Lemon Layer Cake With Lemon Curd and Mascarpone

"I've made this cake several times, most recently for my MIL's birthday. It was adored. It looks like it takes much longer than it does to assemble, although I did make the cake layers and curd a day in advance so that the day of assembly would be less stressful and time consuming. This is impressive and beautiful. IHHDRO"
photo by Fiddler photo by Fiddler
photo by Fiddler
photo by Fiddler photo by Fiddler
Ready In:
48hrs 25mins




  • You'll need a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip to create the decorative rosettes.
  • Begin making this cake two days before you plan to serve it.
  • For lemon curd: Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium metal bowl.
  • Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk constantly until thickened and instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 160°F, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove bowl from over water. Add butter; whisk until melted.
  • Transfer 2 cups curd to small bowl for spreading on cake layers. Reserve remaining curd for filling.
  • Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of both curds. Chill overnight. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled).
  • For cake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F.
  • Line bottom of two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides with parchment paper (do not grease pans or parchment).
  • Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 7 tablespoons sugar in large bowl until mixture is very thick and slowly dissolving ribbons form when beaters are lifted, about 4 minutes.
  • Using clean dry beaters, beat whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form.
  • Add remaining 7 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff and glossy.
  • Fold half of whites into yolk mixture, then sift half of flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt over and gently fold in until incorporated.
  • Fold in remaining whites, then sift remaining flour over and fold in just until combined, being careful not to deflate batter.
  • Divide batter between pans; smooth tops.
  • Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
  • Cool in pans on racks.
  • Run knife around edge of pans to loosen cakes.
  • Invert cakes onto 9-inch-diameter cardboard rounds, tapping on work surface if necessary to release cakes.
  • Cut each cake horizontally in half (layers will be thin). Peel off parchment.
  • For syrup: Place sugar in small metal bowl. Add 1/2 cup boiling water; stir to dissolve sugar. Stir in lemon juice.
  • For filling and frosting: Beat whipping cream and sugar in large bowl until peaks form.
  • Add mascarpone to lemon curd in medium bowl; whisk until blended.
  • Fold whipped cream into lemon-mascarpone mixture.
  • Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter.
  • Brush with 1/2 of syrup.
  • Spread 1/2 cup lemon curd over, then 1 cup lemon-mascarpone filling.
  • Top with second cake layer; brush with 1/2 of syrup and spread with 1/2 cup lemon curd and 1 cup lemon-mascarpone filling.
  • Repeat with third cake layer, syrup, lemon curd, and filling.
  • Top with fourth cake layer.
  • Brush with remaining syrup, then spread remaining lemon curd over.
  • Spoon 2 cups lemon-mascarpone filling into pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch star tip (to be used for rosettes).
  • Spread remaining lemon-mascarpone filling as a frosting over sides of cake.
  • Pipe small rosettes of frosting over top of cake, covering completely.
  • Cover cake with cake dome; refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Tenesha W.
    How many cups of lemon curd should there be after I make it, before separating it? Because I only have a total of 2 cups...I followed the recipe exactly. Super confused about how much I should have aside from the 2 cups I'm supposed to mix with the lemon marscapone....please help!
  2. Ingrid B.
    Hi, Just made the lemon cake. Is it suppose to smell like eggs are cooking??LOL. They came out really nice. Any advice to cutting them in 1/2? Also, Why do I need 2 days to make this cake? I made the curd today, the cake today and the icing/mascarpone will be made tomorrow. Does it keep well made the day before?? Sorry for so many questions. Thank you, Ingrid
  3. Alysha S.
    Ok, is it one container of marscapone or 3? 3 seems like alot...
  4. sbt58326
    Just making sure the recipe is correct: no butter or oil used in the cake part???


  1. MDMama
    Not sure what I did wrong but trying to assemble this was just a sloppy disgusting mess. Layers sliding and lemon curd oozing out. I'm trying to put the whole thing in the fridge to see if I can rescue it from looking like a 4 year old made it. Edit: I managed to rescue this by scraping, chilling, shifting etc etc. In the end it was delicious but very messy. The frosting ended up extra liquidy since I scraped it and a bunch of oozing lemon curd out. Maybe next time I will make sure everything is very well chilled and chill the whole thing until solid/hard between adding layers?
  2. MMers
    This cake is delicious and impressive! I had a bit of a time cutting the layers because the cake was so spongey, the knife I used to score the edge wanted to push through it rather than cut through it. I made the curd on day 1 (and then trasnferred the required 2 cups to my 2 cup measure), the cake on day 2 and then assembled on day 3 (presentation day!). The only changes I made were using 1 x 475gm tub of mascarpone plus 1 x 250gm block of regular cream cheese (our mascarpone in Canada comes in tubs, not 8oz containers) and instead of piping, which I find tedious, I decorated the cake with strawberries from my garden. I covered the entire top with whole berries, tips pointing up, and then I cut the biggest berries in half lengthwise and stood them up around the base of the cake. Also, there's a typing error for the syrup. It should read brush 1/4 cup on each layer, not 1/2 cup. To do this accurately, I poured the cooled syrup (which was exactly one cup) into my 1 cup measure so I knew when to stop brushing (when the liquid got to the 1/4 mark). Needless to say, with this cake, I continue my reign as dessert maker extraodinaire! Thanks for posting this one, spatchcock! M&Mers
  3. Debbie C.
    My son made this & it was easier than it looked & it tasted amazing! Not too sweet or sour. It got rave reviews. We did use jarred lemon curd due to time restraints, but I am sure it yielded the same end results. Definitely a go-to recipe for all lemon cake lovers.
  4. BubbasMom Wetmore
    I just finished making the lemon curd in your recipe. I have a glut of lemons. (I'm in California). The recipe was easy, I added some lemon zest just because I have it. I also used a revereware double boiler that I got at a yard sale for a dollar. Works fine. Yum Bubbasmom
  5. sbt58326
    Question: No butter or oil used in the cake???


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