Lemon Layer Cake With Pineapple Filling

"A spectacular cake. More work than the ordinary but a lot can be done the day before. Make it for a special occasion and be prepared for raves."
photo by Zina B. photo by Zina B.
photo by Zina B.
photo by Mommy H. photo by Mommy H.
photo by babyiguana photo by babyiguana
Ready In:
1hr 40mins




  • For cake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F Butter 3, 8-inch in diameter cake pans. Cut 3 parchment rounds to fit bottoms of pans and butter these too.
  • Mix sour cream and soda in bowl and let stand 10 minutes.
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
  • Cream butter with sugar in a large bowl for 8 minutes, until very light and fluffy. Add yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in juices, zest and sour cream mixture. Mix in dry ingredients in 3 additions.
  • Beat whites in a medium bowl to soft peaks.
  • Fold 1/4 of the whites into the cake batter to lighten and then gently fold in remaining whites.
  • Divide batter among 3 prepared pans. Bake about 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Run small, sharp knife around sides to loosen. Turn out and cool completely.
  • For syrup: Stir icing sugar and juice in small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Brush syrup over cakes (can be prepared 1 day ahead).
  • For filling: Mix pineapple and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add butter, sugar and salt. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, about 10 minutes. Cool, cover and refrigerate until well chilled (can be prepared 1 day ahead).
  • For Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting (about 4 cups): Mince lemon zest with sugar in processor or mini-blender. Whip cream in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in sugar.
  • To assemble: Place 1 cake layer, syrup side up, on plate.
  • Gently spread 1/2 of pineapple filling on top.
  • Ice with 1/2 cup of frosting.
  • Top with second layer and repeat.
  • Top with third layer.
  • Ice top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
  • Press coconut onto sides of cake (can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving).

Questions & Replies

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  1. pattikay in L.A.
    This cake performed above and beyond the call of duty for me. After having done most of the preparation in advance as suggested, I was less than an hour away from having dinner guests come over and I was getting ready to assemble the cake - all that was left was the frosting. I started to whip the cream, got distracted, walked away from the bowl and my hand mixer fell over taking the bowl with it and 3/4 of the cream spilled out on the counter, leaving me with half a cup of whipped cream to frost a 3 layer cake. I had no time to go to the store and I was not about to give up on a cake I had put so much work into, so I added some softened butter I had on hand, a little half and half, some more powdered sugar and made a glaze out of it, put some of the pineapple filling on the top of the cake and drizzled the glaze between the layers and over the whole cake, topped off with some coconut. It wouldn't have won any blue ribbons for appearance, but it did look like it was an intentional outcome and it tasted really good. Next day we had a church/school barbecue and I crumbled up the half cake I had left over, layered it with whipped cream, lemon curd, coconut, almonds, pineapple and oranges and made kind of a left-over cake trifle. No leftovers now! The only bite I got was the taste I took to make sure it was ok. I had to give this one five stars for holding up so well after a near disaster.
  2. BogeysMom
    Don't make this for your family if you're trying to diet. This is just excellent - lasted about 24 hours in my house. The syrup I think makes it particularly moist and "lemony".
  3. Mommy H.
    Thanks for posting this recipe. My mom use to make it for us when I was in high school, she had gotten it from a well abused Bon Apetit magazine which I misplaced. When I found this site with this recipe you could only imagine how happy I was. So I made it for her in a heart shape baking pan, as a thank you hence the little card beside the cake in the photo I shared. We don't have lemons here in Belize but we do have limes so I used that instead and garnished it with a slice of fresh pineapple and lime zest flower. Thanks again for sharing this I am forever in debt.
  4. Fairy Godmother
    I made this today for my friends family birthday party. Everyone gave it two thumbs up. I will be making this for another family function tomorrow but will use and orange juice glaze with some rum in it instead of the lemon juice. I didn't use a fresh pineapple but used crushed instead as I was too lazy to cut up a pineapple. After covering it with coconut I arranged canned oranges on top with some mint leaves for a tropical display.
  5. Nancy G.
    This recipe is wonderful! While it does take more time than your average cake, this is definately NOT average. If you are looking for a cake for a special occasion, this is it. The cake is moist and the citrus flavor is subtle. The filling is wonderful and just adds to the whole tropical taste. As for the frosting ! how can you go wrong with flavored and sweetened whipped cream? I made the recipe as directed, carefully following the directions. Next time, I will make some of the parts the day before as suggested in the recipe. Thank you so much for posting a keeper!


<style>body { background: url("http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3639/3512121819_f2f1aaf050.jpg?v=0"); background-repeat: repeat-y; }</style> OK, here goes. I live in Athens, Greece. I moved out here many, many years ago from Ottawa, Canada - so I am blessed in having two wonderful heritages! I suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviour with regard to food and my psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea to find a 'society' where many have the same problem and try to find a cure. So far, I've copied a couple of thousand recipes from this site and my psychiatrist has thrown the towel in and refuses to answer the phone when I call. What did I do wrong? Got 3 kids that keep me on the go - 10 and under at this point (2008) - I may not get round to updating this for a few years, so you'll have to do your own maths. I teach English full-time and Greek Cookery part-time. I would like to make the cooking part of it full-time and the English Grammar part of it part-time. That's all for now.
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