fresh Lemon Zest: Before serving, garnish the top of the cake with freshly grated lemon zest for a burst of citrus flavor and a decorative touch. This adds a vibrant pop of color and enhances the overall presentation of the cake.
  3. Slice Carefully: Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry to slice the cake cleanly. This helps to maintain the integrity of the layers and ensures neat slices without crumbling.
  4. Serve with Fresh Berries: Accompany slices of Italian Lemon Cream Cake with a side of fresh berries such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries for a refreshing contrast of flavors. The sweetness of the berries complements the tangy lemon and creamy mascarpone filling.


  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Italian Lemon Cream Cake in an airtight container or cake dome in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The cake should be stored chilled to maintain its freshness and prevent the filling from spoiling.
  2. Cover Well: To prevent the cake from drying out and absorbing unwanted odors from the refrigerator, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before refrigerating. Alternatively, store the cake in a cake carrier with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Individual Portions: For longer storage or easier serving, consider slicing the cake into individual portions and wrapping each slice tightly in plastic wrap before refrigerating. This helps to maintain freshness and makes it convenient to grab a slice whenever craving strikes.
  4. Avoid Freezing: Due to the creamy filling, Italian Lemon Cream Cake is not suitable for freezing as it may result in a compromised texture and flavor upon thawing. It is best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated for optimal taste and quality.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Italian Lemon Cream Cake remains fresh, flavorful, and delightful to enjoy for days to come.

Variations of Italian Lemon Cream Cake:

  1. Limoncello Infused Cake:
    • Add a splash of limoncello liqueur to the cake batter for a boozy twist. Brush the baked cake layers with additional limoncello before assembling with the lemon cream filling for an extra burst of citrus flavor.
  2. Berry Lemon Cream Cake:
    • Incorporate fresh berries such as raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries into the lemon cream filling for a fruity variation. The tartness of the berries complements the zesty lemon and creamy mascarpone, adding a burst of color and flavor to the cake.
  3. Lemon Blueberry Mascarpone Cake:
    • Layer the cake with lemon-infused mascarpone filling and fresh blueberries between each cake layer for a delightful combination of flavors. The juicy blueberries add sweetness and texture to the creamy filling, creating a harmonious balance of taste and texture.
  4. Lemon Lavender Cream Cake:
    • Infuse the cake batter with dried culinary lavender or lavender extract for a floral twist. Pair the fragrant lavender-infused cake layers with a delicate lemon cream filling for a sophisticated and aromatic variation.
  5. Coconut Lemon Cream Cake:
    • Add shredded coconut to the cake batter for a tropical twist on the classic recipe. Layer the cake with a coconut-infused mascarpone filling and garnish with toasted coconut flakes for added texture and flavor. The combination of coconut and lemon creates a refreshing and indulgent dessert reminiscent of a sunny beach getaway.

Experiment with these variations to create your own unique spin on the Italian Lemon Cream Cake and delight your taste buds with a burst of refreshing flavors and textures.


1. Can I use lemon extract instead of fresh lemon juice?

  • Yes, you can use lemon extract as a substitute for fresh lemon juice. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste, as lemon extract is more concentrated in flavor than fresh juice.

2. Can I make this cake ahead of time?

  • Yes, you can bake the cake layers in advance and store them tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 1-2 days. The lemon cream filling can also be prepared ahead and refrigerated until ready to assemble the cake.

3. Can I use whipped cream instead of mascarpone for the filling?

  • While mascarpone cheese provides a creamy and rich texture, you can substitute whipped cream if desired. Keep in mind that whipped cream may not hold its shape as well as mascarpone and may require stabilizing with gelatin or powdered sugar.

4. How do I prevent the cake from becoming dry?

  • To keep the cake moist, avoid overbaking and be sure to wrap the layers tightly in plastic wrap once cooled to prevent them from drying out. Additionally, refrigerating the assembled cake with the lemon cream filling helps retain moisture.

5. Can I add lemon curd to the filling for extra lemon flavor?

  • Yes, incorporating lemon curd into the lemon cream filling adds an extra burst of citrus flavor and enhances the overall tanginess of the cake. Simply swirl the lemon curd into the mascarpone mixture before layering the cake.

6. Can I make this cake gluten-free?

  • Yes, you can use a gluten-free flour blend in place of all-purpose flour to make the cake gluten-free. Just be sure to check that all other ingredients, such as baking powder and flavorings, are also gluten-free.

7. How should I store leftovers of the cake?

  • Leftover Italian Lemon Cream Cake should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Allow the cake to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving to soften the filling.

8. Can I freeze the cake for later?

  • While the cake layers can be frozen individually, it is not recommended to freeze the assembled cake with the lemon cream filling, as the texture may become compromised upon thawing.

9. Can I decorate the cake with additional toppings?

  • Yes, you can garnish the Italian Lemon Cream Cake with lemon slices, fresh berries, or edible flowers for a decorative touch. Dusting the top with powdered sugar or drizzling with lemon glaze are also popular options.

10. Can I adjust the sweetness of the cake to my preference?

  • Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar in the cake batter and lemon cream filling to suit your taste preferences. You can also use confectioners’ sugar instead of granulated sugar for a smoother texture in the filling. Adjustments may affect the overall sweetness and consistency of the cake.


Savor the taste of la dolce vita with our irresistible Italian Lemon Cream Cake. With its delicate sponge cake layers infused with lemon zest and filled with creamy mascarpone filling, this dessert is a true celebration of Italian flavors and culinary craftsmanship. Whether enjoyed as a delightful ending to a Mediterranean-inspired meal or as a special treat for any occasion, this cake is sure to delight your taste buds and transport you to the sun-drenched shores of Italy. Buon appetito!

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